the fab four.

New York’s Best Hair Stylists. TONY
Shinobu Ozawa @Sei-Tomoko Salon ($54)
“Specializing in long, layered styles as well as more out-there asymmetrical cuts, Ozawa serves a clientele reflective of the salon’s East Village neighborhood, from conservative paralegals to individualistic media types. Upon entering the sub-ground salon to a chorus of hello! from the smiling Japanese staff, you’ll be whisked to a shampoo station, where your scalp is soothingly worked over for ten minutes before you’re settled into the barber’s chair for a five-minute neck-and-shoulder rub. About halfway into the trim, Ozawa grows quiet, concentrating on the job at hand. To wrap up, you’ll rinse (again), be given a hot towel for your face before exiting to a chorus of bye-bye!”

Pros = 2 rinses , 2 massages, 2 min from my apt!
Cons = underground asian choruses (sorry)
Francine Kelley @Salon Harmony ($72)
“People come from as far as California to have their hair cut and dyed by Kelley. The chatty stylist has been living and breathing her craft for 18 years—don’t be surprised, on a return visit, to hear that she’s been pondering your next style in the interim. Expect lively stories of her family back in the Caribbean, free bang trims and a comfy, no-pretenses atmosphere.”

Pros = 18 years experience, no pretense, caribbean tales!
Cons = hauling ass to brooklyn (ugh)
Katie Dolinar @Fringe Salon ($102)
“Dolinar’s easygoing personality paired with Fringe’s vintage-cozy vibe is a match made in haircut heaven. In her four and a half years with this seven-chair Lower East Side salon, the Ohio native has perfected the stylish (without looking styled), indie-gal cut: long, layered and totally low-maintenance. Top your new ’do with Dolinar’s signature fringey bangs or effortlessly sculpted side swoop and stand by for compliments from strangers. The fact that her cuts grow out ridiculously well means you won’t have to lay eyes on the salon’s exposed-brick walls, tiled floor and high tin ceilings for quite some time—though we’re betting you’ll probably want to.”

Pros = haircut heaven, great growouts, compliments from strangers!
Cons = signature indie bangs (the last thing I need)
Kate Schlichter @Bumble and bumble ($132)
“A trip to Bumble and bumble—with its perks like massaging shampoo chairs and an in-salon cafe—is a treat no matter what. But when we need to get serious, we ask for Kate Schlichter. This woman is literally a master: A trainer at the Bumble & bumble University for the past six years, she instructs visiting stylists from all over the country. When she’s not teaching, she cuts hair at both Bb’s pristine midtown salon and its edgier counterpart in the Meatpacking District. As a stylist, Schlichter is a creative chameleon. “I’m not a hairdresser-y hairdresser,” she says with a smile. Translation: She caters to little old ladies and mohawked skater chicks with equal ease, tailoring her approach to clients’ personalities. The proof is in her subtle cuts, which get months of mileage without losing steam.”

Pros = master hairdresser, subtle cuts, bumble & bumble typeface!
Cons = a touch pricey (for now)
Thoughts?  I really want to make this next cut count . . .