Our Top 5 Hair Spots in Chicago

Ever since I’ve moved to Chicago, I’ve been reluctant on getting any drastic hair services done due to an average experience that was poorly researched on my end. Being new in the city, I needed that urgent split hair trim and went into something that looked trendy on the outside but in reality, not what I expected on the inside. Sadly, I let my hair grow for as long as I could until I went back home like a mutt (Dubai) or New York (my most trusted hairdresser). It’s now been a few years and I’ve put my foot down, on a mission to find world class, the best of the mid-west in this bustling city. I’ve also had several requests from my new-in-town friends and visitors, so this is for you guys! Here are my finds:

1. Mario Tricoci: Research & Academy

We asked our most stylish features on The Chicago Chic for recommendations, especially for cut and colour and discovered common favorites. Mario Tricoci was one of them. I did some research on the salon and though I’d try it out myself. Turns out that this Salon was not only THE place to get hair colour and highlights in Chicago, the establishment has a culture and heritage built in Illinois, developing 10 beauty schools across the state, making the Michigan Av. location one of Chicago’s top Hair academies. That made me think- sold. I always grew up believing not to go after the fancy packaging of a brand but rather for the science and research that goes behind it such as Kerastase products for example. Italian founder Mario Tricoci has also developed a product range sold exclusively for his clients and at the salon.

I went ahead and booked an appointment with top colourist at MT, Nelida D’Alessandro who has been with the salon for several years. Besides directing a beautiful summer ombre highlight (she has two awesome assistants that help her work on several clients at the same time), she educated me on several things hair, gave me some tips and made me understand the hair dye process. A teacher, an expert and a perfectionist- Nelida gave me the dream ombre highlights I wanted before my wedding!

Nelida (middle) with her assistants
Nelida (middle) with her assistants

Services offered: Blowouts, haircuts, all-over color, highlights, make up and an incredibly zen and pleasant spa.
Style: Elegant, Sophisticated or Trendy
Celebrities who would get their hair cut there: Victoria Beckham or Eva Mendes. Cindy Crawford was spotted at MT several times.
Professional Hair (Friendly) Products they use: Pureology

Some of their work: 

2. Joseph Michael’s: NY Fashion Week Runway Stylists 

While having breakfast at the Public Hotel in Chicago, we were told about a *secret* hair dresser spot for all the Gold Coast ladies in-the-know. Surely, it was a little hidden gem that one would normally miss- a very low profile salon and spa on the outside, but once you enter, it’s a huge space offering several services. I found their staff very warm, courteous and welcoming. We were greeted with some nice spicy cider drink that was very appropriate for the harsh weather outside. The staff are all very hip and edgy.. they even style models at NY Fashion Week. Hip and edgy but with tons of class & style! Edwin Torres was spotted at last NYFW’s Thakoon runway, managing their hair… sold!

My hair has been a dry frizz mess with Chicago’s winter and I needed a treatment that would help with this problem, in addition to a quick trim and a mani/padi. The manicure and pedicure was professional, everyone praised them until they had to come off. Next- the hair service. After a lovely hair cut, I went ahead for Alex’s Kerastase hair treatment that mimics the effects of keratin hair treatments – except – it’s not. Keratin treatments can be harsh and considering that I’m pregnant, I did not want to harm my baby in any way by exposing my hair to dangerous chems. The result was awesome, hair is more manageable, less frizz and it’s still got body and movement. The process: hair is washed, the product is used, the hair is dried then ironed, washed once again and lastly styled with more Kerastase professional products (btw.. they only use Kerastase, so you’re in for a treat!) Alex was very gentle and friendly, talking to me about all things hip and cool. It turns out that we had a similar taste in music and style. I felt like I was back in NY for some reason.. which on a personal note, gave me the confidence to return to this salon!

