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2016 Salon & Stylist Awards

When it comes to looking good, these are the go-to salons and professionals that deliver best-in-class services and results that wow. Stay gorgeous, Chicago!

TRUE COLORS
The color lab at Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa is where master colorist Nelida D’Alessandro mixes up her genius tones.

BEST ONE-STOP SHOP
George the Salon
Already a go-to spot for a killer haircut and color, this prestigious Gold Coast salon now offers a variety of face and body services. TIP After a spa day, opt for the Millenium Rose blowout, which protects strands from UV damage. Hair services from $50, spa services $20-$250, 945 N. Rush St., 312.923.9444 

BEST WOMEN’S HAIRCUT
Anthony Cristiano
Cristiano may travel the world for editorial shoots (he recently styled five Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition models and is headed to Cannes Film Festival this month), but his roots are in Chicago. TIP While Cristiano notes short cuts are on trend, he adds, “I aim for a bespoke look for each client. It is the individual that inspires me the most.” $350, 401 N. Wabash Ave., 312.268.2440 

BEST MEN’S HAIRCUT
Ray Civello
Civello, who splits time here and in Toronto, knows men value efficiency (30 minutes or less in the chair) and a custom look. While military-inspired styles remain popular, he says, many men are exploring variations of the pompadour. TIP Catch Civello in Chicago every two weeks. From $250, 1001 W. North Ave., 312.649.0707 

BEST ON-DEMAND STYLE
Blohaute
Blohaute, a luxury website and app for on-demand blowouts and upstyles, guarantees time for a beauty routine in even the busiest schedules. TIP Blohaute’s stylists are truly on-demand—they will set up in your kitchen or bathroom, and you can book as last-minute as two hours prior to your appointment. Blowouts $50, upstyles $85

MAKING THE CUT
Skilled stylist Nataliya Ilkiv of Michael and Michael also has a knack for creative updos.

BEST FOR NATURAL HAIR
Rahni Michael Flowers at Van Cleef Hair Studio
A bevy of A-list celebrities (Michelle Obama and Jennifer Hudson among them) have had their hair coiffed by Flowers. TIP Flowers believes that using the most beneficial products for your hair type and minimizing the amount of heat applied will result in healthy hair that can then be easily styled. $10-$153, 56 W. Huron St., 312.751.2456 

BEST FOR CURLY HAIR
Cally Raduenzel at Curls & Company
Raduenzel specializes in the Devachan technique, a dry-cutting method that involves carefully snipping each individual curl. TIP Check out the salon’s product selection. “I don’t sell anything that I wouldn’t love to use on my own curly hair,” she says. $86, 1785 W. Howard St., 773.338.6633

BEST UPDO
Nataliya Ilkiv at Michael and Michael
For Ilkiv, who has competed in prestigious international hair competitions, updos are an exciting creative outlet. TIP Ilkiv employs a new technique where the updo is painlessly sewn in with a plastic needle and thread specifically designed for hair, ensuring your style stays put. Updos from $150, bridal day-of services $3,500, 365 W. Chicago Ave., 312.951.0779 

BEST COLOR, BLONDES
Patrick Ryan at Mixed Co. Salon
Ryan is renowned for natural, hand-painted highlights, though he notes that more clients are asking for a solid ultrablonde like January Jones. His balayage technique delivers that saturated color without a harsh line of demarcation. TIP For a major shade shift, plan on more than one salon visit. Partial Balayage from $157, 223 W. Erie St., 312.929.2627

BEST COLOR, REDHEADS
Jasen James at Maxine
James suggests his clients look at this hot hue in terms of temperature: “You’re either a fiery redhead, which is orange red, or a cool, violet redhead.” TIP Because red shades fade quickly, James stresses minimizing hair washing and investing in color-protecting products. Single process from $100, 712 N. Rush St., 312.751.1511

BEST TREND COLOR
Adam Bogucki at Lumination
Bogucki says the spotlight this season is on the sophisticated yet trendy tortoiseshell tone, a blend of golden blonde, chestnut, mahogany and honey. TIP Use a deep-conditioning mask weekly. “Moisturized, shiny hair makes any color look more vibrant,” he adds. Color from $75, 3355 N. Lincoln Ave., Ste. 2, 773.456.4415

BEST COLOR, GENERAL
Nelida D’Alessandro
D’Alessandra, a master colorist at Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, is known for custom color. “A personal look is not everything; it’s the only thing,” she says. TIP Ask D’Alessandro about Continuum, a clinical deep-conditioning product that can be used with color or on its own as an intensive repairing treatment. Color from $90, 900 N. Michigan Ave., 847.202.1900

MOST INNOVATIVE
Smith & Davis Salon
Thanks to intense ongoing continuing education, Stevie Smith, Michael Davis and their talented staff have a knack for creativity (imagine being a glossed blonde with temporary pastel tones mixed in). TIP Going shorter is in, says Smith, who loves crops with bold lines and graphic shapes for those already sporting a short ’do. Cuts from $55, 735 W. Wrightwood Ave., 773.697.4206

BEST PRODUCT LINES
Arch Apothecary
This Old Town staple has 31 different brands of skincare, makeup and hair products available, including department store favorites, like Natura Bissé and Chantecaille, alongside indie cult classics, like Smith & Cult and Sunday Riley. TIP Changed your mind? Save your receipt to exchange any product—even one that’s been used—within 10 days. 1359 N. Wells St., 312.291.9750

BEST BROWS
Cheryl Renella at Channing’s Studio & Spa
With 30-plus years of experience, Renella can transform even the most botched brows. TIP Renella recently added a fill-in tutorial to her service menu, which involves instruction on how to use brow-building fibers to fill in holes or patchiness. Corrective brow shaping $100 for first visit, $75 for maintenance, 67 E. Oak St., Ste. 3W, 312.280.1994

BEST BLOWOUT
Katie Carswell at Blow by Blow
What we really love about Carswell’s blowouts is how long the amazing look stays fresh. TIP Carswell says that this summer is all about natural, healthy hair, so load up on those coconut oil masks and hydrating treatments. From $40, 67 E. Oak St., 312.867.0332 

BEST FOR GROOMING
Merchant & Rhoades
At Merchant & Rhoades, an institution for 25 years, looking dapper is about more than a great haircut. Services, including a beard trim, manicure and shoeshine, have you covered from head to toe. TIP We recommend The Oak Street (a haircut, shave, facial, manicure, pedicure and shoeshine for $353). 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312.337.2525