Salon Bonaparte: Best Coiffure in Paris

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It took me 6 months to find someone to cut my hair in Paris.

I googled endlessly in hopes of finding some solid recommendations, since I was unwilling to trust my locks to any old Jean-Claude Biguine. My search turned up a hair stylist who had won the “Best Coiffure in Paris” award last year. Unfortunately I made the mistake of trusting everything I read, and the results were catastrophic.

Thankfully while sitting in the waiting room at my therapist (believe me, we all need one these days), I came across a small blurb in American Vogue. The creative director of DeBeers, a stunning woman named Madame Canot, mentioned that her beauty secret was a Parisian hairstylist named Seb, who had just signed on to a new salon on Rue Bonaparte, aptly named Salon Bonaparte. Around the corner from chez moi!

The gods were in my favor; I booked an appointment immediately.

The best color and cut of my life! Seb is a celebrity hairstylist in the making, having already clocked in many a fashion week show, and worked with various modeling agencies around town. Along with two other equally skilled stylists, Stephane and Bruno (who have coiffed the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg), the Parisian triumvirate is set to make a mark on this city of nameless stylists.

Their petit atelier on Rue Bonaparte opened a year ago, and is light and understated considering the magic that happens inside. Seb is a cowboyish Apollo: golden locks of hair flow from underneath a cowboy hat, and a silk scarf adds that flamboyant frenchness that makes us trust him. The giant jewels adorning his neck and fingers would seem to confirm the presupposition that he is gay. Yet to my great astonishment, he mentioned an ex-girlfriend from Brazil. He’s single ladies!

Salon Bonaparte is the best advice I can give any of you, men (they do amazing cuts for men) or women, for obtaining that certain je ne sais quoi that makes the French so chic. I just went in for a brushing (blow out) today, and came out looking like a million bucks. Merci mille fois!

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33 thoughts on “Salon Bonaparte: Best Coiffure in Paris

  1. petitebrigitte says:

    Salon Bonaparte is located on 19 rue Bonaparte, very near to l’ecole des beaux arts. Hard to see since the place is small, but the door is surrounded by red pipes.

    01 43 29 19 19 to book!

    This last blog is a reposting of a previous one! The other one got deleted by accident so I wanted to make sure I had all of your attention focused on this awesome salon!

  2. petitebrigitte says:

    Shampoo, cut, etc. around 70 euros. Blow out at 60 (yes a little too much, but it lasts for several days and its very well done).

  3. Jane says:

    My friend got the best haircut of her life from Stephane Forlay while we were in Paris on holiday. I got a blowout from Seb that looked amazing. Supposedly Stephane will be moving to New York soon to open his own salon. Fingers crossed.

  4. mimi says:

    I just scheduled an appointment at salon bonaparte, whoever took my appointment quoted a price of 150 €!!

    On the other hand, I asked for an appointment on Monday, a day which they are normally closed.

    This guy better be good!

  5. petitebrigitte says:

    YES. Update to this post:

    Salon Bonaparte did my cut for 90 back in the fall. They have since raised their prices. I am not sure if you can negotiate with them for a student discount (which is what might have happened with me).

    They are good though. Relax and have fun. You will come out looking super chic!

  6. patricia says:

    I just went to get a cut from Stephane yesterday and he is absolutely amazing, thorough, friendly, and on top of that good looking. My sister got one from Yuji who did an equally amazing job on her bob. Thanks PetiteBrigitte for the tip on this hot hairsalon as I will definitely come back again the next time I am in town!

  7. Sudaf says:

    Hey, I was wondering if Seb and some of his stylists are English-speaking? My French is not what it should be and I want to make sure language won’t be an obstacle. Thanks!

  8. petitebrigitte says:

    Unfortunately Seb’s English is fairly limited– but he gets it. His colleagues, however, can easily translate for him, so I wouldn’t worry! Have faith, he is great! For men, Stephane is also brilliant.

  9. Melissa says:

    Hi Little B, do you know if they do foil highlights at Bonaparte? i have been living here for 3 years and tried a million places that will only do balayage method and it has fried my hair and made it an icky all over yellowish blond, just got back from Los Angeles with great natural looking highlights and lowlights (beachy blond), I am desperate to find a place in Paris that does the foil method (the thin highlights and use of color instead of bleach is just better for me). Any thoughts?

  10. petitebrigitte says:

    Hi Melissa:

    As far as I know, Bonaparte does not do foil highlights. I can tell you an EXCELLENT place for blondes that does:

    BLONDE by Frank Vidoff
    12, rue Pré aux Clercs, 75007
    01 42 22 66 33

    You just gave me an idea: i must post on this place! merci!

  11. Anne says:

    Hi! I have been living in Paris for a few months and am in desperate need of haircut. I have been having a hard time deciding where to go but your review sounds great! Do you know how much is it for both cut and color?

    I have never colored my hair before but know what I want, do you think that this salon is a good place to start?

