Finding a salon and a hairstylist you trust is no easy task. Similarly to dating, you have to play the field a bit, get together a couple of times, weigh your options, and ultimately decide whether they’re worth settling down for. It’s exhausting, but once you meet the one, there’s no turning back. In fact, one 2013 survey found that British women’s relationships with their hairstylists last, on average, longer than their marriages. Oof.
For those Big Apple go-getters still single in the salon department (or for those casual daters finally looking to make things official), we’re here to play matchmaker. We asked our beauty editors (who have some of the best hair in the biz) for their favorite salons across New York City, as well as their go-to stylists and colorists.
Check out the list ahead (some salons were so nice, they were even called out twice). Hopefully, you’re prepared for a long-term, loving, and committed relationship, because that’s what you’re going to get with these recs. Here’s to love, health, happiness, and really, really great hair.
Cost: Haircuts, $135 and up; Color, $100 and up
Recommended stylists: Ivan Torres, Alice Yan, Mariana Tomova — or Christo himself
“Would it be hyperbolic for me to say Curlisto saved my life? The warm, knowledgeable staff at the Curlisto salon taught me how to style and care for my curly hair – without them, I would be a walking frizz-monster. So, yes: Christo — dubbed the ‘King of Curls’ by the Wall Street Journal — and his staff spared me from a lifetime of not knowing how to handle my hair.
“The Curlisto salon is a luxurious get-away from the bustle of the city. Before your appointment, you can drink coffee, wine, or special Greek iced coffee, and hang out with the London the dog, who frequently visits the office. The appointment itself is productive — in addition to being quite relaxing. After a cut with the Diametrix cutting technique, specially designed for curly hair, the stylists will walk you through their unique styling approach, which you can replicate at home with the products. Recently, I got highlights there, too, which really my curls pop. At Curlisto, you’re taught to embrace your curls, instead of flattening them out and pretending they don’t exist.” — Elena Nicolaou, entertainment writer at Refinery29.
Photo: Via @christofifthave.
“I walked into Whiteroom with one or two dream reference photos and no real direction for my hair. I just knew I needed a cut and wanted a massive length change. My stylist Darby Backes kept me informed the whole way through by making sure I was comfortable with his direction and letting me know what would work best with my face shape. The whole vibe of the salon is so friendly — everyone is extremely down to earth. It’s a really fun environment in comparison to some of the more arrogant vibes you run into in Manhattan salons — not to mention a minimalist’s dream. One of the greatest surprises about the salon, apart from the amazing crew, is its retail section in the front. Elizabeth, one of the head honchos and main colorists, curates a selection of hair and beauty products that are hard to find. After my cut, I spent a solid 15 minutes perusing everything at the front of the store.” — Ray Lowe, fashion market editor at Refinery29
“I love the East Village location’s 20th-century apothecary design — which feels totally timeless and above fleeting trends — and the low-key, non-pretentious vibe.
“But I especially love the salon’s founder Joey, a former taxidermist and an excellent listener who made me feel totally at ease and not at all like I needed to take an Ativan, a thing I usually do before the scissors come out. He’s so very, very good at what he does — which is probably why Vogue once called him ‘an original arbiter of insouciant downtown cool.’” — Rachel Krause, beauty news writer at Refinery29
Photo: Via @blackstonesnyc.
White Rose Collective
Cost: Haircuts, $125 and up; blowouts, $85 and up
Recommended stylist: Teddi Cranford
“One look inside the intimate, by-appointment-only space (there are only three chairs) created by celebrity hairstylist Teddi Cranford, and you’ll assume cuts are going for the same price as a designer bag. Not the case; they start at $125.” — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor at Refinery29
Photo: Courtesy of White Rose Collective.
Cost: Haircuts, $125 and up; treatments, $35 and up; braiding, $50 and up
Recommended stylist: Nunzio Saviano
Recommended colorist: Stephanie Brown
“I see Stephanie Brown for my color. Her specialty is doing really natural-looking highlights, so I only have to go in twice a year. I pick her brain via email way more than that, though. She has the best natural-beauty tips — she’s always telling me about hair masks I can make at home or the beauty benefits of honey.
