Bronx Neighbors: Edgar Montalvo

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The “go-to” hairdresser for New York City’s elite is getting back to his Bronx roots.

Growing up in Soundview, Edgar Montalvo got his start in 1975, working at borough salons before becoming THE hairdresser for the city’s most established socialites including former First Ladies Nancy Reagan, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, TV news anchor Pat Harper and television personality Joan Rivers.

“I was always good with my hands and fashion,” Montalvo said. “I was doing guys’ hair, and I really liked it. That’s how I got into it.”

Now living in Pelham Bay, Montalvo returned to the Bronx after spending the last 10 years caring for his mother in Florida.

He initially returned to Manhattan in March to resume styling the stars, but since decided to take a hiatus from the fast paced city life and give it a go at Iris Coiffures salon, at 3081 Middletown Road.

“I am just trying to get away from the hectic life of Manhattan,” he said. “It’s honestly just gotten so crazy to be there.”

Compared to the prices he would charge in Manhattan — upwards of $200 for a cut and dry — Montalvo said Bronxites are getting his services for a bargain. The price for a cut and blow dry at the Middletown road salon starts around $20.

“That’s a steal for you guys,” Montalvo joked to a reporter.

Montalvo said what he loves most about hairdressing is that it is a science. He has even designed his own line of hairbrushes that eliminate the need for hair products.

“I like cuts and blow drying, but especially blow-drying. I did a lot of research on blow-drying,” Montalvo said.

For now, Montalvo will be working at the salon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, adding that “If it works, I’ll make it permanent.”

The soft-spoken stylist said he has enjoyed working with most of the stars he has primped— except Nancy Reagan.

“They were all different and they all have their personalities that you have to deal with,” Montalvo said. “Mrs. Reagan was not my favorite.”

Part of Montalvo’s appeal, then and now, is that he treats his famous clients like regular people.

After traveling all over the United States and parts of Europe, Montalvo is taking this opportunity to beautify Bronxites.

“I guess you can call it giving back to the community.”

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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