Type to search

A Cut Above


Shear Artists


We Combed the County For Hairstylists And Colorists

And Found 17 That Are Truly A Cut Above


By H.M. Epstein

Photography By Phillip Enis



The Standard Bearers

Rocky Plateroti and Franco Marino

Hair Designers/Colorists, Co-Owners

Artista for Hair

455 Central Park Avenue, Scarsdale, NY

(914) 723-1311

Hours: Tues. & Fri. 10-7,

Wed. & Thurs. 12-9, Sat. 9-5


I would love to call Rocky Plateroti and Franco Marino the Godfathers of Hair, like James Brown is the Godfather of Soul, but I can’t. Yes, Plateroti, 45, and Marino, 48, were among the first to raise the creative bar for hair in Westchester. Since 1989, they have set the standards and, along the way, have trained or counseled many of the county’s other top hair artists. But “Godfather” connotes the past, and these two Italian-born gentlemen still work on the cutting edge of hair design and education. Together and separately, they have been educators and platform artists for Aveda, L’Oréal, all three IBS (International Beauty Show) shows in the U.S., and the renowned CosmoProf show in Italy. In 2001, Elle magazine named Artista Salon one of the best color salons in the New York Metro area and the only one in Westchester.


Entrepreneurs: In addition to their salon work, Plateroti and Marino market the Green Light line as well as their own lines of haircare products, including the patented Color Traxx system that allows multiple colors to be applied to a single strand of hair. They also run a school for all levels of hair artists, the Artista Academy.


Quirky fact: Marino plays bass in an Italian-American wedding band and is studying saxophone and jazz.


Plateroti & Marino’s prices: cut and style, $90 and up (men, $60 and up); single-process color, $90 and up.


Unique Services: hair and scalp treatments, Japanese relaxer.



The Power Hitter


Stylist, Salon Director

Premier Atelier

125 Westchester Avenue, White Plains, NY


(914) 328-5100

Hours: Mon.-Wed. & Fri.-Sun. 10-6, Thurs. 10-8


What do you get if you cross Frederic Fekkai with José Eber? Omar (one name only, please), who traded a burn-at-both-ends life of styling celebrity hair in private jets and W and Vogue photo shoots for a long-term career. After seven years at Frederic Fekkai’s salon, at the tender age of 26, he took an offer from José Eber to become salon director at Eber’s White Plains salon. “I wanted a little bit more balance in my life,” he says. “It was quite chaotic and crazy.” Seven years later, in June 2003, José Eber sold the salon to Premier Atelier whose owner Brian Luborsky retained Omar, now 33, as salon director.


Specialty: Omar likes handling challenging hair types: curly, thin and African-American. “You have to have a great deal of control in your hands to handle African-American hair because it’s so strong and it’s so thick and curly that it just does what it wants.” When African-American clients want a smooth look, he prefers to blow-dry their hair even though it’s easier to set it. “It comes out looking a lot more natural.”


Omar’s prices: cut and style, $120 and up (men, $75 and up).


Unique services: hair and scalp treatments, permanents and relaxers.



The New Yorker

Shin Tsudome

Stylist, Owner

Salon Shin

731 White Plains Road, Scarsdale, NY

(914) 472-3917


Hours: Fri.-Sat. 9:30-5


Let everyone else talk about bringing Manhattan-quality haircare to Westchester. Shin Tsudome did it in 1996 when he opened the Scarsdale branch of his

East 47th Street

salon. Born in Okinawa, Tsudome, 48, came to the U.S. in 1982 having already worked for eight years as a stylist in Japan. Precision cutting was not invented by Vidal Sassoon; the texture of Japanese hair makes precision cutting a necessity, not a style. Any errors or imperfections are instantly visible, which is why, Tsudome says, “Asian hair is the most difficult to cut.” Tsudome’s clients may not have any complaints about his precision cuts, but his many Westchester clients complained about “the driving and dropping off of  their kids at the babysitter and the difficulty parking” in order to see him in Manhattan. “So I opened here seven years ago,” he says. Now that’s service.


Call me MOMA: Tsudome is a collector of early-to-mid 1900s furniture, art and lighting, which he used in his design of the salon.


Quirky fact: As a young man, Tsudome did hair backstage as a

volunteer for Comme des Garçons

 fashion shows.


Something you should know: Haircuts include a complimentary shiatsu shampoo, massage and styling; Tsudome has offered Thermo Straightening (what other salons call Japanese relaxer) for many years.


