Best Hair Salon in Kingston

best hair salon in kingstonTwo weeks ago, we asked you about barber shops in Kingston and the results showed a fairly close race.  Those who commented shared stories of kindness, generosity and great conversations while in the chair.  These stories are what keep us going back to the same place week after week or month after month.  Growing up in Hamilton, I was very committed to my hair salon.  I had my very first cut there and it wasn’t until I moved to Kingston to attend Queen’s that I finally had to visit a different salon and seek out the best hair salon in Kingston.  I think many of us share this custom of returning to the same salon or barber shop, much like we do with our doctors and dentists.  We develop a relationship with these people and the more they know us, the better job they can do providing us with care, or in this case, giving us a great haircut.  I still have yet to fully commit in Kingston, not because there aren’t fantastic shops and stylists to chose from, but just because that bond is a hard one to break! (yep, been here over 10 years and I still stop in at my old haunt when I’m home for a weekend).  This week we want to know:

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At some point I recall someone telling me that Kingston has the most hair salons/barber shops per capita in Canada.  How one acquires this information and how accurate it is is unknown to me but I can see how that assumption could be made.  Walking along Princess Street downtown, you’ll pass over a dozen of these types of establishments, but which is actually the best hair salon in Kingston?  Naturally, this makes it pretty much impossible for us to include everyone in this week’s poll so I’ve decided to stick with downtown establishments simply because they are most familiar to me personally.  If your favourite place isn’t listed, please tell us about them.  Who do you visit on a regular basis and what is it that keeps you coming back?  Maybe you have great conversations with your stylist or perhaps you’re a sucker for a relaxing head massage while they wash your hair.  Show your salon and/or stylist some love in the comment section below, and help us determine the best hair salon in Kingston.

Thanks to JamesDPhotography for today’s pic.


Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

35 thoughts on “Best Hair Salon in Kingston

  • My salon is not there! I have used a couple of the salons on the list, but prefer Dolce Bella Spa at the old Woolen Mill. Unlike some downtown salons it is quiet and peaceful. The owner is low key and softspoken and sets the tone for a relaxing experience. Plus there is the nice view of the river out the windows.

  • I have yet to find a good salon for curly hair. At one of your salons listed above (which I will not mention to protect the guilty), the eponymous owner (hint,hint) wouldn't cut my hair until he blew it dry straight first. I looked like Jennifer Aniston when I left. Of course, I could not replicate the style (which also had the part on the wrong side) and after fussing with it for a weekend, I had to go back and get it re-cut (which they did for free) so that it worked with curly hair and I didn't have to invest in a straightener to use daily. Now I only get my hair cut at a specialty salon in Toronto where the stylists have been trained to "dry cut" curly hair. I know of no one in Kingston who can do this. Would love to find someone though!

    • Go to Marni at ECHO. She is great and does wonders with curly hair.

    • Deb at the Hair Studio. She HAS curly hair and has cut mine for over 10 years. (I'm not sure though if she–or anyone else in Kingston–does the dry cut.)

    • I have curls and Salon Yetmir is my favorite. They really know what they are doing and they are sooooo good with it. I suggest you try that. You can look at their website for more information.

    • Please give the name of that salon in Toronto that dry cuts! I will travel for a good stylest!

    • Trendsetters on Bath Road near Days Rd.. They deal with all different hair types.

    • Try Castelvetri Robert hair – my granny had really curly hair and absolutely swore by him. I’ve read other reviews for his salon and it seems that he works wonders on curly hair!

  • Terina at Fossa Hair on Sydenham St. (next to KEYS) – I've been going to her for over a decade through 4 different locations. Great stylist, good sense of humour. It's all about the stylist, not the actual location.

