How would you describe yourself? Are you confident, on-trend, driven? Are you witty, laid-back, creative? A lot of times, your great qualities remain hidden until people get the chance to know you. That’s why first impressions make an enormous impact. That’s why hair helps sculpt your identity. Your hair is a reflection of you!

We build relationships with our clients by taking the time to get to know you, your taste, and your personality.

At Vakkar, we know that appearance helps spark confidence, and you can’t gain confidence unless you trust your stylist. We build relationships with our clients by taking the time to get to know you, your taste, and your personality. We will work closely with you to gain your respect and trust, and from there, we’ll create a look that is purely YOU.

From the moment you walk in Vakkar, you’ll feel like you belong in our welcoming environment. The upbeat music, the enthusiastic stylists, and the overall vibe here make you feel comfortable. We’re attentive to what you want to achieve with your new hairstyle, and we’re also here to offer up our professional opinions. That’s why we’re the experts!

As a Davines® exclusive salon, we proudly offer the latest in both technology and technique. What makes us stand alone, however, is pure talent. This is something that tools and technology doesn’t provide. This is raw and natural – there’s nothing to hold us back.We are confident in our abilities to help you achieve a look that’s beautiful, remarkable, and most importantly, a true reflection of yourself. At Vakkar, we believe no one has a bad day when they have good hair!

Meet the Team

David Johnston


Working behind the chair for over a decade, David Johnston is a master stylist, and his cutting, coloring, and styling are the inspiration behind Vakkár. His design is based on classic shape. If the look you desire is natural, realistic, and soft with great movement, David has refined his techniques to create these styles. David’s focus is on professional and modern mainstream hair. Those who want a bit more edge, he is always willing to deliver.

With formal training under Youbi Lee, a leading St. Louis stylist, David is an expert in pivot point and principle base cutting. David’s advanced cutting, coloring and editorial styling techniques result from professional training with Vidal Sassoon, Bumble and Bumble, Redken, Sebastian, L’Oreal Professional, Fermici, and Matrix. David’s diverse background fosters his unique style and dynamic approach. David Johnston is the Creative director for Vakkár.

Gary Palmer


Gary began his career at Westham College of Fashion in London, England. He went on to work at Daniel Galvin-a world renowned color salon-located in London’s West End. He moved to the United States in 1985 and opened his own salon in 1992, managing 20 employees. He continued his education and attended Sassoon and Toni & Guy Academies on a regular basis. In 1999, he returned to London, where he managed Faltricks, a group of three internationally known salons. In 2002, he returned to the United States, where he continued his career as a stylist and educator for L’Oreal Professionnel. Gary is a first-class educator, able to teach expert color, hair-cutting and dressing techniques.

Claudia Bradley


Claudia began her schooling at South Technical Cosmetology School in 2014 while attending high school. Securing an apprenticeship prior to graduation, she was driven to find success in her field. She was focused and determined to advance in her career. With formal, full-time training under Master Stylist, David Johnston, as an apprentice, Claudia developed into a successful stylist at Vakkar Salon.

Claudia has quickly mastered advanced Davines color creations in addition to an established skillset for cuts and designs. She is Keratin certified and Perfectress Extension certified. In addition, Claudia is also certified in Harper Ellis hand-tied extension and concealed bead method. She was personally trained by the CEO, Terra Harvell, of Harper Ellis and is proud to be the only stylist to offer this service in the St. Louis area.

Claudia prides herself on knowing the latest trends in sophisticated styles and professional looks. She has worked to create a luxurious and modern style while focusing on her client’s needs and desires. Claudia approaches her relationships with confidence and care, developing a trust with her clients. She greets everyone with a smile and an understanding demeanor to complete the look they

Lauren Nicastro


Lauren graduated from the Kenneth Shuler academy in South Carolina. While working on her cosmetology certification she earned certificates in Redken Principle’s of cutting, coloring, and American Crew men’s cutting. Graduating in 2018 she is now a understudy being groomed to become a member of the Vakkar Salon stylist team.


