Salon A.K.S® combines relaxed downtown attitude with uptown style and cutting-edge technique. More than just a place for cut and color, it is the ultimate full-service salon where clients can indulge for hours or touch-up quickly.

The chic contemporary decor blends soothing earth tones, the spa-like atmosphere transcends daily stresses, the luxury services come at the hands of unrivaled experts. Since its debut in 1997, Salon A.K.S® has established itself as a force on New York City's Madison Avenue. In 2005, a second salon opened on Fifth Avenue, and January 2007 marked Salon A.K.S®' 10-year anniversary. To understand what sets them apart from the sea of salons, one need only to look as far as the names behind the salon: Alain. Kao and Susanna.

Who is Salon A.K.S®?

Salon A.K.S. is the brain child of three like-minded and forward-thinking hairstylists who crossed paths 14 years ago while working at Bergdorf Goodman. Alain Pinon. Kao Hui and Susanna Romano quickly gained reputations as the salon's brightest talents amongst its elite group of Hair Designers. "We were drawn to each other because of our passion for the craft and because we all shared the same basic values — we were hard-working, grounded visionaries." says Susanna. "The idea to start our own business together was a natural progression of our careers." It's clear that they hit on a winning combination. Each partner brings a different energy, a unique perspective and multiple talents to the salon. And while they each play a different role in the business from creative development to day-to-day operations to finances, all of them agree that their primary passion requires scissors in hand and a client in the chair.

What is Salon A.K.S® today?

Our vision for Salon A.K.S® was to create a place where you would instantly relax. It was about giving clients chic looks without the pretense that you find in so many salons.? explains Kao. Indeed, they've achieved this goal. The Fifth Avenue location has a dynamic atmosphere with soothing natural light playing off the chocolate leather banquettes. pearwood stations and smoked glass design. "We wanted to put the clients at ease and make them feel like they're home". says Alain. And that sensibility carries through the breadth of their services.

Rather than glossing over it. Salon A.K.S® treats the precursory shampoo as an integral part of the experience. Every haircut begins with an intense ("transporting") 15 minute Burmese Scalp Massage designed to de-stress. "Getting a haircut can be really nerve-wracking, so we like to begin this way to put them in the right frame of mind," he continues. In addition to Alain, Kao and Susanna's cutting expertise. clients get pampered by the salon's team of 65 experts. At Salon A.K.Sa clients can choose from hair and scalp treatments, hair-coloring, waxing. make-up application and exclusive nail services via celebrity manicurist, Deborah Lippmann's nail spa.

Salon A.K.S® is also known for surpassing the expected when it comes to their employees. They have an enviable profit-sharing program in place, not to mention an extraordinary education plan that involves cultural trips around the city in addition to pure hair-related information. They also have an impressive history of giving outside of their salon. In 2000, they started donating to charities including The Breast Cancer Foundation, City Harvest, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Love Heals and Robin Hood Foundation and have to date donated over $200.000.

With expansion on the horizon. Salon A.K.S® hopes to continue to grow and open new locations, as it continues to surpass its client's expectations in salon service. It is Alain. Kao and Susanna's belief and hope that the passion they share will continue to lead A.K.S® to new depths and amaze their clients each and every time they step inside.