  • I too get my hair cut at the Curl Ambassadors in Toronto where they cut the curls dry first, then they cut them wet.
    They are incredibly knowledgeable about all the different varieties of curls, hair type, best products for curls, what towel not to use to dry your hair, and the list goes on.
    I wish I could find someone, anyone, in Kingston who really knew how to cut curls, so that I didn't have to travel to Toronto. But I have had nightmare cuts from senior stylists (in a variety of the high end salons in Kingston) who claimed to know how to cut curls, but they do not. It takes forever for the curls to grow back when they are not cut properly. I just don't understand why more stylists in Kingston are not "properly" trained to cut curly hair. I would prefer to give my business to Kingston salons.

  • I know what you mean about nightmare cuts from "senior stylists". I had a cut from a so-called senior stylist in Kingston a couple of months ago and I'm still trying to get my wavy hair to the point of being manageable again. Ever since that day I've been snipping away little bits that stick out because of the terrible cut. And I've promised myself that the next time a stylist tries to use TEXTURIZING or thinning shears on my hair I'll simply stand up and walk out. Those things are murder on wavy hair. I'm still burned about the last 5 or so haircuts I've had so I'm just letting my hair grow out. I don't enjoy spending good money to look like something the cat dragged in.

    • I went to a hairdresser in Portsmouth Village with a hairstyle magazine with a photo of a really pretty long layered bob. My naturally wavy hair was around shoulder-length. She cut it SHORT, and acted surprised that the right and left sides flipped in different directions. Duh – it’s WAVY, and a good hairdresser is proud to honour the curls, not hope they lie flat and behave themselves! She put extra guck on my hair to flatten it out. I went home and shampooed it to try and get some swing into it again but it’s too short to even do that. I’ve been depressed, furious and sickened since that day. Why can’t they admit they can’t cut wavy hair so we can walk away before they ruin it? You’re sitting in that chair and you suddenly realize they’ve chopped off so much more than you expected OR asked for… I had a photograph, for heaven’s sake! I was in shock. Do they teach that in hairdressing school: if you see that the customer’s eyes have glazed over and she looks stunned, it’s not a good bloody sign? I’ I’ll have to grow my hair out for months before it’s a decent length again.

  • I walked into James Brett (downtown) to ask if anyone there is good at cutting curly hair. I said "Excuse me do you have anyone here that is good at cutting curly"…. the guy then rudely interrupted me and said "Nobody here can cut your hair" and turned around and left. Dismissing me with his rudeness. I have NEVER been treated or spoke to in such a way. Don't go to James Brett.

    • I had a similar experience at their west end location,also with the 'senior stylist' .I even brought a picture of a hair style I wanted…haha when she was done it looked nothing like the hairstyle on the photo…I had another year and so to recover after this nice well experienced hair stylist's haircut..
      Never to go there.

  • Does anyone know of a good stylist for thin,fine hair . It was recently botched with over layering and I need it fixed!

  • I moved from Toronto a few months ago and have always had platinum blonde hair. I'm not super fussy with my hair. My last stylist in Toronto would retouch my blonde with such ease, I just assumed it would be easy enough for another stylist. So I made in an appointment with a stylist at James Brett and she seemed nice enough. She seemed to have taken forever to get through half of my hair, so I became a little uneasy. I gave her the benefit of a doubt and let her do her own thing since she IS the professional. When she finished blowdrying, I was completely yellow. I don't understand how she could have gotten my once platinum blonde hair to yellow when she was to only retouch the roots. I was fuming. Never again will I go to James Brett.

    • Ashley- I had the exact same at James Brett- my hair came out bright yellow/gold and I had to get it fixed.

      Go to Liz or Jade at Echo, they know how to do platinum blonde with no brassiness.

  • I had three horrible experiences with my hair at James Brett and switched salons. First time, talked to stylist and got it fixed. It was two inches shorter on one side instead of even. Second time, got another bad hair cut, third time was the charm. I'm never going back there. The hair colour is expensive and does not last. I love my stylist at Luce now and wouldn't change for anything! I have naturally curly hair too for those of you looking for someone here. LUCE.

  • I just moved from Toronto (1 year ago) and have yet to find an acceptable hair salon in Kingston????
    I have hair with good body; but need a colorist that understands desire for ash base color with platnimum highlights.
    everyone does gold!!!!!!! ?……..recently back in Toronto my old salon 'said your hair is tooooo gold' HELP!

