Fact: Bad cuts or color treatments can turn you off selfies and onto a hermit lifestyle for weeks, but the best hair salons in NYC are here to help. Thankfully, they have plenty of stylists you can actually trust with your tresses. (And yes, some of them even give super-cheap haircuts.) Between these salons and the city’s best blow dry bars, you can turn your dull ’do into a celeb-status mane in no time. Looking for more pampering? Don’t forget to check out our favorite brow bars and nail salons in NYC, or treat yourself to a day of relaxation at one of the best spas in NYC.
15 best hair salons in NYC
Joseph Artale’s bright, modern salon creates a calm feel that’s light-years from the downtown hustle. That’s the key right there: Clients say that the stylists here actually listen—like, really listen—to what they want and deliver it to perfection. And stop-traffic tresses are just icing on the cake, since each treatment is accompanied by a Japanese head and neck massage—apparently worth the appointment on its own. Color services start at $100, and you could see a junior stylist for $90.
Salon owner Nunzio Saviano’s philosophy spurns the signature look, embracing instead the idea that a ’do should be as unique as the client. Expect a full examination of facial structure, lifestyle and hair quirks before a stylist gets to work. Cuts start at $90 and color at $125, and additional services include makeup, wedding prep and even braiding.
Sally Hershberger is one of the most sought-after hairstylists in the country. Many a high-wattage star—Kate Moss, Julia Roberts and Michelle Pfeiffer, for example—will shell out $800 to see her, and Hershberger even attracts unlikely VIP clients like Tom Cruise and Hillary Clinton. If Hershberger’s fee is too steep, consider shelling out for one of the other stellar stylists, Rebekah Forecast ($225), Ruben Colon ($175) or Ryan Trygstad ($225). It’s a small price to pay for perfection.
As the creative director for L’Anza Healing Haircare, stylist Ammon Carver is used to seeing his work in the pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair. His loftlike space is a salon-meets-studio hybrid, so you can sometimes watch an editorial photo shoot while getting your hair cut (starting at $100), colored ($115 and up) and otherwise coiffed. The salon’s app provides easy appointment booking and prepayment choices, along with the option to send stylists inspiration photos before you arrive.
You may recognize owner Nick Arrojo from TLC’s What Not to Wear, where he spent seven seasons as the official hairdressing host. His eponymous salons—in Soho, Tribeca and now Williamsburg—are known for upholding Nick’s signature razor technique. A cut by Mr. Arrojo himself will set you back $500, but an appointment with any of the specially trained stylists (ranked by experience into six different levels) range from $80 to $200. The salon also does color starting at $80 as well as makeup and add-on hair treatments. If you book at the flagship location in Soho, check out the Italian café at the back of the salon during those long, multiple-steps-required appointments.
The Brooklyn outpost of this high-end Manhattan salon certainly fits its Williamsburg setting: It’s small, stylish and intimate. And with only five chairs, it’s the opposite of cookie-cutter hair factories that turn out the same ’do over and over. Here, stylists translate their Fashion Week cred to cuts (starting at $90) and color ($90 and up) that are on trend without trying too hard. Head to the back for a strong drink at the salon bar, then lounge in the backyard garden when weather is warm.
Looking for a break from the pretension of most city salons, two best friends opened the original Fox and Jane location on the LES in 2011. The vibe is warm, chill and, thanks to the wine and beer clients are greeted with, skews more British pub than swanky salon. Even the name is a nod to famous London watering holes such as the Crown and the Thorn, or the Lamb and Flag. A total fan fave, the salons, which are found throughout the city, have reasonable prices for top-notch services—cuts start at $69 and color at $89. And the alcohol certainly doesn't hurt.
While it's primarily known as a gorgeously outfitted hair salon where owner Kattia Solano—and a legion of equally talented stylists—turn out perfectly-layered, easy-to-wear cuts, this massive, 4,000-square-foot second-floor space also has an in-house space devoted to massages, nail treatments and waxing. Cuts cost $105 for women and $84 for men.
How many stylists can say they were also political candidates? Fred Connors can. The Nova Scotia–based stylist ran for mayor of Halifax, and he just so happens to give one helluva makeover. At his Lower East Side salon, his first in the States, he and his team focus on reasonably priced hair and grooming services. Cuts start at $75; color applications are $100 and up. Connors’s Canadian outpost often hosts charity events, so you can expect opportunities to give back at this location, too.
Owner Amy Schiappa really likes art: Her beauty parlor has an art gallery, which features the work of local artists on a revolving basis, and the shop’s website thanks customers for “letting us put art on your heads.” Cuts start at $75 ($65 for men) and the stylists’ areas of expertise ranges from the unexpected and bizarre to the subdued and traditional. For returning customers, bang trims between regular visits are complimentary, and they’re just $20 for first-time clients.