Finding a good hairdresser. Never give up.

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 20 - 2012

I think I’ve cracked it.  It’s only taken me 30 years but I’m absolutely, definitely, completely (most-likely) going to return to the hairdresser I visited yesterday for a trim.  I was doing some shopping in town whilst Leila was on her first-ever play date *bites knuckles* and I dared myself to walk into the first hair salon I saw for a cut (I do shit like this to myself all the time – I think it’s a touch of OCD).

I did have some exceptions to that rule: no salons with the word “cuts” and “super” in the name, no salons with more children than adults in the chairs, and no salons which filled their windows with the products they would be blatantly hard-selling me thirty minutes later.

The first salon to cross my path was Trevor Mitchell on East Street.  From the outside, I wasn’t convinced, it was like the 1970s had met with a 1990s revival and gotten lost on the way to the nought-ies.  The inside wasn’t a whole lot better and I don’t like the name Trevor.  Still, I can’t deny that I wasn’t tempted by the offer of a £25.50 haircut on the price list.  I mean, I didn’t want anything too drastic… just a (good) trim and a fringe-reshape.  I shuddered at the thought of all the different ways the fringe-reshape could go horribly wrong.  I stepped inside anyway.

There isn’t much in the way of luxury going on at Trev’s place.  There are no cups of tea on offer and the dayglo gowns felt and looked like something I’d put on Leila to protect her from a Play-Doh attack.  Does anyone else get anxious about which way round you’re going to be asked to wear the gown?  Posh salons have ones that you put on like a coat and the rest make you wear them like a straight jacket right?

I’m not a big talker when someone is holding a pair of scissors centimetres from my ear, mostly because I’m fairly socially-retarded and tend to giggle inappropriately.  Thankfully, my stylist Kylie wasn’t much of a talker either – except for where it mattered.  I gave her free reign to chop off what she needed to restore health, tame the over-processing and neaten everything up.  Before she started cutting, she showed me the various lengths of my old layers and reassured me that she would leave it well-beyond the annoying ‘growing out’ length.

Admittedly, a basic trim isn’t the easiest thing in the world to mess up… but the scary bit was still to come.  The fringe.

Long story short, she cut it perfectly and not only that but she had my hair foibles sussed within seconds of looking at me.  Dodgy lick on one side of fringe = don’t touch it until it’s dried.  I went to one hairdresser in January who literally snipped in a straight line across my wet fringe… I had a puffy sticky up bit for weeks.  Traumatic.  She suggested that the outer edges needed more blending and by this time, I trusted her.  She also thinned the hair at the edges and boy, that’s made a huge difference as to how it sits against my forehead!  Before I left, she gave me some tips on fading old colour and apparently Vosene works better than Head & Shoulders for lifting dark dye!

I hadn’t had a good, full haircut since I first got my fringe cut in last year and had only found one salon in Soho (Studio12) who had trimmed my fringe to my liking.  A bit of shine spray and £25.50 (+ tip) later and I’m walking somewhat taller with my noo doo.

Cheers Trev!  Oh and just for giggles, Trevor Mitchell (the man behind the local salon chain) introduced Kevin Keegan to his infamous perm in the 80s!  I think I had a lucky escape!

Have you had a happy haircut recently?


Gina Conway Aveda Salon in Chelsea

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 16 - 2011

A few weeks ago, I braved thunder, lightning and a healthy dose of hail to head down the Kings Road and snap some pictures of the new Gina Conway Aveda Salon in Chelsea.  By the time I arrived (sans umbrella), I closely resembled something that had been pulled out of a plughole.

To the team’s credit and my utmost appreciation, they sat me down and gave me an impromptu blow-dry to warm me up before I slunk away hiding behind my camera pretending to be a serious photographer.

Gina Conway Salons work in partnership with Aveda and currently operate out of four locations (Notting Hill, Wimbledon and Fulham) with Chelsea’s opening heralding the newest addition to the group.

Her Salons and Spas are unique in their focus on Eco-Awareness, even employing a dedicated “Eco-Angel” whose job it is to ensure that all salons are consistently upholding their promises to resource conservation, recycling and water management in their day to day activities!

The Salons and Spas offer a complete range of holistic hair and beauty services including specialist colour work, hair design, makeup and ayurvedic treatments with prices starting from a reasonable £36 for an Indian Head Massage.

The ground level is dedicated to the Salon side of things with the Beauty and Spa treatments taking place on the lower level, well away from the hustle and bustle of the hair-dryers and chatter of a busy salon.  Downstairs is tranquil and softly lit, a real haven of peace to offset the buzz of the Kings Road just outside the front door.

