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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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Maxine
Maxine
 

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Best for men’s traditional cuts

Katie Devries at Strand: You’re doing something right when you change salons and almost all of your clients follow. That’s what happened when DeVries left State Street Barbers last year. “Men are very loyal,” she says, estimating that she retained more than 80 percent of her regulars. Specializing in razor cuts (from $30), the Aveda-trained stylist began her career as a women’s hair colorist in Atlanta. But she switched almost exclusively to men’s cuts when she moved to Chicago five years ago. “Men put trust in you quickly.”

ALSO RECOMMENDED: The man responsible for Sean Penn’s quiff in the 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown, Ricardo Santiago at Paul Rehder, creates a more textured look ($70). Bathsheba Nemerovski at Sparrow offers a low-maintenance cut ($56) favored by the likes of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

 

Best for men’s color

Robert Bennett at Maxine: A colorist with 25 years of experience, Bennett has seen a recent uptick in the number of male clients. “It’s been gangbusters,” he says. For men with gray hair, Bennett reaches for L’Oréal’s Homme Cover 5’—an ammonia-free color that won’t slip into that dreaded orangy-goldish fade from the sun ($50). But Bennett’s real specialty is longer hair (anything more than three inches), which he’ll microweave with foil and accent with some subtle salt-and-pepper lowlights ($135). “When you walk out of this salon, no one is going to know you colored it this morning,” he says.

ALSO RECOMMENDED: Ric Ramirez at Chicago Male Salon offers “Camo,” a quick gray blending ($40) or a light blonding ($50). Tim Weber at Restoration Salon is a go-to guy for full highlights or simple touchups (from $50).

 

Best for men’s creative cuts

Kara Wabbel at Barbara & Barbara: This Logan Square storefront salon only recently celebrated its first anniversary, but Wabbel, its owner, has been cutting hair for years out of the backrooms of art galleries she owned. She still displays local artwork in her salon, along with mismatched 1960s-style furniture. Fitting, since lately Wabbel gets walk-ins asking for the Don Draper look from Mad Men. Most of her cuts, however, are less conventional—the salon offers two gender-blind price categories: short ($20) and long ($30).

ALSO RECOMMENDED: Dee Boozer at Floyd’s 99 in Wicker Park excels with ethnic hair and experimental color ($15–$21). Jamie Hartwig at Twisted Scissors serves up pompadours, mohawks (from $25), and free beer.

 

Photograph: Megan Lovejoy

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