The Experts' Guide To The Best New York City Hair Salons

Finding a salon and a hairstylist you trust is no easy task. Similarly to dating, you have to play the field a bit, get together a couple of times, weigh your options, and ultimately decide whether they're worth settling down for. It's exhausting, but once you meet the one, there's no turning back. In fact, one 2013 survey found that British women's relationships with their hairstylists last, on average, longer than their marriages. Oof.

For those Big Apple go-getters still single in the salon department (or for those casual daters finally looking to make things official), we're here to play matchmaker. We asked our beauty editors (who have some of the best hair in the biz) for their favorite salons across New York City, as well as their go-to stylists and colorists.

Check out the list ahead (some salons were so nice, they were even called out twice). Hopefully, you're prepared for a long-term, loving, and committed relationship, because that's what you're going to get with these re cs. Here's to love, health, happiness, and really, really great hair.

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Whiteroom Brooklyn
Cost: Haircuts, $76 and up; single process, $95 and up; blowouts, $65 and up
Recommended stylists: Darby Backes

"I walked into Whiteroom with one or two dream reference photos and no real direction for my hair. I just knew I needed a cut and wanted a massive length change. My stylist Darby Backes kept me informed the whole way through by making sure I was comfortable with his direction and letting me know what would work best with my face shape. The whole vibe of the salon is so friendly — everyone is extremely down to earth. It's a really fun environment in comparison to some of the more arrogant vibes from some salons you run into in Manhattan — not to mention a minimalist's dream. One of the greatest surprises about the salon, apart from the amazing crew, is its retail section in the front. Elizabeth, one of the head honchos and main colorists, curates a selection of hair and beauty products that are hard to find anywhere other than online. After my cut, I spent a solid 15 minutes perusing everything at the front of the store." — Ray Lowe, fashion market editor at Refinery29
Photo: Via @blackstonesnyc.
Cost: Haircuts, $80 and up; Color, $85 and up
Recommended stylist: Joey Silvestera

"I love the East Village location's 20th-century apothecary design — which feels totally timeless and above fleeting trends — and the low-key, non-pretentious vibe.

"But I especially love the salon’s founder Joey, a former taxidermist and an excellent listener who made me feel totally at ease and not at all like I needed to take an Ativan, a thing I usually do before the scissors come out. He’s so very, very good at what he does — which is probably why Vogue once called him ‘an original arbiter of insouciant downtown cool.'” — Rachel Krause, beauty news writer at Refinery29
Photo: Courtesy of White Rose Collective.
White Rose Collective
Cost: Haircuts, $125 and up; blowouts, $85 and up
Recommended stylist: Teddi Cranford

"One look inside the intimate, by-appointment-only space (there are only three chairs) created by celebrity hairstylist Teddi Cranford, and you'll assume cuts are going for the same price as a designer bag. Not the case; they start at $100." — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor at Refinery29
Photo: Courtesy of Nunzio Saviano.
Nunzio Saviano
Cost: Haircuts, $125 and up; treatments, $35 and up; braiding, $50 and up
Recommended stylist: Nunzio Saviano
Recommended colorist: Stephanie Brown

"I used to have serious salon-phobia, which is not good in my line of work! After way too many bad haircuts, I finally found Nunzio Saviano two years ago — and I've never looked back. He gives me the definition of a good haircut. He never cuts too much or too little, and it always grows out perfectly.

"I see Stephanie Brown for my color. Her specialty is doing really natural-looking highlights, so I only have to go in twice a year. I pick her brain via email way more than that, though. She has the best natural-beauty tips — she's always telling me about hair masks I can make at home or the beauty benefits of honey. She's truly an artist.

"They are truly a dream team. You know you've found a good pairing when people ask you months after you've had your hair done where you go." — Sue Williamson, beauty editor at Milk Makeup
Photo: Courtesy of Hair Rules.
Hair Rules
Cost: Haircuts, $75 and up; color, $95 and up
Recommended stylist: Anthony Dickey

"When I first moved to New York City (and after recently going natural), my main concern was one that plagues a number of Black women relocating to a new area: Where the heck am I going to get my hair done?! Any woman's relationship with their hairstylist is sacred, but for Black women, it's especially weighted — mostly because not many stylists know how to properly care for Black hair, especially naturally curly texture. Trust and comfort are key, and these are two components I'd tack on to describe Hair Rules (one doesn't go just anywhere for their big chop).

