Sep 8, 2015
Hair Apparent: A Complete Guide to Brooklyn’s Best Salons
Long gone are the days when Brooklyn-dwellers had to cross the river to get a stylish haircut; now people flock from all corners of the city, if not further, to get styled in Brooklyn. Here are our favorite salons—the ones we strongly recommend you check out the next time you’re looking to get all fixed-up.
Led by veteran hair designer Chelsey Pickthorn, this hair studio has garnered a huge following for its hand-painted color technique and custom hair shaping. Though the salon is frequented by neighborhood locals, artists, and business owners alike, Pickthorn’s work has earned its way into numerous high fashion campaigns and publications around the globe.
61 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick
Founded in 2011, this hybrid “barber salon” cuts both men and women’s hair—something which the lion logo is meant to signify. The space itself features art installations, an auspicious sign as to how creatively the stylists take the task at hand.
Hairrari: 206 Bushwick Avenue, Bushwick
Manetamed: 41 Havermeyer Street, Williamsburg
This Greenpoint salon and spa is our eco-friendly and health conscious choice! In a relaxed atmosphere right off the G train, Sparrow plays to a happy middle ground among health, beauty, art, and nature. Using all locally sourced and organic health and beauty products (that are also available for purchase!), this calming oasis in a bustling metropolis, is a sort of health and beauty hideaway. Also make sure to scope out their actual backyard garden.
95 Norman Avenue, Greenpoint
Conveniently located off of Bedford Avenue, Little Axe and its team of stylists are constantly inspired by what’s right out their window. From kids’ cuts to what’s in in high fashion, the salon keeps its cool by saying no to limitations. From easy everyday styles to do’s crafted for the camera, this cozy salon’s got your back.
124 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
So this is a strange thing that happened to us after we left Cutler Salon: We actually wondered if our hair looked too good. It was just so shiny and full and fell about our shoulders in the most flowing, fluttery way that we couldn’t stop checking ourselves out in whatever windows we passed by. This, as it turns out, isn’t really a bad problem to have. We love Cutler not just for the perfect cut and subtle highlights (which, six weeks later, are still holding up beautifully and have grown out really naturally) we received from Tyson and Ryan, respectively, but also for the beautiful backyard, which is the perfect place to lounge with a fresh juice (or cocktail) available at the salon’s newly installed bar. All in all, this isn’t just a great place to get your hair done (though, obviously, it is that), it’s an excellent spot to just unwind, relax… you know, treat yourself.
178 N. 8th Street, Williamsburg
Masters of the pompadour and all things rockabilly (and beyond), Tomcats gives the kind of haircuts that necessitate pomade to hold their impressive forms. As such,Tomcats has one of (if not the) largest selections of pomade available. Grease makes the world (and hairstyles) go round.
135 India Street, Greenpoint
Opened by renowned stylists Corvette Hunt and Bethany Paul, along with East Side Ink’s Yadira Mendez, Graceland is a hybrid hair salon/tattoo parlor/piercing joint, which is one-stop shopping for anyone who wants to try something a little outside the norm.
677 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg
The Heights Salon of Brooklyn
Perched high above bustling Montague Street, the Heights Salon is a calm oasis, full of light and with a seriously soothing atmosphere. This Brooklyn Heights local-favorite is decidedly low-key, but the staff is as cordial to someone walking in for a spontaneous blowout as it is to someone getting the works. Oh, and that blowout? If it’s courtesy of the wonderful Pauline, it’s sure to last for a full week without showing any signs of fading.
136 Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights
A longtime Williamsburg standby, this salon breathes a minimalist bohemian air that gives it a laid-back vibe. Following a regimen of healthy and gentle hair care, stylists at Commune utilize products and processes low in chemical content to minimize damage. Currently operating in its eleventh year, Commune has long been a force in beauty and style in Brooklyn. Come for the sweet cut you’ve always wanted, linger for the hair products and homewares in the gift shop.
185 Roebling Street, Williamsburg
SELF’s mission is to harmonize hair with art; should a good haircut ever be anything less? With two locations in Williamsburg and Bushwick, SELF has built its reputation as a Brooklyn salon born and bred. If you’re looking to lighten your locks without the damage, book a color session with SELF’s Olaplex treatment. Not only will your color be radiant, your hair will thank you! N.B.: SELF is responsible for the very Natalie Portman-in-The-Professional hairstyle that one editor at Brooklyn Magazine has been sporting to great acclaim for the last few months.
