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

Fix up and look sharp, with help from the professionals.
Marissa Ciampi
Published on August 27, 2020

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

in partnership with

Fix up and look sharp, with help from the professionals.

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. And, when you are ready to shed some split ends or dye that regrowth, there's nothing more transformative than a trip to the salon.

We've teamed up with American Express to bring you a list of the city's top hairdressers and barbershops, so you can treat yourself to a hot towel shave, a deluxe head massage and a professional haircut. From award-winning celebrity stylists to 40-year-old barbershops, you can shop small at these salons and barbers with your Amex Card.

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    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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    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 you’re 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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    Koda Cutters

    Bondi’s Koda Cutters is run by Creative Director Diane Gorgievski, a celebrity and editorial hair stylist 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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    Crown Street’s salon offers high fashion cuts in a relaxed environment. The salon’s Creative Director Mel Martin puts the 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 starts 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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    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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    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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    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 $80, and you can even add on a caviar hair treatment while you’re at it.

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    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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    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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    Tooth and Nail

    Head to Tooth and Nail for expert style and precision with a laidback approach. 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. It also does 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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Support the places you love and shop small at the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express, its Shop Small initiative and current Shop Small offer, which ends on August 31, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots.

Top image: Cassandra Hannagan.

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