Breaking up isn’t hard to do: my new Aveda hair stylist

Red again – redder than ever, in fact – thanks to Aveda and Independent mindbodysoul in Balham (the top is £11 in the Debenhams sale by H! Henry Holland)

Breaking up with your hair stylist is like going through a micro divorce. On this occasion, it wasn’t us, it was them – them being L’Oreal. When I turned up for my regular appointment on Saturday my stylist sheepishly told me that L’Oreal is discontinuing all its red and copper shades. There I was, all gowned up and none of my regular colour to be had. I panicked; my hair is my thing. I love being a redhead. I cannot even consider being brunette or blonde. I was forced to leave the salon with my glaring roots intact.

I won’t lie to you, I was fighting back the tears on the bus home (not that I’m over-dramatic). Then Twitter done come to my rescue…

After moaning to the Twitterverse, I received a message from Vicky, founder and owner of Independent mindbodysoul, a hair salon and urban spa a ten minute bus ride away on Balham High Road. Vicky told me that Aveda do a range of reds and coppers and within half an hour I was down there, having a herbal tea and a complementary hand massage from a therapist (which helped me to recover from the L’Oreal debacle), before a reassuring colour consultation with a very handsome (always helps) stylist. He was pretty sure he could get my colour back to its best and seemed excited at the prospect.

The smart salon is easily found in Balham

My appointment, three days later, felt like a first date – but on first dates you don’t generally get an Indian head massage and 25 minutes to lie on a cloud-soft couch in a darkened relaxation room; that’s the crack at Independent mindbodysoul, you see – top notch hair dressing with a spa twist. While your colour develops, you get to chill in the spa downstairs, away from the bustle of the salon floor.

No more neck-cricks for me

I was worried that my hair wouldn’t be as bright as usual, but I’m well impressed with the results. I may have felt like I was cheating on my former hairdresser at first, but it has to be said that this experience was a cut above. From the ridiculously comfy loungers at the basins (I usually get terrible neck ache, but this was dead relaxing) to the gorgeous herby fragrance of the Aveda colour, I was pampered senseless. And the vibrant, shiny evidence of my new stylist’s labours are up there at the top of this post for all to see; it’s classic Fashion Detective, don’t you think?

The relaxation area, where you get to lounge around and wait for your colour to do its thang

Ok, so it’s a bit more expensive than my old place, but you get what you pay for. Independent mindbodysoul run a loyalty scheme and offer re-booking discounts – plus, it’s a local business, and there’s no harm in supporting that. To that end, I’m already booked in for my next appointment.

I cannot tell you how releived I am that a) I’m still a fiery redhead, and b) I’m at the mercy of a fabulous new stylist. Praise be, Twitter – you’ve saved my bacon yet again.

Images from Independent mindbodysoul

Written by Johanna Payton