- Head Quarterz Salon
80 Lafayette St., 212-406-3381
The justly famous Japanese hair-straightening process works on almost every kind of unruly hair—but it can run over $500 and, worse, leave roots brittle and broken. Enter Steve Kong, whose clean and airy Chinatown salon has been straightening hair shafts for more than a decade, for $150 less than the going rate (treatments start at $350). Kong is one of a handful of New York stylists with an advance certificate for the treatment. He tests hair and scalp, then custom mixes the chemicals and protective lotions so that your hair gets straightened without getting destroyed.