Tsudome’s prices: haircut, $95 (men, $80)



The Mix Master

Chaz Miller

Hair Designer

CDM International Beauty Salon

2141 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY

(914) 736-0202

Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9-9, Sat. 9-6, Sun. 9-5


Chaz Miller is a study in contrasts. His deep, gravelly voice contradicts his youthful grace. But that’s not what makes this hair designer unique. What makes Miller, 55, special is that he is quietly fomenting a design revolution at his retro-styled beauty salon housed in a modest mini-mall on Route 202. Having worked more than 25 years for other salon owners, Miller and his partner Donna Johnson, created a haven for multicultural hair design where African, Caucasian and Asian hairstyles and treatments are mixed and blended into a process for pure beauty. Along the way, they’ve attracted a clientele that’s as diverse and as cosmopolitan as the hair designers.


Something you should know: According to Miller, “We’re way busy. We have a wait list for clients in case somebody cancels.” However, if you’re flexible about day and time, Miller says you can get an appointment in a few days to a week.


Miller’s prices: haircuts, $30 and up (men, $25 and up); single-process color, $40 and up.


Unique services: weaving, braiding, dreadlocks, flat twist, straw set, permanents and relaxers.


The Rookie

Lisa DeMaria


Senior Hairstylist and Director of Education


50 South Buckhout Street, Irvington, NY


(914) 591-5757

Hours: Tues., Wed., Fri. 10-8; Thurs. 10-9; Sat. 9-7; Sun. 10-4


She may be only 25, but this rookie is ready for the pros. Personally trained by Frederic Fekkai, Lisa DeMaria was a stylist at the Avon Center in Trump Tower and studied at Bumble & Bumble in Manhattan and Vidal Sassoon in London. She decided to come home to Westchester to create a working atmosphere “without the politics and corporate pressures” of New York’s big salons. Catch her now while the wait for an appointment is only two weeks; before long, she’ll be booked months in advance.


Prices: cut and blow-dry, $85; single-process color, $65 and up.


Unique services: full-spa services plus chiropractic care and a Pilates studio.



The Right Brothers

Mark Gagliardi


Matthew Gagliardi



Eclipse Salon

98 N. Broadway, Tarrytown, NY

(914) 524-0835

Hours: Tues. 10-9, Wed. 12-9,

Thurs.-Sat. 9-6, Sun. 9-3


You know you’re in for a tranquil time from the moment you walk in the door. The vibe is low-key; New Age and other eclectic music flows from the sound system; it even smells good. However, when the clientele and the staff feel in the mood, they might kick it up a degree. Co-owners and brothers Mark, 43, and Matthew, 51, believe that creating a full experience for their client is more important than the pure technical aspects of cut and color. “The key is to find that connection with your client,” says the younger brother, “because a style comes from within.” Older brother Matthew concurs that the difference between a great experience and a disappointing one is “great service.” As third generation hair artists, he says. “Providing for others, from the heart, was in our upbringing. Maybe it’s genetic.” It must be working. They doubled their space in 2002 and, due to their very loyal following, potential new clients need to call months in advance. If you can’t get an appointment with either of these “Right Brothers,” try Education Director Mary Mancino or Educator/Stylist Christi Gertner.


How to tell them apart: Mark is trendier, more voluble and a bit taller; Matthew is a bit shy and dresses more conservatively.


Something you should know: With every hair service there’s a complimentary “sensory experience”: your choice of hand massage, head massage or makeup touch-up for a hair service.


The brothers’ prices: cut and blow-dry, $48 and up (men, $27), single- process color, $47 and up. Junior stylists offer lower prices. 



The Cheerleader

Richard Scott Mason

Hair Designer, Co-Owner

Richard Scott Salon & Day Spa

15 South Moger Avenue, Mt. Kisco, NY 

(914) 242-1700


Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 10-8, Fri. 10-6,

Sat. 9-4:30 with extended spa hours


Friends call him Ricky and it fits. His ebullient, upbeat vibe courses throughout the eponymous, sleekly designed salon in Mt. Kisco’s main shopping district. Opened March 11, 2003, with partner Joseph Norris, the Richard Scott Salon has so much buzz, you can’t hear the blow-dryers. Mason, 43, is overflowing with pride about the salon staff and what they’ve accomplished in a year. However, his personal accomplishments are also worth cheering about. An expert in color correction and dimensional color, he has a thick portfolio of before-and-after photographs. “I’m making people happy, and I’m making people look beautiful,” he says, flipping through the pages and describing each client’s particular challenge. “I’m taking a negative and turning it into a positive…”


Something you may not know: Mason has been part-owner of two other salons: Adam & Eve and Baliage Salon. He believes Richard Scott Salon & Day Spa is the best and most beautiful of them all.


