Numi owner Nuriel Abramov, seated, with some of the stylish members of his crew
The Seven-Year Snip
By Robin Jovanovich
There has been a hair salon anchoring the northwest corner of Purchase Street/PurdyAvenue/Theodore Fremd Avenue for decades, but Numi, which blew into town seven years ago, is a cut above.
“It’s a special place — we’re like family,” offered manager Tahesha Wilson.
“It’s also a sophisticated place, especially for a suburban salon,” noted one local luminary earlier this week.
Owner Nuriel Abramov, who immigrated to New York City from Tajikistan with his family when he was 11, said that hair styling is in his blood. “All four of my grandparents were hairdressers and I grew up in a salon. If I was home from school, I’d help my mom put in clients’ rollers or sweep up the floor, depending on what was needed.”
His father, who was in sales, hoped his son would pursue a career in computer science. “To please my father I tried, but it didn’t take. For me, it was become a chef or a hair stylist. My father owned an Italian restaurant for a time, and I learned to cook at a young age, too.”
Abramov learned another essential skill early: professionalism. “We don’t just trim hair here, and we’re not going to give you the new look if you can’t carry that look.” He added, “We make a point of understanding who you are, connecting with you so that we can give you the best outcome.”
He drives from Queens to the shop at least five days a week, but many of his clients come farther, from New Jersey, Westport, Manhattan, the other side of Westchester.
“I love what I do, to the point where my wife Michelle sometimes has to call to remind me to come home,” he said with a smile. (He decided to call the salon Numi because it spells the first two letters of both his first name and hers.) And who else is waiting for him? Their three children, ages 11, 8, and 6, all of them hair-brained. “We have wigs on mannequins in our home and the kids use markers to create colors!”
Of Abramov’s 15-member crew, Asher Khafizov, his cousin, has worked with him the longest. “We went to beauty school together, then worked at a salon in the city.” Khafizov also came to America as a child and commutes to the salon from Queens.
How did they end up in Queens? we asked. “All our families knew about America was that an aunt lived in that borough. We had no clue. But more and more Russians have settled there and it’s home.”
One of the benefits of being a Numi regular is that in-between trims — for clients with short hair, men included — are free.
The stylists and colorists encourage new clients to come in for a consultation before making an appointment so that they can determine the right plan of action. It might involve application of the new organic Keratin treatment or result in a totally new style, but when you walk in the door you know you’re in good hands.
This is Nuriel Abramov’s second salon and he admits to dreaming about opening another, but first he wants to get more involved with the look and feel of the Rye community. “Who do I call at City Hall to recommend they put a moratorium on nail salons? What can we do to make the crossing at the intersection safer? Rye could be a really beautiful downtown but why aren’t some of the businesses keeping up their storefronts? When is the County going to install that sidewalk that they’ve measured for every summer?”
We were going to give him the Mayor’s contact information, but then a City Councilwoman walked in for her appointment and they were deep in conversation when we left.