New York, Obsessions, Spas & SalonsMarie Robinson Salon

Someone once told me that the difference between a good colorist and a great colorist lies in whether or not they’ll simply refuse to do something that doesn’t suit you, regardless of how badly you want it. Thus, after years of dabbling amongst good colorists, I finally stumbled upon a great one- Marie Robinson of her eponymous salon.  Ever since I first started getting my hair colored, I’ve developed this fascination (obsession almost) with achieving perfect light ashy brown locks- a feat that colorist after colorist attempted- only to garner the identical result- great color for a couple weeks followed by months of drab, rusty, brassy mess.  Someday, I thought, I’ll color my hair back to black…but in the meantime since I have access to all the top colorists, I’ll try to achieve that elusive brown just one more time…

Before I went in to see Marie, I did a bit of background research on the color guru and was impressed to find her celebrity clientele to include names like Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Scarlett Johansson- all beautiful, at-one-time-or-another brunettes with the beautiful brown hair that I’ve long desired.  

“So what are you in here for?” asked Marie.

“Welllll I was thinking maybe some highlights..or maybe lowlights..I want a nice brown color that will hide the black/orange combo I’ve got going on…and you know, that great brown you did on ScarJo…”

“Actually,” replied Marie. “I think you should go dark.  We’ll work with your natural hair color and add some dimension and liven it up a little.  Then you should let your natural hair grow out and go back to the salon for some glosses.”

“But what about…..”

“The reason your hair always turns brassy,” Marie continued to explain, “is due to the ammonia in the bleaching process which strips the hair of color but leaves it a tendency to turn red-which your hair has a lot of.  For your hair type, you should only really be doing demi-permanent color which doesn’t contain ammonia and therefore won’t leave you looking orange. Don’ t try to go too far away from your natural color. Your hair just isn’t built for it. ”

And with that, I left my hair future to the real pro- to do what she does best- to make sure that the result actually looks good for me.  The result? A shiny, glossy, dark color that catches the light in just the right way in the sun to give it a lovely brown sheen.

Marie also employs a number of top stylists at her new salon, which just opened in April 2010.  The 5,000sq ft space features 26 chairs and an enviable roster of talent who have all worked with celebrity clients and with experience from some of New York’s most famous names.  Following the color, I was treated to a cut by Allison Woodruff, who created one of my best haircuts to date (light, voluminous, and easy)  and whom I’ve subsequently recommended to a number of my friends.

Sometimes you know what you’re looking for and you’re lucky enough to  find someone who gets you and that was Allison- energetic, talented and knew how to style my  hair in a bombshell way that worked for me.

And sometimes you’re lost, and you’re lucky enough to find someone who can guide you back to your best self.  And for me, that was Marie –  who finally taught me to make peace with my hair.

Marie Robinson Salon is located at 155 Fifth Avenue 4th Fl; (212) 358-7780.


  1. Kathleen  |  16 August 2010 at 8:31 PM

    nice writeup! and having seen ur color in person, it really looks great–the lowlights are beautiful!

  2. Clara  |  17 August 2010 at 6:40 AM

    Hi! Your review was quite useful since I was thinking of going to the salon for Marie’s talent and also for Alison. The only thing I would need to know is the price (if you don’t mind) I am a student and the only thing that has kept me from calling is I have no idea how much each of them charge…

    Thank you for your useful article hope to hear from you soon!


  3. Carolyn  |  17 August 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Hi Clara! Here are the price lists- hope you find something that fits your budget 🙂

    Color: Marie- SP $200+, Highlights $300+
    Eric: SP: $175+. HL: $275+
    Bryan: SP: $150+, HL $250+

    Haircut: Tommy: $250
    Ryan T: $300
    Allison: $200
    Jessica: $175
    Katie: $175
    Ryan C: $200
    Abby: $125
    Abell: $225

  4. clara  |  17 August 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Thank you so much Carolyn! Your review was definitly helpful. Mow the only thing I need is for them to have a free spot in the next two weeks!


  5. clara  |  18 August 2010 at 2:08 PM

    So I have an appointment on friday with Allison! I think I’ll look at the girls having highlights done and then maybe decide to do it next week 😉

    I have to say I am a bit scared now I booked the appointment, sounds stupid I know!

  6. Carolyn  |  19 August 2010 at 7:53 AM

    YAY!! Be sure to let her know that Carolyn sent you her way and let me know how you like your new haircut!!

  7. katie  |  1 September 2010 at 1:38 PM

    thanks for the review Carolyn… been searching for reviews of the salon for a couple of months! I have appt. next week with both Marie and Allison & cannot wait. 🙂

  8. meg  |  2 September 2010 at 7:15 AM

    what is the tipping policy? I know it sounds silly,but how much should i plan on tipping?

  9. Mary - NYC  |  30 October 2010 at 8:38 PM

    I am a client of Marie and only have positive things to say. She is totally down to earth, doesn’t have an egotistical bone in her body and does one heck of a job with color. I only see her 3 or 4 times a year because my color lasts a long time when she works her magic. I highly recommend Marie and am thrilled that she now has her own salon (Sally Hershberger’s salon was too cramped and didn’t have a good vibe). Marie’s new salon is quite spacious and a lot more airy and bright.

  10. Virginia_NY  |  10 February 2011 at 8:29 AM

    Usually, it’s customary to tip 20% to your hairstylist/colourist.

  11. miriam  |  17 March 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Has anyone gotten a haircut with Ryan C? I’ve got an appt for Saturday and I’ve never been at the salon before.

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