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The best hair salons in the USA

Let the country's top talents transform your tresses at the best hair salons in the U.S.

Emilee Lindner
Written by
Emilee Lindner

Some people try to visit every major league stadium. Others try to camp at every national park. But what if you add the following to your bucket list? Hitting all the best hair salons in the United States.

Hear me out: Not every trek across America has to be a chaotic scramble to fit in as much sightseeing as possible. Take off your fanny pack, untangle your messy tourist bun and relax! Hair tourism is all about traveling for the perfect cut and color, nestling into a luxurious salon, spilling your wild thoughts and letting the best in the biz transform your mane.

Below, we’ve compiled the best hair salons in the USA. Of course, it wouldn’t be a crème de la crème list without your Sally Hershbergers or Andy LeComptes, the authorities on red carpet and editorial. We’ve also included the everyday glam, the simple lavishness and the self-care wizards. Just as these establishments have carved out spots in their cities, let them make space in your grooming routine.

Best hair salons in America

1. Sally Hershberger | New York, New York

When you want: to finally try out the shaggy style

Where: Nomad and Uptown NYC, as well as Los Angeles

That signature shag haircut Meg Ryan rocked in When Harry Met Sally? Yeah, that’s the doing of Sally Hershberger, hair stylist to the stars for decades. Hershberger’s visionary approach to hair has been trusted by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Jane Fonda, Sandra Bullock, and Cindy Crawford, and she’s such a legend in the hair world that she’s got her own line of uber-successful products and styling tools. Hershberger's salon in NYC is a mecca for cutting-edge styles and precision cuts, and even if you’re not an Obama—yes, she’s styled their haircuts too!—you can get a Hershberger-level cut from one of her highly talented stylists. Now it’s time to decide: platinum blonde or the Sally shag?

2. Ouidad Flagship Salon | New York, New York

When you want: to pamper your curls
Where: locations in New York City, Santa Monica, Fort Lauderdale

Welcome to the church of curl, where your curly hair will get the treatment it deserves. Aligned with its namesake haircare brand, the Ouidad salon houses the most skilled curl technicians who live and breathe curls: from loose curls and waves to spirals, tight curls, and coils. Ouidad is an educational experience for all. Not only do stylists get Ouidad training to master the proprietary Carving & Slicing Techniques as well as the Rake & Shake Methodology, but clients go home equipped with the knowledge of how to respect their ringlets. So… maybe you can put away your overused straightener for good?


3. Peter Alexander | Miami Beach, Florida

When you want: pretty-girl blowouts and beach-ready blonde

Where: 1614 Alton Road, Suite 201, Miami Beach

Need a confidence boost? Well, with a salon founder who believes hair is an artform, you’ll be feeling like an everyday muse after leaving Peter Alexander. That’s right: Founder Peter Moodley treats every head like a canvas as he transforms dull ‘dos into beautiful masterpieces. In easy-breezy Miami fashion, clients leave with lightened waves, beachy blondes and sun-kissed blowouts. Not sold yet? Moodley brings his dog— Alexander, the second half of the salon’s name—with him to work every day. What more could you want?

4. The Knotty Spot | Columbia, South Carolina

When you want: locs of all kinds

Where: 2523 Read Street, Columbia, South Carolina

At The Knotty Spot, your hair will be in the expert hands of Maquita James, master loctician. Whether you’re new to locs, need some TLC, want to freshen up with color, or just require some maintenance, this S.C. salon is the spot. James can hook you up with goddess locs, loc extensions, toupees, wigs… basically if it involves locs, she’s got it, all with the quirky motto of “taking hair from knotty to nice.” Clientele spans gender and age, proving the salon’s versatility, and oh, and just to prove her chops, James has even installed locs on a nutcracker before. For real. The vibes are comfy, the talent is undeniable, and you’ll leave looking brand new.


