Salons on the Shoreline


My hair is an unruly mop: wavy here, straight there and a bit of frizz at the back. Yikes! I’m into as little maintenance as possible and I’ve worn it short since I was a teen. My do goes from modern to matronly seemingly overnight and Tim at Timothy Pamment Salon gets it. He’s been cutting it since I moved to Connecticut and I just can’t quit him. And since I’ve been unwilling to test drive another hairdresser, The E List has been woefully short on recommendations. Well, we’ve finally fixed that. I sent The E List staffers and friends to stylists that were recommended by readers. Here’s an incomplete list of salons on the Shoreline.

Photo: Essence, Old Saybrook

Salon Refuge, Branford

Emery went to Salon Refuge for color. Her concern was upkeep, she doesn’t have time or dough for constant maintenance. She loved that her stylist REALLY listened to her, and ended up with a subtle, very current Ombre effect; just what she was after. The vibe is relaxed, yet fun and she felt pampered (important!). The salon is loftlike, with tall, vaulted ceilings, wood floor and a fresh, minimalist design. They offer Pureology, a vegan product line, along with Redken and Label M and they’re known for Belhair Hair Extensions, which attach without glue, heat or chemicals. Women’s cuts start at $50 ($35 for a Junior Stylist), men’s at $25, and kids under 12 are only $12. Get a shampoo and style (blowout/flat iron) for a very reasonable $25. Say you saw it on The E List and first time clients take 20% off.


Urbane Salon, Guilford

We sent Pam for a blowout at Urbane Salon in Guilford. It’s a friendly place, a modern version of an old fashioned beauty parlor, where the staff knows their clients well, there’s no pretense and it’s not intimidating. Besides cuts and styling, they offer chemical free dye, keratin and glazing. It’s a one-stop shop for manicures, pedicures and facial waxing, in an airy and bright space. Haircuts are a reasonable $39 and up (men’s $29 and up), with a petite spa in the back for men who want a pedicure in privacy!  Products: Redken, Pureology, Deva, Keratin, Moroccan Oil, and Malibu brand specifically for well-water washed hair. Current special: Get your manicure free with a paid pedicure.


Madison Avenue Salon, Madison

We sent Vee to Madison Avenue and I saw first-hand what a great job they did–she looks fabulous! Loved her short and sassy style by Michelle, with just the right amount of highlights. You’ll find no attitude at this unpretentious, family-owned salon (father, daughter and son all work together). They have enough staff to squeeze in a service at a moment’s notice; Vee added highlights and an eyelash tint at the last minute.  If you’re looking to manage your upkeep in one fell swoop, head here: reasonably priced full-service offering waxing, facials, eyelash tinting, nails and massage in a cute, but not sleek, atmosphere. Women’s cut and style $50, men’s $36, kids and teens range from $23 to $45 depending on age. Look for the opening of Madison Avenue East in Old Saybrook in July. Click here to access a printable coupon for 50% off first time clients!


Couture Salon and Spa, Old Saybrook

For the multi-tasker looking for a strong stylist with great prices, Couture’s your place. Couture offers private rooms with wifi (very male-friendly, including services like a Men’s 10-minute grey blending color) and teeth whitening application while you’re processing! Standard services include facial waxing, makeup applications, mani/pedis, lash extensions and massage. Emery loved the convenience of the downtown Saybrook location and that Michelle, the owner, listened to what she wanted (keep her shoulder length, add body and style) and delivered! Michelle applied a bladeless hairdryer to lift and defrizz and Emery was happy with her beachy/textured final look. There’s nothing over-the-top about this spot, a cut is $42, men’s $27, kids $21, but it’s homey and welcoming and Emery is heading back. Nice to know: Michele is experienced with Autistic clients. The E List readers will receive free teeth whitening or a free haircut with their first color.


Echo Salon, Guilford

Robbin loved the funky charm of Echo Salon; fun zebra print chairs and a copper colored tin ceiling lends the space a whimsical and creative feel. Owner, Stephanie gave Robbin a full consultation before starting her cut and less than an hour later, Robbin walked out with a beautifully styled, flippy new do. Women looking for a warm, friendly salon experience will love it here; you feel like you’re in the owner’s living room! Echo features products by Kerastate, Prive and Davines and is a short walk to the boutiques on the Guilford Green. Cuts range from $40 – $80; men’s start at $30.


W Salon, Madison

Pam could be a Walter convert. Her hair is fragile and distressed (her words, not mine) and Walter … owner of W, is applying all manner of curative treatment to improve the texture of her hair.  The salon is famous for Balayage, a rare French freehand colouring technique, where color is applied without foils or cap. It’s low maintenance; there’s no solid demarcation line of color so you can go a bit longer between applications. Walter’s magic wand doesn’t come cheap, his cuts are $100 (cuts and blowouts by other staff start at $55) but if you’re on the hunt for a master, stop here. Mention The E List and take $20.00 off any hair service for new clients.

p.s. W Salon is moving to downtown Madison, in the courtyard next to Ashley’s Ice Cream, on June 5th.
Bird Nest Salon and Gallery, Guilford

For those looking for the ultimate in privacy and personal attention, here’s your answer: a single chair salon in an historic house near the Guilford Green. From the photographs, paintings, jewelry and refurbished furniture for sale, to the high end mags (Architectural Digest, House & Home), this salon is owner Steven Uccello’s singular vision. Sarah loved having a salon all to herself and was wowed by his blowout: he eschews flatirons (too damaging) and employing just a few strategically placed round brushes, produced a beautiful, billowy mane. You’ll find products from Goldwell, Moroccan Oil and KMS. A cut is $60, men’s is $45, and a blowout is $50. Say you saw it on The E List and new clients take 20% off.

Essence Center for Beauty and Wellness, Old Saybrook

Laura gushed over her experience at Essence. Why? The salon is a well-oiled machine staffed with a team of pros with tons of experience. While the salon was busy on her visit, the staff was sweet and accommodating and there was no wait. She loved the fact that it wasn’t a “scene” and she felt welcome and comfortable on her first visit. Her stylist, Kristine, has 30 years experience and provided a full consultation before giving Laura one of the best cuts she’s had in years. Essence is a full service salon and spa, providing waxing, manicures, pedicures, massage and facials. Women’s cut and style starts at $44, men’s $32. Say you saw it on The E List and new clients take 20% off.

Salon Pure, Old Lyme

A do with a view! Is it me or does it seem like overnight Salon Pure transformed ho-hum retail space into a trendy hair salon with a view of the Lieutenant River? Bright, airy and intimate with dark wood cabinetry, Salon Pure is a fresh and modern addition to Old Lyme. Robbin loved her professional and knowledgeable stylist, Jen, who described the benefits of the Goldwell products she was using and explained the Keratin treatments they offer. She had no wait, but there’s tea, cookies and wifi, just in case. Women’s cuts start at $44, men’s at $32. Evening hours available. New clients take 20% off.