15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.

photos by cory morton


Blow It Out

Sognatore Salon.
Located on the 10th floor of The Pennsylvanian, downtown, Sognatore is where Richard Kohn, founder of The Talent Group in Pittsburgh, sends all of his models to have their hair done.

“No matter which stylist you go to, you know you’re going to walk away with a great cut and color,” he says.

Opened by husband-and-wife team Bill and Zoe Lincoln more than 20 years ago, Sognatore was one of the first salons in the area to operate a blow-dry bar, she says.

“We can do any type of blow-dry,” Zoe Lincoln says. “We can do flat-iron and curling-iron work, glamorous, sleek, you name it.”

What sets Sognatore apart from other salons, she says, is that its stylists instruct clients on how to achieve their in-salon looks on their own as well as which products will work best for their hair and how to use them.

“Education is a big part of it,” she says. “We try to teach [clients] what we’re doing and how to transfer it into everyday life.”

​Sognatore Salon
1100 Liberty Ave., downtown
412/391-1181, spasalon.com/sognatore ​



Doing It Old-School

Mister Grooming & Goods
Shortly after getting married in May 2013, Heather and Michael Shurina, who both spent years working in the beauty industry, put their heads together to create the kind of barber shop rarely seen in the area — one that offers pampering for men.

“Pittsburgh needed a place that offered the old-school traditional things a barber does but also gives up-to-date haircuts, color, manicures, pedicures and beard trims,” Heather Shurina says.   

During the Labor Day weekend later that year, the Shurinas opened Mister Grooming & Goods in Lawrenceville. The eclectic, guy-friendly domain — which mixes iconography, old records and motorcycles in the décor — also has a large product section dedicated to men’s skin-care needs, including beard and mustache oils and waxes, brushes, shaving creams and more.

As do many other salons in the area, the staff offers customers a complimentary beverage while they’re receiving services — but here the selection includes beer.
Ladies also are welcome at Mister Grooming & Goods. Heather Shurina says the stylists all are trained in applying hair color and specialize in cutting short hair for women.

Mister Grooming & Goods
4504 Butler St., Lawrenceville
412/326-5964, mistergroomingandgoods.com


photo courtesy of capristo salon and wellness spa


Waxing Philosophical

Capristo Salon and Wellness Spa
Sometimes hair maintenance is all about elimination. Although laser removal is an option, waxing generally is more popular. Both methods are used to remove hair safely and thoroughly from almost anywhere on the face and body within the comfortable confines of Capristo Salon and Wellness Spa in Shadyside.

Airy and modern, with natural light flooding from windows, the 10,000-square-foot complex also has kept locks lovely for nearly 30 years. Now run by amiable second-generation owner Roman Capristo, the salon welcomes customers from across three generations — not just for hair styling, but also for Brazilian and Sphinx waxes and wax services for other areas, such as the chin, ears and underarms.

Beyond hair care, the two-level establishment offers a menu of nail services, facials, massages and two sensory-deprivation tanks that relax bodies in warm salt water to create a feeling of weightless serenity.

Did we mention the vegan hair products, Botox parties and Martini Wednesdays? We’ll drink to that!

​Capristo Salon and Wellness Spa
5850 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside
412/361-8722, capristosalon.com



Fight the Frizz

McN Salon
There was a little girl who had a little curl, so she went to McN Salon. Among its services — including hair relaxing, straightening and extensions — the East Liberty salon is noted for expertise in curly hair.

Lisa McNamara, who co-owns McN with business partner Jim McNamara, says her stylists are trained in the art of determining a scalp’s wave pattern as well as working with the texture and tension of springy hair.

“I think you really have to know how to cut curly hair,” she says.

Located in a light-filled, industrial-style building, the sophisticated salon uses high-end Bumble and bumble and Kerastase products. It also is known for its focus on continually educating its stylists. Customers love being greeted by the salon’s mascots — Romeo and Juliet, a pair of English bulldogs, and Mac, a bullmastiff.

“Some people are disappointed if they come in and the dogs aren’t there,” Lisa McNamara says.
McN Salon
5932 Penn Circle South, East Liberty
412/441-5151, mcnsalon.com



Head-to-Toe Makeover

Pageboy Salon & Boutique
Consider Pageboy Salon & Boutique your one-stop shop for a head-to-toe makeover. Opened by Dana Bannon five years ago, the salon offers hair and makeup services in the back of the store and a boutique in the front.

“We’re definitely a lifestyle boutique and salon,” Bannon says. “I think they go together well.”

For Pageboy’s fifth anniversary this month, she is relaunching the boutique with a focus on beauty and hair products, men’s grooming items, scented candles and other gifts — rather than vintage apparel.

Bannon says she plans to showcase small, independent lines with an emphasis on cruelty-free and organic products. The decision to carry more beauty products was inspired in part by customers who frequently ask where Pageboy’s hip hair stylists get their makeup and accessories.

“If figured if we’re going to be constantly sending people to find what we use, we could be offering them an outlet for small independent makers and vendors,” she says.

As for the Pageboy name, Bannon says she wanted a moniker that was gender-neutral but with a vintage flair. Part of Pageboy’s appeal is its ability to make everyone feel comfortable at the salon, she says.

