Are you sick of trolling through endless Yelp reviews attempting to find a trusted place to get beautified? Well, you can step away from the laptop (we know, we know, some of those snippets are mildly entertaining). We realize that searching for the city's top salons is daunting, so we've done the research for you and created the ultimate San Francisco Beauty Black Book for all of your get-gorg needs.
Our all-encompassing list includes every beauty-related service you need to know, from nail-art meccas to facial spots catering to problematic skin. It’s all here in this little virtual Rolodex. We suggest you bookmark this baby now.
Photos (clockwise from left): Courtesy of Drybar, Christine Ting
Best Hair Cut For Short Strands: Oxenrose
One peek into Oxenrose’s striking, edgy Hayes Valley interior and you’ll instantly get the inkling these coif pros don’t mess around. And gals with shorter strands are guaranteed to find hair refuge in this standout salon. It specializes in out-of-the-box styles and quirky cuts and truly has everything you could ever want if you’re thinking of snipping your locks. Trust us, this is place you need to know for any and all short-haired needs.
Oxenrose, 448 Grove Street (between Gough and Octavia streets); 415-252-9723.
Best Hair Cut For Long-Haired Ladies: Wendy Newsome At Dreamers And Make Believers
There is no shortage of long-tress experts at Dreamers and Make Believers, but co-owner Wendy Newsome is shear perfection. Known for her calm demeanor and unparalleled scissor skills, Wendy set up shop in the Mission with Megan Morales and is known for keeping locks long and layered, resulting in major sex appeal. Haircuts are a cool $80 and if she’s booked up, you’re in good hands with any of the dreamers on staff.
Dreamers And Make Believers, 487 14th Street (between Guerrero and Valencia streets); 415-235-7037.
Best Salon For Girls With Curls: Deb Czerwinski At Devil’s Hairhouse
While we personally would kill for a head full of curly locks, we know it’s not a cinch to nab a stylist that can fully cater to stellar spirals. Well, Deb at Devil’s Hairhouse totally gets it and won’t let you walk out with that “triangle head” or “step ladder” look. Nope, she knows how to give your mane just enough body and jazz, while still preserving the organic wave and bounce. Plus, she can advise you on which products your ringlets actually need.
Devil’s Hairhouse, 3386 18th Street (between Capp and Mission streets); 415-367-5666.
Best Salon For African-American Hair: Hair Play
Hair Play gives real good hair — no doubt about that. This Castro salon simply understands the art of crafting sick styles, no matter the type of locks. It's all about playing up natural textures to their prime effect. From relaxer and texturizer services to various coloring procedures, the stylists will spare you the panic of early A.M. bedhead and transform you into a bonafide babe. We hear that Hair Play master stylist and owner Fritz will be happy to step up to all important mane events in your life.
Hair Play, 211 Church Street (between Market and 15th streets); 415-863-0703.
Best Blowout: The Drybar
Red-carpet-worthy tresses don’t just appear out of thin air. Nope, instead you need to call in the pros in the form of an expertly styled blowout. When the special time strikes, we turn to our trusted pals at Drybar to assist with the star styling. This posh Fillmore Street venue offers an array of different ‘dos (from Hollywood waves to back-from-the-beach curls) in an inviting space. In fact, we shamelessly admit we guzzled down a cold glass of champagne whilst watching 27 Dresses and getting our hair did. How’s that for multi-tasking?
The Drybar, 1908 Fillmore Street (between Pine and Bush streets); 415-347-8908.
Best Hair Color: Michelle Sandoval At Di Pietro Todd
Known as one of the very best when it comes to hued hair, Michelle specializes in corrective color and is a twenty-year veteran at one of our fair city’s most respected salons. With a knack for creating envy-inducing rich, shiny color, her work makes heads turn and was even given major props by beauty bible Allure magazine when they crowned her best color in S.F. While an appointment can tend to be a little pricey (they start at $195), she is worth every cent.
Di Pietro Todd, 2239 Fillmore Street (between Clay and Sacramento streets); 415-674-4366.
Best Highlights: Sylvie Simon at Population Salon
One of the best-kept secrets in scoring the ultimate sun-kissed highlights is a technique called Balyage, in which dye is painted on freehand and keeps hair looking au natural. Housed in an epically hip salon on the buzzy lower Divisadero strip, Sylvie Simon at Population takes the ombre-esque look up a notch with her signature no-foil, long highlights that will evoke beach days and sun rays, no matter what the weatherman says.
Population, 537 Divisadero Street (between Fell and Hayes streets); 415-440-7677.
Best Fancy Updo: Alandria Sheffer of Jungle Red
Who would've thought you could get dolled up right in the heart of the Castro? (And only a couple of blocks away from Castro MUNI stop if you're on-the-go!) Even mega-star Gwyneth Paltrow agrees that Jungle Red is a must-try! Whether you're marching down the aisle for a well-earned diploma or to meet your main squeeze at the altar, you'll want to book Alandria of Jungle Red if you want a smokin' updo that will turn heads. While she's also no stranger to the messy-tress look of beachy waves, a one-hit wonder she's not! She has the magic fingers and years of practice to braid, pin, twist, or curl your mane into an affordable, lavish look.
Jungle Red, 4233 18th Street (between Diamond and Collingwood streets); 415-934-9755.
Best Bang Trim: The Pretty Pretty Collective
Anyone sporting bangs knows how important it is to have that oh-so-perfect length, grazing the brows or lids just right. Of course, quick trims between visits is a must for maintenance. Thankfully, The Pretty Pretty Collective understands the urgency when it comes to keeping bangs in check and provides clients with free snips and charges non-clients $15 to keep that face frame fresh all day, everyday.
The Pretty Pretty Collective, 3290 22nd Street (between Valencia and Mission streets); 415-282-2002.
- 1 of 4