"Maybe it's because the ladies working at the salon have enviable and beautiful natural hair themselves, maybe it's the stylists' ability to walk me through each and every step (from the wash bowl to the chair), maybe it's the fact that I'm never left sitting around for hours at a time (a common happening in Black salons), but Hair Rules immediately felt like home the minute I stepped into it. It also helps that the founder Anthony Dickey is a walking hair encyclopedia and a wizard with scissors." — Taylor Bryant, former beauty news editor at Refinery29
Photo: Courtesy of Khamit Kinks.
Khamit Kinks
Cost: Treatments, $45 and up; natural-hair sets, $85 and up; braided styles, $100 and up; color, $35 and up; weaves, $75 and up; loc styles, $25 and up
Recommended stylist: Anta Fall

"My first visit to Khamit Kinks was back in 2012. While I've since relocated outside of the city, there is no other salon in the five boroughs that I trust to care for my curls. It's the premier salon in Brooklyn (dare I say, New York City) for natural hair care and styling. I am greeted with hospitality and professionalism from the moment I walk through the door. And, unlike many Black hair salons, I've never experienced a long wait because efficiency is non-negotiable.

"I would recommend Anta Fall for kinky-haired ladies who are fans of two-strand twists and textured hair extensions. She has a quiet disposition, but she means business. Her eye for detail is impeccable — no sloppy work!" — Dana Oliver, beauty director at Yahoo! Beauty
Photo: Courtesy of Spoke & Weal.
Spoke & Weal
Cost: Haircuts, $65 and up; color, $40 and up; extensions, $250 and up; blowouts, $45 and up
Recommended stylists: Jon Reyman, Clay Nielsen, Jay Braff

"Soho salon Spoke & Weal (which also has locations in L.A. and San Francisco) has some of the best hair talent in the city. Founder Jon Reyman is an absolute master with the shears — which makes sense, since he is a mainstay at Fashion Week and former artistic director of Aveda's stylist academy. I started seeing Jon years ago and haven't looked back since. His technique involves giving hair a straight blowout at the start of the cut, so he can see the exact shape, length, and grow-out. This is followed by a relaxing scalp massage with an Aveda oil, followed by a wash. What I love best is the collaboration aspect — Jon and all of the stylists take the time to sit down with you, hear what you are looking for, make suggestions, and then create the most kick-ass cut you've ever had. And some pretty interesting conversations.

"As an added bonus, he'll also teach you how to style your hair as he's working — I just got some great new pointers on creating waves with a flat iron. This way, you don't experience the whole 'never being able to style your hair right post-salon visit' thing.

"If you can't see Jon (he's based on the West Coast, but makes trips to NYC every six weeks or so), I can also personally vouch for the scissor skills of Clay Nielsen (one of R29's go-to stylists for our hair photo shoots) and Jay Braff. If you're the type who likes to experiment and try new things with your hair, I can't recommend it more wholeheartedly." — Megan McIntyre, former beauty features director at Refinery29
Photo: Courtesy of Eva Scrivo.
Eva Scrivo
Cost: Haircuts, $95 and up; color, $100 and up; blowouts, $65 and up
Recommended stylists: Meri Kate O'Connor, Annie Rush

"For a beauty editor with natural(ish) hair, I'm pretty experimental with trying new salons. Once I weaned myself off of the Dominican salon experience, I bounced around trying to find a suitable replacement for getting my hair smooth. You'd be surprised as to how difficult it is to find someone who can do a good blowout on curly hair.

"I went to Eva Scrivo about a year ago for their version of a keratin treatment, called Kerasilk. It gives me the same results, minus that three-day no-washing rule. Meri Kate O'Connor knew exactly how to work my hair, and I've been back to see her twice since then. There's also a stylist named Annie who does really great cuts. She trimmed up my angled lob on my last visit, and so many people have asked where I got my hair done. It also doesn't hurt that the salon is gorgeous, so I just enjoy the experience of going there." — Nykia Spradley, former beauty editor at Essence
Photo: Courtesy of Serge Normant.
Serge Normant at John Frieda
Cost: Haircuts, $155 and up; color, $130 and up; blowout, $65 and up; keratin treatments, $300 and up
Recommended stylists: Serge Normant, Matt Fugate
Recommended colorist: Gina Gilbert

"This sounds so corny, but I feel a Cheers vibe whenever I’m here. Sure, it helps that I’ve known Serge Normant forever, but I think most clients there feel that way. The professional, yet unintimidating tone comes from the top, of course. Normant is the epitome of professionalism, but he’s the most normal and down-to-earth person, in a world that isn’t always so. Fortunately, I get both my haircut and my color there (by the super-laid-back and kind Gina Gilbert), so I have lots of excuses to loiter." — Jane Larkworthy, former beauty director at W

