Vol. LXI, No. 33
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
COLOR & CUTS: "With an experienced hair cutter and an experienced colorist, we are a great team at Ma Coupe." Lakhdar "Ben" Benamara, owner of the new Ma Coupe Hair Design salon in Blawenburg, looks forward to sharing his cutting expertise with more clients.
A good hair cut is more important than ever. With the desire for easy maintenance at an all-time high, the cut must stand on its own. Perms are less and less popular, and people want a more natural look.
"If it's a good cut, you don't have to do much in the way of maintenance. Maybe just blow dry, if necessary," says Lakhdar "Ben" Benamara. Owner of the brand new Ma Coupe Hair Design salon at 1143 518 N601 (the intersection of Routes 518 and 601) in Blawenburg, Ben has been cutting hair for many years. Originally from Algeria, he worked in and owned hair salons in Europe, and came to Princeton 37 years ago. He owned Princeton Hair Cutters and La Meche, as well as working for other salons in the area.
"Cutting is my specialty," he notes. "I only cut. I decided to open this new salon because this area is growing, and it was a good opportunity. There is no other salon right here. Of course, I have had many loyal clients over the years who continue to be with me."
Naming the salon "Ma Coupe" ("My Cut" in French), Ben reinforced the importance he places on a good hair cut. "Cutting is very much like being a chef," he points out. "It's very creative and yet precise. Hair has to fall in place, a result of the proper cut. When deciding on a cut, you consider a person's facial structure, hair texture, and life-style. How busy are they? How important is easy maintenance to them?"
Fine hair, thick hair, curly or straight, Ben enjoys cutting it all! Each hair type presents its own challenge, and he has a way with a scissors for each style. "When you've had experience cutting every kind of hair, you can cut any hair type," he reports. "Shorter hair tends to be more popular today, pretty much for all ages. Fine hair has to be the right length. If it's too long, it can look limp. Of course, there are many styling products today gels, mousses, etc. to help add volume."
Ben's clients are all ages, he says, including women, men and children. He has done many first hair cuts, as well as cuts for great-grandmothers and all ages in-between.
"A good hair cut is important at any age, and I want my clients to look the best they can. Hair is so important," he states.
Color is the other specialty at Ma Coupe, and as nearly everyone knows, it has never been more popular. "Color is very big," reports Ben. "The numbers of people who want it young and older have increased greatly. Before it was mainly to cover gray and was just ordinary color. Now, there is much more expertise in color development.
"Highlights, shading, streaks. People like a natural look now. We have an expert colorist here, who focuses exclusively on color. Coloring products are very safe now, but you need the experts, the specialists with the experience to do it right."
Ben also points out the importance of appropriate hair color for one's age. "As people get older, it's generally better to go lighter, which has a softening effect."
It is especially important to use the appropriate shampoo and conditioner for colored hair, he adds. "We recommend Color Tech shampoo which helps keep color from fading and changing. Redken's Hair Cleansing Color shampoo is especially helpful in the summer, particularly for people swimming in pools with chlorine or in the ocean.
"We also sell a variety of quality shampoos and conditioners and styling products from Redken and Goldwell, and we always help with advice on how to care for hair at home."
Ben's customers are from Princeton and the area, and he is happy he continues to have new clients as well as his long-standing regulars.
"Every hair cut is different, and everyone is unique. I enjoy the different people from different walks of life. different backgrounds, different ethnicities, and all the different personalities. Sometimes, we're psychologists, letting people unwind. Some customers are quiet and want to relax; others like to talk. If they've had a bad day, just coming in can make them feel better."
Not to mention a bad hair day! Says Ben: "We can help people who've had a bad cut or bad color."
He is pleased that customers enjoy the decor of the salon as well as the service. "We wanted to have a nice classic salon. We have mahogany stations, with natural bright light. We have pictures of famous personalities, such as Audrey Hepburn (as Holly Golightly in the famous black dress), Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and movie posters. Not hair styles. You can see those anywhere!
"I wanted an inviting comfortable feeling for our decor. In addition, I wanted to offer very reasonable prices, and we do. It's hard to find prices as reasonable as ours elsewhere."
Ben is so encouraged with how well Ma Coupe has been doing since its June opening that he is even thinking of opening a second salon. "Why not? I am pleased with this one and the response of the clients, and eventually, I look forward to opening another."
Until then, he is delighted to welcome everyone to Ma Coupe. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 7, Saturday 9 to 4. (609) 466-4555.
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