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Beauty & Fitness: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Hair Salons

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The eye candy that resides downtown and pays a lot of attention to all things Prada also cultivates a fondness for the Mario Nico Salon (266 West 22nd Street; 727-8464) -- but so, too, do young moms and white-collar execs from the neighborhood. There are antique French mirrors, Italian-marble floors, and custom-made chairs. Still, this intimate, upscale salon is high-end hip without being haughty -- at least, Donovan Leitch and Janeane Garofalo think so.

40 East 3rd (925-4461) is a lunar module that landed in the middle of the East Village last summer with Liz Morache and Christopher Naselli (both ex-John Dellaria acolytes) aboard. The ten-by-sixteen-foot steel box, which seats two, is a minimalist's dream: All the styling products are suspended on an accordion-style tray from the ceiling. A minimalist's nightmare? The line that forms outside on weekends.


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