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 “Behind the Chair: They Call Her the Hair Healer”

interview featured in unplugg | july 16 2019

Unplugg is a company that focuses on salon and spa matchmaking to help New Yorkers’ find their best match. Abl is one of their most sought after listing for the summer.

On a hot summer NYC day, I walked from the Bedford train station in Williamsburg to an adorable nook of a salon called Abl (reads as “able”) Hair. I would have the pleasure of meeting Brianna, the Stylist, better known as the Hair Doctor, of Abl. Decorated with dreamcatchers, aromatic candles, and the scent of natural herbs and oil perpetually blending in the air, it is a whimsical lab of a place: think boho chic-meets-Harry Potter-and-Indiana Jones, and you’d know you’re in a salon like no other.

On knowing her calling very early in life

I went to beauty school for high school, which was a dream come true because I’ve always been a creative person. I did hair on anyone I could get my hands on. By the time I graduated high school, I had my license to do hair. I worked at salons as assistants, so everything I wanted in life in terms of creativity and connecting with a person, I can channel that in this trade. Having beauty in my radar so early was beyond me. 

Getting hooked on natural products

Very early on, I landed in a salon that was an all-natural concept called the Beehive. There were a couple of locations in Williamsburg and Long Island. My heart connection became very strong in working with natural products, having seen the dramatic difference it made on the quality of my clients’ hair.

I grew up going to salons with my mom, and whenever I walked into one, the first thing I’d notice was the chemical smell. Imagine: ammonia, toxic chemicals, keratin, color, going on all day and people just get used to them. But technology has come so far and you no longer need to be in this situation. I was lucky to be exposed to natural products early on and I didn’t have to feel the effects of all the chemicals (as a stylist).

On how non-natural products are harmful to more than just your hair

For the clients, it’s going on their scalp and hair. For us stylists, we are working on 5-10 people a day and are constantly breathing in chemicals. Hairstylists have a shorter life span than they should due to repeated exposure, which goes deeper than we think. My wake up call was during my transition period of switching between using natural products and regular products. I saw a big difference, and this didn’t register with many salon owners, but at one point, I asked myself: “what are we doing?” 

Read full article here


 “Take Your Hair From Day to Night With These 4 Easy Style”


Alyssa Breiloff covers everything from Wellness and beauty to travel & lifestyle and is passionate about serving her following the most authentic and healthy alternatives


My lovely hair healer, Brianna put together smart & tactful ways of achieving good hair any given day. Taking the frustration & confusion out of the beauty regimen with a simple break down and how to for creating a more abundant experience that feels more like self-love & care time, and less self-bullying. 

Brianna talks about what she calls “working with the elements”. Understanding your elements such as wind, sun, workout, dry air, humid air, night time vibes, errand day, beach, park, travel, teatime, date night. The list goes on but the point is, we do this for the way we dress and most of the time skin care but NOT as much with haircare. Bringing these cosmic and self-love/wellness approaches into the practical and actual part of the process should make it all more enjoyable, which at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all really want? To enjoy the things that have seemed more like a chore, errand or obligation!

With a directory of styles, we hope to have you be able to tap into these top secret ABL guides when you have an overview of what your days ahead look like. Know exactly what you need to do and how you need to do it, leave MUCH more room for other things and positive affirmation! ex: “Dammmmmn goddess, you’re looking good…”

We decided to start with the day after wash and half blow-dry to begin to focus on the “revival” part of styling out hair. This is key to accomplishing a sustainable flow of hairstyles. Foundation is always key and sometimes we need to look at the foundation again before moving forward.

Starting Point – Previously washed and unfinished blowdried Night before.
Result – A bit of bed head, unruly ends, and unbalanced texture and density (volume/fullness)
Strategy -Section off hair, Rehydrate & blow-dry smooth from Nape of the neck up to the front, top and sides. 
Result – Balancing and smoothing texture from root to ends, recreating volume and fullness where it was once lacking.

We love to use chopsticks to create & hold section in place as it is super gentle on the hair and once you get the hang of it, becomes less strain on your wrists and arms.

Read full article here

“How to Oil Train Your Hair with Natural Products”


Alyssa Breiloff covers everything from Wellness and beauty to travel & lifestyle and is passionate about serving her following the most authentic and healthy alternatives

“… I have extremely thin and greasy prone hair that required me to wash it daily to avoid looking like a ragged old doll. I have tried pretty much every dry shampoo on the market, various thickening products, and even had very expensive extensions for 6 months for volume. Nothing seemed to ever work and I just kind of accepted the fact that I needed to wash my hair every day. Everything seriously changed when I met Brianna who provided me with the most amazing haircut of my life and natural coloring. After my treatment, she gave me a hand-selected routine to try, she wanted me to train my hair by not washing it more than 2-3x a week. I was so nervous and thought it would never work, especially in the dead middle of summer, but I decided I had nothing to lose and to give it a try.”


