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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Sydney's Best Hair Salons and Barbershops For When You Want to Look Your Best

Fix up and look sharp with help from the pros.
By Marissa Ciampi
September 15, 2021
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By Marissa Ciampi
September 15, 2021
  shares

SYDNEY'S BEST HAIR SALONS AND BARBERSHOPS FOR WHEN YOU WANT TO LOOK YOUR BEST

Fix up and look sharp with help from the pros.

After months of WFH, there's been an understandable shift to letting our locks grow longer, seeing how bushy our beards can get, and generally opting for less personal grooming than we did before. But it's not always a good long-term strategy for keeping your hair looking its best. When you are ready to shed some split ends or dye that regrowth, there's nothing more transformative than a trip to the salon.

With hairdressers and barber shops set to reopen soon under the NSW Government's roadmap to reopening, it's time to begin sussing out your first salon trip back. We've rounded up all the best places to get your lockdown hair trimmed and looking fresh, from budget to blow out.

  • 17

    With its exposed brick walls, pendant lighting and leather furnishings, Mr Burrows’ fit-out better resembles a bar than a salon. And so does its upstairs ‘relaxation station’, complete with cheese boards and wine for patrons, plus spritzes on Saturdays. Lounge in large leather slingbacks while getting your hair washed and massaged, then settle in with one of the expert stylists. It offers cuts from $60, along with a range of experimental colouring and gradient dyes. Mr Burrows also works with Sustainable Salons, which helps to minimise the salon’s footprint.

    You can book an appointment for Mr Burrows reopening by emailing [email protected] or calling 8068 5487.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 16
    Exterior of Academie Salon in Annandale

    Annandale’s neighbourhood salon is set inside a 19th-century former chapel, giving it that local-secret vibe. But Academie Salon is more than just a local’s go-to — its team of experts takes hair-styling to the next level. Owners Mikele Simone and Richi Grisillo make sure you’ll leave every cut feeling like a celebrity. The spot actually is frequented by Aussie celebs, so the stylists here are used to giving each and every customer that superstar treatment. Expect to pay at least $100 for a haircut and between $90–200 for a colour treatment — but trust us, it’ll be worth every penny.

    If your regrowth has gotten the better of you, you can order Academie’s colour kit at home complete with instructions and a how-to video.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 15

    Crown Street’s salon offers high-end fashion cuts in a relaxed environment. The salon’s Creative Director Mel Martin puts customer experience above all else, making it a place you can drop into without feeling intimidated. You’ll still leave feeling ready for the cover of a magazine. Women’s shampoo, cut and dry start at $90 (or $60 from an emerging stylist), with men’s starting at $50. Aside from cuts, the Surry Hills favourite also specialises in extensions and balayage, along with other beauty services like eyebrow shaping and professional makeup application.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 14
    The Emporium Barber (Bondi Beach)

    Hailing from Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, The Emporium Barber migrated to Sydney and opened its Bondi Beach shop back in 2016. It promises ‘the ultimate man’s grooming experience’, with premium haircuts and shaves ($40–65), facials, waxing and threading all on offer — along with Toby’s Estate coffee while you wait. Those premium shaves include scented hot towels, pre-shave oils, shaving creams and aftershave balms, too. While they specialise in men’s cuts, the barbershop also offers women’s cuts for short-to-medium hair. The shop also sells hair care products, face masks, fragrances, beard balms and shaving kits.

    Image: Yaya Stempler

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  • 13
    SHINKA Hair The Galeries

    Japanese salon Shinka has been a Sydney staple since 2008. It boasts four Sydney CBD locations — one in The Galeries and another two along Clarence and Castlereagh Streets — and three more in Tokyo. You’ll only find Japanese stylists at each Shinka branch, most of whom have experience working in Tokyo. The Sydney locations also offer luxurious interiors, like high cathedral ceilings, glazed walls and gold and white finishes. Cuts start at $70 for women and $60 for men, with colour treatments from $120 and balayage from $180. Alongside your usual cuts and blows, Shinka also offers Japanese hair straightening and digital perms — the latter will leave you with natural looking, bouncy curls.