Expert Alex Pressler
Expert Alex Pressler

Services offered: Blowouts, haircuts, Colour & Highlights, hair treatments, Nail & spa
Style: Elegant & Sophisticated
Celebrities who would get their hair cut there: Kate Middleton, Olivia Palermo  or Fashion Week/ Cat-Walk Hair
Professional Hair (Friendly) Products they use: Kerastase

Their Work: 

3. Spoke & Weal

Owner and founder of this cool-kid, bicoastal hair spot Jon Reyman has not only developed his own technique of hair cutting, but he’s also revolutionized the world of hair styling- specifically through density in haircuts. Spoke and Weal hairdressers embrace Reyman’s technique for dry cutting, which involves chopping off hair without a single drop of water touching it. “Dry hair tells no lies,” he says and I decided to take this approach on a test. Results were fascinating and as the stylist cuts your hair, you can see where it’s all heading. With wet hair, you can’t really tell what your hair will look like- in terms of density and style but at Spoke & Weal, it’s what you see is what you get.

In addition to their brilliant haircuts, Reyman acts as Aveda’s Global Creative Director which means you’re in the right hands of the color experts – from trend and suitability for every hair type. This salon started off in San Francisco and since then has gained nationwide recognition with fast expansion into the East Coast, Midwest and with more expansion plans ahead. Get on board with the trend setters at Spoke & Weal!

Services offered: Hair Cuts, Hair Colour & Highlights
Style: Modern, Contemporary
Celebrities who would get their hair cut there: Sienna Miller, Lana Del Rey
Professional Hair (Friendly) Products they use: Aveda all the way!

Their Work: 

4. Custom Hair Lounge: The International Contemporary Artists

Tucked under trees and in between beautiful Lincoln Park Single Family homes, this hair dresser an escape from Chicago’s hustle and bustle. Owners of the establishment are from Europe & Brazil, making the salon perfectly international. The head stylist is also known globally, flying to Europe frequently for special events and shows. So far, we’ve had mens haircuts at this salon and the result is great… In fact, I would call it the best salon for edgy mens hair cuts in Chicago. This hair dresser offers you experimental hair cuts influenced by International Trends so if you want to be the trendiest in the office or peers – this is the place to check out!


Services offered: Hair Cuts, Hair Colour & Highlights
Style: Trendy, Edgy, Contemporary, Mens Expert
Celebrities who would get their hair cut there: International DJ celebrities and Lionel Ritchie were spotted there!
Professional Hair (Friendly) Products they use: Morrocan Oil & Neuma

Their Work: 


5. Trianon: The Ethical, design conscious colorist

Enter this salon and you will immediately feel the sophisticated antiquity of the space, quality of their work through the simple decor, the neatness, the products and more importantly: the stylists. The salon focuses on hair color and is known for their outstanding results- think Louis Licari in New York. Colourists have at least 20 years of experience under their belt and stylists as well, all trained under the Sassoon principle. Well ahead of the coloring game, this salon has all the trendy new techniques in hair coloring, including the now popular Balayage- expert Tara looks after you and makes certain that you’ve achieved results you’re happy with. In fact, that’s one thing I love about this place- they ask you to see if you like the service you have received and if doesn’t meet what you’ve imagined, they invite you to come back to perfect it… talk about service! And in terms of pricing- very affordable, for the quality of products used and expertise. They are also caring! Using Davines products, they support farmers in Italy that source each single bottle’s contents from smaller ethical business yet the quality and natural, eco-friendliness of the brand is outstanding. This salon is an overall, no-fuss winner.

Abbey, expert hair stylist
Abbey Doud, expert hair stylist
Co-Founder Pam Orfanos and head colorist
Co-Founder Pam Orfanos and head colorist

Services offered: Hair Cuts, Hair Colour & Highlights
Style: Trendy, Edgy, Contemporary, Mens Expert
Celebrities who would get their hair cut there: Sienna Miller, Anne Hatheway, James Franco
Professional Hair (Friendly) Products they use: Davines Italian hair products


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