New York's best hair stylists

We know someone great for every hair type and budget. Photographs by Beth Levendis

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Adrian Fanus at Adrian Fanus Grooming

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Angela Soto at Mizu salon

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Thorin Decatur, Shorty Maniace and Bret Reichley at Freeman's Sporting Club

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Corvette Hunt at Graceland

5/5

Fabian Garcia


Adrian Fanus at Adrian Fanus Grooming
Fanus got his start working in a barbershop and moonlighting as a groomer for fashion editorials, work that eventually brought him celeb clients like Forest Whitaker, whom he groomed for the 2007 Oscars. His recently opened three-chair salon, located on the top floor of a nondescript walk-up, has the feel of an old-world gentlemen's club, complete with plush leather couches, sartorially savvy lad mags and an all-black dress code for stylists. The scene attracts hip-hop moguls and jazz drummers alike—all in the market for Fanus's incomparably precise trims. Cuts start at $30 for men; dyeing, designs and texturizing start at $60. 497 DeKalb Ave between Bedford and Franklin Aves, third floor, Bushwick, Brooklyn (347-533-8827).


Angela Soto at Mizu salon
This Cali transplant boasts quite the resume: She's done stints at Warren-Tricomi and Bumble & bumble, styled runway shows (Diesel, Max Azria, Herve Leger) and worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Sharon Osbourne. All impressive, but what we love most is how well she handles textured tresses and long locks (like her own). And though Mizu is uptown, don't judge a salon by its neighborhood: The vibe here is buzzy, bubbly and so not snotty. Cuts start at $90 for men, $130 for women. 505 Park Ave between 59th and 60th St (212-688-6498, mizunewyork.com)


Thorin Decatur, Shorty Maniace and Bret Reichley at Freeman's Sporting Club
Though hirsute hipsters are ubiquitous these days, there's a new breed of gentleman barber whose vintage grooming habits more closely resembles those of his granddad's. The walk-in-only policy and wood-and-tile interiors at FSC's two spaces make them feel more like social clubs than barbershops, though the selection of high-end apothecaric goods (Baxter of California, Malin + Goetz, Geo F. Trumper) help offset the retro-isms. Maniace, also known as "Shorty the Barber," has been in the grooming biz for 20 years. Former Marine Decatur has been sporting a crew buzz for 15 years and specializes in "classic cuts that keep the focus on the client." He's also an expert shaver who can teach anyone to use a straight razor. Fourteen-year vet Reichley, meanwhile, draws "the longer-haired clients" who dig his personal style. While you're there, indulge in a beard trim ($15) or a straight-razor shave and a haircut for a little more than two bits ($75). Cuts start at $40 for men. 5 Horatio St between W 4th St and Eighth Ave (212-929-3917, fscbarber.com) * 8 Rivington St between Chrystie St and Freeman Alley (212-673-3209)


Corvette Hunt at Graceland
When Corvette Hunt and Bethany Paul left Mudhoney last year, they didn't decide to open just a salon; they partnered with East Side Ink's Yadira Mendez and Josh Lord to open a tattoo parlor/styling palace/unofficial party bar on a sleepy street in the shadows of the BQE. "The absolute lawlessness of Mudhoney taught us that to create an atmosphere where artistic expression could flourish, you have to be willing to break all the rules," says Hunt. "We're definitely not vanilla." Ain't that the truth. The rock-around-the-clock vibe of the salon is hip enough for the neighborhood (Pete's Candy Store is on the next block) but hardly pretentious. And that's to say nothing of Hunt's insane resume: He's styled wigs for Madonna, Patricia Field, the B-52s and more divas than you can shake a falsie at; he also performed drag at some of NYC's biggest clubs, including Tunnel, Sound Factory and Limelight (before it was a minimall). Suffice it say you won't be chatting about the weather when you plop down in his chair. Cuts start at $65 for men, $95 for women. 677 Lorimer St between Frost and Withers Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-7677)


