Salons for Coloring Hair

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  • Hi All! I am looking for a hair stylist that does coloring (highlights) and haircuts in Montclair or Rockridge area. I have straight, fine hair and I am looking for someone that is skilled in doing natural looking blonde highlights. I like my current hair stylist but (a) she is in Walnut Creek and time is precious w/2 kids + working FT and (b) it is expensive! I pay $320 for partial HL and cut (that is before tip!). So I am looking for someone that charges a little less (but I am not sure if that is the going rate? It seems high to me...). Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! 

    Maggie Williams at Studio One on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland is a fabulous hair stylist.  She listens to her clients and her rates are definitely more reasonable than what you have been paying previously.  Her number is 510-318-2444.

    That is about the going rate for the salon that I go to in downtown SF, Union Square (for a cut and perm).

  • Quality hair cut & color?

    Aug 14, 2021

    Who do you love for a hair color and cut? Looking for one as edgy but professional as I used to go to in NY. Tons of recommendations in the archives here, but they're nearly all from 2019 or earlier. The few who are still at the same salon seems to have 2 month+ waitlists, and I need one in the next month. In or near Berkeley preferred.



    I recommend the Grove salon in Albany. As for either Bethany or Taylor who do fabulous haircuts and colors. 

    They also have the top-of-the-line air purifier system with tall ceilings and our stations are far apart as well as everyone is masked. when you call just say Tammy P  recommended you.

    Atsuko in El Cerrito Plaza is great with cuts and color. I especially appreciate her environmentally friendly products and practices. She only has one seat but I recall only having to wait a month or so:

    Oh yes I have someone to recommend!  Rose Bouvier now has her own salon called Golden Salon. It is on Hopkins in Berkeley. She worked for some time at Elixir.  Personally I use her services for cut and formaldehyde-free keratin treatments.  But I've seen her color and she is very very good.  Aside from a skilled cut with attention to detail she offers a salon where she is the only occupant which is nice in these Covid times.  She is plastic-free.  And she is a lot of fun.  I always enjoy my time with her.  She is pretty busy and is taking a vacation soon, but she probably still has some availability.  You can find her here

    I am happy with the color and cut I got recently at Raven and Rose on Solano:

    Tresca Behling at Glama-rama in Oakland (Telegraph @ Alcatraz, so not far from Berkeley; they also have a SF location) has been cutting and coloring my hair for several years. She's great; I get a ton of compliments. My hair is currently in shades of red, pink, purple, and blue, along with my natural white. I usually don't have trouble booking within 2-3 weeks.

    I wanted to spoil myself when I got my hair cut and styled for maternity photos, so I went to PONY salon in Oakland. They were amazing! They have people there that specialize in what you are looking for. They are cutting edge, friendly, and experts in their craft who are passionate about what they do and it shows. I was very happy with their work. I did not get coloring done, but you can look them up for reviews or just call and talk to them. They seem to be taking appointments online. They are on the higher end of cost, but honestly, it was worth it for me. Best of luck!

    I haven't had color done there, but I have had short complicated cuts done at The Shop on Shattuck and always walked away very happy with my hair. They don't take appointments - just call the day of and get on the list.

    I recently had to find a new hairdresser and found a great one that I love by looking at hairdressers' Instagram profiles and reading their descriptions of their style/philosophy/technique on salon websites. Basically I'd find a salon that good good reviews on Yelp or seemed to suit my style, then I'd search for the stylist's names on Instagram. I think a lot of stylists don't necessarily have a ton of time to post lots and lots of photos on social media (or if they do, they are typically a stylist that already has way too many clients), but if you can at least see a few of their sample haircuts that they are proud of, you can get a sense of whether they'd be a good fit for you. Good luck!

    Thanks to all for the tips! Between the time I posted and the time the responses started rolling in, I booked with Lucky at Maru Hair Salon and was really pleased with the experience and the results. She took extra time to make sure both the color and cut were right, and I'm quite 1.5 weeks later. She's also new to town, so it's not YET super hard to get an appointment. I definitely plan to go back for future visits.

  • Hair Stylist who does color

    Sep 4, 2019


    Can anyone recommend a good hair stylist for fine, straight, lifeless hair? Preferably someone who can cut and color? I'm new to the area so any recommendations much appreciated. 

    Thanks so much!

    Nanci Pecker who owns Headroom Productions is great and creative with hair. I've found she takes direction well, will fix something if you don't like it, and is an all around enjoyable person to spend time with. 510-292-9533

    I love my stylist, Tiffany. The salon she works out of is in Alameda, Spank Salon. She especially does really amazing color work.