    Image: Engin Akyurt

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  • 12
    Royals Hair

    The award-winning team at Royal Hair Salon (winners of the AHIA Australian Salon of the Year 2018) boasts some of our city’s best stylists, colourists and hair extension technicians. Highly lauded co-founder Mary Alamine and partner Adam Alamine started the salon in Castle Hill, and now have three additional outposts under the Royal brand — including in Cherrybrook, Hornsby and Brookvale. But we suggest heading to the Castle Hill location if you can. Here, you’ll be treated as part of the family — it feels more like a local hangout than a hair salon. The hairdressers are a creative bunch, with extensions and colour a specific focus here. Cuts start from a reasonable $55 for Men’s style cuts or $80 for a style cut and blow dry, and you can even add on a caviar hair treatment while you’re at it.

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  • 11
    A Loft Story

    Tucked away on Lennox Street, along the Newtown side of Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, A Loft Story is a leafy oasis of a hair salon. Here, you can have your hair cut among plants aplenty, adding to the relaxing vibe that is so necessary at any salon.  True to its Newtown home, these specialists offer up the latest, greatest and funkiest hairstyles around. The shop specialises in colouring, so expect to see patrons leaving the salon with turquoise and bright pink dos aplenty — along with the more typical platinum blondes, balayage and tints. Cuts start from $75, with treatments starting at $120.

    Images: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 10
    Rumbie & Co

    Here at Rumbie & Co, the team led by Rumbie Mutsiwa specialise in cutting, treating and styling wavy, curly and afro hair. After finishing her apprenticeship, Mutsiwa opened the salon in 2014 with a mission to help clients “embrace every curl”. Unlike traditional salons, Rumbie & Co stylists cuts hair dry to “enhance the natural curl pattern”. After the curls are looking well-defined and the client is happy with the shape, they are then treated to the usual shampoo, blow-dry and style. Rumbie & Co also offers specialty afro styling, including cornrows, dreadlocks, and weaves. Of course, the usual hairdressing services like colouring and treatments are available, too. To help with the upkeep, the salon also has its own range of products, including curl gels and silk pillowcases.

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  • 9
    Extra Silky

    Extra Silky is an inner west salon that specialises in bright colours and bold looks, and strives for sustainability. Initially set up by Nina Ratsaphong in Paddington, the salon moved to Parramatta Road in Petersham just before Sydney’s latest lockdown. Here, Nina, Emma and Haruka can hook you up with a neon-coloured shaved head, a fresh mullet or just a classic style. All prices here are gender neutral and all cuts include a relaxing shampoo and conditioner treatment and a blow dry. Prices start at $35 for clipper cuts or $98 for short hair and go up to $150. A range of colouring and styling options are all on offer. Plus, you can order hair and beauty products, as well as fun accessories like socks and custom-made multi-colour phone charms at the salon’s store.

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  • 8
    Goodfellas Barber Shop Eastern Creek

    Goodfellas has all of the charm of an old school barbershop, mixed with all of the modern convenience of a modern salon. Specialising in fades, trims, beards and shape-ups, the barbershop has you leaving each appointment feeling better than ever. Your service can also include a hot towel, face mask and special hair treatments, too. The stylists here are especially knowledgeable and prices are very reasonable — crew cuts start at $20. With tiled floors and walls and those classic barbershop chairs, this place has vibe of its own — you’ll nearly expect to see a barbershop quartet singing out front.

    Image: Hai Phung

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  • 7

    Head to Tooth and Nail for expert style and precision with laidback stylists and barbers. The team are passionate about other local small businesses so, depending on your appointment time, you’ll be able to enjoy a batch coffee from nearby Matinee Coffee or a craft beer from the likes of The Grifter or Philter. Oh, and many, many pats of resident pup Brando. Haircuts are priced based on time required so a 40-minute barber’s cut is $65, while a long-style cut is $105 for 60 minutes — both include a wash and style. You can also book in for colour work, including tints, highlights and balayage, and a full wet shave service with a cut throat razor. The latter takes 40 minutes and will involve three hot towels and is finished with moisturiser and luxurious oils.