364 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg and 42 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick
The Brooklyn branch of this enormously popular London salon opened last year in an old pencil factory in Greenpoint, and it’s one of the most striking salon locations in the borough, with salvaged vintage furniture and light fixtures as well as pieces like the cutting stations and front desk actually having been hand-made by owner, Kenna, himself. This is definitely the place to go for a complete color overhaul, and the stylists will work with your hair until you are completely thrilled with the exact shade and tone. Plus, the atmosphere is lively and instantly puts clients at ease, always a real plus for those of us who sometimes get nervous about big hair-changes. And for all you redheads out there: Gingers get half-priced haircuts once a month at Kennaland, which is a pretty damned good deal, and makes us consider going ginger ourselves.
113 Franklin Street, Greenpoint
Ludlow Blunt Salon
Ludlow Blunt is so old-school that it’s probably older than your grandparents. Founded at the turn of the 20th century on the Lower East Side, this unisex salon packed up a while ago and moved across the river to Williamsburg. From twists on classic looks to daring off-the-runway cuts, this salon is the intersection between old and new, and it’s anything but outdated.
85 N. 3rd Street, Williamsburg
This tiny Smith Street spot is an excellent place for those who live in the neighborhood, but also completely worth any travel time. Sara has taken us from honey blonde to mahogany brown and back again in the most natural looking way possible, and we always feel like we’re in great hands with her, Valentina, or Linda.
347 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens
Soon Beauty Lab
Locals love Soon Beauty for the down to earth atmosphere just as much as the high quality haircuts. Though stylists come from impressive backgrounds throughout the country, each one makes sure to really get to know each client, in order to have them looking and feeling their best. Priding itself on being a neighborhood-oriented salon, Soon Beauty Lab wants to help transform your look, without the usual highbrow intimidation.
290 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens and 708 Fulton Street, Fort Greene
The Paint Box
The latest thing in hair color is hair-painting, sometimes known as balayage. And no place does this better than the aptly named Paint Box, a little gem of a shop in Greenpoint that prides itself on the amazing color transformations it gives its clients. And no matter how buttery you want your blonde to be, the Paint Box can pull it off. (This is endlessly impressive to us; it feels like actual magic.) Plus, we don’t know how the team here pulls it off, but color just seems to last longer when it gets done here. Again, more of that actual magic.
156 Driggs Avenue, Greenpoint
Barber on Pearl
Nestled beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, a barbershop pole signals this shop’s location; iInside, you’ll be greeted warmly by the owner, Robert Isakov. Perfect for classic men’s haircuts, this barber shop is pretty traditional. The best part of the experience: the hot towel blanketed over your face at the end of the haircut—the epitome of comfort.
57 Pearl Street, DUMBO
Badlands Salon and Barber
From its 5th Avenue perch, with a large rainbow flag waving from its window, Badlands gives off a comfortable and friendly vibe. Founded by Deirdre Novella, the salon’s staff synthesize sophisticated techniques and styles with a down-to-earth atmosphere, and specializes in men’s barbering, clipper cutting, and fades.
87 5th Avenue, Park Slope
Persons of Interest
Specializing in men’s haircuts, Persons of Interest has been featured in GQ and countless other places. The owner (and former Daily Show producer) Steve Marks has created a laid-back modernization of the classic barbershop. Relatively affordable, PoI is also known to give out free Brooklyn Lager, which makes everything better, right?
82-84 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg and 299 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens
Smart Hair Studio
Honestly, we feel a little guilty talking too much about this much-loved neighborhood spot—it’s long felt like our little secret. But if we’re making a list of the borough’s best salons, we can’t exclude Smart Hair Studio, where everything from cuts to color to keratin treatments are delivered flawlessly and at incredibly reasonable prices. Every stylist there is on her game, and Windsor Terrace is luckier for having this spot for all its hair care needs.
282 Prospect Park West, Windsor Terrace
Fox and Jane
With multiple locations throughout New York City and San Diego, Fox and Jane is not exactly a secret any longer. Regardless, it’s definitely a place to check out if convenience, efficiency, and a kickass balayage is what you’re looking for. Book online with your favorite stylist and come in ready to be dazzled—at quick NYC speed.
288 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill
Owner Amy Schiappa first opened Fringe on the Lower East Side, but the salon has since expanded into Brooklyn, into a little storefront in Gowanus. Aiming to integrate art, hair, and style, Fringe is known for being a creative bastion of the hair world. Come get your tresses dressed here if you don’t want to look like just anyone in a crowded room and would rather still look like yourself, but… cooler.
298 Bond Street, Gowanus
Reporting on this story done by Viviane Eng, Kristin Iversen, and Mickey McAlary.
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