Mon-Fri, 11am-9pm; Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun, 10am-6pm
6 at Astor Pl.; L at First Ave.; F at Second Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
In this case, V is for Vernelle, the Hawaiian-bred, East Village–cool owner of V Salon. That’s just Vernelle, as in Cher or Madonna, although she doesn’t fancy herself a diva. Despite her disarmingly hip image, the proprietress is the kind of stylist you inevitably end up spilling your guts to. Her more-charming-than-edgy vibe can be felt throughout the salon’s red-accented hair quarters, where mostly local scenesters inspect their tamed rocker cuts in gilded mirrors on exposed-brick walls. Almost-famous Off Broadway stars, Village artsy types, and a fair share of cubicle dwellers rave about the carefully treated color services and little perks like complimentary wine, pre-shampoo aromatherapy scalp massages, and budget-friendly bang trims. Color is the undisputed specialty here, but Vernelle and company are more focused on maintaining healthy manes than just slapping a new coat of paint over blah hair. Pre- and post-color treatments are strongly encouraged to fill in paltry strands. If you opt for color only, like V’s Balayage (hand-painted, natural-looking) highlights, a blow-dry is never extra; every service gets a finished style.