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Lofty Goals

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The first shampoo and blow-dry after a haircut often yields disappointing results — many customers find the look of salon-fresh tresses difficult to recreate at home. But at Hair Loft by Le Unique (5300 Tchoupitoulas St., Suite F4, 895-2911; www.hairloftnola.com), employees never want clients to dread styling their own hair.

  "You can give someone a great haircut, but if they don't know how to (style) it, it's a problem," stylist Kaye Mitchell says. "Our goal is for clients to go home and recreate the style so they're close to the finished product they leave with."

  Open since January, Hair Loft's interior features modern paintings and warm beige and red walls, making it a comfortable place for customers to relax with a complimentary soda, coffee or glass of beer, wine or Champagne. With thoughtful touches like these, the family-run business realizes its goal: providing premium services at reasonable prices.

  Educated under L'Oreal Professional and Vidal Sassoon, owner Maritza Valle has 32 years of experience. Daughters Nichole Valle-Lobo, Hair Loft's manager, and Andrea Valle, assistant manager, inherited their mother's passion, and also trained under Vidal Sassoon.

  Hair Loft services for men, women and children include color, cuts, highlights, deep-conditioning therapies, keratin treatments, make-up application and hair styling for special event occasions. Haircuts and styles begin at $45 (men's cuts begin at $22); a color and style begins at $75; and a color, cut and style package begins at $85.

  "We specialize in color and highlights, and give kick-butt bobs," Andrea says.

  Stylists analyze clients' home hair-care routine recommend hairstyles compatible witheach person's hair texture, and give step-by-step instructions during the styling process.

  "(Education) is key to maintaining clients," Valle-Lobo says. "We have no beauty secrets."

  Mitchell emphasizes Hair Loft's high-end products, such as L'oreal INOA coloring and Kerastase products, which contribute to the quality of service.

  "I've been dressing hair for over 20 years, and the thing that brought me here was our endless search for perfect products and groundbreaking services," Mitchell says. "We use what the movie stars are using in the finest upscale salons. I love that we're on the cutting edge of hair technology."

At Hair Loft, Andrea Valle, Maritza Valle and Nichole Valle-Lobo (left to right) offer premium services at reasonable prices.

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