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Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm; Sun, 11am-7pm
Nearby Subway Stops
6 at Astor Pl.; N, R at 8th St.-NYU
Is this the East Village, or Tokyo's hip Harajuku district? It's easy to get lost in translation when stepping into this downtown salon run by, and mainly catering to, young, trendy Asians. This second branch—the original is located near Grand Central—was opened in the eighties, but the similarities stop at the name: Like a rebellious kid sister, everything about the East Village offshoot is younger and cooler. (And with twenty-two chairs, as opposed to eight, it's also bigger.) The clientele is a mix of neighborhood locals, NYU students, and style-conscious Asians from all parts of New York City (and even across state lines) willing to travel to get their tresses cut by someone who knows their hair type personally. If neither the staff nor the regulars tipped you off, Hair Mates specializes in naturally straight hair and the choppy, rock-star things you can do to it. Patrons pour out to Astor Place with appropriate 'dos: big, chunky bangs with a mix of high- and low-lights (dark pieces in front frame the face; lighter strands in back add the funk). You'll also walk out feeling surprisingly refreshed, thanks to the occasional spa-worthy head and back massages doled out during and after the shampoo.Extra
Want to experiment with your ‘do? Hair Mates frequently updates its website with the various looks the staff can create and replicate on you.
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Best of New York: Health & Self
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.