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These London super salons are revolutionising hair care

Experience is everything in these flagship destinations

An influx of innovative, multitasking hair salons have arrived in the capital, and they have all your beauty needs covered under one roof.

A visit to a hair salon often treads a fine line between self-care and obligation. On one hand, having your hair cut and coloured can feel like an indulgence and an opportunity to escape the chaos of everyday life. On the flip side, taking time out of a busy schedule for an appointment during which little else can be done, sometimes feels like an inconvenience.

Luckily, a new wave of super salons – ushered in by spaces such as Hershesons’ new flagship store on Berners Street – are adapting to meet the needs of busy, time-strapped Londoners who long for something different. With an impressive clientele, Instagram-friendly interiors and a holistic treatment offering, visiting the salon has become an experience rather than a chore.

Moving from its home in Conduit Street, Hershesons’ new 5,000 square foot space opened its doors in May of this year. Leading the charge, this destination acts as a one-stop-shop for all your beauty needs rather than a one-dimensional hair salon. With world-class hair stylists, nails by DryBy, skin treatments by Sunday Riley and Dr Barbara Sturm, brows by Suman Brows, waxing by The Ministry of Waxing and light therapy by The Light Salon, it’s quickly become a true beauty force that’s risen to the modern-day multitasking challenge. “The template salon model is dead,” says creative director Luke Hersheson. “Salons have become predictable, boring and not in-tune with how we live our lives now. The Hershesons’ approach to any project is to tear up the rule book and start again – and that’s exactly what we’ve done with our flagship.”

Hershesons
Hershesons

The new space – occupying one seemingly never-ending floor – feels warm and welcoming thanks to an eclectic mix of furniture styles. The idea is for the client to feel at home in this space, able to pop by for a quick appointment while working on their laptop or to spend the day hopping from service to service, enjoying the café, which serves delicious made-to-order plates and an array of coffees and fresh juices, in-between appointments. “This is not a traditional salon – it’s a beauty space, a work space and a social space wrapped into one,” says Hersheson. “Customers can pick and mix the services they want according to their needs and their timeframe.” This vision is further solidified by the salon’s 8am-8pm opening hours, which allow for greater flexibility.

While Hershesons is spear-heading this new movement, it’s not the only brand to tap into the multi-service trend. Nicola Clarke, colourist to many of Hollywood’s most notable blondes (from Cate Blanchett to Madonna) acknowledges the importance of evolving to fit the customer’s ever-changing needs with the opening of Nicola Clarke for John Frieda. “Beauty lovers want a one-stop-shop,” she says of the multi-concept store. “People want everything instantly. A lot of our customers will get a mani and or a pedi while they have their hair done so they are groomed and ready to go.”

Nicola Clarke for John Frieda
Nicola Clarke for John Frieda

Clarke handpicked her stylists to create an elite team and to ensure every client’s need is met, be it in cutting, colouring or styling. The space itself has an industrial chic vibe with polished concrete floors, chrome shelving and soft leather seats featuring across both of its two floors. Clients are welcome to use their time in the treatment chair to either relax or work as needed; indeed many use a break out area on the ground floor as a work station while their colour develops. “The salon has developed a real personality,” says Clarke. “The interiors bring a fresh hair salon experience that is relaxed yet modern – it has a real buzz about it.”

Ralph & Rice sustainable hair salon in East London
Ralph & Rice

Multitasking is not the only trend salons are adapting to in this new era of hairdressing and beauty. Eco-conscious Ralph & Rice in Shoreditch is proving that premium, quality services can be provided without a great cost to the environment, making it the ideal choice for those concerned with sustainability. “We want customers to remember that by making small changes like going to a salon that has eco-friendly practices, you can make a difference,” explains Anita Rice, who co-founded the salon with Dan Ralph.

Their passion for and dedication to the environment runs throughout Ralph & Rice. Eco taps save water, waffle print towels are made from biodegradable recycled paper and Davines is the ethical haircare range of choice. Interior fixtures are designed from tree-friendly cork, while furniture, paintings and ceramics are by local makers, and plants are sourced from the nearby Columbia Road Flower Market. It’s a small space with a big message, one that has been met with such positive feedback since opening last year that Rice is opening a second salon, Buller & Rice (co-founded with her long-term friend and fellow stylist Stephen Buller) in Newington Green this August. With a recycling station and product re-fill bar, the newest salon will continue to push the message of sustainability.

