The Upper East Side has a new luxury hair salon. Its founder, Arsen Gurgov, believes it is the first freestanding upscale salon to open in the tony neighborhood in the past 10 years. Gurgov, who mastered his craft for nearly 20 years a few blocks south at Louis Licari, developed the chic shop for a new breed of client. He has a vision to stamp out his concept into other markets across the country.
“I fell in love with the space as much for its aesthetics as well as its function,” said Gurgov, who is using the expansive space atop 30 East 60th Street to build out a modern salon. Natural light floods the 30-chair shop that made its official debut this month. The bright white salon offers Instagrammable moments including a spot illuminated with a ring-light for the perfect selfie.
But it is the respite from the connected world that was most important to Gurgov in creating the salon that bears his first name. Working in tandem with interior designer Vicente Wolf, Gurgov was able to build stations that give clients private space — versus traditional salons where no conversations are confidential. “Each station is far apart so everyone feels like they have their own office,” Gurgov said during a tour. “Salons can be chaotic. Even if the salon is busy, I never want to lose the zen.”
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The secluded spaces are key for his current and past celebrity clients including Emmy Rossum, Julianne Moore, Kathie Lee Gifford and the “Today” show’s newest co-anchor, Hoda Kotb. Gurgov is no stranger to the “Today” show serving as a key team member on the Ambush Makeover segment. Recently he’s appeared on “Good Morning America” discussing hair trends for 2018. His forecast calls for more hair accessories such as headbands, warmer tones for hair color, the proliferation of bangs and even mature women growing longer tresses. “No one haircut will dominate, it is all about being yourself.”
But beyond the glitterati, Gurgov, who entered the business at age 16, also has local loyal customers, such as one 72-year-old woman who, unsolicited, voiced her approval for his talent for tresses. “He’s made me fashion forward and people stop me on the street to ask where I get my hair done. I come at least once a week,” she said.
His calling card is a knack for subtle hair styling changes that enhance clients’ appearances. One called it cosmetics surgery without needles.
With an eye on busy clients’ needs — the Arsen Gurgov salon’s business is 20 percent male — Gurgov built out space for not only manicures and pedicures, but also waxing and facials (which aren’t offered by many other luxury salons). Prices range from $170 to $400 for a cut, $140 to $350 for color. Waxing is offered at $15 to $175 and facials range from $175 to $350. Sales break out about evenly between cut and color at this point.
Gurgov, who pioneered the use of hot scissors in the U.S., is using his own brand of brushes along with products from Milbon. He has a goal of launching his own line in the future.