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The Best Women’s Haircutters in New York

Photo-Illustration: Curbed; Photos: Getty

For a Vintage Style

Lizzy Weinberg at Hairthrone, 60 Orchard St.; @lizzyweinberg

If your idea of a formal hairdo is a finger wave or your haircut mood board skews more 1970 than 2023, bring those inspiration photos to Lizzy Weinberg at Hairthrone. “She has in the past decade taken me from Julie Christie in Don’t Look Now to Julie Christie in Shampoo to a Twin Peaks bob, respecting my wishes without letting me do anything rash,” says writer Sadie Stein of Weinberg’s knack for resurrecting and breathing new life into throwback looks. “She has also given me fabulous updos for events: ’40s curls, modified beehives, and ’70s-meets-Victorian topknots.” Weinberg, who has been styling hair in New York for almost 17 years, is intentional about creating a shape with a client’s hair (always using scissors only), whether by courting volume or building on texture, which elevates a look from a haircut to a hairstyle. Allow for ample time: Weinberg likes to think of each appointment as an experience (and loves that her clients tend to be old souls like herself). Post-blowout, she gets into hand-detailing and examining how the hair moves. According to Stein, not only her cuts will have you rebooking: “Lizzy is one of the top-five coolest people I know. She can talk musical deep cuts from the ’50s and ’60s, and her taste is fab.” (From $200.)

For Textured Hair

Renée Gadar at Paul Fox Salon, 7 Cleveland Pl.; @reneesrh

Cutting curly, textured, and kinky hair is a particular skill set — one Renée Gadar has built her career on. And unlike many curly-hair stylists, she prefers to cut those curls wet; in her opinion, this yields a more dependable shape that will stand up to any way you style it. One oft-requested example of her curl wizardry: the one-length curly bob she cut on chef and TV host Sophia Roe in 2021. Gadar trained under Nick Arrojo, who instilled in her a Sassoon-esque focus on precision haircutting and building shapes. Klancy Miller, founder of For the Culture magazine, found out about Gadar from Sincerely, Tommy, owner Kai Avent-deLeon. Besides giving her a “classic bob in the exact length” she wanted, Miller says, Gadar does a perfect blowout. “I am Black with naturally kinky hair, and some stylists don’t give a blowout that lasts longer than 48 hours,” Miller explains. “Renée’s lasted almost two weeks. My hair was very silky, and the cut looked great blown out and in my natural kinky, curly state.” (From $175.)

For a Sculptural Bob

Yves Durif at Yves Durif Salon at the Carlyle, 35 E. 76th St.; @yvesdurifthesalon

Shorter sculptural cuts have been Yves Durif’s signature for decades — over half a century, to be exact, and he’s as adept as ever. Fashion historian and journalist Amy Fine Collins hasn’t let any scissors but Durif’s touch her hair since 1990. “I met him while on assignment for a magazine story, and I let him have his way with my hair,” she says. “No one has cut my hair since.” (He also cuts her 29-year-old daughter Flora’s hair.) Durif started as an apprentice at 14 at the famous Jacques Dessange in Marseille; at 17, he moved to the Paris location, where Dessange tended to clients like Jean Seberg, Françoise Hardy, and Brigitte Bardot. He has been snipping away in New York since the 1980s, and in 2008 he moved his eponymous salon from an Upper East Side brownstone to the third floor of the Carlyle hotel (where you can also pick up his signature Italian resin combs and brushes). Collins, who calls him a “total master of the scissors,” says the beauty of his cuts is their versatility — “My very short cut can go up, back, forward, sideways, and take on an infinite number of sculptural shapes.” Durif’s calling card and his favorite thing to do is a dramatic hair change: Just ask Violet Grey founder Cassandra Grey, who has had her pixie shaped by Durif in the past. “Yves is the guy to call if you want to go from long and basic to short and gamine,” says Grey. (From $400.)

For Controlled Bedhead

Masami at Vacancy Project, 627 E. 6th St.; @masamihosono

Originally from Tokyo, Masami Hosono opened Vacancy Project in New York’s East Village as a gender-neutral salon where folks who’d had bad experiences with gender-based styles at other salons would be guaranteed an excellent cut and a welcoming environment. Their specialty: low-maintenance, high-impact haircuts that don’t need any styling skill or a lot of products (such as a soft mullet). Hosono goes for a controlled messiness that builds on their client’s natural texture. After realizing that everyone whose hair they liked got it cut by Hosono, facialist Sophie Pavitt started seeing them as well. “Masami cuts hair into these effortlessly cool shapes that grow out so well,” says Pavitt, who can usually be seen sporting a pixie cut. “Usually, super-short hair can be annoying to maintain, but Masami’s cuts always have an ease to them and are simple to style on a daily basis. They’re really excellent at layered, textural cuts that make anyone look 100 percent cooler.” They are also, adds Pavitt, surprisingly speedy: “I’m sometimes in and out in less than 20 minutes, and it’s always just perfect.” ($150.)

