Best Hair Salons in Chicago and the Suburbs

Great stylists and studios for for men, women, and all types of hair—long, short, curly, African-American, Asian, and more

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Twisted Scissors
Twisted Scissors


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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



3 years ago
Posted by co

The best colorist that I know is Margaret Passienik at Salon Blonde in Bucktown. I have naturally very dark brown hair, and I have been a blonde and a redhead in the past. Both colors were so natural that people who did not know me thought they were my own color. She also give a fantastic cut!

3 years ago
Posted by rmwatts4

If you have Natural Hair and decide to go to Yehia & Co. Hair Designs do not allow anyone but YEHIA himself do your hair. When you arrive at the salon make sure Yehia is there and that he knows he has an appointment. The other stylist there will try to steal your business. My self, my roommates and other natural women I know have had bad experiences at Yehia's. Natural women understand our hair will break off if handled by someone without experience and the correct training. I have been natural for 7 years and I had extremely damaged hair after my blow out and trim. I will never return.

2 years ago
Posted by Dantie

So glad that African American hair is included here, but it would be great if there were even one or two suggestions of salons that work with African American hair in its natural texture. All of the emphasis on "blowouts" is kind of irritating, since not all black women want their hair blown straight. Salons like Glo-On Natural Hair in Hyde Park would be a good place to start!

1 year ago
Posted by ChiRSA

Yes - I'm natural and I don't want my hair "blown out". Could these stylist possibly blow dry and then flat iron? All of that blowdrying isn't good for your hair.

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