There have been whispers going through the beauty community recently about something called a Tokio Treatment, also casually referred to as a hair facial. So when David Mallett invited me to 1/ try the treatment and 2/
gawk have a peek at his chic new salon above The Webster in Soho, I said yes before the question was fully asked.
The Tokio Inkarami (a hair facial) is a restorative treatment meant to target both the chemical and mechanical damage of one’s hair. It is a four step process — each step targeting a different hair-layer (yes, there are apparently layers to one’s strands of hair) with specific chemical and molecular biology that was created to not only deeply repair, but protect your hair in 30 minutes.
All you have to do is lie back and practically fall asleep while someone administers the four conditioning and reparative steps to your hair with generous head massages between each step. What you walk away with is shiny, bouncy hair that you can’t stop running your fingers through for the next few weeks.
Of course, I also took the time to ask David a few questions about his transatlantic move and where his obsession with beauty and hair began…
What is your first memory of hair? When did you decide to make it your passion?
I remember going to the hairdresser with my mother, I was very young, probably around 4 or 5. It was in the days where you sat under the large hair dryers and I would watch as they took her rollers out and I saw how happy she was was with how she looked after and how beautiful she was.
I was very young when I realized that connection between beauty and happiness. I told her when I grow up, I want to do that same thing, I want to make people happy.
I was fascinated by the smells, the rollers, the technique, everything about the salon. Now, I’ve been hairdressing for 40 years, the fascination has changed a little bit. But, that connection between beauty and happiness has stayed the same. That is why I’m still on the floor. That’s why we opened here, too.
Because you opened up your first salon in Paris…
Yes. We have two in Paris. We have one in near the Place des Victoires and we have one in the Chanel spa, in the Ritz Hotel. And then we opened here, in the penthouse of The Webster.
When I stepped off the elevator it felt like I stepped into a Parisian apartment…
(Laughs). That’s on purpose. We brought everything from France. Even the floorboards we brought from France. Everything. The books you see, the petrified tree trunks I showed you, those came in my suitcase.
People say to us all the time, ‘It smells like Paris.’ It doesn’t smell like Paris, it is Paris. That table, those chairs, that suitcase, those bowls, the magazines, the books, the light fixtures, the lamps, the floorboards, front desk, the paintings– all bought in France and brought here.
When we decided to do this project, it was super important to me that it be connected to what we do in Paris. That’s why we even brought the floorboards from France, I’m so superstitious, I wanted all the objects to be imbued with the DNA we have in Paris. It was painstaking. But, that’s what we wanted to do. It’s exactly the same. And nothing is disconnected from my 4 year-old memory of what is happiness and beauty, the technique, and the process. It’s all connected to the same thing, the journey is the same.