Mason’s prices: cut and style, $75 and up; single-process color, $65 and up.


Unique services: full-spa services plus hair extensions and replacement (including work with chemotherapy patients), Botox treatments, psychic readings.



Fire and Ice

Victor Tripaldi

Hair Designer, Artistic Director

Richard Scott Salon & Day Spa

15-17 South Moger Avenue, Mt. Kisco, NY 

(914) 242-1700

Hours: Tues. & Thurs. 10-8,

Wed.& Fri. 10-6, Sat. 9-5


Imagine if Bono came from Yonkers instead of Ireland and was a hair designer instead of a rock star, and you’ve got Victor Tripaldi, Mr. Fire and Ice. Look into his deceptively cool, gray eyes, and you just know that he’s going to rock your world and your sense of style. Tripaldi developed a better understanding of hair design in Europe. He spent time in Amsterdam, then apprenticed at Vidal Sassoon and many other salons. Grab an appointment with him while you can, because this restless 45-year-old stylist and colorist has a habit of breaking hearts by moving on.


Prices: women, $55 to $75; men, $35.



The Professor

Deborah Kolley-Bartko

Stylist, Co-Owner


180 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY

(914) 997-2600; www.statichair.com

Hours: Tues. 9-7, Wed. 9-6, Thurs. 12-8,

Fri. 9-6, Sat. 9-5


She’s modest, she’s stunning, she’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and she looks a decade younger than her age (39). But don’t hate Deborah Kolley-Bartko because she’s beautiful; just let her make you beautiful, too. By the time she’s done, she will have taught you how to replicate the look at home, given you the tools and shown you how to best condition and care for your hair. Partner Matthew Yasgur says, “I think what makes Debbie so good is she’s not ever motivated by money; what she does is motivated by passion.” While husband, business manager and third partner George Bartko genially grimaced, Yasgur described Kolley-Bartko forgetting to charge one client for a special home visit and sending others home because they really didn’t “need” a haircut; a bang trim would do. The Static Salon concept was originally conceived as a New York lounge look with New York hair salon standards. 


Background: Allen Edwards in Beverly Hills for eight years, a short stint at the Salon at Neiman Marcus in The Westchester mall and then seven years at José Eber’s Westchester salon.


Kolley-Bartko’s prices: cut and blow-dry, $150 (men, $75 and up).


Unique services: No manicures, no waxing, no spa treatments here. She says, “We just wanted to focus on what we know: cut and color.”



The Triple Threat

Joseph Tucci

Hair Designer/Owner

Senses Salon

5 Old Post Road South

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

(914) 271-3242

Hours: Tues. & Wed. 9-5,

Thurs. & Fri. 9-7, Sat. 8:30-5


There is no one in Westchester with better training to transform salon aesthetics than Joe Tucci, 33, owner of Senses Salon in the heart of Croton-on-Hudson. At six-foot two-inches tall with dark puppy-dog eyes, this stylist/colorist/makeup artist has such a heartfelt belief in the importance of our senses that he built a salon and a design philosophy around it.


Philosophy: The Senses philosophy uses “the five senses and the brain to heighten our awareness as well as to create a complete package of looks, attitude and accomplishment.”


Accomplishments: one of only three board-certified master hair colorists in Westchester; former president of the Westchester division of the National Cosmetology Association; silver and bronze medalist in several national competitions; national platform artist for the Helix company; national educator for Hair America, the “best-of-the-best hair educators in the country” for National Cosmetics Association; and a European educator for MLH International, an Italian hair products company whose philosophy and products are the centerpiece of his business.


Quirky fact: Tucci has a client who comes every Halloween to have Tucci complete his spooky look.


Tucci’s prices: shampoo, cut and style, $45 and up (men, $30 and up); single-process color, $45 and up.


Unique services: Japanese hair straightening, Helix treatments.



