Forget what you know about hair salons. This swanky Soho jaunt is part-salon, part-social hub – and you’re invited.
Mother’s Day offer for Luxurious Magazine readers: 20% off all services and treatments when booked in together with your Mum. Offer starts Mon 5 and ends Sat 10 March 2018.
As Londoners, we have countless five-star salons to get pampered at.
But SALON64 – celebrity stylist and maverick Ricky Walters’ latest venture – is re-writing the rulebook. At just 26, Ricky has a long list of A-list fans (including Sandra Bullock and Arnold Schwarzenegger) and is known for pushing the boundaries of hairdressing.
As well as top-notch cuts, blow-dries and beauty treatments, the salon hosts a dedicated hangout space that oozes opulence. So I popped in, my Mum in tow, for an afternoon of mother-daughter pampering.
A cut above the rest
When you book in at SALON64, you won’t be whizzed from basin to blow-dry and back out the door. You’re here to be treated and the ‘cosmetologists’ (as they’re known) do just that, taking their time tending to your tresses. Mum and I were made to feel like VIPs.
The unique thing is; you don’t need to have an appointment to drop in. With several versatile spaces to sit over two floors, clients are free to use the glamorous vanity mirrors to touch-up their make-up before dinner or grab a bite to eat with a client and chat business at the bar. The seating areas are designed so stylists can provide services almost anywhere in the salon.
The concept really came to life after our blow-dries were complete – which were the most attentive we’d experienced in London. The team made sure our drinks were full and left us to it, telling us to pop upstairs whenever we were ready. We were free to leave and get on with our day, or stay and enjoy our drinks opposite the crackling fire. (Of course, we chose the latter.) It was so refreshing not to be hurried to the till and out the door.
The VIP treatment
Set in Soho (fashionista central) and being such a high-end destination, you wouldn’t be wrong to worry that a salon like this might be intimidating – even pretentious. But it was much the opposite. The team were so easy to chat to. There was no awkward chit-chat either; just friendly, relaxed conversation which never felt forced. It’s a great place for nervous clients like my Mum, who need to feel they can trust their hairdresser.
The down-to-earth owner, Ricky, manned the reception while we were there. He’s clearly passionate about making clients feel comfortable and is at the salon seven days a week, not afraid to roll up his sleeves.
And unlike many other hairdressers, there was no pressure to purchase any of the products that had been used during our blow-dry. Although we were so impressed that we did – the products being chemical-free, sustainably created and very affordable.
A lot of TLC has gone into the design of SALON64. Interiors include oversized herringbone floors, a regal blue colour scheme and finishing touches in gold. Tapestry and designer prints add drama, as does the fire pit, which runs through the centre of the styling areas. The whole space is blissfully cosy, making it the perfect escape from the bustling Soho streets.
Making a difference
The layout, relaxed service and arty design aren’t the only ways SALON64 is changing things for the better. The towels are disposable and made from wood chip, as salons are known to re-use towels without washing them as there simply isn’t enough time.
The basins are hidden behind a wall in a chic white room, so clients don’t feel self-conscious about having their hair washed in front of other clients.
Oh, and the hot drinks are divine – you won’t find PG tips here. There’s artisan coffee, loose-leaf tea and hot chocolate that’s made from real, melted chocolate.
Here’s to Ricky and his team for changing hairdressing for the better, at last.
A word from Ricky: “Fixed and over-styled hair is not what works for today’s millennials. With this in mind, SALON64 offers a new and revolutionary experience for both men and women. The traditional hair salon as we know it, is now dead. In a world where how you work, how you pamper yourself and how you relax is constantly changing, SALON64 embraces and recognises what that means. If you want to come in, have a coffee and check your instagram, pop in. If you want to come and get your nails and hair styled privately, we have the perfect place. If you want to get a quick cut & blow dry, book in. This is about what the customer needs and wants for the 21st Century.”
SALON64 – Where and How?
SALON64 is located 14 Bateman Street, London, W1D3AG. The salon is open Mon – Sat 8am until 8pm. To book, email [email protected] or call 020 3848 4130.
Photography by Francesco Russo