Beauty

6 UK salons serving up so much more than just great hair

Posted by
Becci Vallis
Published

From facials to flat whites on tap. Great hair isn’t the only impressive thing about these super salons…

Cast your mind back to your last hair appointment. Did you a) read an old magazine cover to cover, b) try to ignore your bedraggled reflection for an hour or c) work on a proposal, try a boutique roastery’s latest coffee blend then host a quick business meeting? 

If it’s the latter, you have clearly encountered the latest evolution in hair styling: the super salon. A comfy chair and magazine are no longer enough to satisfy busy salon-goers, who are being seduced by having their hair styled while also taking advantage of networking areas, onsite florists, juice bars and yoga classes.

Paul Edmonds is poised to open his own super salon in south London’s Battersea Power Station development. With the feel of a members’ club by day, the colour station will transform into an exclusive cocktail bar at night. 

The ‘living room’ will allow visitors to network, hotspot, eat and drink; charging stations will keep phones fully operational, while the mirrors at the hair stations will be moveable so you can choose to concentrate on your inbox rather than your blow-dry.

“The brand of coffee we serve is now more important than the shampoo we use,” says Mitch Wilson, owner of Sheffield hair salon Laundry, which has an all-singing all-dancing cafe within its Grade II-listed walls. “A fancy shampoo is expected, it’s what else you offer that’s now the primary pull.” 

And that pull is more important than ever. A recent study by L’Oréal Professionnel reported that 200,000 fewer women are walking into salons than two years ago and research from Braun found that 64% of Londoners would choose an at-home beauty treatment over a salon appointment.

“High-street salons are battling two wars: mobile hairdressers and the increasing quality of DIY products,” says Amanda Nottage, editor of trade magazine Creative HEAD. She also acknowledges that few of us are able to spend three precious hours waiting for highlights to develop. 

“We are time poor, so having a place to network alongside quick salon services is illustrative of our hectic lifestyles.” Behavioural expert Judi James agrees. “Smartphones allow us to surf day and night, flipping between a work call, texting friends and pinning out our ‘life narrative’ on social media sites,” she says. “It means places where you do ‘one thing’ are becoming less popular because we like to be doing several things at once.”

Here’s where to make your next appointment for a hair treatment/yoga class /business meeting…

Radio, King’s Cross

Book a facial before your cut for maximum pampering at Radio

Where to find it

Unit 1B Art House, 1 York Way,

King’s Cross, London N1C

radiohairsalon.com

Super Salon Credentials

Salon owner Corrado Tevere has remained true to this site’s heritage (it used to be a gallery designed by Universal Design Studios) to keep the creative energy flowing. Polished concrete floors and oversized artworks provide the perfect backdrop for photoshoots and salon selfies. Plus, the exhibitions change every three months – just in time for your next root touch-up. Make the ginormous oak table your work base or enjoy an Allpress flat white as you admire the latest artwork. 

Little extras

Radio offers a barrage of beauty treatments – manicures, waxing and lash extensions are all on offer – but it’s the cult Haeckels of Margate seaweed facial (£80) that guests make a beeline for. 

Salon spend

From £55 for a cut and finish or £25 for a blow-dry. 

Laundry

Flat whites and highlights at Laundry in Sheffield 

Where to find it

151 Sellers Wheel,

Arundel Street,

Sheffield, S1

wearelaundry.co.uk

Super salon credentials

A bespoke coffee bar at the heart of the salon serves Climpson & Sons single origin coffee, Teapigs tea, cold-pressed juices and homemade biscuits and cakes. Perch on the diner-style seats and enjoy a drink while keeping an eye on your emails.

Little extras

Inspired by a luxury American launderette, the theme is carried through every aspect of the business – a blow-dry has been re-branded as a Spin Dry, while gift vouchers come in the form of washing machine tokens. 

Salon spend

From £37.50 for a cut or £25 for a blow-dry.

Salon 64

Salon 64’s fire pit: Your dream workstation is now a reality

Where to find it

14 Bateman Street, London,

W1D

salon64.co.uk

Super salon credentials

The opulent interiors of Soho’s Salon64 are designed so you can sip coffee, catch up with friends or check emails without feeling self-conscious – or even having an appointment. The real crowd-pleasers are the ‘fire pits’ – lift-up work stations with plug sockets, drink holders and a mirror – while the marble bar, where you can flit between manis and meetings, is ideal for Instagram flat lays. 

Little extras

Amass coffee credits and earn a free blow-dry, or ask about the private ‘vault’ for a more serene experience.

Salon spend

 From £77 for a cut and blow-dry.

DRUK 

No hour-long solo face-off at DRUK

Where to find it

Holdrons Arcade, 135A

Rye Lane, London, SE15

dkuk.biz

Super salon credentials

Half salon, half art gallery, this utilitarian, industrial space in Peckham is part-funded by Arts Council England. Instead of mirrors, owner Daniel Kelly and his two stylists cut and colour hair in front of an ever-changing display of artworks, so you can fully immerse yourself in the art and each visit promises a new experience. There’s even an in-house curator. A gender-neutral pricing strategy means one price for short hair, one for medium-length and one for long, while if you book your first cut between midday and 4pm, Wednesday to Friday, you simply pay what you can afford.

Little extras

As well as art exhibitions, interactive shows and free workshops, the salon has its own podcast that features interviews with artists that were carried out while they were having their hair cut.

Salon spend

From £34 for a short haircut and blow-dry. 

RCNQ

Yoga classes and hair ‘therapy’ complete the package at RCNQ

Where to find them

10 Hilton Street, Manchester,

M1

rcnq.co.uk

Super salon credentials

Salon owner Robert Czlapka’s aim for RCNQ was to be a creative hub where clients could feel at home and stay all day. Twice a week the doors are closed for yoga classes and once a month there’s a meditation session. Clients get discounts but everyone’s invited. Even the refreshments reflect the ‘mindful’ mantra with herbal teas to soothe or uplift. 

Little extras

Stylists here are big on ‘communicational training’ and like to guide conversations with clients towards solutions and positivity. It’s true hair therapy.

Salon spend

From £38 for a cut and finish. 

Bryson & Hare

A post shared by brysonandhare (@brysonandhare) on

Where to find it

28 Hunter Street, Kirkcaldy,

KY1

facebook.com/BrysonandHare

Super salon credentials

Graphic tiles, wire frame chairs, palm print cushions: this Scottish salon is Instagram paradise. Sip complimentary coffee from local roasters Myrtle while you thumb through the library of fashion and design books. Or buy a typography print from neighbouring creatives, We Are Amused. So cool.

Little extras

Bryson & Hare have a well-deserved reputation for their bespoke colour service but it’s their vinyl shine hair treatment that’s made them famous. 

Salon spend

From £37 for cut and style and free head massage. 

Images: Courtesy of Salons / Instagram