Hari’s Hair Salon Fulham Road in The Glossary
Hari’s Fulham Road

For anyone who follows a plant-based lifestyle that extends to their tresses, there’s the newly launched botanical hair salon at Hari’s flagship on the Fulham Road. Meeting the demands of clients who desire natural, organic dyes and services (about 25 per cent, says founder Hari Salem), the salon offers an array of herbal hair treatments and vegan colour boosters, as well as the traditional chemical formulas. Inside Hari’s plant-filled, art deco-esque interior, you’ll discover iPads at each station, a varied menu of juices and superfood salads, and most intriguingly, a video chat service that can be used prior to in-salon appointments to determine a client’s needs – an innovative idea for the time-poor among us.

Josh Wood Atelier from The Glossary
Josh Wood Atelier

The original super salon, Josh Wood Atelier in Notting Hill has been a favourite among the glossy west London set and celebrities since its launch in 2011 – that’s because it’s constantly ahead of colour trends (from balayage to keratin treatments), while ensuring exclusivity. Whether you are opting for a major change or a simple update, the atelier, which also offers manicures, pedicures and brows, is determined to provide the best team for each person. Wood, the go-to colourist for Elle Macpherson, Kylie Minogue and January Jones, says: “For me, this is about trying to blend salon and session hairstylists together for the first time, as traditionally the two are clearly divided – but there are shared skills that can really benefit clients.”

Whatever your lifestyle choices or schedule restraints, there’s now a destination to suit your needs thanks to this fresh wave of super salons at the helm of the beauty industry – long live this new era.

THE SUPER SALONS

Hershesons

Known For: Being a multitasking space and a one-stop beauty shop.
Tired of having to run around town for your beauty appointments? Spend an afternoon at the impressive new Hershesons store, which boasts world-class hair services, nails by DryBy, skin treatments by Sunday Riley and more. If you can’t manage to book an appointment with Luke himself, visit Jordan for perfect cuts and even better blow dries.
29-32 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1 hershesons.com

Nicola Clarke at John Frieda

Known For: Its celebrity clientele and chic interiors.
You’re safe in the hands of colourists at Nicola Clarke for John Frieda. Known for being the Queen of blondes and with clients such as Kate Moss and Madonna, Nicola has shaped her elite team with the modern woman in mind. Book in to see the uber-cool Shannon if you’re looking for a vibrant update.
58-59 Margaret Street, Fitzrovia, W1 nicolaclarkeatjohnfrieda.com

Josh Wood Atelier

Known For: Being the ever-evolving colour experts.
A longstanding favourite, Josh Wood Atelier is constantly evolving to meet their customers’ needs, with an incomparable team of colourists to cater to all. Home to the glossiest girls in West London – along with some of the elite A-list – Josh Wood’s vision has grown to astounding proportions. Book in to see Josh himself, or alternatively, Melanie Smith and Sibi Bolan are the experts for a seasonal colour switch-up.
6 Lansdowne Mews, 
Fitzrovia, W1 joshwoodcolour.com

Hari’s Fulham Road

Known For: Its botanical-based approach to colour.
Vegan beauty fans will rejoice in Hari’s newly-launched salon which uses naturally-derived, organic dyes and treatments. The botanical-inspired interiors and irresistible superfood salad menu make the experience all the more enjoyable. Make use of the innovative hotline hair service and dial in to speak to a stylist (we recommend Rebecca) on video chat before your appointment.
88 Fulham Road, Kensington, SW3
 harissalon.com

Ralph & Rice

Known For: Its dedication to eco-friendliness.
This charming east London salon is perfect for those concerned with sustainability. With beautiful interiors and ethically-sourced resources, Ralph & Rice is leading the way for a new wave of sustainability in beauty. Book in for results-driven quality with a conscience and see Anita to discover more about her passion project and upcoming second salon, opening in August 2018.
12 Cheshire Street, Shoreditch, E2
 ralphandrice.com

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