"I’ve been loyal to Matt Fugate since his time at Sally Hershberger Downtown, but now I go to him at Serge Normant at John Frieda. The salon is nestled in a brownstone, complete with the famous Donald Robertson mural — it’s just so damn fancy. I originally went to Matt for a trim (my hair has always been past my chest), but after talking in his chair, he convinced me to try out a razor-cut lob, and I loved it." — Lauren Caruso, site director at StyleCaster
Photo: Courtesy of Ion.
Ion Studio
Cost: Haircuts, $85 and up; blowouts, $65 and up; color, $75 and up; treatments, $395 and up
Recommended stylist: Alessandro Comai
Recommended colorists: Kimberley Pierce & Jenna Perry

"Davines is far and away my favorite hair-care brand (it's an ugly situation when I run out of Oi shampoo and conditioner), and this salon is stocked with it. Plus, the stylists are really hip and on top of trends, so you won't need to do any explaining to end up with something cool.

"Alessandro, a NYC transplant from Milan, is both engaging and friendly and made my awkward bangs that I kind of hated cool again. Plus, his head massage was the best one of my life." — Tunell

"I first discovered this spot through my love for Davines products, but soon came to find out that this salon offers up not only my favorite color-safe shampoo, but also the best colorist I've ever met in the city (Jenna Perry for anyone looking for a re-up on some highlights). More often than not, I'm terrified of getting my hair cut or colored, but this salon feels like home every time I head there. Even better, the aesthetic is Instagram friendly and oh so chill, so I don't mind spending hours there with foils on my scalp." — Samantha Sasso, beauty editorial assistant at Refinery29
Photo: Courtesy of Bumble and Bumble.
Bumble & Bumble Downtown
Cost: Haircuts, $99 and up; color, $100 and up; blowouts, $45 and up
Recommended stylists: Tashina Tantalos, Alberto Vasquez, Francesca DellAquila

"There are so many reasons why I am obsessed with Bumble. The products smell so good and are amazing for all hair types. But particularly for waves like mine, since they're known for their salt spray and texturizers. I love that they have TVs mounted above the wash sinks, so you're entertained while getting your hair washed. And I just love how big, open, and unassuming the space is — it doesn't feel too upscale or pretentious. It's all just a bunch of cool people cutting hair.

"I've been going there for the last two years. I have seen so many different stylists (I'm not loyal), and they've all been great. My haircuts always grow out perfectly, and I love that bang trims are free between cuts. And, let's be honest, the #views of the Meatpacking District and downtown Manhattan are total Instagram bait." — Jenna Rosenstein, senior digital beauty editor at Harper's Bazaar

"Growing up, my mom would always brag about how she spent the '80s getting her hair done for free by Bumble and Bumble because she volunteered to be one of the guinea pigs at their university. She even did it for her wedding. Both savvy (because clearly she was in good hands) and perhaps insane (because when is leaving things to chance on your wedding day ever a good idea?) on her part, B&B has always held a special place in my heart for this reason.

"While I've visited the uptown salon before, it's the downtown location — which is also a university — that I visit more often. Tucked away on a cobblestone street in the Meatpacking District, it is ridiculously spacious with never-trying-too-hard industrial decor. It also has its own little café!

"What I love about the downtown location is how unpretentious it is despite being inherently luxe. It's bursting with creativity, and a safe space for getting experimental, whether you’re chopping off a few precious inches or dyeing your hair purple. The stylist I usually visit, Francesca, is a wizard. She once gave me the most natural-looking faux bangs you've ever seen using a $22 clip-on piece that she razor-cut into a work of art. Get them." — Lauren Valenti, beauty writer at Vogue
Photo: Courtesy of Sally Hershberger.
Sally Hershberger
Cost: Haircuts, $150 and up; color, $125 and up; blowouts, $60 and up
Recommended stylist: Jae Manuel Cardenas
Recommended colorists: Lucille Javier, Aura Friedman

"I've been going to Sally Hershberger Downtown for years. The salon just has an amazing energy, and I love visiting there — I always run into someone I know. Jae Manuel Cardenas gives an amazing haircut, and is the guy to go to for that tousled, L.A. wave right here in NYC. For color, Lucille Javier is my girl. She's got such an eye when it comes to finding the right hue for your skin tone. She gave me my favorite brunette hair of all time, and I can't recommend her enough." — Maria Del Russo, features writer at Refinery29

"Aura is a hair-color fairy godmother — there is no shade beyond her range. If you can show her a picture of it, she can make it happen. She's almost always the mastermind behind every major hair-color trend of the moment, including this season's crop of candy-pink hair (she does Fernanda Ly's hair!).

