134 W 72ND St, New York, NY | Directions 1002340.777850 -73.980154
Neighborhoods: Upper West Side, Midtown
Don't believe the hype... – I have been shopping around for a salon to care for my natural tresses. After reading several reviews i decided to give Lavar a try...big mistake! The salon itself is nice and clean; however, the staff is unfriendly and inattentive. I had to tell them several times what services I wanted done. The stylist stopped in the middle of doing my hair to take a break/eat and she didn't seem to know she was doing. I told her how I usually wear my hair and she sent me out of the salon with bobby pins "wrapped" around my head. She also told me my scalp was dry, but did not put anything on it nor suggest anything I could use to alleviate the problem. Overall for the prices they charge I expected much better service and attention to my hair's needs.
LAVAR STYLIST A+++ – I use to have my hair cared for @ LAVAR Hair Designs, but by Linda Villalobos. She was absolutely outstanding in her profession. I was very, very pleased with the services I received. Yes, it was very pricey, but you get what you pay for, or at least I did. I never had my hair serviced by a LAVAR staff member, so I can't comment on that. However, my only problem I had with Linda was, her profession taking her to California. This left me in a bind, especially when I needed a touch up. She was so good, I truly didnt trust anyone else with my hair. Because she was gone for long periods at a time, I'm now wearing an afro because I know I'm not going to get the same level of service she gave. I LOVE YOU LINDA WHEREVER YOU ARE!!!
over hyped, long waits, not worth the price. – i'm sure most black women in NYC can relate. It is very difficult to find a good salon that caters to african american hair. i had been wearing my hair in braids for years and decided i wanted to make a change and wear my hair in a relaxed style. i did tons of research and settled upon going to Lavar's. do not let the celebrity clientele and the reality show fool you!! first of all, i had to wait a long time to get my hair appointment going. also, i would wait a long time before being able to sit under a dryer after my hair was washed. the place is always jam packed, especially on saturdays. my hair stylist was the nicest one of the bunch but for the most part, the staff was pretentious. lots of attitude. no wonder they had a reality show!
also, i'm not really sure they're that concerned with the health of your hair... i think they want you in and out because they're alays so backed up with appointments. i went in with shoulder length hair... after 4 or 5 months of getting a partial weave, i left with chin length hair! i am very meticulous about my own hair and i do my best to care for it, combing the hair in between. well, thankfully my hair has grown back fully since then... but i won't be going back there to have them maintain it!
Best haircare for Black women in NYC – I have been a very happy customer of this salon for many years and can highly recommend it. I was surprised to read the review that precedes mine but it is clear that said reviewer made an ASSumption about the salon based on a single visit. Let's be real, accidents sometimes do occur. An offer of a free (and presumably pricey) deep conditioner is a testament to the classy reputation of the salon.
Let's get to the point ladies---the hair! I have a very unique texture that is extremely curly and hard to deal with. Therefore I often come into the salon looking with a mess of haphazard crazy tight ringlets. By the time I leave, my hair is silky smooth, shiny and straight as a pin (the way I like it). Not only that but it is well conditioned and smells lovely. And the look lasts until my next wash which is generally a week later. This blowout gives that coveted hair blowing in the wind thing (I think the secret is that they don't use much product while styling, many Black salons tend to make that mistake which only weighs the hair down)
If you are into weaves (that's not my thang), the owner does excellent weaves (this is actually her claim to fame). I have seen many celebrities in there getting weaves done and when they leave they look as expected---picture perfect .
I urge any Black chica living in the city to take a chance on this fabulous salon, you won't regret it.
THE CRYING AFRO – I went to this salon because of it's STAR POWER so I thought. I had read/seen Ellin LaVar through an editors column in ESSENCE magazine and on Oprah. I thought to myself, 'they can handle what I got'. I briefly consulted with one of Ellin LaVar's staff stylist who was reommended to me by the receptionist who said she works best with natural hair (non-relaxed hair). I explained to the stylist that my hair may look thick but it is fine and needs minimal heat to straighten. After she straightened my AFRO using the marcel irons (cast irons that heat-up in a portable stove under extreme temperatures), my hair smelled like it was scorched. The burning smell followed me down the street as I walked home. I was looking forward to washing it 2 weeks later to get rid of the stinch. Well to my horror, after shampooing 3x's not only was the smell not gone but the finer pieces on the back and sides of my head looked as though I had received a relaxer with a FRO on top, these two textures don't mix in anybody's fashion world, just the 'tow-up world". When I called the shop and received an automated menu selecting the "if you have experienced Hair Trauma..." option; A LaVar Designs representative returned my call 3 weeks later (so much for trauma being a priority). They offered a complimentary deep-conditioning treatment, and stated, "you know sometimes these things happen." Boy was I livid. First, a deep conditioning treatmet would not revive my scorched, burnt, pin-straight curl back to life, it was permanently dead hair that would eventually need to be cut. To this day, the burnt pieces are still breaking off near the root. Secondly, try telling one of your Celebrity clients, "sometimes these things happen" after you have permanently altered their appeal. Don't go here natural heads, this is not their specialty. Before typing, I thought, should I compose this review? "Hell Yeah", if I can save your trauma, it's worth it! My AFRO is my crown and my FRO is crying.
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