Great hair days on repeat with Christchurch’s best hairdressers

Hairstylist washing a woman's hair at Mod's Hair in Christchurch.

Fall in love with your locks with a visit to one of these top salons in Ōtautahi

Words by: Isabella & Lucy

Photography by: Neat Places

Finding a good hairdresser certainly comes with its challenges. There is much trial and error, and sometimes a little heartbreak and even a few tears, along the journey to find the perfect coiffeur. Lucky for us on the lookout for a cut, style or colour we’re proud of, and won’t hide under a fedora, we have a selection of top Christchurch hairdressers within arms reach. 

We understand no two manes are the same, so have curated a diverse selection of salons that are unique in output but equally welcoming. Each has their signature flair and salon professional products to leave your hair looking lush as ever. It won’t be long before you find your perfect match—no dating required.

Mod's Hair

141 Aikmans Road, Merivale, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

It’s hard to resist a quiet glass in Mod’s Perrier Jouët Champagne bar while getting your hair done by expert stylists who know how to have a good hair day, everyday. Located on Aikmans Road, Merivale, Mod’s Hair have really made an impactful name around the Christchurch Hairdressing scene and abroad. 

Founded in Paris over 50 years ago, the loyal style empire salon staff have a true appreciation of all natural textures and tones of hair—embracing the hair people are born with, adapting methods for clients to just own it! All stylists are also true to their French roots by being trained in Paris; keeping the level of expertise consistent, for men and women around the globe. Bespoke techniques such as balayage, baseline and foils have been part of Mod’s routine for over 20 years, so there is no excuse that your hair is too difficult for them to spruce-up. 

Not only is it a beautiful space, but Mod’s Hair is also the first salon to have a fully licensed bar—espresso martini’s anyone?

Merle

4 Wise Street, Addington

When you want to walk out of the salon with hair that already looks perfectly “lived in,” Michele and Beck at Merle are your go-to girls. While they’re known for their blondes, soft lived in brunettes and coppers are also signature colours of the salon. Your precious locks will be treated with love and care, using products such as Lakmé + Evo Colour, Moroccanoil, Olaplex and Teknia. The girls also teach at colour education workshops for Lakmé — a true testament to their expertise and passion for education.

If it’s not the clean and dimensional colour work that wins you over, the small, calm and inviting studio space is sure to. When you’re not pressed for time, make the most of the location, with a trip next door to Addington Coffee Co-op for your caffeine or foodie fix. 

Merle is a tranquil, friendly place to recharge, have a laugh and feel the love. Most importantly, you’ll always strut out with great hair that makes you go “ooo” and “ahh,” and stands the test of time. Trust us, you won’t want to leave!

Woman washing hair in basin at Merle.

Balayage

36 Welles Street, Christchurch Central City

Balayage’s Welles Street salon is a beautiful, welcoming space that is inclusive of everyone. Tom and Sharon Ujihara have grown Balayage from a little boutique hairdresser to one of Christchurch’s most reputable salons with a niche and passion for creating natural, believable hair. Their colour techniques are tailored to each clients unique needs, priorotising hair health while creating beautiful, healthy results with colour that lasts.

Being a team of animal lovers, it has always been important to Balayage that their products, colour and treatments are one hundred percent cruelty free. If you’re lucky, you might bump into Tom and Sharon’s adopted Greyhounds, Sachi and Lily, at the salon.

While you leave your hair in the team's capable hands, you can peruse the eclectic collection of books, magazines and the odd Star Wars figurine hidden here and there. They’ve made a space that is as interesting as it is inviting—go on, take a look.

Interior view of Balayage salon in Christchurch.

True Grit

87 Manchester Street, Christchurch Central City

A collective passion for creativity, the multi-award-winning True Grit is one of New Zealand's leading hair salon; based in Ōtautahi, Christchurch. Offering something a little different to the competitive hair market, the multi-purpose space offers the latest in hair innovation keeping up (and ahead) of the trends. 

True Grit offers the full glam experience, specialising in party hair and also offers a make-up service to make you feel one million bucks, inside and out. Every client; old or new, gets a full consultation with the professional stylists, sometimes even offering two stylists if you're feeling a little on the fence! An extensive list of services, the team at True Grit are best known for trust and inventive styling; catering their skills to enhance every cut, colour and tone. 

With the fun, relaxed environment; you will leave looking fab & feeling you have just had a catch up with your utter best friends. 

Hairdresser taking out highlights from woman's hair at True Grit.

Dinh Collective

924 Colombo Street, Christchurch Central City

At the north end of Colombo Street, boutique hair salon, Dinh Collective, brings together a collection of Christchurch’s most sought after hair stylists. Flooded with natural light from floor to ceiling, street-facing windows, Dinh has a pared back and sleek aesthetic. Gilt edged back-lit mirrors, polished concrete floors and cosy chairs, the boutique look is cemented by an intimate atmosphere created by seeing only three clients total at a time.

The space’s light and airy feel was brought together by owner Dannii Dinh and Lyttelton-based design maestros, Joska & Sons. Together the pair have redefined what a hair salon is, straying away from typical salon furniture and fitout suppliers. 

Dinh Collective is Dannii’s dream as a salon owner being realised, after years of developing her expertise. Her team of skilled stylists are more often than not booked out, each bringing unique flair for colouring and styling using Redken products and bringing years of experience to the salon floor.