It was lovely to have the chance to talk to Gina herself about her empire, though the conversation rapidly turned to toddlers and babies – Gina has two more than me, and quite frankly, I don’t know how she manages to leave the house every morning let alone run four successful businesses across London!

Visit www.ginaconway.co.uk for more information on the Gina Conway Aveda Salon and Spas, book your next appointment or learn more about the group’s eco-commitments and links with Aveda.

Tantalizing tresses courtesy of Gielly Green

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 12 - 2011

Whilst in London last week, I trotted along to Gielly Green, a boutique hair and beauty salon located just off Baker Street hopeful that Shai Greenburg, co-founder and creative director would be the man to inject some life into my tired hair.

I’m finally past that awful ‘growing out’ stage and to get it there, I’d been dodging regular haircuts left, right and centre since Christmas.  I know you’re not supposed to but we all know how tempting it is to eschew the snip in favour of growing length more quickly!

It also doesn’t help that in general, I’m not the biggest fan of going to hair salons.  I’m not massively precious about my locks but I detest (in order of distaste):

1. Salon small-talk (going anywhere nice this Summer?)

2. Being made to feel like a reprobate for colouring my hair at home.

3. Having to coax recommendations out of nervous stylists about what they think I should do re: styling.  I’m paying them for their expertise right?  If a full fringe will make me look like a git, I want them to tell me!

Better tell you about Gielly Green then…

The salon is a chilled-out space with brown and cream accents, seating you could drift off in and one of the most comfortable hair-washing experiences (electric chairs sweetie!) I’ve ever had.

Prior to washing, Shai asked me to take my hair down from the bun I’d scraped it in and I momentarily panicked that he would admonish me for failing to remember to brush my hair that morning.  Passing no judgement (at least none that I could see), Shai felt my hair’s texture before recommending which products should be used for the wash.  It was a good example of the personalisation I felt was key to the salon experience.

Once seated at the workstation, I explained to Shai that I didn’t want to lose too much length because I like to wear my hair up but that my two main objectives were to restore health and incorporate some ‘kind’ of style without going too heavy on the layers.

Then came the dreaded moment as he lifted my slightly pathetic 4-stranded side fringe between his fingers.  I braced myself for the question that I still didn’t have the answer to…

“This fringe, it’s not really doing anything…” he said before continuing…

“Shall we make it a little thicker, more substantial?  I don’t want to go too thick, your hair is quite fine… but a little more depth would suit your face shape.”

“err yes, ok” I nodded.  OMG, that was easy – he *actually* considered what would suit both my hair AND face shape.  I heard birds singing and harps playing in the distance.

It made me bold… I pushed him a little on the thick fringe question.  Here stood a man, a professional who had just proven he had the cajones to TELL me, the customer what he would recommend.  I couldn’t resist…

“I do like the look of a heavy, straight fringe though…”

He smiled a little wryly but not unkindly, like he knew I was being mischievous and gently motioned how far back he felt he’d have to cut the hair for the thickness of fringe I desired, explaining that I would lose a lot of volume in the process but was happy to do so if I wanted.  I quickly dispelled the thick fringe idea and settled back into the chair like a good girl, finally confident that I had a considered answer to a question that had plagued me for months.

Shai is quick, his scissors moved over my hair in a blur… he doesn’t talk much, if at all when he’s working.  It was momentarily awkward as I wondered whether I should initiate a conversation before giving in to the silence and simply enjoying watching him work.

30 minutes later and we were done, I had beautifully feminine, soft, flippy hair that looked healthy and shiny!

The layers are perfect, I can still scrape my hair back into a ponytail without the need for hairgrips.  The ends feel lighter, less weighty and my fringe… although still not that Zooey Deschanel dream, is definitely serving more purpose than its first non-commital attempt with my last stylist.  A good, uplifting experience… and best of all, he didn’t mention my dodgy home-colouring once!

Prices start from £45 for a cut and finish with a junior stylist.  You can visit the Gielly Green website for more information, services and even book your appointment online.

* I was invited for a complimentary cut and finish as a guest of the salon

Every little helps…

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 24 - 2011

What better way to start a Monday morning than with the news that TESCO has launched new health and beauty services for beautiful recessionistas and time-pushed lovelies everywhere!

The services are currently being trialled at stores in Wembley, Cambridge Bar Hill, Milton Keynes Kingston and Manchester (Walkden) where they are offering nail treatments and threading at competitive prices.

From the end of January, stand-alone TESCO beauty salons in Leicester and Chesterfield will also offer hairdressing services.

Prices will be competitive – £20 for a cut and blow dry, £15 for a shampoo and hair cut and £12.50 for a hair cut.  A half leg wax is £10 and full leg £15.

Would you be happy to entrust Mr. T to look after your barnet?  How about a quick wax and home before your Aunt Bessie’s defrost?!

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