Haircut in NYC
April 22, 2004 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Where to get a decent guy's haircut in New York? I don't want a buzz cut, and I don't want to spend more than 20 bucks or so. Painful past history.
posted by muckster to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total)
There's a decent shop on Astor Place, next to the Barnes and Noble, by Broadway. It was $10 or so when I left a few years ago, probably similar now. It is kind of a factory, but I was always pleased with the result. But then, I'm not too picky.
posted by shotsy at 3:45 PM on April 22, 2004


I've been to (and worked at) ritzy salons and nothing I've seen comes close to a $12 dry cut from "Einstein".

As long as you're a guy. (on preview: must be the place shotsy is talking about - map included in last link)
posted by headless at 3:48 PM on April 22, 2004

I'll second the recommendation for Astor Place Hair. It's a little iffy, because there are so many people working there, but the average skill level is really solid. There's a guy who works on the first level named Tomas who gave me a really good stylish corporate type haircut a couple of weeks ago. They know what they're doing, but you have to be specific if you want something special.

On preview: Make that third the recommendation for Astor Place Hair.
posted by mmcg at 3:51 PM on April 22, 2004

what kind of cut do you want? for a trim, or basic corp. cut--those Jean Louis Davids can be ok--be specific about how much or how little you want taken off, etc.
posted by amberglow at 4:00 PM on April 22, 2004

In fact, Astor Place is part of the painful history I mentioned. Maybe I didn't communicate well enough, but I got the kind of cut there that makes you want to hide in your closet for a month. She actually carved a pattern into my neckline. I've also gotten awful results from Aveda's training salon, somewhere in SoHo. I had a guy in Astoria I trusted but he vanished.

I'm looking for something slightly funkier than the regular corporate haircut--but I don't know exactly what that is, and that must be part of my problem. Actually, I'd love to find a stylist who might suggest something.
posted by muckster at 5:51 PM on April 22, 2004

then I'd suggest going to an expensive place--once--just to have someone take charge and do something, then going to a barber or cheaper place to maintain it. NYmag usually has one or two in its annual list of "Best."
posted by amberglow at 6:07 PM on April 22, 2004

I'll second that -- once you've got a really good haircut, the next cutter, even if they're mediocre, can follow the lines and preserve it. (Just don't tell the expensive place that; the one time I did I got the worst haircut ever.)
posted by Tlogmer at 6:32 PM on April 22, 2004

Ok, this is what you do: go to John Allan's.

It's sort of expensive, but totally, 100% worth it.
posted by bshort at 7:54 PM on April 22, 2004

muckster --- I REEEEEEEAALY must disagree with amberglow and Tlogmer. Hairstylists get better the more they see you, as they learn how your hair grows out and what it does after it dries, and what you're really like, and so forth. I've had my hair cut in new york city for everything between free and $80 (for a men's style!!). The price of the hairstylist has little to do with anything other than the price of their product and the degree of the stylist's interest in an upwardly mobile lifestyle. Though Astor Place can be hit or miss, I encourage you to spend the $50 you would spend on one visit to a high priced place to go to the same stylist 4 times. Go every three weeks if you want. Go with one of the recos in this thread, or hang out outside for 20 mins and ask someone who has similar hair who they saw.

Unless you have particularly "ethnic" (industry term) hair or very very fine hair, I would again highly recommend EINSTEIN. He's really good at the hip-but-still-employable do.

If you REALLY don't want to go to Astor Place, I would also suggest Jerry's Men's Hair Salon (very Male - playboys on the table, hot shaves, Rockefeller building) or Avalon Salon. Tell the receptionist what you are looking for and they will usually help you select a stylist. I saw George at Jerry's and Frank at Avalon and was happy with both of them. (same hip but not too hip thing)
posted by headless at 8:02 PM on April 22, 2004

one more thing worth repeating (it was mentioned lately here) LEAVE A GOOD TIP. 20% or so is good. where many waiters are lucky to get 15%, that will get you no attention amongst hairstylists. Want to leave a good tip? That's 25% or more. But there are those who will disagree... (if you get a $12 cut at Astor Place, leave an $8 tip).
posted by headless at 8:09 PM on April 22, 2004

Jeez, I gave up on Astor Place Hair in like 1979. The buzz cut is the only cut they do well on a white guy.

Really, go somewhere good, spend $80 (plus $20 tip), and have a friend take a couple of pictures afterwards to take to a cheaper place next time.
posted by nicwolff at 8:58 PM on April 22, 2004

get a 4 all over.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:06 AM on April 23, 2004

Bumble and Bumble (warning: semi-obnoxious Flash) has a 'university' where they give out free haircuts. I haven't been yet, but, having seen some pretty fantastic results on several friends, will be giving it a try next time I need a trim.
posted by saladin at 6:49 AM on April 23, 2004

8$ tip on a 12$ cut?

That seems excessive.
posted by bshort at 7:07 AM on April 23, 2004

Astor Place Hair? Are you people out of your minds? It's a mill! It's the worst three-minute haircut possible, anywhere. If we're ever in a group photo together, remind me to stand next to you because I'm bound to look better by comparison.

I recommend the Russian barbers on the north side of 17th Street just west of Broadway, next to the shoe repair place. It looks like any old salon, but the father and his sons cut great hair, and are nice people to boot. DO NOT LET THE MOTHER CUT YOUR HAIR. She's a butcher.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:10 AM on April 23, 2004

In Astoria, I go to Helen's Family Haircutting, on Ditmars Boulevard at I think 38th Street. (It's just west of Steinway, on the north side of the street.) It's above the Sant'Antonio Abate Castrofilippo Social Club. (really.)

Helen is a Russian immigrant that does a good job (I think) with me. At least I'm compltely satisfied with her work.
posted by Vidiot at 11:44 AM on April 23, 2004

If you're ever out in Seattle, I recommend: Rudy's

If you're ever down in Atlanta, I recoomend: Highland Barber

They are exactly what you want. Halfway between a $10 hack job and a $45 hair-consultation fru fru thing. I think that both places charge $17 so you can leave a $3 tip and get out at $20. Is it possible that NYC does not have this? Sheesh. Best city in the world, my ass.
posted by zpousman at 2:22 PM on April 23, 2004

Correction to my comment above -- Helen's is just east of Steinway, not just west of Steinway. Still a great haircut. I'm planning to go there on Thursday, as a matter of fact.

(And in Atlanta I went to the old-school barber shop in the Peachtree Battle shopping center.)
posted by Vidiot at 8:15 PM on April 25, 2004

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