SALON SEINE PRIVEE

Life is full of little things that never change and it’s exactly this – their unchangeable character – that makes them into little joys, but also so easy to overlook. It’s only when the rain pours down and change sets in, that life reminds us of the joy of a postman who never changes face, a local bistro who never changes menu or a gipsy orchestra at Metro Chatelet that never changes station.

Over two years ago I found a new checkpoint: The hairdressers Emma and Germain Barres from Salon Seine Privée at 13 Rue Dauphine. I discovered them by chance, completely ignorant of their impressive C.V. At the time I was still living in Saint Germain and on one of my grocery strolls I spontaneously walked in, badly in need of a new haircut (and in hindsight as desperate for a new start).

Germain examined my hair and didn’t hide his contempt. ‘What have you been doing to your hair, ma chère?’ I had not been doing much but my ex hairdresser had clearly done a little too much. In my view a good hairdresser needs to know his metier, but he also needs to know what he talks about and to shut up when he gives you a massage. I guess I got a little too focused on the latter and neglected the first.

They took me under their wing and within two hours there was a serious before and after. Staying far from aggressive chemicals and treating my hair with products of Davines I underwent a total change in the three sessions that followed. The thing is, a haircut is about a haircut but a new haircut is about much more than a new haircut. Emma and Germain seem to understand all the things we don’t talk about but actually refer to when we are talking colour, fringe and shampoo.

The salon seems to be other people’s refuge too. The clientele is a funny mix of people du coin, celebs and little old men who cherish their last grey hairs. AM they serve you Nespresso, PM they serve you Mariage Freres tea and when the evening arrives it happens that they open a bottle of wine and end up dining with the last clients of the day. Ever since I got that extra treatment, I tend to push my appointments till late.

Oh, life’s great little joys that are so easy to overlook…

You can find Germain and Emma at Seine Privée, 13 Rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris. http://www.seineprivee.com / +33 1 46 33 35 00.

Sophie

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