19 NYC Colorists Who Will Give You The Best Hair Of Your Life

Complain all you want about New York City's overpriced apartments, unreliable subway system, and the stench of hot trash on your commute to work— but the truth is, it's a city that's hard to quit. From the bright lights of Broadway to the sushi bars that stay open until 4 a.m., the five boroughs attract some of the best of the best, and that goes for beauty treatments, too. Here, hairstylists and colorists are at the top of their game, and whether you're based in Brooklyn, SoHo, or the Upper East Side, there's bound to be a salon that's right for you.

We scoured high and low to bring you the top colorists painting on dreamy pastels, fiery coppers, icy blondes, and golden brunettes. These pros aren't just hair colorists — a fact you'll quickly know after just one appointment in their chair. They're magicians, mavericks, model-favorites. Check them out, ahead.

Chelsey Pickthorn
"Redheads are always amazing, whether they be natural or enhanced," says 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."

Pickthorn, 92 St. Nicholas Ave, 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 — or a creamy, strawberry blonde. Whether you want to take a mighty leap or dip your toe in with a few spicy highlights, the new hue won't look even a tiny bit unnatural.

White Rose Collective, 170 E 2nd St; 332-999-6680.
Color: $175 and up.
Carlos Ortiz
Carlos Ortiz's Flat Iron salon won't hit your wallet too hard, but his color packs a 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 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.

Single Process: From $125; Color Gloss: From $100.
Mane & Bristle, 124 W 24th St, Suite #17; 347 266-6859.

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 41K-plus following on Instagram, this Sally Hershberger colorist has earned cult status as the go-to girl 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 color that sparked a social media frenzy; and regularly colors the likes of Lady Gaga and M.I.A. Basically, she's a can't-miss.

Sally Hershberger Downtown, 25 W 26th St; 212-206-8700.
Single Process: From $200; Highlights: From $325.

Brooke Burbee
An Oregon native, Burbee has become known for creating translucent shades 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. 7th Street (between Cooper Square and Second Avenue); 212-353-2680.
Partial Highlights: From $230; Full Head Highlights: From $230; Double Process: From $270.
Lorean Cairns
The Upper West Side is not immune to the pastel color trend. Fox & Jane's fifth outpost 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 grays 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. Call it a tonal revolution.

Fox & Jane, 154 Orchard St.; 212-837-2774.
Single Process: From $93; Half Head of Highlights: From $165; Full Head Highlights: From $200; Double Process: From $230.

Julia Elena
If you're one of Hairstory's 38K+ 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 a few chairs.

Hairstory Studio, 95 5th Avenue, 5th Floor.
Cassie Cohen
Ask for buttery, cream soda, '90s-inspired blonde locks, and Cohen will know exactly what you mean. And she knows that even if you're not a natural blonde, you certainly should look like one (if that's your thing). "I use a lot of my inspiration for achieving the perfect shade of blonde from the what the sun naturally does to your hair color," Cohen tells us. "Being a southern Californian native, I love giving my clients an endless summer blonde; bright, beautiful, and beachy." Even better, she tailors her technique (balayage, foil, or both) to fit whatever you need for results you'll actually love.

Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon, 17 East 71st Street (between 5th and Madison); 212-535-3519.
Singles Process: starts at $150; Highlights: $250.

Lena Ott
Lena Ott built her cult following by doing balayage and rainbow colors, but it's her way with bleach that 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: $200; Highlights: From $250; Single Process and Highlights: From $700.

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 hairstylist 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); 646-760-3809.
Single Process: From $150; Full Highlights: 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 a huge fan of Olaplex, which she says helps achieve a believable, pale baby-blonde on all hair types. "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 $100; Double Process: $130; Partial Highlights: $175; Full Highlights: $245.

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.
Gynna 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 ombré 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. What's more, 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: $160; Highlights: $300.

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 started using the technique 20 years ago, thanks to how much control it gives the colorist and the client. Now, he's the person Upper East Siders go to when they want to lighten up.

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 a 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.

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, if that.

Nunzio Saviano 130 East 65th Street ( btwn Park & Lexington ); 212-988-0880
Full-Head Highlights: $275.
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