    She posts her transformations to instagram so you can get a good idea of what kind of work she does and also get her contact info:

    I have the same type of hair, and I see Rose at Elixir in Berkeley, . She does wonders with her cut and color -- hair is her life's work and she's probably the best stylist I've had!

    I highly recommend my stylist, Sandra Nider at Revive Salon on Hopkins in Berkeley, (510) 559-3375. She's so talented, does color beautifully, and can handle any hair. Tell her Rebecca L. recommended her to you. 

    Aviva at Keter Salon on 4th Street in Berkeley. She cuts my hair, and she's an expert colorist..

    Seana at Furiosa Salon on Piedmont Ave has been doing my color and cuts for many years. She’s a really talented colorist and I have a haircut that gets lots of compliments. 

    Leanne Rocha is amazing. Really listens to what you want and tailors the cut and color to your type of hair. I have very difficult hair and Leanne has been a lifesaver. She is at Anton Salon, 2887 College Ave., Berkeley 94705.

    I just started seeing this woman Kristee who actually does house calls! For a cut she charges $70 to come to you. I haven’t had her do my color yet but I think she charges about $100? Anyway she did a great job on my cut and she says she loves doing color too. And I love that she’ll come to my house, honestly. Her number is +1 (619) 457-8242

  • I'm looking for a recommendation for a good hair colorist in downtown Oakland. I work at UCOP, so can be near Old Oakland, City Center, Chinatown, Uptown, even Jack London Square.  Thanks! 

    I love my colorist/hair stylist, Meta Kendrick, at Milagro Salon on 3rd St. in Jack London Square.  She's amazing with color and hair styling, and also super down to earth and funny.  It's always a great experience.  Her # is 510-507-3260.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Seeking East Bay stylist to highlight dark hair

Jan 2008

Looking for a east bay hair stylist. I am willing to pay more for a good hair stylist. I need a stylist that can highlight dark hair without making it brassy, orange or damaged. Let me know if you love your stylist. oamavel

For a great stylist in the East Bay, call Theresa Roda. She works out of Hermosa salon on College Avenue (at Derby) in Berkeley. I've been going to her for about a year and I'm happy with both my cut and color. She's honest about what styles will and will not work with my hair type, face shape, etc., and she is careful not to overprocess my hair. She really loves her job and is a very sweet person as well! Her number is 510-932-1514. Carrie

You can't find anyone better then Kipp Hamilton, at Maru Hair Salon in Bkly (Shattuck and Rose). THe salon number is 549-3610. Kipp is more pricey but well worth it. I know people who have left his salon because they wanted to pay less and have always come back cause they couldn't find anyone as good. He's the best. Cutting, coloring, styling. He works with your face, complexion, personality and what your hair will do. Kipp fan

I can highly recommend Mele Alberta of Jaujou Studio located on Grand Ave. (near the Grand Lake Theater). Mele is amazing! She has nearly 20 years experience and has even been an industry educator. Mele is a great colorist and gives me highlights that I LOVE and that look very natural. You can check out her salon's website at Happy to have found Mele!!

I have been really pleased with Yesenia at Keter salon (1815 A Fourth Street, Berkeley): 510.849.0306 The colorist she works with is also great. My dark brown hair has not experienced any brassiness or orange tones. And the color really accents my haircut. anon

I suggest Kathleena Gorga, 510.710.0309 (Hopkins near Monterey), for hair cutting; she'll recommend a colorist in her salon. Many excellent hair cutters do not also do color and vice versa. My wonderful colorist is Annette at Peter Thomas, 510.843.0697 (Shattuck at Virginia, next to Yoga Kula); there are also many excellent hair cutters at this salon (mine is forever booked, so no point making the referral). Terry

Linda Chiodo and her husband Gino own the fabulous Entourage Salon in Thearter Square - Orinda, just off Hwy 24, very easy to get to from Berkeley and Oakland. Linda has been cutting and coloring my hair nearly 15 years and even though I try other places -just for fun sometimes -I usally have to go get my hair fixed by Linda afterwards. Linda will work with you to give you a style you can then do yourself without too much effort. People often compliment my hair cut and I always give Linda the full credit.

Entourage is only 10 minutes from my house in the Oakland Hills. They have other stylists who are also very good. My daughter, age 15, loves her latest haircut from another stylist there but I cannot remember her name right now. Call and tell them JM sent you :) 925-254-9721 2 Theater Square, Orinda happy with cut & color

I would like to HIGHLY recommend a wonderful haircut person: his name is Tom and he works out of a place on Broadway near college called Milagro.His private number in the salon is:510-923.0403. He is not there on Mondays & Thursdays.

