A great hair day doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by appointment. One ritual that never fails to elevate our mood is the regularly scheduled visit to our favourite hair salon for a cut, colour and catch-up (or some solitude, if that’s what you desire). Auckland knows no shortage of brilliant salons, each beloved by a loyal following of devoted clientele, who return time and time again to elevate their appeal. From the new guard operators to the stalwarts who have stood the test of time, the salons that follow are our very best.
Colleen, Karangahape Road
With its recognisable window of greenery, Colleen invites its many loyal clients to sit back and relax — even among the urban buzz of Karangahape Road. Founded by top New Zealand hairstylist Lauren Gunn, the salon may have a casual, carefree vibe — but it’s backed up with a truckload of skill and attention to detail from each of the talented stylists. The overall philosophy centres on helping clients achieve their hair goals while keeping each head of tresses in tip-top condition, and Colleen’s team are an inspiring bunch, often involved in editorial fashion projects, which gives them a well-rounded viewpoint and skillset.
Commune, Grey Lynn
From Grey Lynn’s The Scrapyard, the perennially-cool Commune is known for facilitating a seriously good chop. Director Leigh Keepa is a master at his craft, cutting curls in a non-prescriptive manner to emphasise natural body, without attempting to fit into the latest trends or moulds. A true saviour for our ringlets indeed. We’re also incredibly enamoured with the salon’s dispensary, a refillery concept that seeks to reduce the environmental impact of beauty products while still recognising salon quality superiority.
Stephen Marr, Newmarket
Having built up something of an embassy, with its fresh and uncontrived approach to hair and beauty, Stephen Marr is undeniably one of Auckland’s greats. Thanks to its popular salon in Newmarket, the stylists here have been recognised as industry favourites by designers, directors, photographers, and of course, the salon’s most loyal clientele.
ANCO Studio, Viaduct Harbour
From it’s extremely picturesque Viaduct Harbour vantage point, ANCO Studio’s devoted clients will attest that this salon’s stylists do hair best. If you manage to find a spot on his books, salon director Adrian Deng has earned himself the title of one of the City’s best blonde colourists, having mastered hair transformations that feel more like wizardry than simple human touch.
D&M Hair Design, Ponsonby
Multi-award winning salon D&M Hair Design was founded by Danny Pato and Michael Sisaengrath 15 years ago and remains beloved and respected today for its high calibre of service and skill — plus, a hefty dose of creativity. The team’s passion for what they do is palpable, with a comprehensive in-house training programme that keeps each stylist, colourist and assistant abreast of the latest international trends and techniques. Instantly recognisable from the large-scale photo editorials on its Redmond St windows, D&M’s lively salon and its resident team welcome even new clients like old friends.
Something of a stalwart in Auckland’s hairdressing scene, Britomart’s award-winning salon Ryder has been operating since 1999 under the meticulous and brilliant eye of Greg Murrell. The salon’s history has been deftly intertwined with the local fashion industry, shaping some of the most iconic looks that have defined on-shore trends. Within the salon, Ryder also proudly hosts the work of artist Michael Parekowhai — speaking to the multi-faceted appeal of this institution.
M11 Studio, Newmarket
Staking its luxurious place on the corner of Newmarket’s McColl Street, M11 Studio has solidified its reputation for excellence across all categories of haircare, styling, maintenance, and even makeup services, since it was founded by Mobeen Bhikoo and Trish Mathews in early 2016. Both have decades of experience in the industry, and a great eye for contemporary cuts and colours that are expertly executed to be effortlessly worn by their clients — as do M11’s team of highly accomplished and experienced stylists. From the moment one is welcomed into the award-winning, Hare Interiors-designed salon, an appointment at M11 is a welcome oasis of pampering, fit for the most discerning of clients.
This intimate wee Grafton salon represents the new vaguard of salons that we find utterly enticing. Small and pared-back in its nature (thanks to a meticulous interior fit-out by Katie Lockhart Studio), the team here is close-knit and incredibly talented, with a slant toward an editorial-inspired appeal. If it’s bold and brave colours and copper tones you seek, few do it better than Hèlmut.
Hare & Hunter, Remuera
This Remuera-based salon has only been taking care of Eastern Suburbs’ tresses since 2020, but has garnered an excellent reputation thanks to its owner. Alongside specialising in lived-in looks, Brooke Mann has become one of the most sought-after bridal stylists in known, known for her signature tousled looks that only serve to enhance life’s most perfect moments. Alongside weddings, Mann’s vast and varied services can be employed for any upcoming events too.
Specialising in the kind of lived-in blonde that is genuinely low maintenance, Becca Brown has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the best blonde colourists in the City. The salon itself is small and intimate, and from its Richmond Road address, it is a must-visit for anyone seeking the beach babe blonde.
If you’re looking to have your tresses tended to by the best, make for Kingsland-based salon Una, who were recently awarded New Zealand salon of the year at the industry awards. Whether it’s beautifully blended balayage or a chic French bob you seek, you’ll be in good hands here.