Have you ever walked down the street and just gawked at how awesome someone’s hair was as they passed you by?
Whether it was their stylish do or a killer cut, hair envy is a real and very alive thing people can go through, especially around here.
As one of the fashion capitals of the world, New York City offers just about anything under the sun when it comes to hair care and maintenance, as long as you have the bucks to back it up.
But for most of us, dropping $400 on a single process cut and color simply isn’t feasible.
But don’t fret! There are plenty of places around to give you the look you want at a price that won’t fry your ends.
1. Valentino & Jet Hair Salon (822 10th Avenue)
A sight for sore eyes on the far west of 55th Street sits the chic and novel Valentino & Jet Hair Salon. Head stylist and owner Oscar Campisi hails from Italy and has worked in fashion for institutions such as Aveda, Badley Mischka, W Magazine and French Vogue.
Campisi created a comfortable fashion-forward ambiance for his urban clientele at his salon, complete with wine, tea and water offerings while getting all gussied up. From full style and cuts starting at $40, to double process color at $85, it’s a one-stop-shop to keep your hair and wallet very happy.
2. Astor Place Hairstylists (2 Astor Place)
First founded in 1947, Astor Place Hairstylists has become somewhat legendary, evoking the feel of the barbershops of old New York. It’s also been featured in publications like New York Magazine, The New York Post and The New York Times.
Starting out as just a 5-chair establishment, it now boasts 70 chairs with over 60 international stylists ready to give you a sophisticated cut that has stood the test of NYC time. You could walk in and out of here with spending as little at $16 plus tip.
3. Posh Hair Studio (81-01 Lefferts Blvd - Queens)
This Kew Gardens salon transports you a planet of bounce and bubbly as you sit amid their galactic-inspired décor with a glass of complimentary champagne. They also give patrons individual iPads to further entrain them as the cut and style commences.
Owner Irina Patrascu’s senior stylists take their time to ensure that this space mission isn’t just relaxing but the end result is out of this world. Although it’s slightly out of the way, it’s definitely worth the additional light-years of travel.
4. Dramatics NYC (77 Fifth Avenue)
Want to be able to say you got your hair done on Fifth Avenue? Then Dramatics is the place to hit. Although the hairstyle chain has nine locations, their Fifth Ave flagship makes you feel like a total superstar under the lights of their theater-themed atmosphere.
Although you can make an appointment ahead of time, walk-ins receive a special $25 flat rate for a wash and cut, while appointments, complete with with shampoo and style, take that up to around $40. However, a finishing custom bun or braid is free of charge.
5. Paul Mitchell's Academy of Cosmetology and Esthetics (187 New Dorp Lane - Staten Island)
If you're up for a little urban adventure, not to mention a ferry ride, trek on out to legendary stylists Paul Mitchell and John Paul DeJoria's top-notch cosmetology school where they train the ones who will eventually be dishing out those $400 haircuts we're looking to avoid here.
Not only can you score a $15 do with a soon-to-be high quality stylist, you're also treated to a number of the works that the luxury salon experience has to offer, such as an invigorating scalp massage in one of their state-of-the-art chairs. Que fancy!
6. Euphoria Beauty Lounge (2566 Francis Lewis Blvd - Queens)
Hop aboard the QM20 for a picturesque ride through Queens to Murray Hill, where Euphoria awaits. More than just an affordable haircut, this spot takes includes de-stressing as part of their money-saving salon repertoire.
Offering cuts starting at $25 as well as a myriad of other rejuvenating spa options such as hair treatments, massage therapy, waxing, make-up and tanning, all of which are also reasonably priced, Euphoria really is the blissful experience its namesake implies.
7. Tease (199 Second Avenue)
What stylist Ming Chui's East Village salon lacks in frills it makes up for in form. While they do require you to make an appointment before coming in, the extra effort is totally worth the high caliber cut you'll get, especially with it's more than pleasing price tag.
An expert men's cut starts out at $30 while ladies range from $35 to $40 depending on length. Wine and a colorful library of magazines accompany you as you're worked on. All services also come with a salon-grade wash and a deep scalp massage, all on the house.[Feature Image Courtesy LookBooker]