ExcellentVakkar Salon4.9 Based on 50 reviews from review us on ★★★★★ I am so pleased with the knowledge and experience of the stylists at Vakkar Salon. David cut and styled my hair in a way so that it looks naturally designed every day with great versatility. He educated me on how to style my hair daily and what products to use and how to use them. This is the best and most professional cut I have ever had. I love my hair now!Annie BAnnie B ★★★★★ Friendly and very knowledgeable. You can't go wrong with anyone there.Lisa RaymondLisa Raymond ★★★★★ I’ve been going to David for over 5 years after a lot of searching for the right salon. The quality and attention to detail is unmatched in St. Louis. I love that it only takes me five minutes to style my hair now since he cuts the hair to lay perfectly.Lynette PLynette P ★★★★★ Claudia is everything I look for in a hairdresser. I moved to St Louis in the last couple of years and haven’t found anyone who could color and cut my hair properly. Claudia immediately recognizedthat my last color and cut needed to grow out first before she could correct my hair. . She did an outstanding consult then and was very open to all my feedback. My search is finally over. Also, everyone in the shop was friendly and nice!NBDNBD ★★★★★ K LoK Lo ★★★★★ I had a wonderful experience with David at Vakkar. I have curly hair, and he cut it so I could wear it straight as well. He managed the near miraculous task of cutting my bangs in a way that I can style them at home to look almost as good as they did when I left the shop. He was incredibly thorough, and I felt he really listened to what I wanted and the level of daily styling I was willing to do for my hair, which is not much. If I air dry it curly or blow dry it straight, it looks great!Cathy TowlCathy Towl ★★★★★ Kristen BryantKristen Bryant ★★★★★ I have posted before but will again - David and his team are the best in town. Perfect color and precision cut. Highly recommend. Comparable to Vidal Sassoon.Laura FrerichsLaura Frerichs ★★★★★ Consistent high quality service. Color work is fantastic, and transitions to gray completely supported. I always feel my hair looks its best when I leave the salon.Amy FriedmanAmy Friedman ★★★★★ Talented staff, friendly environment and intimate setting. I will never go anywhere else!Julie AlversonJulie Alverson ★★★★★ Great experience as a new client. Highly recommend.K MomK Mom ★★★★★ Incredible service and outstanding haircutTitanium FitnessTitanium Fitness ★★★★★ Linda NealLinda Neal ★★★★★ John DexheimerJohn Dexheimer ★★★★★ The best hair salon in St. Louis they’re very professional, kind and hard working they saw me last second when no one else would definitely check them out my hair has never looked better!!Mm VegaMm Vega ★★★★★ Excellent salon! Quality, kind, clean, welcoming, and amazing knowledge. Everyone in the salon is fantastic and you should only be so lucky to get your hair done here. It’s truly the best . I wouldn’t go anywhere elseElana HackerElana Hacker ★★★★★ Unreal and experiencedVeronica KirnVeronica Kirn ★★★★★ Kelly ZhouKelly Zhou ★★★★★ Omar Quadri, M.D.Omar Quadri, M.D. ★★★★★ Great staff. Great haircut from Gary.Langston FamilyLangston Family ★★★★★ Great experience at Vakkar Salon! Lauren was so gentle and personable. She was meticulous with her work and did a fantastic job with my keratin treatment!MernaMerna ★★★★★ Claudia always does a fantastic job with my color... she did touch up today and it blends beautifully.Debi LynDebi Lyn ★★★★★ Stephanie RossStephanie Ross ★★★★★ OMG!!! I LOVE MY HAIRCUT!!Tanya KranzuschTanya Kranzusch ★★★☆☆ phyllis Piggphyllis Pigg ★★★★★ I moved here from San Diego in 2020 and didn't think I'd find a colorist in St. Louis who could compare to my stylist back home.I'm naturally dark blonde and have gotten balayage for years, which is really hard to have done well, in my opinion. You find someone and you stick to them, y'all blondes out there know what I mean?! I was genuinely booking my trips to see my friends back in San Diego...AND MY STYLIST.I found Vakkar because they sell Davines products - my favorite! I got to talking with the front desk person, then with one of the stylists, David, and everyone was beyond kind and helpful. I continued to pick up my shampoo and conditioner at Vakkar for months, always greeted by smiles and warm chats, even though I'd never booked a service there.I ended up talking to David Johnston about my color, and how I was worried about trying anyone new. He sounded confident in his ability to get my hair exactly where I wanted, and gave me up front pricing. I decided to risk it.David Johnston is hands-down one of the most talented colorists I've been to. I'm no longer flying to San Diego to go to my old stylist. Cut, color, genuinely positive and kind human connection is here in St. Louis for me now at Vakkar.Blondes, go NO WHERE ELSE! My standards are high for foliage/balayage and cut. David Johnston went beyond.I need to add a photo, but I'm just bad at taking photos so I'll get back to it.Gina MathisGina Mathis ★★★★★ A Neat boutique salon with skilled professionals and a owner who really knows his coloring techniques. David is great with styling and haircut as well. Prices are nominal and booking appointments can be done online. Good website as well.VidyaVidya ★☆☆☆☆ Becareful some stylists here do what they want not what you want. I think her name was Cynthia that did my