Changing seasons beg for a new look...preferably bolder (and better!). From
pastel ombré to chestnut brown, fiery copper, icy blond, and gothic black, hair color in New York City has never been so exciting. And with spring finally in the air, we scoured high and low to bring you the top colorists making waves across the city. Whether you're based in Brooklyn, SoHo, or anywhere else, there's bound to be a shop — and a shade — that's for you.
These pros aren't just hair colorists. No, there are a few other synonyms that come to mind: Magicians. Mavericks. Model-favorites. Basically, they're the titans of color who will leave you turning heads all along the sidewalks.
Parvin Klein Red requires a lot of maintenance — and when we say a lot, we mean every three weeks. Luckily, uber colorist Parvin Klein, color director at John Barrett Salon, is no longer our little uptown secret — she's yours, too. "Once you go red, you never go back. People never stop talking about it," Klein explains, while weaving tangerine and copper tones (the hottest hues for fall) à la Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain through a client's hair. "Just add a stroke of crimson lipstick and you're set," she says of partnering a saturated color with a flame-haired mane. Try it. It's pretty damn amazing. John Barrett Salon, 754 Fifth Avenue (at W. 58th Street), #9; 212-872-2700. Single Process: From $145; Single Process With Some Highlights: From $190; Highlights: From $270. Carlina Ortega Red is a tricky color to pull off — and an even trickier one to mix up. In the wrong colorist's hands, the results can wind up looking positively cartoon-like. Uptown mix-master Carlina Ortega is a self-proclaimed "mad scientist" when it comes to creating strawberry blondes, rich auburns, and fire-engine reds for royalty and celebrities. "Pairing someone's specific skin tone with the right hue is part of the challenge. I go about it very deliberately," says the native New Yorker. Ortega can elevate your color to striking russet hues that will seamlessly enhance what your mama gave you. Rita Hazan, 720 Fifth Avenue (at W. 56th Street); 212-586-4343. Single Process: $120 and up; Highlights: $325 and up. Chelsey Pickthorn "Redheads are always amazing, whether they be natural or enhanced," says Chelsey Pickthorn (a favorite of model Abbey Lee Kershaw), citing Julia Roberts' classic '90s red as the ultimate hue. After a long stint at Orlando Pita's celebrity-filled salon, Pickthorn branched out on her own, opening an intimate three-seater in Bushwick. The stylist is pushing the boundaries of the red spectrum with rosy-pink and apricot shades, which "warm the face post-summer so it doesn't go sallow, and bring out [the] peaches and cream hues in the skin." We're crushing on her Jessica Rabbit-meets-acid-bright orange on British songstress Neon Hitch. Pickthorn, 61 Wyckoff Avenue (at Willoughby Avenue), Brooklyn; 718-928-7336. Color: $160 and up. Jenna Perry While Perry splits her time equally behind the salon chair and on editorial shoots, her true forte is taking people red. Whether you want to take the mighty leap for a fiery look or dip your toe in with a few spicy highlights, the new hue won't look even a tiny bit unnatural. Ion Studio NYC, 41 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013; 212.343.9060. Single Process: $110 and up; Highlights: $250 and up.
Carlos Ortiz Fashion's love affair with the dark side shows no sign of abating, ever. Carlos Ortiz's East Village salon won't hit you too hard in the pocketbook, but his color packs the proverbial punch. From the lightest fawn to the deepest ink, he uses a minimum of two to three different shades to allow for dimension and color that reflects the light. "When I was young, I played around with food coloring on my six sisters, which made me think out the box," explains the L.A. transplant. It's this experimental energy that assists Ortiz in deriving new techniques — like coiling shades together in such an intricate way that your local drugstore tube of blue-black dye will never, ever hold the same appeal again. Shampoo Avenue B, 42 Avenue B (between E. Third and E. Fourth streets); 212-777-2031. Single Process: $90 and up; Full Highlights: $170 and up; Bayalage: $170 and up. Reyad Fritas "Autumn leaves may be all the inspiration needed to dip into a richer color palette," explains Reyad Fritas, a French-born Fekkai colorist and the man behind the beautiful locks of Diane von Furstenberg and Heidi Klum. "The beauty of brown hair? Its amazing versatility." Fritas creates earthy bases that can be played with, allowing rich mochas, toffees, and caramels to all happily co-exist. And, sometimes, he just paints a semi-permanent shade with a wide brush all over, leaving clients with a lasting afterglow. Frederic Fekkai Fifth Avenue, 712 Fifth Avenue, Fourth Floor; 212-753-9500 Single Process: From $150; Highlights: From $285. Jaxcee You can't just trust any ol' colorist with your natural hair — which is why the coily community flocks to hair rules, a Midtown salon that specializes in all textures. There, you'll find Jaxcee (who works with Insecure actress Amanda Seales) mixing up the safest, most potent dyes that cling to curls. Her secret? Having clients sit underneath the dryer for five minutes during processing for extra penetration. hair rules, 828 9th avenue, Suite 1, 212-315-2929 Single Process: From $125; Highlights: From $325