“We are making it a place that you want to be at for the hour that you’re there,” she says. “It’s like when you go to your girlfriend’s house and she does your hair, but with professionals.”

Pageboy Salon & Boutique
3613 Butler St., Lawrenceville
412/224-2294, pageboypgh.com

Next page: Living Color, Au Natural, Titans & Trailblazers, Marketing Mavens



photo courtesy of Isle of you Hair Color Studio


Living Color

Isle of You Hair Color Studio
Shari Geldrich recalls her mother’s advice to choose a career that would enable her to do what she loved. That prompted her switch from being an educator for major hair-care companies to becoming a colorist. In 2011, she opened Isle of You Hair Color Studio in Lawrenceville.

The master hair colorist runs the salon with her husband, Josh, who has an art and beauty-business background as well as experience in property development.

Together, they have made their cozy and inviting space a premier destination for haircuts and signature specialty services: hair coloring and color correction.

With seven color lines at their skilled fingertips, Shari Geldrich and her two young stylists create hundreds of different custom colors each month. Their skills produce results that draw students, grandmothers, entertainers and professionals from as far away as West Virginia and Erie to return for gentle dyes that provide excellent results.

“It’s fun to look forward to coming to work,” she says.

Isle of You Hair Color Studio
5154 Butler St., Lawrenceville
412/781-1024, isleofyousalon.com


photo courtesy of the natural choice barber shop and natural hair salon


Au Natural

The natural choice barber shop and natural hair salon
Natural hair — a term for styles achieved without use of relaxers and chemical agents — has grown in popularity over the last 20 years. At the local forefront of the movement is The Natural Choice Barber Shop and Natural Hair Salon, which has catered to thousands of clients since 1997 from the heart of Oakland.

Customers, including an increasing number of non-African Americans, visit the hip two-level studio owned by Nate Mitchell — and not just for routine trims. Many people request assistance with creating and maintaining specialized natural versions of Afros, cornrows, braids, dreadlocks, twists and other styles based on the natural quality and individual characteristics of their hair.

Beyond stylists skilled in the art of natural ’dos, The Natural Choice offers products and tools that help to maintain and nourish the hair and scalp.

The Natural Choice Barber Shop and Natural Hair Salon
109-111 Meyran Ave., Oakland




Titans & Trailblazers

No discussion of hair in Pittsburgh would be complete without noting four giants who are respected here and beyond.

Arnold Zegarelli and Philip Pelusi have won induction into Pittsburgh Fashion Week’s Fashion Hall of Fame for their contributions.


Pelusi, whose salon group observes its 50th anniversary this year, is known internationally and has created two acclaimed product lines, P2 by Philip Pelusi and Tela Beauty Organics, which is recognized as the first USDA-certified organic hair-care collection. He runs more than a dozen Pelusi salons and is featured regularly in consumer and trade publications such as American Salon and Marie Claire. Pelusi’s many citations include being named one of the top five hairstylists in the nation by InStyle magazine in 2006.



Zegarelli, a prominent industry figure for more than 50 years, worked at Premier Salon, downtown, for more than 40 years. Self magazine once named him one of the top 30 haircutters in the nation, and he has appeared on numerous local and national television programs, including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Now in his late 70s, he continues to influence the industry as style director and mentor at Izzazu Salon, Spa and Serata at Piatt Place, downtown.

Zegarelli has trained and mentored thousands of young stylists. Two of his star protégés, Emilio Cornacchione and Gino Chiodo, emerged as a dynamic duo when they opened Izzazu in 2000 downtown. That uber-swanky spot, which later added spa services — and, more recently, a unique and luxurious “serata” space for bridal parties — has become a beacon for hip young professionals who are willing to pay more for an upscale experience. A second location is in Oxford Athletic Club in Wexford.




Marketing Mavens

Studio Raw
With blogs, numerous YouTube videos offering the “RAW” story, wild before-and-after shoots and annual staff photos featuring its stylists in the nude, Studio RAW offers clients an in-depth — and yes, sometimes raw — look at life at the salon.

“It’s an Internet reality show, if you will,” says Dan Burda, who co-owns the salon in Ross Township with his mother, Lorraine Burda. “We’ve taken a very open-door approach.”

After a fire in 2012 destroyed the original salon, Studio RAW — which stands for Reveal Anew Within — is about to celebrate its two-year anniversary at its new 7,500-square-foot location.

The large salon — which employs 30 stylists — actively promotes a fun, in-your-face atmosphere. The salon’s tagline, prominently featured on its website, is “Life Doesn’t Suck . . . Maybe It’s Just Your Hair.”

Most importantly, the salon does good hair. Dan Burda notes that he employs a number of young stylists who are just out of beauty school and already are drawing loyal clientele.

“We attract the bubble-gum stylists,” he says. “They’re the positive ones, the fun ones who are a little more creative.”

He adds no topic of discussion is off-limits at Studio RAW, including sex, religion and politics.

“If people are scared by our marketing, they don’t come in,” Burda says. “We don’t really draw conservative people.”