hair It will cost me damage and 100s of dollars to undo what she did.SMART ASSSMART ASS ★★★★★ Mayra GuzmanMayra Guzman ★★★★★ Love this place ❤. If your looking for a new place to go this is it. Sarah Jean is awesome she makes sure your happy all the way thro the service, professional and beautiful. And David is awesome hes on the floor making sure everyone is doing ok and checks in on you. The atmosphere is amazing warming and welcoming. Hands down the best place to go too.S ES E ★★★★★ Thank you, thank you, thank you David and your staff for creating my desperately new style. I absolutely love the new look. David really took his time to get to know me and my expectations. My hair situation is difficult and David's talents created a perfect solution.Janet PrayJanet Pray ★★★★★ David Johnston is masterful as a colorist in latest techniques and the team is first in class in professionalism. Highly recommend.RebeccaRebecca ★★★★★ robbie wrightrobbie wright ★★★★★ David NDavid N ★★★★★ Everyone made you feel welcome beautiful salon very professional highly recommend.Chris GoodChris Good ★★★★★ Fantastic salon that goes well beyond the extra mile to accommodate every request. I have sensetive skin, and they know exactly what products to use to avoid irritation. I use only their product lines and love the way my hair feels. Cutting and styling techniques are exceptional, too! And, the environment is gorgeous. The experience couldn't be better. Have been going there since they opened.Claire DickersonClaire Dickerson ★★★★★ I have nothing to say other than "THIS IS THE BEST PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR HAIR CUT, EVER". The entire staff are the nicest people. The owner David is always there to ensure you walk out of the door feeling and looking your best. But the entire team, Lauren, Claudia, Gary and David are all there to truly help you with your hair needs. And please believe me, I walk in there with no idea what I want, (short, long, idk I don't care) but I leave happier than ever because they work as a team to make sure everyone looks their best. I HIGHLY recommend this place. You will not be disappointed.Logan JenningsLogan Jennings ★★★★★ Claudia is AMAZING!!! i recently got my hair colored lighter & the results were insane! She is an absolute expert with color & took time to really think about what she was going to use on my hair. She freshened up my balayage & eliminated so much brass. I left feeling like a different person! She is so considerate & truly cares about the health and quality of your hair. She is so talented in every area of hair & i HIGHLY recommend going to her at Vakkar. You won’t regret it!!! ❤️gabrielle hassellgabrielle hassell ★★★★★ I’ve been going to Vikkar for the past few years and my hair has never looked so good (thank you Gary). Everyone there is an expert at color, cut and style. They take the time to make sure that the results are going to be to your liking and consult with you each time you walk in. The atmosphere is open and friendly. A great hair experience!Cindy VodaCindy Voda ★★★★★ Tiffany MuellerTiffany Mueller ★★★★★ J HJ H ★★★★★ I was a walk-in for David toward the end of his tenure at Youbi in 2003 when I was sick of inconsistent cuts at big chain places. He actually listened to what I wanted out of my hairstyle even when I wasn’t even sure myself! He expertly talked me out of “the #3 clipper” to create a much more professional look! I have followed him ever since. So proud of his success at Vakkar & still drive 2 hours for cuts since we moved to IL! His entire team provides consistent quality, service, & friendship! Highly recommended!Cory HessCory Hess ★★★★★ David is family and I fully support him.Andrzej Johnston (Andy)Andrzej Johnston (Andy) ★★★★★ I had a very nice and enjoyable visit today. With Kit she made me feel very comfortable and happy with everything that she was doing with my hair. I will not hesitate to return nor recommend to anyone.Angela FabianAngela Fabian ★★★★★ Shawn McPikeShawn McPike ★★★★★ Truly professionals - walked in, got to know the entire team, and left with the most perfect haircut. David, Gary, and Claudia seem to greet each and every client by name. 100% recommend if you're in the STL area!Hel FarHel Far ★★★★★ Julia OBlackJulia OBlack ★★★★★ I've been coming to David for 10+ years and I wouldn't go to anyone else to work on my hair! I go into the shop looking like a frumpy old person and come out looking like a Princess ready to go to the ball!! He not only does great style and color, but he's a great person too! You won't be sorry you tried him at Vakkar Salon.Ellen HarkenEllen Harken ★★★★★ David is the best! Not only did he do a great job with my cut and color, but he takes the time to show me how to style it and keep is looking its best until my next appointment. So thankful I have found him!Allison SAllison S ★★★★★ Thank you to David and his staff for the wonderful breast cancer special day on Monday 6/10. It was my daughter's first hair cut after her hair grew back in from chemo. He took time to create a beautiful style, make up done by stylist and photo to complete the day and capture a radiant girl after some pampering. All the ladies were beautiful and all enjoyed being pampered and treated so special. What a wonderful thing to do to brighten their lives during their cancer journey!Gerry BGerry Bjs_loader

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