Monday, 2 May 2011

Richard Ward

I had been planning on writing about my hair salon of choice for a few months now and had not managed to get round to it. Given all the hype over last week's Royal Wedding and Kate's hair, though, I thought now might be a good time to share it with you! I am, of course, talking about Richard Ward....

I have tried numerous salons and was definitely spoiled with fabulous haircuts as a child - Harrods as a wee little thing, Jo Hansford during my early teens (I saw Paul for my cuts) and Martyn Maxey in my later teens (I saw Martyn himself as he gave an excellent deal for under 16's)*. I had a terrible few years with Toni & Guy (AVOID at all costs) and Essensuals (wasn't quite as bad - this is under the same business umbrella as T&G but slightly pricier). I did find a pretty good hairdresser in Battersea but she left for greener pastures and the alternatives were not great. If you find a hairdresser you like - or beautician/ podiatrist/ waxer etc - hopefully you'll become buddies anyway but you should hint/ tell them that, if they plan on moving, you'd like to know where they're off to - the salon will never tell you!

Eventually I found my perfect salon, all down to Mama AB, of course!! My mother has been having her hair cut by Nando Lopes at Richard Ward for yonks...I think it must be at least a decade now. He is the Education Director and Bridal Expert there and gives fabulous haircuts that manage to maintain their shape with minimal styling - my mother shares my, 'I've spent enough time on my make-up, I really can't be bothered to do much to my hair other than hover a hairdryer over my head for a few minutes' attitude and yet her hair somehow elegantly falls back to the way Nando cut it every time she washes her hair! Nando also cuts my sister's hair. He knows exactly what your hair needs and won't fail to inject a bit of je ne sais quoi to it so you'll be left with bouncy, glossy locks with fantastic shape. He has a loyal following of celebs and industry experts too (Vaishaly, my facialist, sees him!). 

James Pryce, Creative Director at Richard Ward did Kate Middleton's hair for the Royal Wedding (or should I say, the Duchess of Cambridge) - which meant I ended up having my appointment cancelled the Wednesday before!!! James has been cutting my hair for about three or four years now. He is great at suggesting new styles if you're bored (this often happens with me) and is particularly good at 'precision cuts'. By that I mean styles like blunt, short hair and full fringes. Unlike my lucky mother and sister who both have thick, glossy black/ very dark brown hair, I have fine mousey hair (although it is ridiculously soft, which makes me feel slightly better!) and James has, over time, persuaded me to cut it shorter and shorter. He plies me with promises that the hair style will look 'sexy' and bring out my eyes...pah! flattery won't work with me, Mr Pryce!! Oh go on....cut it all off!!!!! I'm finally a fan of my short hair (no, not thaaat short, I'm not gonna do an Emma Watson am I!! It's usually somewhere between my jawline and my shoulders) and it definitely makes my hair look thicker. I am going to have to break the bad news to James in two weeks' time that my sister wants me to grow my hair for her wedding though (so that I can put my hair up)....he won't be happy!!! James is great at teaching you how to maintain your hair style and condition at home (and, I'm sure, the other stylists too). He's taught me his preferred/ long way to blow-dry my hair and also a super quick alternative (he eventually gave in and accepted that, when I'm working long hours, I really do NOT want to pin my hair up into sections and mess about with a barrel brush). He also makes sure I am using the correct products and will recommend some if I'm running low. 

On a more general note about the salon stocks a great range of products for sale in reception, has a cafe outside, up-to-date magazines a plenty in the waiting area/ bar, a spa (so you can get a mani while you have your hair done!), a selection of food & drinks on offer  and big, comfy reclining chairs to sit in while your hair is washed and your scalp massaged...bliss! The technicians are great at making sure you really are comfortable in the chair (so there's none of that horrible neck ache with silly hair salon sinks!), allowing you to select which brand and precise shampoo/ conditioner/ mask you want them to use, whether you want a massage with that (er...duhhhh, of course I do!!) and, of course, whether the water is at a good temperature for you. There are TV screens on both side of the hair-washing area to keep you amused too!

If a quick browse of the prices page of the website brings you out in a cold sweat, I recommend you call and ask who the current Apprentice Stylists are - Nando will be training the latest recruit and you can get your hair cut with them for £32. I did this while I was a student and had Danni and Joey cut my hair once each. Joey did a really good job but I felt like too much of a traitor to James and snuck back to him!! 

I can't recommend the salon enough but be warned - they might just refuse to do a certain haircut if it's not going to suit you....they won't be mean (promise!) but they might suddenly get selective hearing/ flatter you into getting another hair cut. This is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing!! So for example, I've already told you James has been on a mission for years to get my hair short - he compromised with me by having it mid-length for a while but after getting to know me better is now somewhat blunter! Actually...when he first met me, I showed him a photo of my long hair during the T&G phase and his eyes widened and he actually pulled an 'OMG...seriously, what IS that?!' maybe he can be not-so-subtle when he meets you haha! Whatever happens, trust them - they're experts and some of the most highly sought after in their field. 

One last bonus - it's always fun to celeb-spot in the salon, all the while pretending you're soooo not bovered and haven't noticed they're famous...hehehehe!! 

The salon is in Duke of York Square, which is just off the King's Road (it's also near Space NK and Liz Earle, which you can pop in to for some beauty goodies while you're there - handy!).


AB x

* Martyn Maxey is actually where I first met Vaishaly - she used to do threading in their beauty salon! This is what I meant about keeping in touch with your fav beauticians so you know where they've gone and you don't call up one day only to be disappointed!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment