Last week I went to a small salon tucked away in a leafy street of West London, between Shepherd’s Bush and Kensington Olympia.
Jamie Stevens is the eponymous salon of the celebrity hairdresser, nominated for British hairdresser of the year six consecutive years.
My stylist, Matt, was friendly and informative. He also happened to be a former X Factor contestant – he and his band made it to the fourth week of the live shows in the 2013 series.
In fact, he told me that watching Jamie do the stars’ hair on the ITV show had inspired him to pursue a career as a stylist.
It’s not everyday a former reality TV star is in charge of your tresses. He also happened to be very honest.
“Your hair is frazzled,” he told me, running his fingers through my straw-like locks.
I agreed. Years of dye and merciless straightening (without heat protector spray) have taken their toll.
A colouring gone wrong had left me with a brassy, some might say orange shade; I had three inches of root regrowth; the ends were scraggly and unmanageable. It was not a good look.
“I want to go back to my natural hair colour,” I said.
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Matt replied.
He explained that my brassy shade was washing me out. He agreed that returning to my natural brunette shade would suit my skin tone much better.
Thankfully the patch test didn’t bring me out in hives and two days later, I returned to the salon for my cut, colour and blow dry.
Matt painted the dye on to my roots. He then pulled the colour through the rest of the hair.
The dye contained a treatment to soften my locks and tackle their dry, scorched earth-type texture.
As with all colouring treatments, there was a lot of waiting around. But the service was immaculate. I was loaded up with magazines. The lovely assistant asked me if I fancied ‘trash’ or ‘fashion’. I went for a bit of both. I was offered refreshments several times during the two and a half hours I spent inside the salon.
Once the dye had worked its magic, the assistant began to wash it out of my hair.
“Would you like me to turn on the massage chair?”
“Yes,” I yelped.
This was the highlight of my visit: lying almost horizontal with an intense pressure massage vibrating through my chair as the assistant gently washed and conditioned my hair. Those ten minutes alone are worth a trip to Jamie Stevens Kensington.
Back in front of the mirror, Matt snipped away my split ends, added layers around my face and blow dried my hair into a bouncy, healthy style.
I was delighted. I looked so much better than I had when I walked into the salon a couple of hours before with a dry, scraggly orange ponytail atop my head.
The cool tone brown colour Matt had chosen somehow managed to make my skin look glowing and healthy.
The overall look was fresh and young. If you fancy receiving the same treatment, book your appointment at Jamie Stevens Kensington here.
Words Isolde Walters