The best hair salons for color treatments in New York

Whether you want to look like a celebrity or a My Little Pony, these hair-color salons will give your mane the perfect dye job

Photograph: Jennifer Van Bogart
WHITEROOM

All fashion lovers know the urge to change up your look never goes away, and since the fastest way to do that is amping up your hair color, we’ve found these new salons and spas (plus a few veterans) that will transform your tresses from dull to dayum! It’s total sorcery, we tell ya! Hit up any of these colorists for an amazing dye job, and if you’re in the market for the best blow-out in NYC, these salons have you covered, too. Still want more color? Head to one of the city's best nail salons, and get a manicure to match your mop.

RECOMMENDED: Read more about Hair Salons in New York

Arrojo Studio

Trust that your mop is in fully capable hands: Senior colorists Ashley Kowalsky and Rachel Flores helped evolve multicolored hair into the badass phenomenon it is today, and Level One colorist Ali Eskridge can turn your tresses from boring blond to platinum purple, like a true sorcerer. As in most salons, the service is a two-step process: first bleach, then tone. For a virgin brunet to go full-on pink, the staff recommends stripping the natural color with lightener and then adding dye ($120, master colorists $170), followed by the salon’s keratin hair-repair mask ($22) to mend any damage. The salon wants your face to look as bright and colorful as your new Technicolor tresses, so it offers complimentary touch-ups from its in-house makeup artist.

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Downtown

The Drawing Room New York

You’ll ditch the at-home box dye once and for all after senior colorist Natalie Elias magically transforms your tresses. If your hair is naturally blond and you want an icy lilac shade, the price starts at $60, but a full color change—say, from dark brown to neon orange—costs $250 to $600. Sip complimentary wine while you wait for your hair to change hues, and ask to join the client rewards program. You gain points anytime you pay for services, earning you discounts on future treatments.

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Fox & Jane Salon and Finishing Bar

While this two-year-old salon’s cool affect fits in with the trendy boutiques on its Lower East Side block, the affordable prices are a pleasant surprise. Opened by stylist Lorean Cairns and business partner Billy Canu in 2011, Fox & Jane garnered a loyal following and grew to another location in the East Village just a year later. Highlights are a splurge here ($143–$163 for partial, $173–$193 for a full head), but a full single-process color cashes in at just $89 with any stylist (although if you have extra-long hair, you may have to fork out an extra $20). The fee includes a consultation, a five-minute restorative conditioning treatment, a finishing style (such as a blow-dry) and one killer scalp massage. You’ll need to book an appointment a week or two ahead to ensure you get a spot, but the individualized attention you’ll receive once you hit one of the five chairs is worth the wait.

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Lower East Side

Hairroin Salon

Urban Outfitters and its next-door neighbor Hairroin Salon are a match made in edgy-meets-glam heaven (if you can get past the salon's Zoolander-style name, that is). Head to the Herald Square location offering a full range of services from trendy styling, cuts ($90-$160) and, uh, tooth jewels ($70), but the focal point here is the dye jobs ($90-$165). Scroll through the salon’s Facebook page, and you’ll find those unicorn-like hues and highlights that will inspire you to make an appointment, like, now.

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Midtown West

IGK

You no longer have to throw shade at Jared Leto for having prettier hair than you. That glorious ombré can be yours, as Leto’s colorist, Chase Kusero, along with stylists Franck Izquierdo and Aaron Grenia, opened shop in the Dream Downtown. Their hand-painted highlights (starting at $210) and rock & roll cuts ($120 and up) keep bringing in the crowds.

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Chelsea

The Owl & the Pussycat Salon

This sunny salon has gained devotees for its refreshingly friendly, upbeat vibe. Although walk-ins are welcome, it’s strongly advised that you make an appointment to avoid a wait. You’ll be guided to one of the four upstairs stations for the appropriate color application: A Redken Shades EQ demi-permanent glaze ($50) is recommended for those looking to revive dull tones, while a traditional Redken Chromatics single-process permanent treatment ($75) is used for color changes. (Pricier partial and full highlights are also available for $115 and $160, respectively.) The service concludes with a complimentary wash-and-dry (normally $45–$60). On your way out, grab the same Redken products ($14–$44) used in the salon to keep your tresses looking vibrant.

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Clinton Hill

Parlor

Owner Gwenn LeMoine established her brick-walled salon’s weekly Education Monday program when she moved into this garden-facing space in 1999. Single-process color that would cost $125–$260 with a regular stylist is $20–$50 with a trainee, and highlights that normally go for $140–$300 will run you just $40–$50. A shampoo and styling (normally $45–$100) using Aveda products are gratis with any appointment, as is iced or hot herbal tea. Since speed is not of the essence on training days, expect the session to take longer than it normally would: Highlights and a toner—already a two- to three-hour prospect—can take up to four hours. Still, LeMoine’s expertise, Parlor’s exceedingly friendly staff and the slashed prices make the time investment worth it.

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East Village

Rita Hazan Salon

What do Renée Zellweger, Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lopez have in common? Their hair color changes as often as their popularity. Rita Hazan is the master behind these famous color chameleons, and she also works her magic on a bevy of in-the-know New Yorkers who frequent the salon, known for its impeccable hair coloring (from $150). The salon’s most popular golden highlights are said to appear totally natural for that “I was born with this color” look. Hazan, who works solely with color, often does corrective treatments for botched dye jobs, and other staffers can help you with makeup applications ($150 to $250), Brazilian waxing ($75), spa manicures ($30) and much more.

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Midtown West

Suite Caroline

Owner Lena Ott took Girls cast member Jemima Kirke’s locks from dirty blond to platinum pink, but she can handle extreme Rainbow Brite–inspired dye jobs using a medley of Manic Panic colors to create a seamless style, just like a tie-dye tee. The price of service in her sun-drenched Soho salon ranges from $400 to $450, depending on the condition of your locks and your desired look, so make sure to set aside time to chat with Ott in advance.

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WHITEROOM

While most Williamsburg salons channel old-timey barbershop vibes with Edison bulbs and retro parlor chairs, this all-white joint believes less is way more—except when it comes to hair color. Those seeking ombré mermaid locks should ask for owner Elisabeth Lovell. After a free, preliminary consultation, Lovell will lighten your mane to get it as close to white as possible for the pastels to set (starts at $185). Note: The process can be harsh, but Lovell adds Olaplex to the bleach—a new technology in hair coloring—that relinks broken bonds and prevents breakage. Sip free beer or whiskey to calm your eager twitchiness, and before you leave, pick up a bottle of color-protecting shampoo that won’t overcleanse the hair and fade the color of your new ’do. (Lovell suggests R+Co Analog cleansing foam conditioner, $29.)

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Comments

3 comments
Gary P
Gary P

I'll have to share this with my wife.  She is always looking for new salons to go to.  She wants to change up her hair and dye it a different color.  She wants to make sure she visits a salon that does a good job with coloring hair. http://www.bankzsalon.com 

Jen M
Jen M

Another really great place for color (especially blondes) is Headdress Hair Salon in the East Village. I love going here and they're SO amazing. I found them through www.lookbooker.co, which made it really easy to book. If you book with their new talent (who have actually been apprenticing there for a while, so they aren't really new) you can get a pretty good rate.

mimi
mimi

I go to this place on union square. You can get a cut and full head of hi lights for under 150! Blown out and styled. Its a studio called "the foil salon" or www.thefoilsalon.com She is awesome, fast and affordable :-) These places sound kind of pricey or you let yourself be a Guinea pig..