THE RISE OF THE SUPER SALON
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 stylist: the super salon. A comfy chair and magazine are no longer enough 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’Oreal 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…
LAUNDRY FOR HAIR
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.
Inspired by a luxury American laundrette, the theme is carried through every aspect of the business- a blow-dry has been rebranded as a Spin Dry while gift vouchers came in the form of washing machine tokens.