[unpaid/complimentary treatment/ad] It’s not often I go into London for a hair-cut – in fact, apart from a cheeky trim at the Body Shop shampoo launch, I cannot remember the last time. But on Friday I had a London day – went into Selfridges to look at the counters (Charlotte Tilbury heaving, Pat McGrath empty) and then did the same at John Lewis but didn’t make it to Flannels because I ran out of time. It’s important to see beauty in real life because you can get a bit tunnel vision-ed if you never look outwards. At the same time I visited the Michael Van Clarke (he of 3 More Inches fame) salon just off Marylebone High Street for a cut and colour.

I’ll start by saying it’s very, very luxy. Cire Trudon Candles, an in-house chef supplying anything you care to order from a healthy but interesting menu and a spacious marble effect interior. A giant bowl of Quality Street is also very tempting!

I think the colourist was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t go permanent colour and I see why because the options are so much more limited with semi. However, I’m glad I stuck to my guns because the result is literally perfect. The thing about places built to make you fabulous is that you have to want to be fabulous while you’re there. I wanted a really basic tidy up trim and colour with none of the frills (such as bronze highlights, which was a suggestion) and therefore didn’t fully utilize the skills available – in other words, I didn’t bring my full fabulous to the table when it was there just waiting to be had.

My dry and trim with Lamphane was immaculate – he cuts dry so after a wash (no massage – I do not like a head massage) with the most lovely smelling shampoo (Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo HERE) and my hair was dried exactly as I like it – naturally sleek and not bouffy. You know you’re in the hands of experience when they know what to do without really having to ask. I did ask Lamphane whether mask wearing has been a problem because being able to see someone’s face surely must be helpful when cutting and he confirmed that it’s much easier without. The salon observes a level of social distancing that includes mask wearing which suits me fine although it does mean if you’re not seeing your regular hair stylist, it’s harder to establish a rapport with someone new. I think that was part of the colour problem – if the colourist can only see hair it’s very difficult to gauge skin tone and features and that matters. She had some wonderful ideas and I’d like her to have seen I was smiling as I said no to all of them!

I left with gorgeous, warm-brown (my old colour was more ashy) and shiny hair, as well as my streak of red renewed and revived. Part of the luxury experience is that you never feel rushed – while you are under the hands of the stylist, the colourist or the assistant, you have their entire focus. If you like your hair time pampering and relaxing this is the ultimate indulgence with an excess of fabulous to take home with you – in fact, don’t waste it by going straight home. A quick trim and colour is almost wasted here – because it’s all about the luxury, the personal treatment and the absolute treat of it all – the basics don’t play to the skills of the team who are all top of their game.

So, in short, a huge recommend for a pampering, I’m-worth-it, special experience that doesn’t skimp on time and ensures you leave feeling glamorous and delicious. I know you can wait longer between washes when you’ve been to the hairdresser because they wash so thoroughly but five days in and I am only just thinking about washing again. It’s still shiny, too. You can find Michael Van Clarke HERE. I am hearing nothing but great things about the newest product – LifeSaver Ultra Intense Pre-Wash Treatment – which I will test and then review separately. It’s a silicone free pre-shampoo treatment that contains a double repair complex. Extra shine and extra swish I am 100% on board for. It’s HERE.


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