|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