Legally Blonde


The beauty of the Scandinavian woman—fair skin, light eyes, waif figures, and that ethereal wispy blond hair—is sought after by women around the world for decades, with hair that American women have been constantly trying to replicate. Enter Mirjam Bayoumi, THE brunette that reins queen above all the best blondes in Manhattan. What sets her apart from the rest of the thousands of colorist in this city? She understands what blond actually means for each woman—which hue goes perfectly with her skin tone, which cut will complement your bone structure, and that perfectly colored mane she just gave you. Hello beautiful.

Prior to her salon opening in 2009, Bayoumi worked from her studio apartment with a client list formed through word of mouth. As her following rapidly grew she was forced to close the doors of her apartment and open the doors to her first salon. Step into her salon three years later, and it has transformed from a bare space to blond heaven. Bright lights, clean lines, and no fuss—a design aesthetic that almost unintentionally mimics that of Scandinavian women. Fashion magazines are readily available straight from Sweden and conversing with your stylist in your native tongue makes this salon a safe haven for many Swedish women. Everything you need to feel right at home—you’re in good hands.

Though Bayoumi sticks out like a sore thumb with her dark brown mane, she still retains an unassuming nature. Her training is, at the very least, impressive. In London, Bayoumi studied at the internationally known Toni & Guy. From there, she worked as a color technician in Stockholm at two other salons. From there, she traveled around the world to teach blending techniques, while unintentionally acquiring a first-hand knowledge of beauty around the world—not just of the Swedes. From there she traveled to Los Angeles in 2005, to work in a salon with a fellow friend and colorist from Stockholm—a move that allowed her to see first hand the juxtaposition of the natural blondes in Sweden and the obviously unnatural blondes native to Hollywood.

As the obvious beauty traits of Scandinavian women have always been sought after, the less commonly observed features are becoming more popularized in recent times: a dewy face with little to no make-up, highlighted features like the Armani Prive Spring 2012 show, or the androgynous face of, well, almost every Alexander Wang show, just to name a couple. These are two characteristics that are low maintenance and go hand in hand with the blond hair that is given to you from Bayoumi.

And low maintenance is the design aesthetic that is commonly sought after by her clients—fine, naturally bright blond and wispy hair is something that is inherent to Scandinavian infants. “You’re born blond. And as you get older, it gets a little darker—a little ashier.”
Her goal is simple, to achieve the blondest blond that she can—or that your skin can handle. Her understanding of skin complexion coupled with custom color blending results in the perfect, baby-blond hue desired by her loyal following of Swedes. With the vast majority of her clients being Swedish, Bayoumi has mastered the perfect Scandinavian blonde—a specific hue described by Elin Kling as “a little bit more of a raw blond tone that’s just typical Scandinavian blonde.” A color group all of its very own, which Kling can discern from an American blonde, and a recommendation straight from the “It girl” herself.

Text by Emily Wong
Photography by Oskar Glauser