430 W. 14th St., 3rd floor
Cuts: $175-$350; color $80-$600
This spacious Meatpacking District salon attracts high-powered names who seek a signature style. While others preach understated ease, owner Edris Nichols steers such clients as Mandy Moore and designer Tracy Reese beyond the boring zone. Erica Reid, the salon's "It" girl and the wife of music mogul L.A. Reid, was "convinced to go shorter and stronger," says Edris, with "a few simple highlights for dimension and body." Adds Reid: "Edris is a magician with a pair of scissors; she is like a seasoned Iron Chef in the kitchen."
184 Fifth Ave., 2nd floor
Cuts by Gibson: $175-$950; color by Backe $125-$300
This Flatiron hotspot draws insiders from fashion (Rachel Roy), film (Sparkle producer Debra Martin Chase, screenwriter Delia Ephron) and TV (Full Picture''s Desiree Gruber; Debra Lee, CEO of BET), as well as plenty of talent (Anne Hathaway, Debra Messing). Says Disturbia producer Jackie Marcus Schaffer: "I race to see Ted exclusively if I can for haircuts every time I'm in the city." Colorist Jason Backe is at the forefront of ammonia-free tints and is known for infusing tresses with a shot of bold shine.
720 Fifth Ave., 11th floor
Cuts: $125-$350; color by Hazan $250-$600; blowouts $65-$105
The Brooklyn native is responsible for turning Jessica Simpson's hair golden and Katy Perry's every other hue. Music executive Sylvia Rhone has been a fan of Rita Hazan's "multi-dimensional highlights" for more than 10 years. "Rita has a sense of color like an artist," says Rhone. "Even if she had purple in my hair, it doesn't look artificial. She's the rock-star hairdresser, and she always nails it."
17 E. 71st St. and 425 W. 14th St.
Cuts by Hershberger: $150-$800
Clients seek out Sally Hershberger's chair for her signature shag, immortalized by Meg Ryan. "Trying to make my face look fatter," Jimmy Fallon joked recently, tweeting a photo of himself mid-snip. If you can't get Sally, try Rodrigo Padilla, who counts Uma Thurman and John Mayer as downtown clients. Uptown, coveted colorist and salon partner Sharon Dorram is responsible for Kate Hudson's sunny locks. Ask for Tomo, James or Matt if Rodrigo or Sally are booked.
41 Wooster St.
Cuts: $150 to $225; color $100 and up; blowouts $75 and up
This high-end chemical-free salon has many regulars -- Kate Winslet, Adele, Diane Kruger and True Blood's Deborah Ann Woll -- but you wouldn't know it from the prices. Owners Leonardo Manetti, Pasquale Ferrante and Marco Santini, three former Bumble and bumble stylists, are sought after for great, sexy cuts: bobs, beachy waves or rocker layers. "Adored by models and mortals, tutto amore Leonardo," says Interscope Records vp Hillary Siskind. "He gives me great bangs that flatter my face."
155 Fifth Ave., 4th floor
Cuts by Robinson: $175 to $250; color $275 to $400
This 2-year-old Flatiron destination was started by an ex-Hershberger colorist, who brought on Ryan Trygstad (Katharine McPhee), Katie Seguin (Rachel Weisz) and Danilo (Gwen Stefani). Robinson's sunny salon also has attracted Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Gosling, Blake Lively and Sarah Jessica Parker. "I'm a sworn devotee," says Mika El-Baz, executive vp at RCA Records. "The setting is clean and calm, the antithesis of all those frenzied salons." Bonus: Try Landy Dean there for brows and makeup.
33 E. 61st St. 3rd floor
Cuts by Louise O'Connor: $250; color by Melissa Bridgers $325
This discreet Upper East Side salon, specializing in bold color and trendsetting styles, is frequented by Kirsten Dunst, who has said she won't let anyone else touch her hair, and The Daily Show's Olivia Munn. Owner Louise O'Connor trained under Oribe, styling Beyonce, Naomi Campbell and Dido before opening OC61. For spring and summer, she's cutting hair right below the shoulders, to be styled into retro waves or something more slicked-back.
45 Grove St.
Cuts: $95 to $175; color from $135
It's easy to miss this West Village townhouse, but insiders know it's the place to correct bad color or get a perfect razor cut. Bono, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Bosworth are devotees of owners Victoria Hunter and Larry Raspanti, former Bumble and bumble creative directors. Raspanti, a specialist in hair painting for a natural, tone-on-tone ombre effect, says this spring's colors are vibrant coppers and rosy reds.