A salon chair at Dihn Collective.

Chere Chérie

70 Victoria Street, Christchurch Central City

Located on Victoria Street, this little boutique salon is full of character and personality. The salon is headed by seasoned stylist Alex, who’s working career in the luxury salon industry spans from 5th Avenue New York, to Beverly Hills, to Notting Hill and now Christchurch. 

The talented team at Chere Chérie offer an exclusive one on one experience that allows their clients to not only express who they are, but also to learn and have a purpose beyond the pampering. Sustainability and a love for the planet also play an integral part at Chere Chérie; from providing brands like Davines, Loreal, Pureology and Anti, to being one of the first Christchurch salons to adopt sustainable salon practices. 

When you walk in, the living plant collection invites you, excites you and aids in air purification. Other neat touches can be found throughout the salon, such as the handmade pottery that cradles your drink and sweet treats on arrival. 

Be it walking in or strutting out,  the team's signature “hello” and "goodbye” is always appreciated and leaves a lasting impression, that you too, are one of the gang. 

Hairdresser working on lady's hair at Chere Chérie in Christchurch.

Surreal Hair

66 Victoria Street, Central, Christchurch

Often flying under the radar, Surreal Hair have been in the business of hair for over twenty years. The return to the city post earthquakes has been a welcomed move, especially with the salons brand new, luxurious, high-end fit out. A lovely touch is the communal area in the middle of the salon, acting as a place to work, chat and listen to the stories of fellow clients. Connection is everything here.

Surreal is home to a talented and experienced team of fourteen stylists, with someone to suit all ages. One customer, who is over one hundred years old, visits every week to have her hair pampered and prepped. The trusted stylists really can do anything you desire; from beautiful colour work to classic mens cuts. 

Strong in their sustainable beliefs, ninety five percent of salon waste is recycled. A truly awe-inspiring space—all 210 square meters of it!

Counter at Surreal Hair in Christchurch.

GM Hair Gallery

300 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City

GM Hair Gallery is a salon full of creatives who like to push the boundaries as artists, not only with hair but in the fashion and creative world too. Owned and operated by Mike and Glynis Hamel, who have been hairdressing for over 35 years. The pair have traveled the world doing hair, working behind the scenes at international fashion weeks, film sets and more. 

They use their own amazing product range, Mike Hair Care (MHC), created by Mike and made locally in Aotearoa.  Some key features of MHC include the one hundred percent natural ingredients, no nasties and New Zealand sheep wool keratin protein—the closest match to human keratin! A keratin salvage treatment is exclusive to GM and repairs hair from the inside out, creating long-lasting benefits. You can also reuse your hair care empties at the salons refill station. 

Each stylist possesses their own creative flair but popular requests from clients are shaggy wolf cuts, mullets, layers upon layers and balayage—the perfect way to fake that sun kissed hair look. The large, repurposed, industrial space is furnished with an eclectic mix of entirely recycled furniture (aside from the mirrors). Another eye-catching feature is the beautiful dried flower display suspended from the ceiling.

Interior view of GM Hair Gallery in Christchurch.

Earth Organic Hairdressing

181 High Street, Christchurch Central City

The beautiful, lively flower mural at Earth Organic Hairdressing is sure to catch your eye as you stroll down High Street. Wooden touches in the salons interiors, add warmth and pay homage to the mindful nature of the salon. 

All about an organic approach to hair, the entire team are conscious believers in clean and green professional hair care. All of their products are carefully curated with a zero tolerance to animal testing and petrochemical filled products. They take time to source products that are plant based with organic ingredients, replacing commonly found synthetic chemicals with natural alternatives. Even the hair colour is 100% plant based and biodegradable! 

Aside from kind and clean products, the Earth team are experts with all things hair. Creatively tailoring your hair experience to be exactly what you desire. At Earth, you really can sit back and let your mind be at ease.

Hairdresser blowing drying someones hair at Earth Organic Hairdressing.

Amala

210 Colombo Street, Sydenham

Anyone with a head full of curls, kinks or waves knows that finding someone who truly “gets” a curl is a tough job. Thankfully, the team at Amala are all about the, sometimes unruly, curl. Specialising in curly cuts, they have valued clients traveling from all over for their signature looks. They take joy in helping previously unsatisfied, disheartened clients leave the salon with a bounce in their step and beaming with positivity. 

Going back seventeen years, Amala was the first organic based salon in the country. Unique in their natural, non-carcinogenic hair colours that still deliver optimal results. Their range is sustainable and made in our own backyard—beautiful Aotearoa. 

Amala is a busy but relaxed salon that’s sure to feel like home. The team, headed by Nadia, are professional, modern, down-to-earth and love what they do. You’ll be in good hands around here!

Close up of woman having her hair cut.

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Little High Lanes

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Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Little High Lanes is an eclectic blend of food, fashion and industry.

Moon Under Water

Exterior of Moon Under Water, Christchurch.
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Moon Under Water features all the best aspects of a classic pub that's up with the times when it comes to great brews, food and service.

Shopology

Shelve of warm winter scarfs at Shopology.
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Shopology is a collaborative retail space, where talented artisans, makers and designers come together.

Infinite Definite

Shop assistant inside Infinite Definite in Christchurch.
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Cool kicks, clothing and lifestyle goods find themselves a home here, and with over 60 different designers in stock, there is something for everyone.