5. Andy LeCompte Salon | Los Angeles, California

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When you want: to look like a celebrity

Where: 616 N. Almont Drive, West Hollywood

You’ll find the names of Andy LeCompte’s clients in nearly every magazine, but when you enter his salon, you’re the celebrity. The full-service salon offers personalized treatments that don’t necessarily fall underneath a typical hair menu. Blocks away from Beverly Hills, luxury exudes from each stylist’s station. Spend some time, get a new color or a very exclusive haircut, or—what the hell, you’re already there—might as well go for the Brazilian blowout. This is L.A., after all—get seen! Or, if you have no idea where to start, just ask LeCompte about his favorite look of his on Madonna. Live out your Madge fantasy, girl.

6. Sine Qua Non Salon | Chicago, Illinois

When you want: to experiment

Where: Various locations

Ah, Sine Qua Non Salon—the name might be fancy, but the vibe is all Chicago cool. Sine Qua Non Salons began in 1993 when Chicago hair stylist Laura Boton created the go-to hair destination for Chicago’s creative community. A musician herself, Boton quickly made Sine Qua Non a place for artists to tackle their tresses in non-conventional styles. From edgy pixie cuts to rainbow-hued masterpieces, the stylists here aren't afraid to push the boundaries of hair artistry. If you crave a dose of quirky charm with your hair makeover, one of Sine Qua Non’s three locations is the place to be. Check out their lookbook if you need inspiration and see the vision come to life.


7. Van Michael Salon | Atlanta, Georgia

When you want: Edgy cuts, volumizing, everyday editorial

Where: Various locations

With locations scattered across the city, Van Micheal has grown to be an Atlanta delicacy. In 1984, brothers Michael and Van Council started Van Michael as a way to elevate hairdressing as a valued professional career. Step inside a location now, and their dedicated team—some who’ve been with the salon for 30 years—can execute anything your heart desires—but sleek styles and rainbow-inspired locks are their specialty. You'll always leave feeling like a trendsetter after leaving. Their commitment to their community also makes them an Atlanta staple—raising over $450,000 for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in the past decade.

8. James Joseph Salon | Boston, Massachusetts

When you want: Balayage, trending products, light-touch or heavy-touch color, keratin

Where: Various locations

If you can snag an open chair at the James Joseph Salon in Boston, you’ll be in for a treat. With a required two-year apprenticeship and continual training for stylists, the hair whisperers at this salon can interpret your hair dreams into reality with precision. It’s no surprise they’ve gotten local and national attention for their tresses. James Joseph caters to every hair whim, from classic cuts to Instagram-worthy colors. And if you want the James Joseph experience without shelling out too much, you can always sign up to model for one of their classes. There’s an idea!


9. Element Salon | Nashville, Tennessee

When you want: A transformation haircut, extensions or just really good color

Where: Various locations

In Nashville, you’re bound to embrace effortless color, rockstar hair and country curls. If any of those options make your heart sing like the Grand Ol’ Opry, book a slot at Element. Color is their forte, and their full repertoire includes the art of balayage, precision cuts, versatile color, and cutting-edge soothing and smoothing treatments. Consistently named as one of the top salons in the United States, Element isn’t just known for their craft, but for their kind staff and dedication to being an eco-friendly salon. Yes, they conserve water and recycle 100% of their hair color, chemical products, foils, and hair!

10. Nine Zero One | Los Angeles, California

When you want: “It” girl waves, sleek bobs and everything in between

Where: 901 Westbourne Drive, West Hollywood

What makes a cool girl a cool girl? Well, it’s no secret that a fresh chop can stoke confidence and give an air of coolness that seems to come easy to a lot of folks. Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri are the hair mavens behind many of those mood-altering chops. Working in glam rooms around the world, Lee and Capri and their team of stylists are responsible for recent celeb transformations, such as Selena Gomez’s brilliant bob and Camila Cabello’s great blonding of 2024. And thankfully, their craft is available to you, too! At their salon at 901 Westbourne Drive—hence the name, Nine Zero One—you can find yourself morphing into your cool girl era with their guidance. “We believe people go to salons to look a certain way,” they say. “People go to Nine Zero One to feel a certain way.”

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