"She manages to give me not what I requested — but something even better. It's always glossy, pretty, and doesn't look too 'try-hardy,' even with the crazier rainbow shades. She is also tuned in with the best of hair-color technology — she was the first one to tell me about Olaplex, and now I'm testing out a new Japanese shampoo she whispered into my ear a few months ago.

"Best of all, the hair color and highlights she gives me always grow out like a dream. There's no harsh line of demarcation, and people compliment me on my color even months later. Her former assistant, Lucille, who now is also on the floor at Sally, is also so talented and such a great listener. I introduced her to my boss, Stella Bugbee, and now she has a longstanding appointment with her." — Kathleen Hou, beauty director at The Cut
Contesta Rock Hair Salon
Cost: Women's Cut/Style, $100; Partial Highlights, $150 and up; Single Process, $75 and up; Double Process, $120 and up

"In all honesty, I felt like CRH was too cool for me before walking in for my cut and color appointment. Nestled in the West Village, the salon's clientele list boasts the kind of people I stalk on Instagram — men and women who shave off their hair on a whim, then dye the buzz left behind aqua blue just because. And while the black brick walls and incense burning screams rock & roll, the true vibe is 10 times more welcoming than most salons in the city.

"I spent four hours there that day — taking my dark brown hair to a buttery blonde that nearly brought me to tears. For once, my hair felt right — I looked exactly how I always wanted to. I can't wait for my next appointment." — Sasso
IGK Salon
Cost: Haircuts, $150 and up; color, $200 and up; blowouts, $50 and up

Finding reasonable prices in New York City for quality service, Instagram-worthy cuts, and sun-kissed highlights isn't easy, but somehow, you get all of that at IGK. No matter which stylist you book your appointment with, rest assured you'll be in the chair of someone who can deliver whatever it is you want, whether that's super-trendy or classic and clean. In fact, it's the spot where our staffers got their epic fall transformational cuts.
Nexxus Salon
Cost: Haircuts, $150 and up; color, $100 and up; blowouts, $60 and up

"With exposed brick and strategically-placed lighting, this new Tribeca salon holds the perfect background for a post-cut Instagram. Aside from the airy and modern space (which is even more relaxing if you're able to snag a quiet, Saturday morning appointment) the stylists are amazing, dishing out their pro hair tips while I'm in the chair, so I always leave feeling more confident about handling my hair on my own." —Megan Decker, beauty editorial intern at Refinery29
Photo: Via @haleorganicsalon.
Hale Organic Salon
Cost: Haircuts, $50 and up; color, $40 and up; blowouts, $60 and up

"I'm sometimes hesitant to try out new salons; not everyone can work with natural hair. Thankfully, Hale's website contains a section where salon goers can 'meet' their potential stylists — and the bios contain the pros' specialties. Not only was I matched with someone who babied my curls, but the space is one of the coolest I've been to. There are infrared lights instead of dryers, and a separate room that the stylists use to spray and color (in an effort to keep harsh chemicals at bay)." — Khalea Underwood, beauty writer at Refinery29
Marie-Lou & D Salon
Cost: Women's Cut, $135 and up; Single Process, $100 and up; Gloss, $50; Blowout, $55 and up
Recommended colorists: Patrick Prinzo

"Walking into Marie-Lou & D feels like walking into your Italian aunt's house on a Sunday evening — minus all the pasta. It's warm and inviting, the opposite of most stark and cold salons found around the city. If you're a total newcomer to New York, this is the spot you want to check out first.

"If you're looking for a drastic color transformation, I suggest stopping by and chatting with a colorist here. Why? They'll be brutally honest and you'll actually have a conversation about what will look best on your head. Of course, if you're determined on going blond, they won't leave you hanging. Regardless of what you decide together, you'll walk out more than satisfied with the results." — Sasso
Pembley Salon
Cost: Haircuts, $95 and up; single process, $110 and up; blowouts, $70 and up
Recommended stylists: Julie Dickson

"I was obsessed with this salon the moment I stepped in the door. Tucked in a cozy Nolita side street, the ambiance inside Pembley is adorable, quaint, and relaxed. Not only was it an easy place to take the load off after a long day at work (the white wine that was offered to me during my evening appointment also helped), Pembley's owner Julie Dickson is a magician with the scissors. She transformed a botched cut I had from a few weeks before, and brought life and volume back into my layers." — Megan Decker, beauty production assistant at Refinery29.
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