For Fine Hair

Julie Dickson at Joon Drop Salon, 63 Hester St.; @juliedicksonhair

Fine hair has to be treated differently, and Julie Dickson is adept at doing just that. Having to deal with her own fine hair as a result of a long-standing thyroid problem made her committed to helping others contending with the same issue, which can arise from stress, genetics, aging, and being postpartum. Dickson practices restraint — she sticks to snipping strategically placed pieces to accentuate bone structure and facial features. She also does color customized for fine hair using products with a minimal impact on strand integrity (fine hair can break very easily) and a technique she dubs “kid hair,” alternating paper-thin highlights giving the illusion of health and depth to create the same color clients had in their early years. Fashion journalist Laura Neilson has gone to Dickson for over 15 years. “I’ve followed her from Dop Dop to Blackstones to her own place,” she says of Dickson’s Joon Drop salon, a colorful shoe-box-size space in Dimes Square. Neilson says besides being a whiz at working with her fine hair, Dickson always gets her vision: “If I say something like ‘Alexa Chung meets Dorothy Hamill,’ she understands what I want but considers it in the context of my hair texture, my face shape, and the current moment.” And she’s willing to experiment. Says Neilson, “She once gave me this killer Clara Bow bob, and I got scouted for a modeling gig the very next day. It was the hair!” (From $150.)

For Curly Shape-shifting

Shelby Samaria pop-ups at Beauty Supply, 237 Centre St.; @shelby.samaria

While Shelby Samaria is wildly versatile in her cutting expertise — some recent favorites are an ’80s face-framing shag and a bouncy, layered mid-length cut with fringe — she is known for her curly cuts. “Shelby set off a curly renaissance for me,” says fashion journalist and host of Your Favorite Auntie podcast Marjon Carlos, who, after following Samaria’s work online, went to see her with a picture of Tracee Ellis Ross as a reference. “I brought her the image, but she had a vision and I trusted her completely,” Carlos says. Baltimore-born Samaria, who has been braiding hair since age 7, logged time at New York’s Ion Studios and Suite Caroline before going freelance. For years, Olympia Gayot, head of women’s and kid’s design at J.Crew, has been having Samaria shape her curls into a “classic but still modern” blunt cut with subtle layers that has movement. “I lean into my natural texture, and Shelby is really good at making that come to life,” says Gayot. (From $200.)

For a Lily Allen Hairstylist

Neil Grupp at Hair Party, 85 N. 3rd St., Williamsburg; @neilgrupp

Neil Grupp has been styling hair for over two decades and has worked backstage for years at Fashion Week in London, Milan, Paris, and New York. The genesis of Grupp’s Brooklyn salon, Hair Party (which opened in August 2022), was actually a hair product that quickly developed a cult following for its extreme versatility: The base is shea butter and argan oil, and you can use it on any hair type to provide that second-day look — and slather it on your skin, too. What keeps clients like Domino Kirke-Badgley of Carriage House Birth and singer Loren Allred coming back is Grupp’s distinct dry-cut method, which he relies on to guide his cuts so they align with a client’s natural texture. Kirke-Badgley, who got Grupp’s name from singer Lily Allen, says his approach works “really well” for her long, wavy middle-parted hair. Even so, she’s considering letting him alter the style she has had since age 8. “I’m thinking about doing a bob, and Neil will be who I go to when I’m ready to take the plunge,” she says. (From $200.)

For an Un-Cut Cut

Michelle Petronaci at Headdress, 312 E. 9th St.; @headdress_hairsalon

If your estimation of the ideal haircut is that it doesn’t look as if you’ve just gotten a haircut, Michelle Petronaci is the person to see. This particular gift is what has kept Andrea Linett, head of brand voice at Victoria’s Secret and founder of the blog I Want to Be Her, going to Petronaci for years. “Michelle never makes me look like I have a ‘haircut,’ which to me is magic,” says Linett. “She knows exactly how to get my ends looking perfectly grown out.” An appointment with Petronaci involves a lot of chatting and answering her questions about your hair history; lifestyle also figures prominently in her approach. She always considers the grow-out, thinking about how the cut will evolve in the months between appointments. For Linett, Petronaci is a one-stop shop: She does her tortoiseshell highlights, too (a feat since brown highlights can often veer too blonde or brassy). Says Linett, “I asked her to make me look like I spent a year surfing in Costa Rica even though I’ve never surfed and have never been there, and that’s exactly what she did.” (From $130.)

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The Best Women’s Haircutters in New York