“They are truly a dream team. You know you’ve found a good pairing when people ask you months after you’ve had your hair done where you go.” — Sue Williamson, beauty editor at Milk Makeup
Photo: Courtesy of Nunzio Saviano.
Cost: Treatments, $36 and up; natural-hair sets, $85 and up; braided styles, $100 and up; color, $120 and up; weaves, $360 and up; loc styles, $30 and up
Recommended stylist: Anta Fall
“My first visit to Khamit Kinks was back in 2012. While I’ve since relocated outside of the city, there is no other salon in the five boroughs that I trust to care for my curls. It’s the premier salon in Brooklyn (dare I say, New York City) for natural hair care and styling. I am greeted with hospitality and professionalism from the moment I walk through the door. And, unlike many Black hair salons, I’ve never experienced a long wait because efficiency is non-negotiable.
“I would recommend Anta Fall for kinky-haired ladies who are fans of two-strand twists and textured hair extensions. She has a quiet disposition, but she means business. Her eye for detail is impeccable — no sloppy work!” — Dana Oliver, beauty director at Yahoo! Beauty
Photo: Courtesy of Khamit Kinks.
Cost: Haircuts, $95 and up; blowouts, $65 and up; color, $75 and up; treatments, $20 and up
Recommended stylist: Alessandro Comai
“Davines is far and away my favorite hair-care brand (it’s an ugly situation when I run out of Oi shampoo and conditioner), and this salon is stocked with it. Plus, the stylists are really hip and on top of trends, so you won’t need to do any explaining to end up with something cool. Alessandro, a NYC transplant from Milan, is both engaging and friendly and made my awkward bangs that I kind of hated cool again. Plus, his head massage was the best one of my life.” — Tunell
Photo: Courtesy of Ion.
Bumble & Bumble Downtown
Cost: Haircuts, $99 and up; color, $110 and up; blowouts, $65 and up
Recommended stylists: Tashina Tantalos, Alberto Vasquez, Francesca DellAquila
“What I love about the downtown location is how unpretentious it is despite being inherently luxe. It’s bursting with creativity, and a safe space for getting experimental, whether you’re chopping off a few precious inches or dyeing your hair purple. The stylist I usually visit, Francesca, is a wizard. She once gave me the most natural-looking faux bangs you’ve ever seen using a $22 clip-on piece that she razor-cut into a work of art. Get them.” — Lauren Valenti, beauty writer at Vogue
Photo: Courtesy of Bumble and Bumble.
Cost: Haircuts, $175 and up; color, $150 and up; blowouts, $45 and up
Recommended stylist: Jae Manuel Cardenas
Recommended colorists: Lucille Javier, Aura Friedman
Photo: Courtesy of Sally Hershberger.
Contesta Rock Hair Salon
Cost: Women’s Cut/Style, $100; Partial Highlights, $150 and up; Single Process, $75 and up; Double Process, $120 and up
“In all honesty, I felt like CRH was too cool for me before walking in for my cut and color appointment. Nestled in the West Village, the salon’s clientele list boasts the kind of people I stalk on Instagram — men and women who shave off their hair on a whim, then dye the buzz left behind aqua blue. And while the black brick walls and incense burning screams rock & roll, the true vibe is 10 times more welcoming than most salons in the city. I spent four hours there that day — taking my dark brown hair to a buttery blonde that nearly brought me to tears. For once, my hair felt right — I looked exactly how I always wanted to. I can’t wait for my next appointment.” — Sasso
Hale Organic Salon
Cost: Haircuts, $100 and up; color, $110 and up; blowouts, $60 and up
“I’m sometimes hesitant to try out new salons; not everyone can work with natural hair. Thankfully, Hale’s website contains a section where salon goers can ‘meet’ their potential stylists — and the bios contain the pros’ specialties. Not only was I matched with someone who babied my curls, but the space is one of the coolest I’ve been to. There are infrared lights instead of dryers, and a separate room where the stylists use to spray and color (in an effort to keep harsh chemicals at bay).” — Khalea Underwood, beauty writer at Refinery29
Photo: Via @haleorganicsalon.
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