  12. petitebrigitte says:

    Hi Melissa. Put you locks in the hands of Salon Bonaparte and I guarantee you won’t regret! They can do no wrong.

    I would recommend calling for current rates, or visiting their site at salonbonaparte.com!

  13. Maura says:

    Hi ladies,
    I went to Salon Bonaparte based on all your recommendations but, alas, my cut was not good. It was with Stephane, not Seb. He spent a lot of time on it but it’s shapeless and hard to manage. Do not go here for glossy wavy lux hair. Perhaps its ok for choppy layered “messy” styles. The cut cost €150 + €90 for colour (which was fine)

  14. Amanda says:

    Hi,

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for other places that do foil highlights? I checked out BLONDE by Frank Vidoff and their prices are a little steep. I’ve been living in Paris for a while and have been trying to find a salon that does the foil method. I too have had a balayage done and let’s just say that instead of being blonde, I’m now strawberry-blonde. Any ideas?

  15. mimi says:

    Just wanted to make an update…I went to Salon Bonaparte in September and got an excellent cut from Stephane. I asked for an edgy bob à la Louise Brooks, and he delivered it flawlessly. I was very happy with my cut, and there is no doubt that Stephane is talented. However, the salon experience left much to be desired. The phone kept ringing every 3 minutes, and since he was the only one in the salon, he had to stop cutting my hair and pick up and answer the phone each time. The calls were clients trying to make an appointment, so he took 2 minutes to schedule them. It was ok for the first few times, but it happened for at least 7 times during my hair cut. Very annoying, to say the least. He apologized for it, and I told him it was ok. But when you pay 150€ for a cut, I don’t think it’s too much to expect undivided attention!

    I’d go back to see him if he still charged 90€…but based on my experience there, 150€ is too much for the service provided.

    Also, I wasn’t exactly sure on how tipping works out at hair salons in France. I know salon prices in general are “service compris”, but I ended up leaving a considerable amount for tip since I wasn’t certain. When I paid him, he seemed very surprised I gave him extra, leading me to believe that the price was indeed service compris.

  16. Melisa says:

    Hey I love that haircut I havelong hair but am kind of bored with it. so how does it look normally? I wouldn’t know if this haircut will work for me since my face is kind of round..lol
    yup

  17. Toni says:

    This guy, his name is Peter, does the foil method and does it right:

    Gadge
    88 r Archives 75003 PARIS

    You will see a lot of die hard regulars in his salon too. It’s a very friendly feeling atmosphere.

    He is about 170-euros for highlights and cut but plan on spending a long time there. He’s very thorough and has an eye for what looks good on you. Even with a name like Peter, he doesn’t speak English and it’s totally gay friendly salon!!

  18. Toni says:

    While we’re on the topic of hair, can anyone figure out why it is that there is very, very little competition in the beauty supply world? In the states, there were a number of stores that sold a huge collection of different shamppos and conditioners and styling products. Here it seems Loreal and the French brands have a monopoly going. I can’t find Purology, Matrix, and Aveda will cost you an arm and a leg. Although Peter Gadge sells Bed Head TIGI.

    I would highly recommend the Aveda salon in Paris though – Joel Villard Salon des Coleurs. He’s 200-euros of pure hair pleasure. It was a little too snobby for my taste, not the salon personnel but the other customers. The color is really really excellent – but it comes with a price.

  19. Nicole says:

    I just got my hair cut there last week and it was a disaster! Stephane cut my hair in 15 minutes because they were running late and I had to leave at a certain time (something I specifically mentioned when I made the appointment and reminded them of when I arrived.) Honestly, its the first time I have ever come home from the salon and my husband actually said he hated my new cut. Like Maura, my hair is totally shapeless and it is impossible to style. I am going back today to see if he can’t do something else. I wonder if its because I have short hair and they only do long hair? I would have been disappointed with the cut if I had paid 45 euro at the Biguine down the street, but for a 150? Thats insane. I would NEVER recommend this place to anyone.
    PS I don’t think they realized how well I spoke French because everytime a client left, the staff would huddle together around the desk (near where I was sitting) and make rude/bitchy comments about them and compare tips.

  20. Paulina says:

    I have been researching Paris salons on the internet and came across this. How useful! Thanks. Question: Joel Villard is praised widely for his colouring. How are the cuts in his salon? I need a combo of good, natural-looking highlights and an awesome cut. I wasn’t able to find a website for Peter Gadge or Joel Villard. Do they have one? Thanks

  21. Paulina says:

    Peter Gadge: Poor haircut, poor service, expensive

    So I decided to go to Peter Gadge for highlights and trim. Where do I begin? When I arrived at the salon for my appointment I discovered that it was not Peter but what I assume was his assistant who would be cutting my hair (!?)OK, I decided to stay – perhaps he’ll be good as well.

    I stay, and waited, and waited—for 1.5 hours!!! During this time, the assistant cut the hair of 2 men. He spent an hour on trimming a guy’s buzzcut! Peter said that a haircut will take about an hour but COME ON – a buzz-cut?!?!?