I have been going to him for over ten years and have never been disappointed with my haircut. He has also mixed colour for me just by my describing what i am looking for because i can never find exactly what i want in one particular tube of colour. I have had my hair cut in London, NY and Tokyo & he remains the best. I will be most distressed if and when he quits! he knows when i am about to make a really foolish decision for which i shall be sorry later and good naturedly but firmly talks me out of it! for this i am always grateful.

PS: if you wear your hair in any sort of bob, you are REALLY in luck! his is the best i have ever had done & i have been wearing variants of this style since childhood marjorie marmorninstar [at]

I was so glad to find Patricia Lewis at La Peluqueria, 1600 Shattuck Ave. #108, Berkeley, (510) 601-0102. My hair was in terrible shape although I had been going to quite upscale hair salons. I found Patricia's shop tucked behind Cafe de la Paz on Shattuck and across from Andronico's. She is really an artist when it comes to hair. My hair is now in good shape, has wonderful color, and extremely well cut. Everyone who goes out of there seems very happy. She isn't as expensive as some places. Currently, this is a one person shop. She is funny, bright, and spirited and you can enjoy the time with her. I can't recommend her enough! Alison

It sounds like you are looking for a colorist more than a stylist. I LOVE my colorist, though he is a bit expensive and is in San Francisco. I have been going to him for more than 8 years now; and can't believe the number of compliments I regularly get (the best being when people have NO idea that my hair is colored). His name is James and he works at Au Top which is on the corner of Grant and Sutter. He charges $150 for highlights (with base color of course). He uses great products that seem to last a long time without the harshness. He does his best to use the least invasive products needed by your hair's condition. If you go see him, tell him Nikki recommended him. Nikki

I really like my girl, Tracy, at Salon L in Walnut Creek. I always get compliments that my hair color looks very natural. I also like how she always asks if I want her to put product in my hair before she styles it rather than just assuming I want a bunch of goopy stuff. She also has pretty flexible hours. The phone number there is (925)943-6737. CJ

I love Susan Ferdowski at Elixir Salon in the east bay. She was awesome and three months later i still get compliments on my cut where ever I go. Call 510 526 1700 to get an appointment. Have fun! gitanjuli

Highlights for dark hair that won't turn brassy

Oct 2007

Hi. I have dark brown hair that I like to color and highlight, but no matter how much I pay or where I go, I have yet to find someone who can do a great job. My hair always turns brassy and orange. I know that it's possible to have great highlights so I was hoping someone could recommend a stylist (preferably in the east bay) who knows how to transform stubborn dark hair into pretty blondish highlights w/o brass? Thanks! tish

Annette at Peter Thomas (Shattuck @ Virginia, 843-0697) is the best colorist I've ever had; she also does my eyebrows at the same time for no extra charge. I had used others whose highlights looked cheap rather than elegant. Peter is a fabulous cutter for my curly hair; Annette does the color. Good luck! Great head of hair

I've been following Suki Yim of Tresses on Solano for years. She's very skilled technically and artistically; she is also a painter so she can really envision a great cut for you and make it a reality. I always get a lot of compliments on my cut, most notably from other stylists I know. Mae

I know just the stylist for you! Mele Alberta is an amazing colorist and stylist (who happens to have dark hair with highlights herself). She works at JauJou Studio located at 3351 Grand Ave. near the Grand Lake Theater. I have dark brown hair and she gave me beautiful subtle highlights that brighten up my face without looking unnatural. She can definitely work with you so you don't experience brassy orange color again! Mele can be reached at (510) 208-3449. Best of luck! Loving my highlights and cut!

Hair color for the first time to cover gray

Sept 2007

I am getting more and more gray hair and I am missing my brown hair. Also, the gray is pretty frizzy. Does anyone know anything about this and if you have to color over all your hair just to cover some gray areas, and if you have to repeat this often to avoid the roots-coming-in look? Can I do this myself and do a good job? Are there any products with non toxic ingredients? Thanks for any help on this.

Kate Narron has been cutting and coloring my hair for over two years now -she's wonderful. She listens well and has great ideas and just simply rocks it when it comes to color. I was washing out my own grey for a long time and it always looked flat and frankly dyed. Kate somehow manages to make my hair look really natural and vibrant without using highlights or low lights (I have dark hair -the ones that aren't grey that is) and it feels much healthier than when I was doing it myself. I have wavy hair, but my friend who now sees Kate regularly has perfectly straight hair --we both feel like it's the best hair cut experience we've had. Kate's not only terrific at what she does, she's fun to visit with too (she's also a mom) . She's at Right Angle Hair Design in Rockridge, 510-420-8447 or her direct cell 510-499-3974.