Fabian Garcia
After finishing beauty school, this outrageous Texan hit the NYC club scene in the '90s, hosting parties at Club USA and deejaying—in seven-inch stilettos and foot-tall wigs—at Lucky Cheng's. By day, he cut and colored hair at Patricia Field's salon, which soon led to TV and film gigs. Fresh off of a yearlong stint for Ugly Betty, the indie stylist is back to making house calls (for now). His client list includes celebs he's worked with (UB's Ana Ortiz and Mark Indelicato, Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Julianne Nicholson), as well as regular folk. While he's adept at funky styles (extensions, Rainbow Brite hues), he's happy to take a chop at grandma's locks, too. Cuts start at $300 for men, $300 for women. Visit fabianworld.com for more info.

 

Fabio Moretti at Contesta Rock Hair
As global chain Contesta's first employee, Italian stallion Moretti is all smiles—and so are the clients (including Mickey Rourke!) he's recruited over his 21-year tenure. Longtime fans adore his lively personality and edgy, funky cuts—and the fact that he actually listens to what people want. (You really only want a half-inch trim? You got it.) The salon itself is like an exercise in Op Art: It's all black and white, save a few paintings, and is usually pumping with pounding club music. Cuts start at $55 for men, $100 for women. 535 Hudson Street between Charles and Perry Sts (212-243-2901, contestarockhair.com)


Francine Kelley at Salon Harmony
People come from as far as California to have their hair cut and dyed by Kelley. The chatty stylist has been living and breathing her craft for 18 years—don't be surprised, on a return visit, to hear that she's been pondering your next style in the interim. Expect lively stories of her family back in the Caribbean, free bang trims and a comfy, no-pretenses atmosphere. Cuts start at $40 for men, $60 for women. 9 Seventh Ave between Park and Sterling Pls, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-622-7722)


Igor Iskiyev at Igor's Clean Cuts
When it comes to razor-cut fades, there's a thin line between a clean, stylish look and a butchered bowl cut. It takes a steady hand and an eye for detail to do it right, and that's exactly what Iskiyev and his crew specialize in. You won't find any glitz or glam here, just the traditional four-chair setup and no-nonsense barbers who will give you the cut you want. If you've got the time, ask for an old-fashioned straight-razor shave ($12), a real treat for you and yours. Cuts start at $14 for men. 20 First Ave between 1st and 2nd Sts (212-539-0952)


James McNally at Mario Diab
Curly girls on the hunt for highlights will flip for this expert colorist, who takes up residence in the basement of this chic, mirror-lined salon. Instead of treating curly locks like straight hair, McNally pulls out each individual tress and decides if it should be a highlight or lowlight. And though he's best known for catering to curls, his blow-outs are killer, too. Single-process color starts at $110. 62 Crosby St between Broome and Spring Sts (212-226-6595, mariodiab.com)


Jessica Rose at Medusa Salon
This raven-haired, red-lipped tattooed beauty can turn out one hell of a glammy hairdo. (Bonus: She knows her way around a cowlick.) The Aveda Institute--trained stylist could be mistaken for a 1950s screen siren, and Medusa, with its leopard-print smocks, pin-up murals and crushed-velvet couch, could pass for her movie set. Yet she's as down-to-earth as the clientele, chatting about her dog, her band and her favorite Polish market while she works. Cuts start at $52 for men, $65 for women; single-process color at $60, highlights at $100. 177 Seventh Avenue between 1st and 2nd Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-965-3999, medusasalonny.com)

 

Julie Dickson at Fox & Boy
Though most of her clients belong to the 25-to-35-year-old downtown set, Dickson's lengthy experience at the UES's swanky Minardi Salon and Soho's Dop Dop make her an expert at prescribing the right style for just about anybody. "It's about the entire aesthetic," she says. "If a woman on Wall Street wants an 'edgy' cut, it's an entirely different kind of edgy from someone working as a bartender on the Lower East Side." At her one-year-old Nolita shop, Dickson's sweet and sassy sensibility is reflected in everything from the colorful vintage aprons she dons to the rolling cocktail carts serving up magazines and cookies (and yes, sometimes booze, too). Cuts start at $100 for men, $100 for women. 280 Mulberry St between E Houston and Prince Sts (212-965-0369, foxandboy.com)