The Pinch Hitter

Frank James DiBrino

Hair Designer

Victor Balestri’s Salon

699 White Plains Road, Scarsdale, NY 

(914) 725-5333

Hours: Tues.-Wed. 9-5, Thurs. 9-8,

Fri. & Sat. 8:30-5


Frank James DiBrino is arguably one of the most accomplished hair designers in the Westchester salon world. A former salon owner, he’s worked at Victor Balestri’s since 1998. DiBrino, 46, coined a phrase for the hair designer approach, calling it “Paint the Cut,” which he used on the hair show circuit for Clairol. It means to “color the hair to the haircut” which he feels yields individualized and “better results” than collaboration between a stylist and a colorist.


Accomplishments: Chosen as “Master of the Craft” by Art & Fashion Group International; former president of the Westchester division of N.C.A.; former national educator and platform artist for Clairol, Scruples and Logics; Grand Champion for three years in women’s hair design, makeup and clothing in New York State.


DiBrino’s prices: cut and style, $60 and up (men, $40); single-process color, $55 & up.


Unique services: “Rapid Color” for better depth and shine in hair color.



The Icon

Vasken Demirjian

Colorist, Owner

Demirjian Salon

245 Mamaroneck Avenue

White Plains, NY

(914) 686-0204

Hours: Tues.-Sat. 9-6, Thurs. 10-8



The word on Vasken Demirjian was so impressive, the last thing I expected was a younger, trimmer, charmingly self-possessed clone of French actor Gerard Depardieu. This import from Istanbul is one of only three certified master hair colorists in Westchester. Anthony Fragomeni calls him “an icon.” An antiquities collector and dealer until he inherited the Demirjian Salon from his brother Migirdich, Demirjian, 41, chooses to “approach hair color as canvassing, creating a work of art, almost sculpting a haircut.”

His specialty: Demirjian considers corrective color his specialty. “I fix hair that is beyond fixing and give it life.”

Accomplishments: 1997 Color Specialist Degree in Hair Color Mastery from L’Oréal; winner L’Oréal Visions 2001 for design; member of the L’Oréal advisory board for new colors and products.

Demirjian speaks: “We don’t want to be whimsical; we want to make an impact in that person’s life vis-à-vis her color, of course.”

“When I hear a client say, ‘My husband likes this or that, or doesn’t like this or that,’ I really can not stand it. I think it’s about time we empower women. I want to hear a woman talk to me about her own life, not about somebody else’s life.”

Quirky fact: Demirjian claims the salon serves “the best cappuccino in all the tri-state.”

Demirjian’s prices: single-process color, $125 and up; full highlights, $225 and up.

Unique services: some spa services plus makeup, laser hair removal, Japanese relaxer, valet parking.

The Go-Getter

Christina Nappi

Owner/Master Colorist


760 N. Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, NY
(914) 241-9009

Hours: Mon. 10-5, Tues. 9-5,
Wed. 10:30-7, Thurs. & Fri. 9-7, Sat. 9-5

“She’s hot!” Anthony Fragomeni exclaims, referring to Christina Nappi, 30. Perhaps that’s why Zazo, Christina Nappi’s new salon, has one of the largest percentage of male clientele of the salons we discovered (50 percent)—and one third of the men come for hair color. Nah, they probably come just because Nappi is such a talented colorist. Trained at NWSH, Vidal Sassoon in London, New York and California, at Privé and at Toni & Guy, Nappi is “very into healthy hair, so we do a lot of protein treatments, a lot of conditioning treatments.”

However, she is best known for color correction and makeovers. She values giving her clients “the change that they’re looking for” and making people “feel comfortable enough to make that change.”

Philosophy: “I think it’s important to spend time with your client. I don’t believe in squeezing people in. I don’t believe in just a quick haircut, quick hair color. I believe in personalized service—you and me. I don’t look at you through a mirror. I look at you straight on, and I listen.”

Accomplishments: platform artist and educator for Wella for nine years; educator for Bumble & Bumble for three.

Something you’ll love hearing: “We run like clockwork. You will not wait in my salon.” Also, they have their own new makeup line, Crush.

Why you may know her: colorist at Le Collage in Mt. Kisco during the 1990s; worked with Louis Licari in Manhattan.

Quirky fact: She’s an accomplished drummer who sometimes gigs at 17 Main in Mt. Kisco when she feels the “need to jam.”

Prices: single-process color, $65 and up.

Unique services: Hair extensions (on Mondays for Nappi), retexturizing services and hair treatments.

Previous Article
Next Article