When John Masters’ iconic clean-air salon shut its doors at the end of last year, the stylists who lost their jobs could have traded their impressive resumes for steady positions in chemical-heavy salons.
Instead, a group of four packed up their years of experience and natural product knowledge and rented their own chairs just four blocks away, at Alibi on Greene Street.
“I wanted to provide my clients with the same products I was giving them at John Masters, and I didn’t want chemical products on my body either,” said Mark Ephraim Kahaian (who goes simply by Ephraim), a stylist who had been at the John Masters salon for 12 years.
Alibi allowed the stylists to bring their own products, which, in Ephraim’s case, means coloring with dyes like Organic Color Systems and using clay-based bleach instead of the glass-particle-based version.
And while Ephraim concedes that he knew he wouldn’t find another environment quite like John Masters, his clients have responded well to Alibi. Then again, the lounge area, where hand massages with essential oils are doled out, doesn’t hurt.
Another perk? The John Masters Four may be inadvertently spreading the natural-hair-care gospel. “A lot of stylists here thought you needed to use chemicals to achieve great results, but they’re looking at what we’re doing and seeing that the results are the same, if not better.” —Lisa Elaine Held
Alibi NYC Salon, 67 Greene St., between Broome and Spring Sts., Soho, 212-219-2806, www.alibinycsalon.com. Ask for Ephraim or one of the former John Masters stylists.