Sydney is a mecca for hair salons and when it comes to choosing "the one" for a cut, trim, a number one, balayage or whispy blow-dry, or of-the-moment soft perm, picking the right hair salon is a big deal.
On the cards, we have hairdressers that serve you cheeseboards, salons designed by the legendary George Livissianis, colour experts and even salons that double as art galleries.
Here are the best hairdressers in Sydney.
Mr Burrows Hair
Mr Burrows Hair is the Inner West holy grail of hair salons. Being an environmentally sustainable salon and employing some of the best colourists around, your hair is absolutely in safe hands here.
"I think what makes us stand out is our response to our neighbourhood. Our community is diverse, and so is our team, so we are able to service a wide range of styles, colours, cuts—from fashion to edgy." says director Darren Troy.
"We've got a stylist to do it all. Sustainability is a huge focus for our salon, as well as to our community, so we are conscious of sourcing local, and implementing systems to reduce our overall imprint in everything we do. We also donate back to the Sustainable Salons organisation, and other local initiatives such as Donate Your Ponytail."
Along with this, cheeseboards are the norm here (yes, every client gets a cheeseboard) and in summer, the team here offers up Aperol spritz on weekends, and in winter, espresso martinis make a regular appearance.
St Peters and CBD
With interiors designed by George Livissianis, Usfin Atelier is one of the most beautiful salons in Sydney. There are two outposts, one on the top floor of a St Peters warehouse, the other on a CBD laneway—and both follow a futuristic, Fifth Element meets industrial vibe and are often used for fashion shoots.
Usfin's cutting stations are, well, pretty damn cutting edge. They’re custom-made, giant-sized aluminium beauty cases, which are totally mobile and can be closed up and packed away to make way for hair events, seminars, and artist collabs. Each glossy styling pod offers a more intimate experience too, so you can sit back and enjoy your styling time in peace, or share your juiciest gossip and life woes with your stylist in seclusion.
Plus, if you're a student, you'll get 10 per cent off your booking from Wednesday through to Friday.
Award-winning hair visionary Paloma Garcia's eponymous salon is where the fashion set flock for a trim, colour and blow-dry. It's not hard to see why: Garcia works regularly backstage at New York Fashion Week and has won top honours at the Australian Fashion Hair Awards. At PALOMA you can experience an extensive list of services, including an express blow dry and re-style service (rock up with freshly washed hair, walk out 20 minutes later with a totally transformed look). The salon is also a 98% recyclable and works with the Sustainable Salons network.
Headcase Hair has been a hair institution for decades now. The team here is renowned for nailing natural yet fashion-forward looks and they’ve been donned as one of the best salons in Paddington mostly due to the stellar talent they have colouring and chopping on the regular. On one side you’ve got John Pulitano, just casually one of the top hairstylists in the biz who has worked for over 10 years on fashion week shows in NYC, Paris, Milan, London and Australia. On the other, his partner Vincent Nobile, has been one of Australia’s leading colourist for over twenty years. So yeah, Headcase is a pretty big deal.
Esstudio Galleria is a beauty parlour and hair salon conveniently located in one of Sydney’s inner-city creative hubs, Chippendale. The décor is old school cool, complete with wing chair, antique chandelier and traditional barbershop chairs. Going beyond caring for the hair on top of your head, Esstudio Galleria will also tame your facial hair with beard trims or a good old-fashioned shave.
Nailing every hair trend Judena is full of experts. Specialists in colouring, they go a step above the rest creating a personalised colour based on your complexion and eye colour.
"We believe in personalising each clients experience with a complimentary consultation and taking them on a journey to create the perfect look for them and reach their goals" says owner Kylie Cruickshank.
The salon also has three colour specialist L'Oreal ID Artists and keratese ambassadors that specialise in scalp treatments and hair camera diagnosis.
Royals Hair & Beauty
This Sydney staple has had a huge (and we mean huge) facelift in recent years. Rightly considered the best in The Hills, Royals Hair & Beauty is a fail-safe salon where you can expect a little bit of luxury without ever leaving the ‘burbs. Another big tick for Royals is that they now use ammonia-free hair colour, so you can indulge in a little makeover without worrying about any harsh chemicals.
Audrey & Him
Tucked away in the heart of Newtown, Audrey & Him is a boutique salon that is heaving with local talent. With a standout team of senior stylists, when you step through their retro, understated art deco style salon, you know you’re in the hands of a profesh with the tastiest taste. From Cezanne Keratin treatment to purple and grey-toned hair colour, the team at Audrey & Him have it in the bag.
Looking out for Sydney’s Southern dwellers is Bixie Colour, a specialist hair salon lead by one of Australia’s most in-demand and trusted hair colourists; Sheree Knobel. They are committed to constant education and development, so you can bet your bob that you will reap the benefits.
Home to renowned hairdressers Frankie Flanagan and Rhiannon DiMaria, Adilla Colab is a super impressive hair salon. Both Frankie and Rhiannon have worked international fashion shows and with some of the biggest names in fashion eg. Naomi Campbell, so you know your hair is in good hands (and note, the salon’s most recent big-name celebrity to come through has been The Handmaid's Tale legend Elisabeth Moss… no biggie).
Director Frankie Flanagan also has a big background in TV, film and music which means you’ll really get nothing less than star treatment and care for your hair. However, the real beauty of this gem is the mega range of cutting and styling the crew here can pull through for whatever kind of look you're trying to achieve.
“We have staff members that each specialise in different areas of hairdressing. We are known for our baby blondes, scalp bleach platinums, editorial finishes, dry haircutting and curly hair cutting. We also specialise in extensions” says Flanagan.
Catering their grooming services for the modern gentleman is Adilla Barbers the brother store to Adilla Colab. They provide everything from cuts and styling to hot towel shaves and facials.
A Loft Story
A Loft Story is more than just a hair salon, it’s a gallery, fashion boutique and cafe, so you can browse and relax while you wait for your colour to set.
Taking care of hair since 1998, Lily Jackson is a sleek and minimal salon with a focus on environmental sustainability, recycling 95% of waste. Complete your look with their makeup artists who use the salon's own range of mineral makeup.
Brown Sugar Hair & Beauty
Brown Sugar Hair and Beauty is the one-stop shop for all things beauty. Downstairs the salon is a mix of rustic and contemporary sophistication. Journey upstairs for all your beauty needs—waxing, tanning, skin treatments and manicures.
Image credit: Bob Barrett, Moises Alex, Esstudio Galleria, Hai Phung and A Loft Story