Even considering the energy and investment spent on things like home hair dye and new shampoo during lockdown, precisely no one’s hair is in too much of a respectable state at the moment. Now, however, that’s all set to change: hairdressers have reopened. While this leaves you with no excuse for bad roots and worse split ends, what it does give you is an excuse to book a particularly fabulous haircut and colour. On that note, here are the best hairdressers in London.
If you want to embrace your natural afro hair, Charlotte Mensah's Hairlounge in Notting Hill is quite possibly the best place for it. And given that Charlotte herself has won Afro Hairdresser of The Year at the British Hairdressing Awards three times, it's hardly surprising. Expect expert opinion and the utmost care.
347 PORTOBELLO ROAD, W10 5SA
With clients including Madonna and Cate Blanchett, internationally-renowned hair colourist Nicola Clarke is known as the Queen of Blondes. In London, she's part of the John Frieda family, heading up an eponymous salon that counts some of the most skilled colourists and stylists in the business as staff.
58-59 MARGARET STREET, W1W 8SN
Often, getting your hair done is about looking like 'you' again. But what if you want to look completely different? That's what BLEACH is for. Founded by Alex Brownsell, this is a place that presents you with a literal rainbow of hair possibilities. Things will never be the same again.
420 KINGSLAND ROAD, E8 4AA
2 BERWICK STREET, W1F 0DR
195 FERNDALE ROAD, SW9 8BA
Whether it's been damaged by weaves or is simply as flat as a Flemish landscape, sometimes hair of all textures needs help. At Stoke Newington's Heroine, this help comes in the form of wigs and hair extensions. We recommend their braidless weave technique for the wonder of a weave without the tension and glue.
79 STOKE NEWINGTON HIGH STREET, N16 8EL
If you like Aveda in general, it stands to reason that you will like the Aveda Lifestyle Salon in Covent Garden – the largest salon in Europe. Not only are all products used (including hair colour) vegan, it also considers the environmental impact of everything that happens within it. Its interior, for example, features reused wood from Canadian riverbeds. Our favourite thing about it, though, is probably the free Hair and Scalp Check. Utilising a scalp camera, it analyses overall scalp health, hair density and pores so that the most suitable Aveda products can be recommended to you.
174-177 HIGH HOLBORN, WC1V 7AA
Although the fact that its founder – Daniel Hersheson – holds a royal warrant for services to the royal family may well be enough to lure you to Hershesons, it shouldn’t be the only thing. Beyond its roster of influential clients (Victoria Beckham and Harper Seven among them), this is a hair salon that specialises in low-maintenance haircuts executed by skilful stylists who are more than happy to explain what it is they’re doing and why they’re doing it. It's also not just a hair salon, but an entire beauty destination that plays host to manicurists, brow experts, light therapists and more. Finally, it's also this family run business who are responsible for the #Hair4Heroes campaign, an initiative that asks hairdressers to offer NHS nurses a free cut and blow dry as a token of gratitude for their work in the pandemic.
29 BERNERS STREET, W1T 3LR
HARVEY NICHOLS, 109-125 KNIGHTSBRIDGE, SW1X 7RJ
While our assistant editor, Phoebe McDowell, specifically recommends booking an appointment with senior colourist Cetera Lamb at John Frieda, there's no such thing as a bad colourist at this Mayfair establishment. Observe how stunning this balayage is by Zoheb Jetha, for example.
4 ALDFORD STREET, W1K 2AE
A favourite of Alexa Chung, George Northwood is responsible for some of the most iconic hair moments of the last decade (including Meghan Markle's wedding hair). Now, with the likes of Alexis Foreman and Camille Charriѐre as clients, it seems likely that this will continue into the next decade. In terms of haircuts, we’re particularly enamoured by the salon’s signature FLOB – a flat iron bob that suits everyone.
24 WELLS STREET, W1T 3PH
Resplendent in restaurants and an excellent florist (SAGE, to be precise), all residents of Peckham tend to be loathe to leave it. Now, with Queens – a collective hair and beauty space established by Beth Kucic – reopening, it's even less likely. If you weren't tempted to go blonde before, Kirsty Nolan might be the colourist to change your mind. And an appointment with FUEGO nails – who's worked with the likes of Ashnikko and Bree Runway – will give you the most extravagant manicure of your life.
189 RYE LANE, SE15 4TP
If you go to the hairdressers and don't take a selfie afterwards, was there really any point in going? The answer is no, but it happens – not at Larry King, however. At both (exceedingly grammable) salons, the lighting is curated to enable you to take quite possibly the most superior selfies of your life. And given how excellent you'll look after an appointment here, it would be rude not to. It'd also be rude not to stay for a drink from the cocktail trolley.
34-36 HARRINGTON ROAD, SW7 3ND
2-4 LAMBTON PLACE, W11 2SH
Before the pandemic, going out – if you remember what that is – used to require a lot of faffing. Makeup would be applied haphazardly on public transport. Phones would be entrusted to bartenders. Everyone would look somewhat frazzled. Salon64 throws all of that in the bin with a thud. And even when all there is to do is eat outside, it's still an excellent place to get your hair cut and coloured.
14 BATEMAN STREET, W1D 3AG
Hari's has existed since 1976. Book an appointment at one of it four branches and your hair will be in the safest – and wisest – of hands. Its Colour Correction Bar might be exactly what you need post-lockdown, but the Spirit of Hemp CBD treatment is what you deserve.
233 KINGS ROAD, SW3 5EJ
41 LEDBURY ROAD, W11 2AA
88 FULHAM ROAD, SW3 6HR
183 NEW KINGS ROAD, SW6 4SW
A particular favourite of our very own Sophie Beresiner, Adam Reed's personal warmth is reflected in the atmosphere and ethos of his East London salon. While the concept of 'instinctive cutting' might seem daunting, you will feel liberated after an appointment here. And not just in the sense that you will be finally doing something that doesn't involve being at home.
1 FOURNIER STREET, E1 6QE
It makes sense that a hair salon with a Scandinavian aesthetic that was established by a Swede (Christel Barron-Hough) would offer the best Scandinavian blonde of your life, doesn't it? If that's not your glass of glögg, there's also Lux Lights, a colour technique that requires significantly less commitment.
2 CHEPSTOW ROAD, W2 5BH