“When you wash your hair too often, you strip the natural oils from your scalp which in turn creates an overproduction of oil. In order to stop the vicious cycle, you have to literally stop over washing your hair. The first step is the hardest because you have to actually allow your hair to detox and repair itself. While this happens, your hair will look greasy, it’s part of the process and can take weeks to look normal. But once you get over the hump, it’s so worth it…”

Read full article here

Spirituality, ceremonies and rituals are sinking into our beauty products, salons and hair.

The perfect remedy for urban dwellers and their equally stressed out split ends.


English translation below:

Original article in german. TUSH. 2019

Original article in german. TUSH. 2019

A subtle smell of incense is lingering in the air, crystals are breaking the sunlight into multiple fine rainbows, plants are climbing up the walls. We have not woken up in a neo-hippie-den but are guest in one of the hippest hair salons in New York City – the ABL in Brooklyn. ABL, which stands for ‘Art Beauty Love’, offers more than just good haircuts and colorations. Here, hair and soul strive to be in harmony not only with themselves but also with nature. “We have a hair altar,” explains BRIANNA DAVIS, a woman in her late twenties, owner of the salon and inventor of the here practiced ‘hair healing’ concept. She took the classical route, trained to become a hairdresser, went to beauty school and worked in several New Yorker salons up until seven years ago when she started working with natural products and opened ABL five years later. “I discovered spirituality as a balance to my everyday life and then realised how much sense it makes to incorporate these traditional teachings and rituals into my profession.” During the ‘hair bath’, which takes place while laying down, she places semi-precious stones on forehead and body. Of course, the water is filtered through crystals as well. Dozing off allowed! Just like everything else that feels good. This is after all about the body and soul and finding a balance within oneself. Despite or because of that: The hair lives up to all glossy expectations. All treatments are customised to individual needs but also to the changing seasons, the biorhythm and our nature – from crystal water to self-mixed aromatic oils, massages and light therapies: Everything is part of the treatment. As well as the final ‘blow dry’. We are, after all, still in the United States of America, land of the free and home of the perfect blowout. “Rituals are the anchor points of our everyday life,” explains MARIA CHRISTINA GABRIEL, mentor and founder of ‘Power of Ceremony’ a workshop series focusing on ceremonies and rituals. Having worked in Berlin and New York, German-born Gabriel now works in Amsterdam while her ‘online’ and ‘offline retreats’ are popular around the world. No longer an esoteric something! In the Ritz Carlton Spa in Los Angeles jade can be found as a staple product in their ‘facials’ and massages are suddenly set to be relaxing and balancing chakras at the same time. For that purpose, the luxury hotel paired up with the ‘House of Intuition’ which describes itself as a, “metaphysical oasis dedicated to enlightening & empowering,” that creates their own products, such as candles, oils and crystals, which they sell in the Ritz Carlton. “Many people are looking for ways to connect with nature in their everyday life,” says Gabriel, “and start to pay way more attention to natural ingredients.” Self-care is the new ‘me-time’ and has taken the supposedly superficial beauty regimen to a deeper soul-soothing level. It is no longer about simply taking your make-up off, it is the double-cleansing ritual that becomes self-care. Instead of washing our hair, we cleanse our chakra in a ‘hair bath’. “An action becomes a ceremony, when we start reflecting: Why am I doing this? What is this actually doing for me? How does it feel and how does my body react to it? It is a way more conscious act,” according to expert Gabriel. Reasons for the growing trend of ritualization are manifold: Rituals come with a secure feeling, a comfortable feeling, a feeling of knowing what to do and what is about to happen – while being able to relax at the same time. There are no new decisions to make, from procedures to tools everything is well known and right at hand. Tuning out through tuning in. Mantra or no mantra. Good vibes for good feels, induced through crystals, oils and lights. “The quest for mindfulness is in contrast to the high-tech digitalised world that we live in nowadays and is a re-adjustment to nature’s rhythm. We will be become one again with ourselves and with nature.” Professionals like Davis and Gabriel work in a very considerate, personal, individual and confidential manner: “We want each treatment to be a unique experience,” explains Brianna Davis. And that is without any doubt the complete opposite to the ‘ultra-efficiency’ trend of the last years. ‘Slow beauty’ – becomes part of a movement, that has changed the food service industry long ago. A movement that has not only influenced food but also inspired ‘mindful living’. After all, the most authentic glow comes from within, from the centre: ‘Soul glow’ so to speak. A glow that also can be measured in medical terms. The ‘beauty’-deceleration through relaxation reduces free radicals and with that inflammations. Massages, baths and crystals being placed on our body, enhances the communication between our cells, skin and hair and provides them better with active agents which allow them to actually regenerate. Believing is (as always) the key to success and will make sure things run smoothly and turn out shiny – just like our hair.


BY: melanie torres | headstandandheels | june 10 2019


 I had the pleasure of getting a holistic hair healing treatment at ABL Hair Studio in Williamsburg. The experience was honestly unlike any other hair salon. The products are all cruelty-free and free of harsh chemicals. Not only was the appointment very personalized and relaxing, but it genuinely left my hair feeling 10x softer and more manageable. I was dealing with some extreme breakage so this was one of the best things I could do before the big day.

*This is an abl shout-out, the article is about wedding preparations. Read full article here

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