Adventures in Kekeland: Westfield's Utopia Salon & Day Spa
Fashion week and the start of the semester left me dehydrated, stressed out, a few hundred dollars poorer. After a night of deadline denial and Jack Daniels Honey I woke up on my homegirl’s couch to find a surprise bank deposit that encouraged me to do something uncharacteristic-straighten my hair. I was ready to feel glamorous and relaxed and I knew exactly where to go to get that feeling. Utopia Salon & Day Spa.
My appointment with Jennifer started out with a long luxurious wash with Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil. I had been to the salon before and I immediately remembered this miracle product the second she put it in my hair.
It felt sort of like an old school hot oil treatment only not as hot. She took her time detangling my hair even though it had SO much product in it from trying out new stuff during the week ( occupational hazard along with cracked knuckles and not enough bathroom storage).
The salon’s owner, Nubia Suarez , who makes sure no one is serviced without being verbally encouraged to “embrace” their curls said, “We don’t see no shades or colors. We don’t see textures. We just see women uplifting women.” I felt that ethos during my time in the chair at Utopia.
Jennifer had a ton of patience for my kinks and curls . She checked in with me about water and instrument temperature multiple times, offered me a glass of water in an adorable branded glass, and made sure I had somewhere to charge my phone and place my purse.
I felt extremely well taken care of by not only by my designated stylist but the entire staff. When she recruited two other stylists to help finish my hair they didn’t flinch at my huge fro. Instead they jumped right in being equally considerate and kind as their co-worker as they cared for and stretched my hair.
Sidebar: It saddens me that I didn’t have this experience until I started frequenting multicultural salons. If I had a dollar for every time I was charged more or insulted at a Dominican Doobie spot growing up I could buy a boat.
Utopia is the other end of the spectrum entirely. I appreciated that they explained the importance of every serum and heat protectant they put in my hair and asked whether or not I wanted pin straight strands or soft waves. In case you care. I chose the later.
Halfway through my appointment I was greeted by my “work mom” at #thedayjobchronicles who was getting her daughter’s hair blown out!
They were just as gentle with her and broke down how to diffuse her hair to her mom!
About twenty minutes after I finished squealing and squeezing her for dear life I was admiring my new ‘do.
On my way out I actually ran into a young woman named Kai Hawkins Oboho. She was visibly thrilled with her Rëzo cut ! Her eyes lit up as her gestured towards her moisturized ringlets “I didn’t know my hair could do this!”
At first I was shocked when I found out she came all the way from D.C. just to get the Utopia experience and now that I’ve verified my first experience wasn’t a fluke, I can’t say I blame her.
What You Should Know About
Utopia Day Spa and Salon
Nearest Parkway Exit: 135
Parking: There is a full parking lot
Who to Bring: Your friend who is always telling you she would “look crazy” if she went natural
Decor: Carmela Soprano’s hot younger sister
and her contractor husband build a "she shed"
Dress Code: I wore gray pajama pants in a jersey fabric
that highlighted my fupa. No one judged.
Wait Time: Do yourself a favor and call ahead.
Better yet? Make an appointment.
Selection: Impressive. The stylists are capable of providing versatile options for ALL hair types.
Insiders Know: This the birthplace of the celebrated Rëzo cut.