Aura Friedman With a 37K-plus following on Instagram, this Sally Hershberger colorist has earned cult status as the go-to gal for models and icons. Friedman gave model Soo Joo Park the icy-platinum hue that transformed her from star-on-the-rise to Chanel campaign-worthy; concocted Sky Ferreira's faded silver-to-pewter-tip hue that sparked a social media frenzy; and regularly colors the likes of Lady Gaga and M.I.A. Basically, she's one to dye for. Sally Hershberger Downtown, 425 W. 14th Street (between Ninth and Tenth avenues), #3F; 212-206-8700. Single Process: From $200; Highlights: From $325. Brooke Burbee When our very own former beauty director Megan McIntyre took the platinum plunge this past summer, she received so many compliments that her colorist Brooke Burbee's ears had to be burning. An Oregon native, Burbee has become known for creating translucent tresses that seem to emit a blonde halo at the crown, a style sensibility she attributes to having grown up in the West: "The perfect icy blonde can come to me from seeing a frozen waterfall — nature is my reference palette," she says. That sort of poetic inspiration doesn't always translate literally, but in Burbee's case it does, earning her praise from industry insiders and high-profile clients like Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss along the way. Blackstones, 19 E. Seventh Street (between Cooper Square and Second Avenue); 212-353-2680 and 2 Avenue of the Americas; 646.666.0574. Partial Highlights: From $200; Full Head Highlights: From $230; Double Process: From $270.
Sarah Fenoglio Seagull is the West Village's go-to salon for hair color fanatics. Step forward Sarah Fenoglio, who has been at the forefront of the dip-dyeing trend since her early coloring days in Houston. Specializing in ice cream shades and dimensional pastels (think whiter on the ends and more saturated at the roots), her clients rave about her take on the trend. A far cry from the Kool-Aid rinses of your youth, Fenoglio's watercolor pastels somehow look impossibly natural and totally chic. Seagull, 240 W. 10th Street (between Bleecker and Hudson streets); 212-989-1807. Single Process: From $100, Double Process: From $150; Partial Highlights: From $175. Hayden Harker Hayden Harker's pastels are perfect for commitment-phobes. "Girls love pastels because they can take the color plunge without worrying," he explains. "These pale tones last just a few weeks before fading back." Harker is well-versed in painting pastel shades onto blondes, so he can make your ponytail prismatic and all your childhood fantasies come to life in a blaze of sugared pinks, muted mints, pearly silvers, peaches, and lavenders. Just think: Fairytale hues that are wearable! Mudhoney, 148 Sullivan Street (between W. Houston and Prince streets); 212-533-1160. Single Process: From $125; Double Process: From $195; Highlights: From $185. Lorean Cairns The Upper West Side is not immune to the color trend. Fox & Jane's co-founder and creative director's fifth outpost of the salon provides easier access to uptown clients and those making the trip from points north of the city. From lukewarm pastels to My Little Pony brights woven through blocks of hair, Cairns' approach enhances buns and conservative cuts, as well as catering to those who want temporary, hidden color. "Lavenders, pinks, and slate greys dominate the current requests, but we’re also playing with sea foams and all the colors of the rainbow for people who want more drama," she says. We're calling it a tonal revolution. Fox & Jane, 104 W. 83rd Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues); 646-478-7948. Single Process: From $89; Double Process: From $223; Highlights: From $193. Julia Elena If you're one of Hairstory's 31,200+ followers, then you're familiar with Elena's work by default. Her rainbow hues are often featured on the famed salon's page, and she treats her own followers to a series of custom color makeovers. Maybe if you follow her, you'll get one of Hairstory's coveted cards — they grant you access to the invite-only salon that holds just three chairs. 2924 Union St, Flushing, New York 11354; 718-353-5377.
