I have never understood salons with a huge storefront window where the clients were in chairs on display to everyone passing by on the sidewalk. There are things that the world doesn't need to see, like a woman with a head full of foils or color glopped on her head. When I was introduced to A Private Studio almost 20 years ago, I loved that it was in a residential building facing the back. They've since moved from the UWS to Chelsea, but the feeling remains the same -- it really is private, and you can feel comfortable letting your hair down, literally and figuratively.
Laurance is incredibly skillful and helps you make good choices. He's my man, but on the rare occasions that he was away I've seen his associate John and have always been happy with the results. Their assistants also have always been lovely and extremely solicitous.
I'm pretty sure that they've never advertised the business -- it's all word of mouth, which contributes to the feeling that you're a fortunate member of a secret club. It's a testament to their work that so many clients have been with them for years, and many who move to the suburbs still travel back to the city for their services. Also, many clients marry, have children, and eventually bring their children in for their haircuts as well. A Private Studio is like another family away from the one you have at home.
Pros: Private and intimate setting, top-notch professionalism