    I prefer to find someone/salon in Kingston vs travelling back to Toronto… the meantime I have found an adequate/not great salon in Trenton. What does that say about Kingston and trying to look good!

  • Marie Meeks at Lulu's is the best! Its the first time I have ever in my life stuck with the same hairdresser. I have followed her from when she used to work at Echo. Shes fun and absolutely amazing at hair!

  • Salon Yetmir is the best place to go whether it is hair or esthetics.
    I have been seeing NIDA(esthetician) for 6 months now,it doesnt matter wht kind of service i go for she does a fabulous job.
    Have an appointment for hair soon,am excited.
    i would recommend SALON Yetmir to anyone and everyone.

  • Howard at Total Look Salon on Sydenham street. Can't be beat, no matter your age or desired style, from young to old. Most important of all, he's good at what he does, know your head, knows your style, will be honest and give input, but go with customer's desires. Place is nice too, and friendly atmosphere between staff and clients.

  • Salon Yetmir is the best I have been seeing Yetmir for over 5 years now and i am always blown away. The best thing seeing him is i don't have to think what would or wouldn't work for me because he always has something new and exciting for me.

  • I am a hair stylist myself and new to kingston. I went to James Brett and had a consultation with him, seemed okay if a little full of himself. I explained that I wanted a semi permanent hair colour and just a slight trim off the bottom and NO layers or graduation. The hair colour was fine apart for some chunky pieces of colour which I didn't want and I expressed this at the consultation, however it wasn't too bad. The haircut however was awful he layered my hair and it looked ok at the time as he used flat irons on my hair (a lot), my hair is wavy but blow- dries very easily. It was really difficult to manage for a month or two until I could grow most of the layers out.
    Also it felt as though it was the 'James Brett ' show, he was arrogant and full of himself, he also seemed to take pride in being rude to some of his staff in front of me (not cool). He claimed that he had trained most of the hairdressers in Kingston !!!
    The young man that washed my hair was very polite and accommodating as was the young girl who assisted James Brett ( he was incredibly rude to her) however the reception staff were clueless. I will not be returning…… funny that. I now go to Echo, and I have a great experience every time I go AND they cut and colour my hair exactly the way I asked them to !!!!!

  • Still trying to find someone who can cut naturally coiled curly hair. I do not want to travel to Toronto to get my hair done. Note to all hairdressers out there in Kingston, learn how to dry cut Curly hair, you will have A LOT of business. Study the Deva Chan method they may even have tutorials on Youtube!. I went to one lady years ago at Echo, she dry cut my hair and it was the best cut I have ever had her name may have been Lisa?(I think). If anyone knows where she is working now please respond!!

    • Try Becky at Becky's hairstyles! She has curly hair herself and is extremely familiar with dry cutting!!

  • I went to James Brett seeing a senior stylist. The vibe I got was quite rude and I found that very unprofessional. I had asked for highlights and a lift of the base colour. With fall coming I considered adding a few low- lights as well and inquired about the price. "I don't think you can afford it." was the answer… I work in management and was not "dressed down"; not that appearances should matter that much. My cut and color was ok, but I did not enjoy the atmosphere/vibes I got. I did not appreciate how she treated the young women "assisting her" either. Needless to say that for that amount of money I want an overall pleasant experience. I will not be back.

  • echo is a GOOD and HONEST hair salon!
    the stylist will tell u the HONEST truth about your hair and will help you … to do what it is BEST for your hair!
    thansk ECHO

  • The best stylist with the ability to cut curly hair is Becky king of Becky's hairstyles. This girl is amazing and extremely talented. You won't be disappointed. Try it what do you have to loose!

  • I went to tangles hair sister goes there. She gets her hair cut there and lowlightes done.I like the way Pina does her hair. I have had my hair cut there about 3 or four times and like the way Pina cut my hair. I will return. Pina is the owner and does her job well. DW

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