 


Selvi Hadzovic and Kate Poertner at Saloon Hair
Hadzovic and Poertner's tucked-away work stations at Saloon offer a refuge from the thumping Eurocafe culture of Astoria's 30th Avenue. Hadzovic first learned the cut-and-color trade while visiting family in her native Stockholm, and has spent the last 15 years refining her skills. Low-maintenance, natural brunette color and simple, pretty updos are her dyeing and styling specialties, and her wet-to-dry haircuts last several months. Poertner, meanwhile, is a corrective-color genius. Equally adept at producing both organic hues and Crayola brights, she's so in tune with what her clients want that you'll walk out thinking the buttery shade of those woven highlights was your idea. Bonus: Her exhaustive musical knowledge will keep your iPod ultra current. Hadzovic's cuts start at $75 for women. Poertner's single-process color starts at $55, highlights at $125, retexturizing at $110. 36--17 30th Ave between 36th and 37th Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-956-3366, saloonhaircolor.com)

 


Kate Schlichter at Bumble and bumble
A trip to Bumble and bumble—with its perks like massaging shampoo chairs and an in-salon cafe—is a treat no matter what. But when we need to get serious, we ask for Kate Schlichter. This woman is literally a master: A trainer at the Bumble & bumble University for the past six years, she instructs visiting stylists from all over the country. When she's not teaching, she cuts hair at both Bb's pristine midtown salon and its edgier counterpart in the Meatpacking District. As a stylist, Schlichter is a creative chameleon. "I'm not a hairdresser-y hairdresser," she says with a smile. Translation: She caters to little old ladies and mohawked skater chicks with equal ease, tailoring her approach to clients' personalities. The proof is in her subtle cuts, which get months of mileage without losing steam. Cuts start at $110 for men, $110 for women. 146 E 56th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-521-6500, bumbleandbumble.com) * 415 W 13th St between Ninth Ave and Washington St (212-521-6500)

 


Katie Dolinar at Fringe Salon
Dolinar's easygoing personality paired with Fringe's vintage-cozy vibe is a match made in haircut heaven. In her four and a half years with this seven-chair Lower East Side salon, the Ohio native has perfected the stylish (without looking styled), indie-gal cut: long, layered and totally low-maintenance. Top your new 'do with Dolinar's signature fringey bangs or effortlessly sculpted side swoop and stand by for compliments from strangers. The fact that her cuts grow out ridiculously well means you won't have to lay eyes on the salon's exposed-brick walls, tiled floor and high tin ceilings for quite some time—though we're betting you'll probably want to. Cuts start at $65 for men, $85 for women; single-process color starts at $85, highlights at $150. 248 Broome St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts (212-674-8383, fringeny.com)

 


Masae Fukuhara at Salon de Quartier
She speaks very little English—broken is being kind. Still, this Japanese pixie has established herself as an intuitive genius, groping around the shaggy shapes of men's heads and pulling out their best selves, the ones even they can't express. (Even if we could, she'd just shake her head.) Cobble Hillians arrive at the small, stylish shop after brunching at nearby Char No. 4 and patiently wait for her to do her thing. Cuts start at $50 for men, $65 for women. 206 Smith St between Baltic and Butler Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-246-7244, salondequartier.com)

 

Mike Elriz and Sam Ghazali at Sam & Chris Hair Salon
Art Deco paintings and mirrors line the walls at co-owners Elriz and Ghazali's intimate salon, which often bubbles with an upbeat party vibe. The Lebanese stylists--colorists were both trained overseas, but have spent the last 15 years cultivating a loyal New York audience. Elriz handles bridal parties with aplomb, and either gent will rework his schedule to help out a client (yes, the salon is open seven days a week). Best of all, Elriz and Ghazali actually listen to what clients want, and never try to jack up the bill with unnecessary treatments. Cuts start at $37 for men, $55 for women. 2206 Broadway between 78th and 79th Sts (212-873-6868)


