Edited by Amanda Gabriele on
I had a hairdresser back home who was my knight in shining armor. I never had to say much, he always knew exactly what I wanted – I was never disappointed. Needless to say, those stylists come far and few between in one’s life. I’ve gone through countless hairdressers during my time in New York City, and not one has impressed me. BUT, after my trip to Valery Joseph Salon, my mind, and coif, has changed. On a luxe, tree-lined Madison Avenue block, I got the best haircut of my life from Valery and got to see firsthand his unique technique that delivers a perfectly layered cut every time. Click through for photos of my salon experience and an exclusive interview from Valery.
When did you develop your unique method of cutting hair? What made you realize this was revolutionary and would work in a salon?
When I was working in Israel, I had a lot of hair to work with. Israeli hair is often thick and coarse, and the basic method of hair cutting they teach in school always worked. When I came to America, I was introduced to a new hair type that was softer and thinner – it was challenging for me. I tried to find a way to give the same feel of a soft, layered haircut without taking too much thickness out. My background in architecture helped me figure out how to create a similar layered look without taking too much weight from the bottom. That’s how the upside down haircut was developed. When the head is flipped over and you pull hair from the back, it doesn’t reach the rest of the hair you are trimming so you don’t end up touching it. This angle ensures you won’t take off too much length, if any at all, but you can still create the same movement and shape.
What makes your method of cutting hair different from other salons and stylists?
Other stylists tend to adopt one haircut and use it on all of their clients no matter the texture or thickness of their hair. Many of them feel it’s safer to know one haircut and do it on everyone. But when I do my upside down haircut, I am able to individualize it based on the type of hair the client has. Most new clients I see complain about previous haircuts – there are too many layers, it looks shredded in the back, too much length was taken off, etc. This often challenges me to create a soft, layered look without doing all of the things many women don’t like. Based on those common complaints, I developed that method. It’s also important to remember that a lot of layers don’t always create thickness. It’s best to just layer the crown and angle at the front.
Why is this method most effective in creating a cut that naturally frames the face?
It’s important to target the front area of the hair to create soft loose angles in the front. By flipping the hair upside down, I am able to cut it at an angle so it’s not a straight cut. The look stays soft because layers aren’t chopped into the hair, creating a harsh look.
Why do you layer from the crown rather than cutting straight across?
Layering the crown gives the illusion of a layered haircut. You get a lift from the crown while keeping the bottom thicker, making the bottom of the hair a great foundation. It allows you to create movement without affecting thickness and length.
What advice can you give to our readers on taking good care of their hair at home in between cuts?
Condition, condition, condition! Hair masks are a must, especially if you want to grow your hair. Summer is a great time to grow your hair and take a longer break in between haircuts because you can skip frequent blow dries and style your hair in more of a natural, beachy look. Avoiding heat damage whether it’s from a blow dryer, curling iron or straightening iron is key. If you need a little added definition, it’s okay to visit the salon in between haircuts to let the stylist re-frame the front of your hair and trim your bangs without touching the rest.
I would recommend the Valery Joseph salon to anyone because every aspect of the experience there will make you feel absolutely fabulous. I am truly walking around New York City with the best haircut I’ve ever had. For more salon information and locations, visit valeryjoseph.com.
Photos by Christopher Hall Photography