In our latest Body & Soul article, Juliet Herd, azureazure’s contributing editor, explores some of London’s best hair and beauty salons and finds out what’s trending, which treatments to book, and all the latest in beauty, haircare and wellness. To learn more about these fabulous salons keep reading below and stay tuned for our next “London hair and beauty salon” series on Thursday.
HARRODS’ HAIR & BEAUTY SALON
Fifth Floor, 85-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 7XL
One of the most exciting recent launches is Harrods new Hair & Beauty Salon – all 16,985 sq ft of it. Marking the final chapter in the store’s beauty transformation, it offers exclusive treatments and ‘must-have’ products from some of the world’s most innovative beauty brands, all under one super stylish roof.
The redesigned salon pays homage to its former 1982 incarnation, featuring peach marble, cream stone counters, and powder-pink walls with gold finishes. It also includes a backwash room, conditioning bar, hairdressing rotunda, eye zone, and even a hair extension library.
This game-changing beauty mecca, which includes the revamped beauty halls, now rates as one of the largest in the world.
Let’s take a brief tour.
The salon’s backwash room is inspired by traditional Japanese head spa rituals and specializes in a rejuvenating facial for the scalp, designed to boost circulation and promote healthy hair growth. Then there’s the conditioning bar, offering the latest conditioning and scalp treatments, including cocktails of Kérastase Fusio-Dose boosters tailored to specific hair needs, as well as restructuring treatments, from ‘Hair Botox’ to Philip Kingsley’s cult-favorite Elasticizer.
The hairdressing rotunda features new stations in a curved central seating area with a dedicated hairstyling space, emulating the salon’s original design and oozing old-world glamour. There’s also the impressive-sounding hair extension library, which enables clients to get their desired look on the spot, no matter the length or color.
You can also opt for a variety of transformative hair treatments from Trichology to laser hair removal, as well as a menu of facial treatments, waxing, massages, and body wraps. One of the most exciting new additions is the dedicated eye zone, which offers everything from eyelash extensions to exclusive Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow treatments.
For a show-stopping manicure, book in for Harrods x Townhouse’s exclusive nail art, a firm favorite of beauty editors and influencers alike for its Insta-worthy manicures. Finally, there’s a selection of curated products from 43 powerhouse beauty brands, including Sarah Chapman’s Overnight Facial elixir, Aromatherapy Associates’ City Serenity Bath & Shower Oil, and Harrods’ first ever Beauty Box, which features an assortment of hand-picked hair and skincare essentials.
DANIEL GALVIN JR
4 W Halkin Street, SW1X 8JA
Colorist to the stars Daniel Galvin Jr, MBE, is renowned for making his clients feel like royalty as he works his magic on their hair.
A daily fixture at his two-story Grade II-listed Belgravia salon, Galvin Jr is always on hand to greet clients with a smile and his trademark line, “It’s all about you” – which, as his loyal following will testify, it really is.
For winter, he’s continuing the natural, lower maintenance approach that evolved during lockdown. The new ‘rooty look’ is designed to give hair more contrast and movement by utilizing natural root colors and focusing on contouring the face through the strategic use of highlights.
“It’s about putting vitality back into hair,” says Galvin Jr, who received an MBE from Prince Charles earlier this year for his work as a Prince’s Trust ambassador. “Our signature is continuity and low maintenance as well as quality and integrity of hair care.”
That means enhancing the hues to add warmth and depth for blondes, giving hair a brighter look instead of a lighter look. “A more golden or beige tone will make your eyes look stronger and your complexion warmer,” adds the color king.
As for brunettes, rich butterscotch and chocolate highlights are the go-to hues this season, stripping out any orange or red.
“It’s important to put moisture back into hair, too,” cautions this fourth-generation hairdresser, whose celebrity clients include Amanda Holden, Kelly Brook and Olly Murs. “I recommend using a gentle shampoo like our Organic Head everyday shampoo because it doesn’t contain detergents. If you wash your hair frequently with SLS detergent-based shampoos, the color will fade faster, just like a pair of jeans. You have to treat hair like a cashmere sweater and give it TLC, especially in winter when the central heating is on.”
A pioneer of the organic movement, Galvin Jr will launch his first CBD professional salon range in early 2022, consisting of six targeted products for hair needs instead of types. His award-winning organic hair products include the Highgrove personal hair care collection he created for Prince Charles. His super nourishing Organic Head Argan Oil Detox Hair Masque proved a lifesaver during lockdown, as salon regulars will testify.
Did we mention how friendly the Galvin Jr team is? Many of them have been trained by the maestro himself, including head colorist Olyvia Abizadeh, and others, like styling director James Brunt, fully embody the caring ethos of this popular salon.
NEVILLE HAIR AND BEAUTY
5 Pont Street, SW1X 9EJ
One of London’s busiest salons, Neville Hair and Beauty is known for its trendsetting innovations – and its latest styling creation is no exception. Enter the Sloane Shag, a layered look that pays homage to the original shag queens Jane Birkin and Bianca Jagger and is described as “the 70s-meets-modern shag cut with a Belgravia edge.”
