Going to the Hairdresser in London

Having lived in a few countries and cities in my short life, I am well aware of one of the biggest pain points when building a new life: finding your new hairdresser.

Some of the hairdressers I´ve been to over the years don´t even understand me when I speak their own language, let alone when you´ve been carefully looking for the German translation of “split ends” –gespaltene Haarspitzen FYI.

Why is is it that much of a deal? Well, because a hairdresser has your most fragile side in their hands: your ego. When you step out of their shop, you´ll be perceived differently by society. And it better be in a good way!  I can imagine a lot of you can relate, but I feel the difference when just a pair of inches have been cut off my long hair. I can´t even imagine people that go through massive changes!

I have mantained the same hair for the past 10 years. When I was 15, I decided I´d had enough of my really curly hair, and went through a very gruelling 7-hour process to get it permanently straightned. I was so happy with the result I have repeated the same process once a year for a decade! It was a huge change in my life, and improved my image, my ego, self-esteem, confidence…All of it!

And yesterday, for the first time ever I decided I needed a change. And since I didn´t want to move away from my beloved length or style, I decided that colour was the only path to explore. And then I remembered…I´m in London! I don´t have a particular hairdresser here!

I took a look at prices in some salons and was left gagging in horror. Deciding that I did not need to have complimentary champagne when I was just getting my hair done, I had a look at DIY videos on YouTube.But playing around with bleach on my hair did not sound a great idea. Nonplussed, I went on to Wahanda, and found a great balayage offer near Finsbury Park in London, at 281 Hair and Beauty. It was only £37 (minus £5 for signing up) and I was able to get an appointment within a few days, during the weekend.

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The salon itself is quite difficult to find since it doesn´t have a big glitzy store front. However, once I found it, I was treated very warmly by Krasi Borisov, the owner, from Bulgaria. He´s a soft spoken lovely man, who took the time to sit down with me and talk me through my options and his concerns about my already processed hair, and managed my expectations perfectly. He told me what he would be doing in order to make sure my hair didn´t all break due to the bleach, and gently informed me that I would never be able to go as blonde as I wanted the first time, but that we could work towards it and see how it went.

I was there at 1pm and was seen though at 1.15 since they were quite busy. Both Krasi and his assistant worked on my hair whilst chatting calmly. It was nice not to have a typical gaudy conversation about Made in Chelsea, but a nice talk about Vietnam and travelling and what we´d done and worked as in life. He left the product on my hair and would check carefully every 5 minutes to make sure my hair wasn´t too damaged. After about 15 minutes, he decided it was time and I was led to get my hair washed by his lovely assistant.


He then procedded to blow and slightly style my hair, and I was SO happy! I got a good tone of blonde in, even though I would like to go further. However he recommended I rested my hair for about a month before going back and we could then try again. I felt that he really knew what he was talking about and that I was in great hands the entire time, which is not something I generally experience with hairdressers.

I´ll definitely be going back in about a month to get it lighter and higher!

Here´s a picture of the before and the after. Take into account that the colour is lighter than what you see on the pic 🙂

balayage dark hair

Before and after my balayage





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