Rick Wong of KL Artistic
Wong opened this no-frills West Village salon 14 years ago, and still chops the locks of some of the shop's original clients. His style is versatile, his staff friendly, and the prices incomparable. Cuts start at $25 for short length. 46 Carmine St between Bedford and Bleecker Sts (212-243-3258)


Shinobu Ozawa at Sei-Tomoko Salon
Specializing in long, layered styles, short haircuts, and men's 'dos, as well as more out-there asymmetrical cuts, Tokyo- and New York--trained Ozawa serves a clientele reflective of the salon's East Village neighborhood, from conservative paralegals to individualistic media types. Upon entering the sub-ground salon to a chorus of "Hello!" from the smiling Japanese staff, you'll be whisked to a shampoo station, where your scalp is soothingly worked over—shampooed, conditioned and massaged—for ten minutes before you're settled into the barber's chair for a five-minute neck-and-shoulder rub. And that's when the magic really begins. Ozawa works methodically, snipping at a finger joint's amount of hair at a time while cheerfully telling you of her recent styling gigs for runway shows and film shoots. About halfway into the trim, she grows quiet, concentrating on the job at hand. To wrap up, you'll rinse (again), be given a hot towel for your face and receive complimentary styling wax, before exiting to a chorus of "Bye-bye!" Cuts start at $40 for men, $45 for women; single-process color at $65, straightening at $250. 126 E 4th St between First and Second Aves (212-473-3320, seitomoko.com)


Shinya Nakagawa at Dop Dop
Teetering at the edge of Soho, this vast subterranean salon is the ultimate insider's secret. Yet despite a roster of innovative talent, we keep coming back to the scissored wonders of artistic stylist Nakagawa. Whether styling models at New York Fashion Week (he's worked for Phillip Lim, Jason Wu and Zac Posen) or beautifying the locks of magazine editors, the Vidal Sassoon--trained wunderkind is the destination du jour for pristine bobs and golden highlights. Cuts start at $105 for men and women; single-process color starts at $100, highlights at $120. 170 Mercer St between W Houston and Prince Sts (212-965-9540, dopdop.com)

 


Steven Lai at John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman
If you think all midtown salons are conservative, you haven't sat in Lai's chair. Visiting the posh John Barrett Salon, located on the top floor of Bergdorf Goodman (where even the coat check boasts a view of Central Park), is a treat unto itself, but the real reasons Lai is so popular are his early hours (9am--6pm) and long-lasting, Victoria's Secret--esque blowouts. And you certainly won't mind his perfectionism as you sip a frothy latte and watch him define each strand's bounce, curl and shine. A secret weapon to the Bergdorf Blondes no more. Cuts start at $150 for men, $150 for women; blowouts cost $85. 754 Fifth Avenue at 58th St (212-872-2700, johnbarrett.com)

Reported by Courtney Balestier, Anna Balkrishna, Jamie Barratta, Lisa Butterworth, Peter Chiu, Jamie Falkowski, Ariella Gogol, Carolyn Juris, Nicola Lathroum, Lauren Levinson, Lisa Levinson, Maria Longo, Laura Neilson, Andrew Parks, Joshua Rothkopf, Yolanda Sangweni, Matt Schneiderman, Jenaya Singleton, Raven Snook and Allison Williams.

Comments

9 comments
Eddie
Eddie

I personally recommend Hairstylist/Colorist Brendon Mallon @ Blondi's 300 E 86th St New York, NY

Mike teller
Mike teller

Sourse new found out nickolas jones is the new stylist to Jessica Simpson and many other stars but wants to remain a secrete we do know he lives in Santa cruz ca and has a salon there called tonic salon & spa !!! Just new news