I have a love/hate relationship with the ponytail. On some days, I prefer to have my hair pulled back from my face. If my skin is clear and my outfit calls for it, I love a good ponytail. But I also hate having to wear one when I’m having a bad hair day. About a month ago, I had a terrible, no good, very bad hair week. Frizzy and impossible to style, my hair was punishing me for a summer in the sun and pool. With my wild hair in a frumpy ponytail, I walked into the recently opened Ch’i Spa in Barrington searching for relief.
I had my first Ch’i experience last fall at their Narragansett location. Along with a spot in North Providence, owner Samantha Vong has made a name for herself with her signature eyelash extensions. I just had to try them. They were fantastic. It’s no wonder that months later she created her own line, Ch’i Lash.
The Barrington location is the most impressive of Samantha’s trendsetting trifecta. While the other two focus on lashes and massage, this one is a fullblown spa, with heavy emphasis on the blown. Popular in New York and Boston, this Ch’i Spa has a blowout bar. Modernly designed, the bar is complete with an eye-level fireplace. “I want this place to be every girl’s dream,” Samantha says with a laugh. “I want everyone to feel relaxed.” With that in mind, I cozied up at a stylist’s chair and removed my hair elastic. As my frizz ball of hair unraveled, my stylist Erica suggested a Brazilian Blowout (BB), a smoothing treatment that significantly cuts back in blow-drying time.
As I sat in the chair I watched customers coming in and out for a bevy of services: a woman getting a big and bouncy blowout, a man getting a massage, a woman getting a shellac manicure. “It’s all about convenience,” Samantha explains. “That’s why we accommodate walk-ins and why we’re open seven days a week.” I like to think of it as a factory of fabulousness.
Erica carefully applied the aromatic serum to my hair, and then used a straight iron to set it in. She washed it and took me back to her chair for the final blowout. Perfectly sleek in less than ten minutes, I went from Jodie Foster in Nell to Jodie Foster at the Oscars in two hours flat. When I washed and attempted to recreate the blowout at home two days later, I was thrilled to come close to a salon look on my own. Erica explained that the BB could last upwards of six months with proper care (sulfate-free hair products). After two months, I’m happy to report that the ponytails I’ve sported since have only been the ones I love. 338 County Road, Barrington 401-245-1900.