Studio RAW
3185 Babcock Blvd., Ross Township
412/367-2444, mystudioraw.com

Next Page: On the edge, Say "Ahhh,"' & Around Pittsburgh 




On the Edge

Nadia Salon
As a teen considering what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, Jeff Palmieri knew he desired a vocation in which he could express his artistic ability — and keep his long hair. He decided to become a hair stylist.

“And I never looked back,” he says.

With more than 20 years in the business, Palmieri is the owner of Nadia Salon in Shadyside. Named after Palmieri’s daughter Nadia, a student at Chatham University, the salon focuses on turning out edgy haircuts.

“You won’t see any soccer-mom haircuts coming out of here,” he says.

The high-energy salon caters to women and men. In fact, Nadia Salon has four male stylists and only one female stylist.

“It’s a salon where men can feel comfortable coming in,” says Palmieri.

He also plans to start offering manicure and pedicure services.  

Nadia Salon
5519 Walnut St., Shadyside
412/688-8444, nadiasalon.com



Say 'Ahhhh'

Metamorphosis Salon
In 2013, a devastating fire caused Metamorphosis Salon in Lawrenceville to undergo its own transformation after flames destroyed the studio.

When the organic salon reopened eight months later, mother-and-daughter team Judy Scarfone and Mia Good decided to add a wellness studio and spa to its services.

“Mia has always been into organic services, and I come from a wellness background,” says Metamorphosis manager Bella LaQuatra. “We thought it would just be the natural next move for the salon.”

Today, in addition to cuts, colors and nail services, Metamorphosis offers massages, vinyasa flow yoga and Zumba classes, reiki sessions and even Buti yoga, a mix of power yoga, tribal dance and plyometrics. And yes, Buti yoga does help to improve the booty, according to LaQuatra.

“It’s about energy, and it’s about female empowerment,” she says.

An Aveda-affiliated salon, the two-story space exudes an eclectic, boutique-like vibe in an upscale but casual environment. Wine often is offered with salon services.

“When you’re here, you feel like you’re at home,” LaQuatra says.

Metamorphosis Salon
5112 Butler St., Lawrenceville
412/781-1262, spapgh.com



Around Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s most fabulous salons aren’t only in city limits. Here are a few of the noteworthy salons located east, west, north and south of Pittsburgh.

The Northern Entrepreneur

Harmony Salon
Harmony Kaiser, owner of Harmony Salon in Wexford, opened her namesake establishment in 2004, when she was only 22 years old.

“I think being that age allowed me to be fearless because I’m definitely a little more cautious now that I’m older,” she says.

She may be more deliberate these days, but Kaiser shows no signs of slowing down. In 2013, she introduced the “Harmony Line,” an array of paraben-and-sulfate-free hair products.

Kaiser says she worked with a chemist to develop the product line, which specializes in taming unruly and hard-to-manage tresses. Most recently, she released Glow, a dry-oil mist.

“It’s our No. 1-selling product,” she says.

Harmony Salon
11269 Perry Highway #225, Wexford
724/940-2262, harmonysalonpgh.com



Star of the South

La Pomponnee Salon & Spa
This popular establishment in Mt. Lebanon has devoted 23 years to pampering men and women, beyond haircuts and coloring. Japanese hair-straightening and scalp-renewal treatments are on the extensive menu of offerings, as are luxurious body treatments, Aveda plant-based makeup “encounters,” wax hair-removal with a sugaring option, individualized facials for up to 90 minutes and massages ranging from hot-stone therapy to sessions specifically aimed at pregnant women.

La Pomponnee and its Mec Barber Spa for Men are open every day except Sunday. Can’t book when you need? Try its second location in Peters Township.

La Pomponnee Salon & Spa
659 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, 412/563-3990
4137 Washington Road, Peters Township, 724/941-8226


photo courtesy of alfredo salon of hair design


Gem of the East

Alfredo Salon of Hair Design
This Monroeville hair destination is super-convenient for members of The Club Sport and Health complex in which it is located, but non-members of the club also have been flocking to Alfredo since it opened in 1990.  

Cuts and coloring are standard offerings along with more than 30 other in-demand services such as manicures, pedicures and facial waxing.

The salon offers its own signature line of hair-care products, as well as options such as Paul Mitchell and American Crew. Salon owner Joseph DeAngelis trained and worked in New York, and his resulting attention to detail is apparent in Alfredo’s décor and service. It’s open every day except Sunday.

Alfredo Salon of Hair Design
1 Racquet Lane, Monroeville
412/372-5033, alfredoshairsalon.com


photo courtesy of sewickley spa


Getting Pampered in the West

The Sewickley Spa at Sewickley
​Located in a 120-year-old Victorian home in the heart of Sewickley village, The Sewickley Spa offers 46 spa treatments, including facials, massages and waxing, in a luxurious environment that includes gardens and waterfalls.

The spa also offers salon services to its spa customers exclusively, allowing them to relax in a private environment while their hair is cut, colored and styled.

Some services offered at the spa include a rejuvenating facial, a cellulite-reduction wrap and a paraffin pedicure.

The Sewickley Spa at Sewickley
337 Beaver St., Sewickley
412/741-4240, sewickleyspa.com



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