Walking around the unusually quiet Spitalfields market on a rainy October weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the melancholic atmosphere. Even the pigeons looked somewhat sad today, perhaps because of the lack of crumbs around.
However, as I approached a row of shops, I was immediately struck by pop music blasting from one of the bright interiors. When I walked past, I didn’t know where to look first: a pastel-hued flower wall, well-lit reception desk decked out with champagne flutes or pops of neon light piercing through the warehouse-style room. It was busy and flooded with so much positive energy. I immediately knew I reached my destination –Duck & Dry– or in another words a beauty heaven known for some of the finest blow dries and hairdos in London.
Founded in 2014 by Yulia Rorstrom and combining her passion for beauty with her business background to create a place where everyone can feel their best, the brand has already expanded to five branches across London. Although each is slightly different, they all have one in common: to make professionally styled hair the thing of an everyday beauty routine. After months of pampering myself at home, it was time to have someone pamper me.
I’m immediately welcomed by Jen, the manager and owner of the branch as well as Connie (my stylist for the day) smiling at me from behind a prosecco-bar-turned-desk. Yes, you heard right. You can get a glass of prosecco with your make-over or even unlimited drinks.
There’s no wasting of time and Connie immediately shows me to the washing station which gives me total interior design envy. The room is bright and airy, with a lot of exposed brickwork and all the warehouse-inspired décor – think marble surfaces, fluffy feather chandeliers and a bunch of selfie-friendly corners that just scream for a pic.
As I get comfortable, Connie gently washes my hair with Duck & Dry branded shampoo and conditioner and explains a bit more about the products. Delivering results while being kind to your hair, they’re all completely vegan and infused with a signature scent of the wild English meadows (crafted in Somerset), helping you to create a ducking good blow dry at home. In the end, she finishes with a head massage that’s calming and very much appreciated after a long day sitting at my desk. When my hair is all wrapped up in a towel, I’m shown to my very own pod – shaped like an egg, of course. I browse through the compact style menu and in the end settle on beachy waves to make up for all this year’s cancelled holidays.
While Connie is working her magic, we chat about the industry, how nice it’s been to have more time with the family and the conversation feels relaxed as if I was talking to a friend. With great enthusiasm, she explains to me the idea behind the salon’s name: you duck into the water to emerge refreshingly beautiful and that’s certainly what’s happening here. The whole process from drying, brushing to styling my hair is gentle and feels more like a therapy, making me feel confident in the process. In the end, my hair gets fixated with a hairspray and I’m all ready to go.
The result is just how I pictured it: nonchalant locks that make me look like I just returned from a tropical island. I head back to the prosecco bar to take a picture of my new look with a pink neon sign that reads: ‘Too glam to give a damn’, exactly how I feel about getting pampered in the midst of a pandemic.
Before I leave, I have the chance to chat with Jen for a little bit longer and she explains to me just how much she loves her little place: ‘Our clientele is very diverse. We get women from all different backgrounds here. The business women from the city on the weekdays and then the cool, hip millennials on the weekend who come before their bottomless brunch in Shoreditch.’ Although the recent times have been challenging, Jen is glad that a lot of women still appreciate their hair being styled by a professional despite events being cancelled.
As you might’ve expected, Duck & Dry doesn’t only offer a place where feathers can be styled but also brows preened and nails perfected. The new concept called Duck & File can be found in the Mayfair and Chelsea branches for now, but will expand to all salons in the future, as well as the potential facials and make-up services. I believe that once all this pampering is added, it will create the perfect place to get ready for a night out when the clubs reopen.
You don’t necessarily need to feel like an ugly duckling to waddle up to Duck & Dry, joining the flock is fun and totally effortless.
To discover more, visit duckanddry.com
All imagery courtesy of Duck & Dry.
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