I totally have a love / hate relationship with my hair. Once upon a time, I had smooth, long, sun-kissed waves. Then, puberty hit and those waves sprung into a mass of unruly curls. It’s laughable how much of my adolescent years were spent in fights with my hair. These Austin Salons make life a little easier these days…
Most recently, I’ve got the unique pleasure of dealing with postpartum hair loss and the sudden appearance of random grays.
Best Haircut: At Bird’s Barbershop, getting a haircut shouldn’t be a chore. Some may take this out of the “salons” category. When everyone’s invited, the party’s more fun. They take making people look great as a sweet job. With 10 locations around Austin and several awards for Best Salon in Austin, this has been an awesome place for men’s and women’s cuts as well as styling. While they don’t take appointments for haircuts, (they do for color!) Birds works on a Day Of waitlist. Clients can walk in during regular business hours or call ahead to be placed on the wait list. Everyone gets a cold Independence beer (yes please!) and they’ve got free wi-fi and old arcade games to pass the time. They even carry their own line of hair products. Also, the whole fam is welcome, haircuts for all!
Best Cut & Style: Callie Driskill at Third Space Salon. Tall, blonde, well-traveled & stylish, Callie is like the cool sister I’ve always wanted. But unlike some sisters (who maybe aren’t so into sharing their stuff!), she is overly generous with her skills, vision, and advice on product recommendations. She thoroughly discusses lifestyle –the type of workout you do, how often you wash your hair, if you heat style everyday– all of these factors shape how she cuts your hair. Even more so, as she says, “Many times the cut determines the color and it’s all part of the whole look,” she is full-service and does it all: airbrush makeup, styling on-site, bridal updos, and more. In fact, one of her most popular services is balayage & ombre’ color. Leaving the foil behind & embracing a more natural color, moms appreciate her color technique because they only need to come in every four months for a touch-up. Women’s Haircut: $70.
Best Brazilian Blowout: Shamara Wilson at Shear Envy Salon. Not all salon-grade smoothing treatments are created equal! At her Round Rock studio, Shamara performs the original Brazilian Blowout. I can personally attest to what she tells her clients all the time: there are a hundred different keratin smoothing services offered around town, but there is only one Brazilian Blowout. –It’s her featured treatment & what she’s known for, performing at least two of them a day. What makes this service great for moms is that it reduces bulkiness, cuts down on blow-dry time, and only needs reapplication about every three months. Anything that saves me time in the morning & makes life easier, I’m all about! In fact, many clients can leave their top-knot days behind and just walk out of the shower & air dry. Call 512-341-ENVY (3689) to book. Brazilian Blowout: $175.
Best Consult & Color: Khoury Mueller at Jose Luis Salon. A 4th-generation hairstylist and recent transplant to the Austin-area, he calls the Lamar Union location of Jose Luis Salon home. Right from the start, the consultation portion of the appointment is where his talent shows off. He can somehow translate my babbling attempt to explain what I want: I want my hair to look polished but not ‘fixed,’ I want it ‘natural’ but still super smooth, I want color that is subtle but still impactful, etc. He uses a mix of intuition, artistry, and fine face-quality makeup brushes to create color that somehow mimics highlights produced by Mother Nature. These custom couture looks take a little longer and cost slightly more but they hold-up & last. The end result is color so natural & blended, it could be second-guessed for a summer spent on an Italian coast. Partial Highlights: $125 & up.
Best Blow Dry: Dry Society Styling Lounge. This Domain-area blow dry bar and makeup lounge’s primary focus is giving clients over-the-top service. Whether it’s a complimentary glass of bubbly or a stellar head massage at the shampoo bowl, I always feel super-relaxed and pampered after each visit. Plus, I find I get consistent excellent results no matter which stylist I see. They pride themselves on excess training and making sure the client has an outstanding experience every time. In case you get hooked (which is easy to do!), memberships and packages are offered as well. Signature Blowout: $40.
What are your favorite Austin hair salons? Share in the comments!