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Best colorist for brunettes
Alise Buchmeier at Twisted Scissors “I really like pushing my clients’ hairstyles as far as they’ll let me,” says Buchmeier, a stylist with 14 years of experience. To many brunettes, that’s good news. Clients trust the rockabilly stylist’s technique when it comes to livening up natural brunettes’ locks, whether they just want sun-kissed streaks (partial highlights from $75) or crave something bolder, such as peekaboo pink pieces (special effects from $100). By studying her client’s hair, she finds just the right placement for foils of Framesi dye. “I like color to move,” she says. “Not like those traditional train-track kind of highlights that sit just on top.”
ALSO RECOMMENDED: At Natural Elements Salon in Lincoln Park, Katie Engel works wonders with colors from deep mahogany to soft amber (single process from $60) and naturally blended highlights (partial from $110; full from $130). For rich hues and perfect precision cuts, seek out Darren Anderson at Paul Rehder (cut from $100; single process from $95; full highlights from $200).
Best colorist for blonds
Emma Middlekauff at Swerve Salon: Stylists who excel in cut-and-color are a dying breed, but Middlekauff tints just as well as she trims. Her golden-haired clients say she has a great eye for every level of blond, from honey-hued highlights to white-hot variations of platinum (single process from $71; partial highlights from $96). The Redken-trained stylist gets natural-looking results by customizing color based on her client’s cut, using Redken dye and foil patterns that vary in thickness to create movement.
ALSO RECOMMENDED: Those blonds who are not-so-natural say they seek out Nicole Rotto at J. Andrews Salon in the Gold Coast (partial highlights from $80; full from $100). Southwest suburbanites rave about Joe Paciorek at Planet Color in Mokena (partial highlights from $65; full from $75).
Best colorist for reds
Kerri Spiteri at Streets of London: “I geek out on reds,” says Spiteri, a Toni & Guy–trained stylist. Spiteri says color has been trending toward natural tones—so while fuchsia and fire-engine red can be fun, she favors ginger hues with warming hints of copper and gold that she weaves in without using bleaching agents (from $70). “With red hair, you don’t want to overprocess it, and lightener can cause damage,” she says. Nervous to take the scarlet plunge? “If someone thinks they can’t pull off red hair, it’s just a matter of finding the right red,” says Spiteri, who relies on L’Oréal dye.
ALSO RECOMMENDED: For long-lasting dyes that are meticulously applied, visit Jeff Roy or Rachel Glenn at Prink Salon in River West (single process from $75). Marilyn Spachman at Art + Science in Lincoln Park offers blonds and brunettes a natural transition to red (from $75).
Photograph: Courtesy of Twisted Scissors