Trina Yin

In a post-Dry Bar world, finding a place that serves up serious blowouts — and only blowouts — can be a little challenging. Enter Kova, solving that problem forever. 

Founded by model-turned-entrepreneur Emma Moquet, who also serves as the new company’s CEO, this emerging West Hollywood spot seeks to imbue classic French blowouts with West Hollywood chic, and is already succeeding, just a few weeks after opening their doors. The company’s new space on Robertson Blvd is sandwiched between Chanel and Intermix, fitting signifiers to bookend the salon’s mix of classic and modern elegance. It’s no secret that Americans are endlessly fascinated with the effortless aura of the French, and Kova delivers just that je ne sais pas.

Walking into the bright, warm salon is a calming experience in itself, and the mix of pink tones make it overwhelming clear — this is a feminine space. Designed by Moquet and her friend, architect Corinne Baginski, the owner of CTBdesign, Kova will give the other classic spaces on Robertson a run for their money with its lush, dusty rose couches, blush pinks, and the overall golden-hued atmosphere. If buttercup yellow is a trigger for you, there isn’t a trace of that here — only pastels, dark shampoo chairs, and gilded touches everywhere.

When I visited the salon last week to get a complimentary blowout to celebrate their opening, Moquet was on hand herself to greet all customers, and I even overheard her dealing with a particularly demanding customer a few chairs over with the utmost grace and respect, despite not receiving it herself from the client. Watching this woman masterfully reframe an overly demanding customer’s experience is one of the most telling indications of an entrepreneur’s skillset, and Emma was a champ when it came to listening, offering solutions, and providing alternatives. 

On my end, I couldn’t relate to the overly finicky customer and was glad when she left, because my service was idyllic from start to finish. Beginning with a wash, I was delighted and relieved to learn that Kova doesn’t use traditional cloth towels in their service. Instead, they use a thick and effective biodegradable paper towel to draw the wet hair up away from the face, eliminating the expensive and wasteful costs of water and electricity that go into a salon’s never-ending laundry. Perhaps I missed the coziness of a fluffy towel for a second, but that slight hint of nostalgia can’t compare to the relief I feel knowing that women-owned businesses like Kova are keeping the needs of the planet and our wounded environment in mind when creating their own companies.

Trina Yin

Unlike Dry Bar, Kova offers a whole host of blowout styles, ranging from varying degrees of floof and flounce to up-dos, stick straight, Hollywood starlet ringlets, a daring wet, slicked back look, and of course, messy waves (my eternal preference, The Julia). With twelve styles to choose from, including one for little girls, and a membership service at $9 a month that offers $10 off, along with other perks, Kova shows an understanding of what an adult woman actually wants from her salon: the flexibility to forget to go for a month and not pay upwards of $50 or $100 anyway, while keeping the inclusion of discounts and private invites that belonging somewhere affords.  

A salon membership that offers $10 off a blowout with no major commitment is the kind that Los Angeles women – who are frequently traveling, and then bored at home wanting entertainment — need. Blow drys run a standard $60 before tip for a 55 minute session, with the option to add a fifteen minute David Mallett or SachaJuan mask for an additional $25 or $20 respectively. The choice for an under twelve blowout at $35 also makes Kova a great place for mothers and daughters to go together, or any other iteration of younger and older women, to experience a special pampered moment.

My stylist shared that she had recently moved to Los Angeles from Mexico, which further increased my respect for Emma, who is clearly making an effort to hire from diverse backgrounds and experiences to provide the best, most comprehensive, and open-minded service at Kova. Between a classic blow dry and some sleek curling iron moves, I ended up with the kind of blowout that didn’t make me feel self-conscious or overdone, but presented a more coiffed version of the most confident self I’m striving to be. 

As someone who doesn’t often take the time to invest in making myself feel put together, the Kova experience was both empowering, and a good reminder that a little self-care goes a long way. Pledging $10 to another woman-owned business with the idea that I’ll pop in at least once a month is an easy show of faith to kick off 2020 right. If you’re in the area and need a high-end salon with a Parisian touch that still manages to be very affordable, Kova is the place.

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