She is formerly of Sproos in SF (you can read some reviews from her fans on under Sproos Hair Salon). Hidden Greys

It took me 3 years after moving to the area to find a hair stylist I like. Ester Silvera is at Sherilynn Jade Salon in Lafayette (925) 283-3785 or hairstylist-ester [at] She is a color and cut specialist who also does aromatherapy scalp massage in a bright salon across the street from Trade Joe's - easy parking and quick access from the freeway. Monica

Colorist for natural blonde/fine hair

June 2007

Any natural blondes out there who use a good colorist to highlight? I'm asking natural blondes because most of us tend to have finer hair, which doesn't seem to be as forgiving on both cut and color. My main complaint is too few foils (even when paying for extra) and missed areas. I have fine hair, but tons of it, so stylists often miss patches that look odd when my hair is parted or worn differently and there never seem to be enough in the back when I wear my hair up (and yes, I know the back should be done less because that's what's natural-looking, but more than 4 or 6 streaks would be nice). I live in Oakland, so somwhere in Oakland, South Berkeley, Alameda would be great, but am willing to travel if necessary. Not worried about price. patchy

I have very fine light brown hair and I love my colorist: Maggie Williams at Studio 1 on Piedmont. I always get compliments. Maggie does high- and low-lights for me. And in 10 years of having her color my hair, on the few occasions where I didn't like how it came out, she immediately had me back in and changed it. Her prices are very reasonable, and I enjoy the experience of being in her one-person shop much more than times I've been at other fancier, more famous salons in the Bay Area. Her number: 510-923-1403. Julie

I have fine dark blond hair and I've been getting highlights for years, at various places. The best color I've ever gotten is at Festoon in N. Berkeley. Anybody there will give you really great looking professional highlights. They have regular classes for all the stylists to keep them up on the best techniques. I go to Betty, who is one of the trainers for color. You really can't go wrong at Festoon for highlights. Blondie

PPD-free color for gray hair

Dec 2006

I just found out that I am alergic to ppd (paraphenylenediamine) found in haircolor. I have jet black hair and the grays need to be covered every 2 weeks. I found that every color in the market is using ppd. I need serious help and soon. What should I use for my hair color? if someone else has ppd allergy- let me know what to look out for in products.

PS all you hair dying folks out there you should look up /google ppd . it seems that it is a poison that is not regulated at all. perhaps because so many beauty industries are benefitting from it poisened by ppd

This is a wild one but I've solved all sorts of ''need-black'' kinds of problems (shoe scuffs, black paint scratches, etc.) with a black permanent ink magic marker. Could you just mark up your hair whenever the grey grows out? Anon

Blondish highlights/haircolor for dark brown hair?

Sept 2006

Hi. I am looking to find a hairstylist near the berkeley area who does natural (not brassy!) looking blondish highlights and haircolor for people with really dark hair. And a stylist who can give slightly edgy looking haircuts too. Looking for someone affordable (not too highend). Please let me know if you can recommend someone. Thank you!

I love Elvia at Skye Salon in Piedmont! Elvia is the owner and she has 3 or 4 staff. Give her a call and tell her what your budget requirements are. 4385 Piedmont Avenue 510-595-7593 Cheryl

This message is for all the people who asked about a great cut, stylist, color, highlights. Kipp Hamilton, owner of Maru Hair Salon on Rose and Shattuck is the best ever. To the woman who wanted less expensive, I don't think Kipp is less expensive than what you mentioned. He's probably ''going rate''. Salon # is 549-3610. Good luck to all June

I can highly recommend Diana Simon , in Alameda and SF, for expert coloring, as well as perfect cut/styling. She travels to LA once a month for customers there who cannot live without her. Her prices are very fair, you will keep going back and she makes you look your best you. Diana Simon, SIMON SAYS, 933A Central Avenue, Alameda, 94501 Or 2305 Van Ness Ave, SF 94804 telephone for either: 510-387-7815. Tell her Louise referred you. Enjoy! LG

Blond highlights that look natural

May 2006

I'm liking my hair blond these days and am looking for someone in Berkeley who does really great blond foil highlights. Specifically, I'm having trouble finding someone who can do fine highlights that look more natural. It seems like everyone does big chunky ones (that take less time for them) and make me look tiger-striped. Any suggestions for someone great in the Berkeley or Walnut creek area? anon

