Neville Hair and Beauty, tucked away in upmarket Belgravia, is an elegant and understated go-to stop for fabulous hair, innovative beauty and relaxing spa treatments.
The exterior is smart and classic – pure Chelsea – but inside is edgy and slick. All the staff have hair you want but there’s none of that snootiness that can be found in certain upmarket salons.
I arrived on a very busy Thursday – they were great at squeezing me in – about a week before a 14-day trip to the Caribbean. So I wanted something beachy but easy to maintain.
Previously I had had my chin-length naturally light brown hair balayaged a strawberry blonde to copper. And while it looked great in its prime, copper and red tones do tend to go a bit yellow and are notoriously hard to strip out. I didn’t want to use pre-lightener on my scalp or on the rather bitty ends, so asked the very knowledgeable hairdresser, Kremena, what to do.
I wanted to go lighter, with no more red, but didn’t want all-over bleach. Years of that had left my already fine hair, rather um…duckling like.
After a lengthy discussion we decided on all over light blond highlights with some darker blonde streaks and a toner to take out any brassiness.
Being realistic, I was told the copper effect wasn’t going to be completely eradicated, but the overall effect would be much more blonde and after another session in a few weeks time, the red tones would be gone.
Instead of sitting in a “station” cluttered with kit and products you sit on a long table with as much space as you need. Away from the drying stations, if you’re having your locks coloured, you can sit in relative peace and quiet. On this occasion I needed to catch up on some work so their high-speed WiFi was also very welcome.
There’s also a delicious on-site cafe that serves decent tea and coffee with yummy wee shortbreads, breakfast and other snacks. All reasonably priced.
After about 45 minutes (my hair picks up colour fast), it was time to wash and unveil.
I loved it. Much blonder without looking trashy with a more palatable hint of pale copper.
I also needed a cut, badly. The back of my hair grows a lot quicker than the front, leaving me with a fine Pat Sharp mullet if left too long.
Lots of hairdressers specialise in either cut or colour, but Kremena was great at both.
She did, like most stylists for some reason, want me to lop it all off, but we compromised on about three inches, leaving me with a messy bob.
Much as I love hair products and potions, I’m quite lazy about actually styling so this suited me perfectly. Just a quick blast of hot then cold air and it was good to go.
Other fab additions to Neville’s is the “mixing station” where the hair colour is created, the nail bar and the facial corner, which specialises in express treatments.
Neville’s is great as the hairdressers really listen to what you want but don’t just nod and smile – they advise you on what’s best for your hair. In my case – no bleach!
It’s fun and funky and always packed – a good sign – but is full of consummate professionals at the top of their game.
By Hayley Coyle, Editor
All images provided by the salon