Back in the days of disposable income, my number one expenditure was my hair. And it was entirely worth it. I also took a lot of selfies, before it was even called a selfie.
I had an amazing stylist in Brighton, and when I moved back to London, I found my next ‘perfect stylist’, following him throughout several salon moves, until I fell pregnant and got ‘the guilt’ over spending so much money on my hair. And then later, when I quit my job after maternity leave, just plain old didn’t HAVE the money to have my hair coloured and cut every few months.
It was during this time that I had my most dissatisfying hair salon experiences to date. Maybe because it was so rare that I could find the time away from my children that it REALLY mattered when I got my hair done. Maybe because the money I was parting with meant so much MORE to me during those frugal years. Or maybe it was because, enticed by their discount offers, I was choosing to go to mass market hair salon brands . If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt, it’s that the big salon chains just aren’t that great at bold colour (my record was THREE visits to correct a failed colour attempt that still ended up barely visible), and it is rare to find a stylist who doesn’t just give you the same generic cut they’ve already done five times that day, no matter what your brief.
I haven’t been able to do much about that money-spending guilt or my lack of available time, (I’ve been compromising by sticking to my natural colour), but, these days, I am back to choosing salons that know their craft and place value in great training.
My latest haircut was done by the lovely Gianna at Ena Salon in Covent Garden. I could tell we were off to a good start when she listening carefully to my rambling ideas about my hair, and then went on to give her own suggestions and talk me through EXACTLY what she was going to do with my hair.
I like a stylist who will tell me straight up if something won’t work, or if something might be improved by using a different technique, etc. I am quite at ease with a dramatic change, and have tried all sorts of things with my hair. I don’t suffer from new style nerves. But I do like to know that my stylist is confident, and that I’m going to get my money’s worth.
Ever had one of those cuts where it’s over in 20 minutes and you feel like they haven’t really ‘done’ much with your hair? Not at Ena – Gianna continued to talk me through each step as she styled. It never felt rushed, or like time was an issue at all.
Ena is based in a Grade 2 listed Georgian Townhouse. It’s unique features set it aside from your standard hair salon. My evening at Ena felt like a luxury bit of me-time. Ena also has a Beauty Salon in the same building, offering nails, body treatments, facials, waxing, threading, etc.
On Mondays, Ena is closed to business. There is no onus for stylists’ to hone their skills during ‘overtime’, they have an entire day dedicated to training. I think this speaks volumes about the way Ena values good quality training. There was not a hint of generic styling to be found during my salon visit.
My hair cut was exactly what I wanted. My layers have been given some much needed attention, and my hair has a much nicer shape. Most importantly, this cut will keep me going for a good few months.
The thing that most impressed me about Ena was their attention to detail. From the epic head massage, to the blow drying and styling tips, they went the extra mile whenever they could. Gianna even patiently gave me a little tutorial on how best to apply the products she was using on my hair, all with absolutely no hint of a hard sale (another brownie point to you, Ena).
Whilst I was there, I also spoke to one of the colour technicians about an idea I have for my next style. Our quick chat gave me the confidence that Ena really do know what they are doing.
I think it’s about time to draw a close on my frugal years of boring brown.
Disclosure: Ena Salon invited me to review their services and I received a complimentary hair cut.