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  • 6
    Face of Man

    Face of Man opened in The Strand Arcade way back in 1978. The male grooming lounge is still going strong over 40 years later, now located just down the block along George Street. The space resembles a 1920s smoking lounge and is considered the top spot for male skincare and haircare in Sydney. There are seven treatment rooms, and a wide range of options from waxing and nail care to massages, laser hair removal and tattoo removal. It’s all accompanied by a glass of scotch on arrival, too. First time visitors can get a whole heap of services for just $99 all up, including professional skin analysis, a one-hour customised facial, a hydrating eye treatment, an eyebrow tidy and even a neck and shoulder massage.

    Image: Emiliano Vittoriosi

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  • 5
    Koda Cutters

    Bondi’s Koda Cutters is run by Creative Director Diane Gorgievski, a celebrity and editorial hairstylist who styles fashion mag photo shoots for the likes of Elle and Vogue, as well as having an impressive background in directing runway looks for Melbourne Fashion Week. This super sleek salon specialises in edgy, model-worthy cuts for women and men, with a bit of Bondi cool thrown in for good measure. Here, you’ll get the deluxe treatment, with custom colour work and freehand colouring on offer. Haircuts start at $145, with blow-dry appointments from $50.

    Image: Yaya Stempler

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  • 4
    Ziggy's Barber Salon

    Based inside Oxford Village shopping centre, Ziggy’s describes itself as a “modern old-school barbershop” and welcomes both guys and gals to visit for a cut, colour or shave. Whether you’re after a classic look or are ready for something a little wilder, the team of experienced stylists and barbers will sort you out. A cut and style starts at $58 for guys and $95 for ladies, with keratin and conditioning treatments, extensions and cut-throat face shaves all on offer, too.

    Images: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 3
    AH Shop Salon

    AH Shop Salon, housed in the heritage-listed old Newtown Post Office building, is part salon, part store, and part co-working space for local creatives. It’s easy to see why the community loves it. First of all: the stunning space is airy, open, and filled with natural light and greenery. Secondly, the salon, which was founded in 2015, is now filled with dedicated hairstylists and beauty experts who care about their customers first and foremost. Treatments start from $80 for a cut and range from hair cuts, colour and keratin treatments to facials, custom intravenous infusions and lash treatments. The space also stocks dozens of top-tier beauty and lifestyle brands, including Helmut Lang, Murad, Christophe Robin and Maison Balzac.

    Images: Arvin Prem Kumar

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  • 2
    Marc & Maxwell

    Nestled up a set of stairs overlooking Surry Hills’ Bourke Street, you’ll now find the light-filled hair studio that’s home to Marc & Maxwell. It’s the work of internationally trained duo Sabrina Maxwell and Marc Armstrong, who together boast over three decades of senior salon experience as colourists and stylists. The boutique salon offers the full spectrum of cutting, blow-drying, colouring and treatment services, with cuts for women starting from $120 and for men from $95 — each including a full personalised consultation. Touches of polished concrete and exposed brick lend an urban chic feel, and soaring French windows offer the sort of natural light and leafy outlook you might expect if you were sitting in a treehouse. Here, you’re invited to reconnect with your best self (and your best-ever hair), in a setting that’s stylish, yet relaxed and unfussy.

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  • 1
    Hair Colab

    Whether you’ve got a big event coming up, your post-lockdown locks are in need of some TLC or you just want to reinvent your look, picking the right salon is something of a fine art. Fortunately, Mosman’s Hair Colab makes it an easy choice due to the team’s passion and attention to detail when it comes to all things hair. Owner Biba Binks worked at various high-end salons for many years before opening her own. It offers personalised consultations and shiatsu head massages at the basin, with men’s cuts starting from $85, or $135 for women.

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Top image: Cassandra Hannagan.

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