This two-floor, full-service Madison Avenue salon is all about class, without any intimidating airs. The moment you walk in, you are warmly greeted and promptly checked in, despite the fact that the entrance is located right in the main studio, which is hustling and bustling with stylists hard at work. (Not a single chair was empty.)
But still, there's a relaxed, soothing vibe to the Julien Farel salon, and once you are seated (depending upon the stylist you see, you'll either be led to a space on the main floor, or to one of the equally chic spots upstairs), it’s time for pure pampering. There is a wide menu of services to choose from, but masterfully executed hair color and precise, spot-on hair cuts are the real fortes of this upper east side establishment.
It's also the perfect salon to pick if you're looking for a color change (whether significant or slight). All of the colorists have top-rate credentials, but if you can, book an appointment with Sherry Ratay, an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed color expert. She's a true master of her craft, and has been at it for more than 20 years. She's worked with a roster of celebrity clients, including Ashley Benson and Audrina Patridge.
Ratay travels once a month from her own salon in Lake Mary, Florida to take appointments at Julien Farel, so you may have to book a bit in advance. But it's well worth it, as Ratay is an amazing and intuitive hair-hue master. She can look at a face and immediately know exactly what shade will suit it best. (“It’s in my blood,” she says. “I just know.”)
Ratay is also incredibly friendly, down-to-earth and very easy to chat with. She works closely with her clients to decide on a final shade ("beautiful, believable hair color, that's what I'm all about," she explains), and she describes her process in detail so you know exactly what she is going to do and exactly what you are going to get.
So you can sit back, relax, and feel rest assured that you'll be thrilled with the final result.