    After waiting 1.5 hours I thought, OK, maybe this guy is really that good and so, quieting down the part of me that just wanted to leave, waited some more. After the first hour of waiting I told Peter (who was cutting other people’s hair) that I no longer wanted the highlights because I was simply just taking too long and I had other plans that night. He got into a bit of a huff saying that this is what my appointment was for and started reviewing the book to see whether I could be fit in at all (I had a confirmed appointment).

    Finally after the 1.45 hours of waiting I got my turn. I was given a couple of books and asked which haircut I wanted. I didn’t see anything I liked and described what I wanted – a well-cut bob. And so the trimming began. It took the hairdresser over an hour to take off half an inch. He did the main bit about 20 mins and for the remainder of the time, he snipped here and there.

    By now I expected something spectacular- I’d been there for 3 hours – what I got was something very bland and ordinary – something I would expect from a junior stylist at a chain salon. Very little movement and style. I suggested that perhaps layering the back a bit more would give my haircut more shape. The answer was no. Well, at least it was over.

    For this little experience in Paris, I had to pay 60 euro – more that I had seen on any of the price lists in salons I walked by in the 6th. In sum, poor haircut , poor service, expensive. Not worth it and quite annoying.

  22. Paulina says:

    Peter Gadge the morning after – washed own hair — eeeek, I look like one of those drawings of a girl done by a 5 year old – flat on top, flipped up at the end(and this at chin-length)! Unfortunately am no longer in Paris and so cannot go back for a correction. Thank God I didn’t do the highlights there! Off to find a salon in London that can fix this.

  23. lutetia8 says:

    Peter Gadge – do yourself a favour and avoid this guy….He cut my hair back in the early 90s and did a good job back then, but his attitude was so disdainful and unpleasant I vowed never to go back….But I did, in 2007, and what a mistake! This time round he did another basic cut (shoulder-length and really not that great), took 1.5 hours to do it, and his attitude was just as unpleasant. But worse, he charged me well over the advertised price of 60 euros for wash, cut and style, because, he said, “the price is based on the time it takes.” This from what one reviewer calls “the world’s slowest haircutter”!! I found out later that day he wasn’t allowed to do this (charge a price different from the posted rate). So I went back and demanded he refund the difference, which he did, reluctantly, and only when I mentioned I called the consumer branch. He tried to argue I had “a lot” of hair. Do yourself a favour and avoid this prima donna stylist. Mireille Guiliano may recommend him, but I sure don’t.

  24. kellyr88 says:

    I got my hair done today by Franck Vidoff – best hair color I’ve ever had! He is the only person doing hair- He has a receptionist who washes the color out and preps the hair but Franck does all the coloring himself. He took his time and the end result looks great. The cost was 210 Euros, which is pretty pricey, but he’s worth every penny.

  25. sarav1982 says:

    Thanks for this, much helpful and will keep in mind all of your comments! Just wanted to share my experience with you too in the hope that I will save someone…don’t go to the salon Muriel Labro in Gobelins (13eme). I went on Saturday and asked for a cut and for a colour (to cover a rebel group of white hair). I won’t spend much time telling you how unfriendly they were, making mockery of my non-perfect French, but going straight to the point: I still have my white hair! They are all there! I told the lady the colour didn’t work and her reaction was: “Ah yes? Let me see. Oh, yes, they are all there.” she laughed and she WENT AWAY. They also made me paid 53 euros for the colour…unbelievable. This spoilt most of my Saturday as I can tolerate such a lack of politeness and bad customer service. So hope you will have more enjoyable experience!

  26. Hey I know this post is kind of old, but I was wondering if you still go to this hair salon and know if the stylists for men are still any good.
    I’ve been in Paris for about three months and it is definitely time that I got my hair cut. I’ve been searching for some good hair salons for men but am not confident about any.
    Do you have any suggestions (especially if Salon Bonaparte isn’t as good for men anymore)?

    • petitebrigitte says:

      Chers amis, Update to this post. Salon Bonaparte has closed it doors.

      I advise you to check out new hot spot supercutters: La Clé. 23 Rue Echaude – 75006 Paris – Tél 01 46 34 24 00

      Bisous, Petite B

    • petitebrigitte says:

      Bonjour Katie,
      I do not know where Seb is working. Will find out… often see him driving around town on a miniscule blue moto, with his blond hair flying in the wind!

      PB

  27. Hi lil’ B !
    thanks for the post and updates, i was thrilled in the beggining when shifting through the comments thinking that…God i found it finally ! but went down so sad to read the last update that Bonaparte closed already !

    i live in Dubai, and im coming to paris next thursday and im staying for only 4 days, my hair is so long and i cant trust anyone on it as hair stylists once they see long hair they go trimming and trimming like crazy !!

    i would appreciate if you can suggest a trustable hair stylist just as seb or stephane ! or if you know were did they move to…would be great !

    Many thanks,
    Nora

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