Lena Ott Lena Ott built her cult following by doing balayage and rainbow colors, but it's her way with bleach that literally sent her career skyrocketing. In 2010, Alexander Wang asked her to bleach his eyebrows, which was followed by a mammoth hair test for his fall collection. Fast-forward a couple of years, and she's the go-to girl for Doutzen Kroes, Scarlett Johansson, and Dree Hemingway — an impossibly cool triumvirate that we're dubbing the Super Flaxens. Suite Caroline, 65 Greene Street (between Spring and Broome streets), 2nd Floor; 212-431-4400. Single Process: $120; Highlights: From $200; Single Process and Highlights: From $350. Victoria Hunter "I love doing blonde hair because it has magical powers that can change lives. It can be glamorous, intimidating, iconic, or even a little cheap and edgy," says Victoria Hunter, mega-colorist, model-magnet, and iconic photographer-collaborator (think David LaChapelle, Mert and Marcus, Ellen von Unwerth, and Inez and Vinoodh). Not only is Hunter the go-to colorist for famed hair stylist Guido Palau, she's also the lady behind the wigs at a few of Marc Jacobs' past runway shows. Her signature hair-painting method, developed with the salon’s co-owner Larry Raspanti, creates a modern and natural effect that's addictive, but doesn't require high-maintenance upkeep. Whittemore House, 45 Grove Street (between Bleecker and Bedford streets); 212-242-8880. Single Process With Victoria: From $150; Full Highlights With Victoria: From $400. Bruna Luiza For an all-over, soft blonde that's multidimensional and not brassy, the resident color whiz at Soon Beauty Lab’s Carroll Gardens location always delivers. Luiza is also raving about Olaplex, which can achieve a believable, pale baby-blonde on Hispanic and Asian hair. "I think everyone should be blonde at least once in their life," she says. And, who are we to argue? Soon Beauty Lab, 290 Smith Street (between Sackett and Union streets), Brooklyn; 718-624-2424. Single Process: From $90; Double Process: $110; Partial Highlights: $155; Full Highlights: $225. Ryan Pearl When you've got Jen Atkin's seal of approval, you're doing something right. This pro, who's based at Cutler Salon, creates insanely natural-looking hues...but breaks up the monotony with the occasional shock of pink or purple. Cutler Salon, 465 West Broadway, Manhattan; 212.308.3838. Single Process: From $100; Full Highlights: From $210
Gyna Cayambe If you want to cut down on the amount of times you color your hair each year, then balayage is your best bet. The ombre hair trend is maintaining its cool (see: Alba, Kerr, and Barrymore), and Cayambe learned from the best: Abby Haliti, creator of Olivia Palermo's oft-copied golden color. For a subtle transformation that's big on impact, she deepens your color to make the lighter strands pop. And, you won't get a solid root line when the hair grows out. "My biggest tip is to commit to one colorist, because everyone has a different formula and sees color differently," she says. "You have to stay committed to see long-term results." Julien Farel Salon, 540 Park Avenue (between E. 61st and E. 62nd streets); 212-888-8988. Single Process: $185; Double Process: $340; Highlights: $315. Elena Ruiz Just a few of Ruiz’s well-placed highlights can give the appearance of volume, texture, and movement. The reason? While coloring hair fattens up every strand for an overall volume boost, her artful placements of beautiful hues (think rose gold, bronze, or buttery blonde) creates a delicious effect on your skin tone. Plus, the maintenance level is low. Su’juk, 216 Greene Avenue (between Grand Avenue and Cambridge Place), Brooklyn; 347-223-4707. Single Process: From $95; Highlights: From $250; Balayage: From $250. Mary Ducey "Little kids' hair has always been an inspiration for me," says Mary Ducey, who's done Julie Delpy's gossamer-fine highlights and pioneered Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat's dip-dyed locks years before they became the thing. For brunettes seeking an instant face-brightener, she weaves golden and amber hues from the mid-shaft to the end of the hair, breaking up dark strands with chocolate highlights and softening wheat-blondes with beige and Champagne tones. "Hair should never be monochromatic and should always look alive," she says. Paul Fox Salon, 7 Cleveland Place (between Centre and Kenmare streets); 646-666-0559. Partial Highlights: $120; Half-Head Highlights: $157; Full-Head Highlights: $190. Jason Dolan Dolan has become a master of balayage over the course of his career. He began his path into balayage when he decided over 20 years ago that this critically acclaimed technique was preferred due to the control it gives the colorist and client. When using foil, he felt as though there was a sense of freedom to express his creativity and allow movement in the hair. Nunzio Saviano Salon, 130 E. 65th Street; 212-988-0880. Single process: From $125; Highlights: From $275. Johnny Ramirez Though not technically based in New York, Ramirez often drops into the city — and you'll need to get on the list because he books up fast. The colorist specializes in "kid color," meaning he can give you those natural-looking, golden highlights you had when you were a child, only with bleach instead of the sun. Expect to sit in his chair for hours and pay a good chunk of change — but your highlights will last for years. (Just ask our beauty director Cat Quinn, who swears by his technique.) Ramirez Tran Salon, location varies Single Process: $200; Highlight: $500 or more Eva Scrivo You know you're a balayage boss if you can teach a class on the technique. Eva, owner of two eponymous salons, does just that — and take on look at her work. Eva Scrivo Salons, 139 5th Ave and 903 Madison Ave; 212-677-7315 Highlights (Balayage and Foils): $180 to 350; With Eva: $400 to 500. Inva Scroll through this colorist's hashtag, # colorbyinva, to get a peek at some of the best color corrections in the game. Plus, you can guarantee that the color you leave the salon with will be unique and individual to you. Arrojo Salon, 180 Varick St; 212-242-7786 Full Head Highlights: $192; Hair Painting: $212. Stephanie Brown Brown's specialty — the most natural-looking highlights — mean you'll only need to go in for a touch-up twice a year. Plus, get a spot in her chair and she'll reveal her best natural beauty tips and tricks. 130 East 65th Street ( btwn Park & Lexington ); 212-988-0880 Nunzio Saviano Full-Head Highlights: $275
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