We’d argue that our hairstylists know us better than our friends do. With each trim, blow-dry, and color, we’re also getting a good therapy session, even if it just means them listening to our woes. If we’re feeling brittle and broken down (much like our split ends), our stylists will fix both issues before we walk out the door (with a sassy new chop, to boot).
Yes, we’ve become so close with our stylists that we don’t hesitate for a second to recommend their services to a co-worker, a friend, or you, dear readers. Because frankly, when you find a good salon, you stick to it. (Though admittedly we’ve found a few gems that we’re loyal to, especially us bicoastal editors.)
Below, you’ll find our picks for the best salons in New York City and Los Angeles. We recommend these salons for not only the quality of their cuts but also their aesthetics and overall service. Keep scrolling to find out which ones we picked!
“Dry haircuts are the only way to go. With dry haircuts, the stylist actually gets to see the movement of the hair—what it will look like in real life (rather than wet). At Spoke & Weal, you get your consultation, then they shampoo you, next they blow your hair out straight, and then they cut. And best of all, you can walk away with a great cut for under $100 (which isn’t easy to do in L.A.).” — Deven Hopp, beauty director
“For slightly more affordable hair services, I highly recommend this Beverly Grove salon. The aesthetic is sleek and ultra modern, and the stylists give some of the best cuts you can get in L.A. for $100.” — Amanda Montell, associate features editor
“Book any colorist at Andy Lecompte and rest assured you’re in good hands. I would book an appointment blindly and not even think twice about it. Everyone there is so well trained (Andy Lecompte is a master, after all). I always leave happy.” — Deven Hopp
“Lecompte himself is responsible for the tresses of celebs like Jennifer Aniston, and his salon spurns many a successful hairstylist and colorist career (Jen Atkin got her start here!). I love the space for its airy atmosphere, skilled staff (everyone is good here—everyone), and efficiency—it operates like the well-oiled machine that it is, having been a leader in the salon space since it opened its doors in 2008. Plus, it has amazing lattes, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch the lady who brings her delicious salads and cookies to patrons who are in the salon for extended periods of times.” — Faith Xue, editorial director
“I’m in love with Salon Benjamin in West Hollywood. I could be a little biased because my best friend, Anna Dunn, is a stylist there, but I’ve been going there for about three to four years now, and I feel amazing every time I walk out. Alaina Manibog is an incredible colorist, and Anna Dunn has such a fresh approach to her cuts. Benjamin (the owner) is also a really cool, conceptual person. The aesthetic he has created for his salon is unique and super clean. The walls are adorned with commissioned art that is for sale, which, as an artist, I love. The salon also has a boutique apothecary that is curated with the best hair products. The salon has pop-up shops in New York pretty often and just recently opened up its newest salon in DTLA. The quality is extremely high, I trust the staff 100%, and I feel like a queen whenever I walk in. It’s also within walking distance from the office—dangerous.” — Kimmie Perl, graphic designer
“I’m hardly the first person to state that this is one of the best, if not the best salon in L.A. for hair color—but really, it is. Colorist Johnny Ramirez pioneered the ‘lived-in’ color trend that is now absolutely everywhere. Still, no one else can achieve the effortlessly blended custom highlights like the colorists at this salon can. I got the best blond highlights of my life there, and I don’t plan on going anywhere else for color ever again if I can help it.” — Amanda Montell
“Mare is the new darling of the L.A. hair scene, the brainchild of colorist Denis de Souza (his clients include Olivia Wilde and Mila Kunis), hairstylist Mara Roszak (Emma Stone calls on her in times of hair need), and hairstylist Alex Polillo (he works with Emilia Clarke, Dree Hemingway, and more). It’s an intimate, well-designed space tucked in the heart of West Hollywood, and every client will feel like she’s getting special treatment. A spacious back patio is the perfect place to relax with an iced coffee and flip through a magazine as your foils set.” — Faith Xue
“Mare is the newest It salon in L.A. The space is positively dreamy, complete with garden patio in the back (where you can sip cold-pressed juices should you so desire). The staff is modest in size; handpicked by de Souza, Roszak, and Polillo; and overwhelmingly talented. You can’t go wrong with highlights from de Souza himself and a cut from Marilee Albin.” — Deven Hopp
“While it may seem scary to entrust a former taxidermist with your strands, Joey Silvestera is a mastermind with a pair of scissors. The aesthetic of the East Village location is a nod to Silvestera’s taxidermy background, full of mounted deer heads and Old World apothecary decor, while the new location inside The Roxy Hotel in TriBeCa is a bit more minimalistic, modern, and sleek. I got one of the best haircuts of my life at this salon, and I adore Silvestera’s keen eye. Plus, his line of Five Wits haircare isn’t too shabby, either.” — Lindsey Metrus, associate editor
“The experience and the talent here are completely different. It’s a creative studio first and a salon second, so it’s a *beautiful* loft space with a very small, extremely skilled staff. Roxie Darling is fantastic for really out-there, innovative color—she always thinks big and is up for any challenge. And Wes is great for cuts—I went to him because I was so sick of going to expensive stylists who still didn’t ever give me the right cut for my texture. In about 15 minutes, he gave me a really subtle trim that made a world of difference—it was the first time I really felt like I could embrace my big curls without styling them. And obviously, Hairstory products are fantastic.” — Victoria Hoff, news editor
“I’ve been to a ton of incredible salons (Bumble and Sally Hershberger are fantastic), but I’ll always be a die-hard John Barrett devotee. I worked there after college and fell in love with the gilded elevators, helpful staff, and wildly talented stylists, colorists, and makeup artists. The salon rests in the penthouse at Bergdorfs, so yes, it’s quite fancy. And while I’m more of a downtown kind of gal, I’ll always traverse Manhattan to see Halli Bivona for cuts and blowouts and Allison Gandolfo for color. They just know how you want to look, and they pull it off flawlessly every time. Side note: John Barrett recently opened a Bond Street location so you can stay downtown and still feel classy.” — Hallie Gould, senior editor
“They call Michael Angelo ‘the model whisperer’ for good reason—this place is always teeming with Amazonian beauties. Michael himself is wonderful, but it’s always nice when you feel like you’re in great hands with a salon’s junior stylists too. Plus, the ambiance is so fun—it’s very campy and retro.” — Victoria Hoff
What’s your favorite salon? (It doesn’t have to be in NYC or L.A.) Tell us below!