According to top stylist and colorist Domenico Casella, the new style promises to channel your inner rock star, featuring subtly tapered ends and a fuller crown, complete with long curtain bangs or a full fringe. While it works best on curly hair, there is also a suitable shag for all lengths and hair types.
Another Neville exclusive is Italian Casella’s new hair toning treatment that targets only sun-kissed strands, known as Shatush – similar to balayage but more natural. Casella uses his fingertips and hands to apply the color as well as a cone to achieve a gradient effect, whereby the hair closer to the cone is darker and more blended, and the hair surrounding the face is brighter and lighter. Genius!
The five-floor salon, which has been a Belgravia fixture since the early 90s when the legendary Neville Tucker founded it, prides itself on letting the skills of its stylists do the talking – and is spearheading a “back to basics” hair drive.
Neville director Elena Lavagni believes that less is more when it comes to styling tools. “Professional hairdressers have sufficient skill not to need to use these,” she says. “For example, metal brushes act as a straightening iron, and they are very damaging for the hair, as is overloading the scalp and hair with products that are not only damaging for the environment but also play havoc on scalp health. The skill of a hairdresser lies in achieving volume and shine.”
Another key belief is that everyone deserves a pro-salon experience, whatever their curl pattern or texture. To this end, textured hair specialist Kash Bishop is on hand to address clients’ needs with a full menu covering everything from springy curls to densely packed fine coils.
“One of the things I always take into consideration is that not all curls are the same,” explains Kash, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago. “We tend to categorize hair as either straight or curly, but there is so much more to it. For example, curls could be defined as soft waves, corkscrew ringlets, or even tight Afro hair.”
Popular with royalty, models, and media moguls, Neville is also home to the Renée Lapino Clinic, which offers everything from Skin Pen micro-needling and body slimming mesotherapy to pregnancy facials and cupping massages.
88 Fulham Rd, South Kensington, SW3 6HR
Holistic hair healing is the new mantra at Hari’s. The iconic salon chain – part of London’s hair scene since 1976 – has teamed up with wellbeing author Jasmine Hemsley to offer an Ayurveda-inspired treatment menu.
Each treatment has been designed to feed and future-proof the hair and scalp, taking you and your hair on an in-salon mini-retreat experience.
A firm believer in the ancient Ayurvedic philosophy of treating the root cause of any issues, whether health and wellbeing or hair and beauty, Hemsley has created four hair rituals based on a unique ten herb, spice, and fruit blends, which can then be individually customized.
The formulas are applied using the best-selling writer and cook’s signature massage, incorporating two Ayurvedic traditions: the Indian head massage and Kansa wand massage, designed to nourish both the hair and scalp.
Launched at the end of October, Hari’s x Hemsley menu includes such delicious-sounding treatments as ‘hair nut milk bath’ and ‘king of hair reset,’ which will leave your hair renewed and revitalized – not to mention zen.
Founded by Hari Salem, who was trained in the Sixties by Twiggy’s stylist, Hari’s has grown from the original Sydney Road premises in Chelsea to encompass salons in Fulham Road (flagship), King’s Road, Parsons Green and Ledbury Road, Notting Hill.
A mecca for royalty and A-listers, the salon has welcomed the likes of Sienna Miller, Jemima Khan, and Goldie Hawn over the years, and in-house stylist Sonnie-Jo Macfarlane even had the honor of styling long-term client Princess Eugenie for her wedding.
186 Pavilion Road, SW3 2BF
Although small, this bijou salon packs an impressive punch with a roster of talented stylists assembled by co-founders Belle Cannan and John Vial, including Emmanuel Esteban, famed for his sleek and speedy blow dries, and leading hair color specialist Sophie MacCorquodale, colorist to Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson.
This winter, glamour is back with colors that are even from root to top – no more hair DIY, declares Cannan. “We’re moving away from balayage to beautiful classic butter highlights,” she says. “Think Timotei or Versace adverts from the 80s.”
Cannan, who kept in close touch with clients via Zoom during lockdown, says there’s a general move to up the ante on hair care regimes post-pandemic.
One of her top tips is to make sure you get your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks. “Once the hair has been damaged, no product will repair it,” she warns. “By trimming it regularly, you prevent the hair cuticle from splitting and so avoid this unpleasant effect.”
She also recommends giving your hair an intensive moisturizing treatment at least once a week using the Sisley restructuring nourishing balm, which is applied to dry hair pre-shampoo. Then, finish with a cold rinse to help seal the cuticle and give it a natural shine. “A common problem is understanding how to achieve the perfect balance when applying hair product,” adds this expert stylist. “The distribution of a product is key, and less is always more – too much weighs the hair down.”
Unsurprisingly, this ultra-discreet salon on pedestrianized Pavilion Road, just off Sloane Square, is something of a magnet for high-profile clients – like George and Amal Clooney, Taylor Swift, Mel C, and Bryan Adams.
By nurturing next-generation hairdressing talent, the salon can offer an accessible menu with prices starting from £35 for a blow-dry and £98 for a cut and blow-dry – without scrimping on quality.