Good hair and affordable rates needn’t be mutually exclusive, but when it comes to London, haircuts are up there with pints and coffee: outrageously expensive compared to the rest of the country.
While it would be nice to book in with Alexa’s go-to coiffeur George Northwood every few months, it’s not exactly realistic. But don’t worry, there are plenty of incredibly talented stylists and cool salons to while away a Saturday afternoon in here in the capital, that charge far more modest rates. From the king of balalage to the Black hair salon nailing affordable luxury, here are our favourites…
If you’re after a full salon experience in complete privacy (nothing worse than being sat at the window head full of foils), Sam is your guy. He’s transformed one of the rooms in his East London home into a private, utterly Instagrammable salon, neon signs and ring light included. But it’s not all style over substance. Sam is, as the name suggests, dedicated to sustainability, using guilt-free products like Oway, an eco-sustainable product line which smells divine and gets results, wherever possible.
When it comes to style, undone, beachy, beautiful locks are his thing. He’s a master of the balayage and those soft, natural highlights that have become the most popular haircut since ‘The Rachel.’ He even throws in an Olaplex treatment with all colour services, keeping his prices more realistic than most.
Oh, and if you like pups, you’re in for a treat. His two little pooches will sit on your lap whilst you get your roots done. I mean, the dream.
Haircut prices start from £50.
Although at the pricer end of affordable, Blue Tit has done away with one price for men and one for women – wasn’t really fair, was it? – offering a gender neutral price list starting at £52 per cut.
Their 10 salons, which are dotted all over London, from Clapton to Crouch Hill, are all designed with their own unique, quirky charm – think anything from emerald velvet sofas to industrial exposed brick – and use sustainable and kind-to-hair products throughout.
Their stylists are trustworthy, cool and have good chat (a must IMO) and can work their magic with anything from ombre to crazy rainbow colours. Equally, if you’re after something a little more sober, they’re good at that too.
Prices start from around £50, but check ahead as it may differ from salon to salon.
The West End plays host to many celebrity hair hotspots but, naturally, they come at a price. Just a stone’s throw from the likes of George Northwood and Nicola Clarke at John Frieda, however, you’ll find Muse of London on Mortimer Street, a salon with price points designed for mere mortals.
Cuts start from £55, colour from as little as £35 and they offer a range of treatments, like our favourite Olaplex, at competitive prices.
For those working in town and in a rush, Muse also have a menu of express beauty treatments from manicures to waxes, facials to lash lifts that can all be done on your lunch break.
Haircuts start from £55.
Founder Mimi Koné says her hair is her superpower and, lucky for us Londoners, she is sharing that at her Notting Hill based salon, Mimi et Mina. The salon specialises in Black hair and beauty, from specialised treatments to cutting, braiding to some of the best natural looking wigs on the market.
The salon is decked out in dreamy tones of blush pink and white making getting your hair done at Mimi et Mina a luxury experience without breaking the bank. It’s also worth checking out their online shop for all the hair products you could need in your beauty arsenal.
Haircuts start from £30.
Head to Holloway’s Bebop salon for award-winning service at reasonable price points. The laid back salon was opened back in 2017 by stylists Pont Smith and Chloé Hervé, who previously worked at renowned salons, Myla & Davis and Bluetit.
There’s a focus on vegan and cruelty-free ingredients here and down to earth service at gender neutral price points. Although their signature style is understated cool, the team’s attention to detail is second to none and insist on all new colour clients having a proper consultation first to ensure they leave feeling the best version of themselves.
Oh, and expect an epic playlist while you get your hair done too.
Cut and finish prices from £55.
Best-loved for their epic blow-drys, Duck & Dry also offer a trim service at each of their five London salons. You can tag a trim on to one of their signature blow-drys when you book, and if you’re new here, Duck & Dry blowouts are no ordinary blowouts – look after it and it could last you a week and still look fresh.
Choose from a dedicated blow-dry menu, from the Classic Duck: smooth and bouncy – think Farrah Fawcett; the Low Tide Waves – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley vibe soft and sexy; or the Fine Feathered – sleek and straight with a smooth finish. Book in before your next big event.
Prices for a cut and blow-dry start from £65.