I have been seeing Katrina at Peter Thomas salon on Shattuck for years. She does fantastic natural looking blonde highlights. Folks comment on my naturally blonde hair all the time (born a toe-head, now have light brown hair). She is a bit expensive, but extraordinary and I can go every 4 months because they grow out so well. If you are going for a cut and highlight, plan on spending 2.5 hours and $200. Good luck! having more fun

katrina at peter thomas is excellent with color and highlights

Shannon at Elixer does natural blond highlights. Elixer is on Hopkins St. Good grow out anon

I have been getting blonde highlights for my blonde/gray hair for 10 years now at Peter Thomas Hair Salon , on Shattuck in North Berkeley. My hair never looks stripey, but quite natural. My particular stylist is Annette, but I've had quite a few colorists there Christine

Dawn at Vine St. salon has done a great job on my mousey brown/blond hair (I used to be a tow-head as a child)...I also wanted it to look completely natural...and it really does. It is pricey ~ $110..but very worth it A natural blond again..

Try Feeny at Hair Solano on Colusa. 524-4800. She has colored and highlighted and cut my hair for 10 years and it always looks very natural! Plus she is a sweetheart! kathy

I would highly recommend Katrina at Peter Thomas Hair Salon on Shattuck. Her # is: 843-0697. She is excellent - creates very natural highlights

I can absolutely recommend someone who is one of the best at color/highlights and cuts for that matter. Her name is Lynn Johnson , and her salon is on Piedmont Ave in Oakland (worth the drive from anywhere). She has been doing my hair for years and it looks incredibly natural and I am constantly being asked who does my hair. She is hard to get an apnt with but if you are flexible she can usually fit a new client in. She has great technique and usually weaves in a few colors to give a more natural look. Lynn Johnson, Studio One #510.428.4008

About the blond highlights in the Berkeley/Oakland area. There is a SUPERB stylist at Phoenix Rising Hair Salon in Montclair who does very beautiful, natural-looking highlights. She goes by the name ''Z.'' I'm a new client and am extremely pleased. The price isn't outrageous either. According to Z, big, bold, blond highlights are ''way out of style'' anyway. She compares it to pasta! The fettuccine highlights are over. It's time for spaghettini! Anon Anon

I've been going to a really terrific hairdresser for several years -- Angela O'Connor . She does excellent, subtle highlights, and she's really good company, too -- funny and smart. Her studio is in Emeryville. Phone number is 653-3639 sally

I strongly recommend Cari at the Moonshadow Salon (Ashby at College). I have black hair and she gave me highlights with brown and red. Yes, red! When she mentioned the color combinations to me it sounded utterly hideous, until I realized that she meant single strands of mahogany-red. She could actually highlight just one strand of hair! The end result looked completely natural and not like I had artificially colored my hair. Good luck! Palpakk

Look no further. I know a great colorist who makes my hair look naturally blonde. People are surprised when I tell them that I have highlights. They just assume that I am naturally this blonde. I was, but am no longer (sigh) due to a sequence of events involving moving further from the equator, having a baby and just plan getting older. It left me with much darker blonde hair than I was happy with. About eight or so years ago I nervously explained to the colorist that it was very important to me that it look natural, aka, just like it used to. She has been my colorist ever since that day and I love how naturally blonde she makes my hair look. She also does it without frying my hair and she uses foil. Her name is Laura and she is part owner of Vine Street Salon in Walnut Square in North Berkeley Marianne

I'd recommend any stylist at Festoon for blond highlights. I've had mine done by 5 or 6 different stylists there and have always had excellent results. They are all quite good at natural-looking highlights, and that is the default they do there Ginger

I've been very happy with my foil highlights and haircut (curly/wavy hair) from Susanne Adler at Moonshadow Salon on Ashby. (510) 841-4696. She's always busy and you have to book ahead. anderson

For any kind of highlights, you need to see Lisa at Tique . She's amazing and can make anyone's hair look great! I wanted highlights, but didn't want it to be too noticeable, so she recommended understated lowlights. I get tons of compliments. She's independent, so she doesn't have a full staff, but she is incredible and loads of fun too. I've recommended several people to her already. Everyone is a fan...510.841.0288 Satisfied Customer

Hair color and style in Alameda or Oakland

Aug 2005

I am looking for a good hair colorist and stylist in Alameda or Oakland. I want highlights and a cut. I have a pretty good idea what I want, but I like someone with a good sense of style who will tell me what they think would look good on me. (My hair is fairly thick and wavy/curly.) I have checked the website and all the recommendations are in Berkeley, SF, and Lamorinda. Also, I haven't had my hair colored before, so let me know what I can expect to pay and how much to tip too. Thanks!
--Ready to color!

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