Hair salons in Chicago number in the thousands, but we know the best ones offer head-turning haircuts, color and blowouts. You can kiss the days of botched bobs and devastating dye jobs goodbye when you bookmark this list. Many even offer spa treatments, are combined with top nail salons, and offer plenty of beer and wine.
The best hair salons in Chicago
There is a good reason Sine Qua Non has four Chicago locations—it's simply one of the best. If the beautiful, immaculate salon locations, warm and skilled staff, and choice of complimentary fruit-infused water, wine or PBR don't sell you, the reasonable prices will. (Basic women's cuts start at $50!) You can also stop by to get a festival-ready braid ($36), or take advantage of a slew of other services, like brow waxing, shaping, lash tinting, threading, makeup application and more.
Edit brings a refreshing, down-to-earth perspective to Chicago's salon scene with a new take on the "mom and pop salon." Here you'll find a laid-back atmosphere, with stylists who actually take the time to listen instead of pressuring you into trying the latest trend. Expect a warm welcome from the shop dog, Herbie, a complimentary wine or whiskey upon arrival, and a heavenly scalp massage with every cut. Prices are pretty reasonable too, which doesn't hurt. Women's cuts start at $60, all-over color starts at $85, and balayage at $110.
A Chicago fixture for more than a decade, Salon Buzz is constantly filled with sophisticated clientele who flock here for everything from manicures to highlights. Despite the multitude of services offered, the basic blowout ($50–$85) holds its ground—all stylists complete the salon’s extensive training program, ensuring consistently good results. Also check out the second location on 310 W Superior St.
A fan favorite for more than two decades, this Chicago institution offers fresh, stylish cuts and coloring to Chicago's finest men and women. Inside the salon's modern, open setting, attentive, detailed stylists help bring hair dreams to life—from bangs to bobs and beyond. Additional locations are in Lincoln Park and Evanston, plus a barber shop in Logan Square.
Industry veteran Adam Bogucki's Lakeview hair salon brings a new concept to Chicago's beauty scene—a truly personalized, one-on-one environment. Instead of a loud, bustling salon, you'll find a bright and cozy one-station salon suite, resulting in a truly customizable experience. Services include women's and men's cuts ($70 and $40), all-over color ($75), balayage ($175), smoothing treatments ($250), extensions ($250) and more.
This stunning, eco-friendly Lincoln Park salon is well-known for its cut and color services, but the back room also boasts a newly renovated nail/pedicure space. It’s cozy, charming and you’re usually offered some wine. Nail services come with soak, scrub and clay treatment.
George Gonzalez has a pretty impressive celebrity client roster (which includes the likes of Oprah and Cindy Crawford, just to give you an idea), so it's no surprise his posh, award-winning salon is among the best Chicago has to offer. Aside from a full menu of cutting, coloring and styling offerings, the salon has also expanded its service menu to offer facials and waxing.
This Aveda salon and spa is known for its luxurious treatments. The first-floor environment is serene and nurturing. Six spa rooms are decked out primarily in bamboo—posts for the walls and planks on the floors—and are dedicated to an exotic menu of massages, facials and waxes. Rooms are padded in suede for sound absorption. Best of all might be the enclosed slate-tile steam shower room with heated floors, where you can customize your rain shower with aromatherapy. A livelier upstairs level houses all hair services—cuts ($30–$90 depending on talent level), color ($50–$160 depending on talent level) styling and specialty treatments. All services include an indulgent head, neck and shoulder massage. Don’t leave without a little Aveda retail therapy at the front of the house.
There’s more to this library-themed Logan Square salon than straightforward cuts and coloring for men and women. Owner/licensed barber Christine Conley and her business partner/licensed cosmetologist Coral Gable studied costume design at DePaul University as undergrads, where they focused on wigs and makeup—an expertise they also bring to the salon. Get a custom-made wig (or even a faux 'stache), artful costume makeup (regular makeup, too, for that matter) or an expert cut and color. The salon also specializes in "Deva Curl" cuts for curly hair. Prices are great, too, starting at $40 for women's cuts and $25 for the guys.
With 25 years in the biz, this sleek salon is well-known for its cut and color skills, and its services are all-encompassing: mani-pedis, facials, peels, waxing and massage services alongside complimentary Aveda Sensory Rituals (think a warm cup of herbal tea upon arrival and hand massages, free of charge). Open seven days a week with extended hours, making it easy to squeeze in an expert cut at your convenience.
This laid-back Wicker Park salon offers all the thrills of a fresh, stylish cut and color without unneccesary frills. With five chairs and five stylists in the cozy space at any given time, customers are treated with the utmost care. The staff work independently with clients, so to book a service, visit the website for each stylist's contact info (the crowd recommends Kim Peterson for color).
It's easy to see why this Lincoln Park spot was voted one of America's top 100 salons by Elle magazine two years in a row. The gorgeous interior reflects the modern asethetic adopted by the stylists providing haircuts ($55-$85), coloring ($75–$130+), and styling (from $45). The salon also offers free cuts during training classes—see website for details!
As its name implies, the stylists at this Near West Side salon focus solely on you when it comes to your hair care needs. The decor is what you'd expect of the West Loop—industrial-chic without trying too hard—exposed brick walls, hardwood floors—and the services range from haircuts ($55–$80), color ($60–$185), extensions, Keratin treatments (from $40) to waxing (from $12) and makeup ($35+). Plus, the salon just added barber services ($35 and up).
Hair stylists Susan Flaga and Bathsheba Nemerovski run Logan Square’s Sparrow, the it-girl salon of this artsy neighborhood. The former barbershop features vintage barber chairs and sinks, along with embossed wallpaper the owners discovered during the renovation process. Be sure to pick up a bottle of luxurious Sparrow Oil—an organic blend concocted by the owners—on your way out.
Housed in an industrial West Town loft, don’t be intimidated by the building’s near-deserted appearance—parking is free and plentiful, and the walk up the creaky flight of stairs is worth it. The salon's stylists work independently, but you can conveniently book online. All are equipped with major skills when it comes to cut and color. (You've likely seen their work in the press!)
Founded by Vegas-based celebrity stylist Kelly Cardenas, the Chicago location of this hip Paul Mitchell Salon chain offers quality cuts ($45–$95) as well as coloring ($65–$120). Go with the "new talent" option for cuts and color, and save some major cash. Special Brazliian hair treatments, extensions and trendy add-ons like ink stamps and color shots are also available. Plus, you can book your appointment online in a snap.
A favorite among the city's top professionals, this Near North Side salon offers trendy, yet timeless cuts ($70–$125), coloring ($70–$195) and specialty straightening services ($155–$660+) in a modern setting. Prices certainly aren't cheap, but is there really a price on perfect hair?