i knew i loved gina ribando from the moment i laid eyes on her instagram. carefully curated, with expertly crafted hair coming at you frame after frame. i contacted her blindly, and we met in early 2016 to discuss my wedding #hairgoals. we connected as friends, and she’s been doing my hair ever since. though she works primarily as a l’oreal educator, traveling the country teaching salons how to be as awesome as she is, this past july gina also became a member of the team at z(ed) new york, a tiny upper east side salon that packs a big downtown punch – and i knew it was only a matter of time before i had to check it out.
z(ed) is owned and operated by carly quist, a canada native. (doesn’t the name z(ed) make so much more sense now!?) it’s long and narrow structure is modern and minimalist, with clean lines and metallic details throughout. it has an intimate feel, which i instantly find appealing. this isn’t another hair factory churning out appointments…. this is community. for their loyal clients, this is home away from home. diving deeper into the details with carly and gina, i learned that z(ed) is a green circle salon. these salons are the most eco-friendly in the industry, recycling everything they possibly can – down to the hair on the floor! did you know that recycled hair is used to aide in cleaning up oil spills?
i love the perk of this place being super green… and i really love the fact that this is a team derived of educators. in addition to gina, carly is a kerastase educator, and the other members of the team are all working their way towards the same title. after discussing the game plan at gina’s station, she led me back to get washed and conditioned. at z(ed) they are firm believers in the scalp massage, which promotes blood flow and hair growth and, of course, relaxation. this was the best hair wash ever. gina used kerastase fusio dose (a combo of “density” and “strength”) to amp up my wash and add extra, long-lasting hair benefits before taking me over to get the cut started.
upon my return to gina’s station, i was presented with a hefty glass of red wine which was a really nice touch. my goal was to come out of there keeping most of the length i worked so hard to grow out – but adding tons of choppy, beachy layers to amplify my hair’s volume and to give it some much-needed shape. my inspiration: camila cabello, minus the pop-star extensions. gina gave me exactly that. she used several lightweight kerastase products, but my favorite (which i couldn’t leave without purchasing) was l’incroyable blowdry, a couture heat styling protectant that uses microwax technology, allowing you to “re-activate” your blow-out. basically: if one day you’ve used a flat iron, and the next day you want to use a curling wand, your hair will reactivate and allow you to change the texture just like that. what?!?!
after all was said and done, i left incredibly happy with my new look and the z(ed) experience. if you’re looking for a sweet spot to try out a new ‘do, this is your place. the girls are all so knowledgable, you’ll leave feeling gorgeous and having learned a thing or two about your hair! follow z(ed) new york on instagram and be sure to book them for your next hair change-up.