Best salons for quickie cuts

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Astor Place Hairstylists
This Astor Place institution started in 1947 as a five-chair barbershop and has since grown to include 75 chairs. And somehow, it manages to retain a familiar old-timey feel. You can’t make an appointment; just take a number and wait outside with the crowd. (Sundays are typically less crowded, and the wait rarely exceeds 10 minutes.) Haircuts take 20 minutes or less and start at just $14. They also offer perms, color, braiding, extensions and Japanese straightening—all at equally reasonable prices. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a small-town barbershop. 2 Astor Pl at Broadway (212-475-9854,

Style and Smile Salon
Though Igor, the owner, isn’t exactly full of smiles, his styling skills aren’t too shabby. To entice passersby, there’s a neon sign in the window that announces whether or not he’s in at the moment, but walk-ins aren’t out of luck if Igor’s out—there are plenty of other speedy cutters on standby. Cuts start at $16 for men and $20 for ladies. 167 W 21st St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-813-6925)

While the name of this salon might conjure up horrifying memories of ’80s-era big hair, owner Ming Chiu won’t let you make the same fashion mistake twice. Chiu chats with every customer before starting to cut to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It’s not terribly fancy—maybe that’s why it’s not terribly expensive. Walk-ins normally take about 30 minutes from start to finish and cost $30 and up. 199 Second Ave between 12th and 13th Sts (212-725-7088)

Zoog Hair Studio
The studio is owned by a pair of Israeli-born friends, but most of the stylists here are European and can replicate any trend—past, present or future. A walk-in at lunchtime will normally take about 25 minutes and start at $35, but be sure to ask if they’re running any monthly specials. Their ongoing deal includes a manicure and pedicure for $26.99 during the workweek (normally $29). They also have an arsenal of products for sale by the likes of Aveda, Krastase and Tigi. 28 W 39th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-354-9466,

Dramatics NYC
After giving up on his dream to become an actor, Larry “Rock” Kolber decided to bring his theatrical training to the hair industry. The salon’s a stage where the characters—stylists named Sting, Navy, Clover and Safari—perform cuts (starting at $19.95), relaxers (from $69.95) and volumizing treatments (from $59.95). They accept walk-ins throughout the day, but the best time to go is between 11am and 4pm because most scheduled appointments are set for the evenings. If you’re not into talking too much about yourself, Dramatics could be a bit off-putting—they like to engage their clients. But you probably figured that out from the name. Various locations throughout the city; visit


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