London’s best hairdressers

Looking for a top-notch haircut? Treat your tresses at these classy salons and classic barbers, with something to suit every budget
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Split ends, visible roots and wayward fringes? There comes a time when a trip to the hair dye section in Superdrug just doesn’t cut it. Luckily, London is full of talented stylists who can solve even the most serious barnet-based challenge.

At these London salons, all requirements and budgets are catered for, whether you want a stylist to the stars or just a dip dye to match your new jumper. To save you from any future bad hair days, we sent a group of testers out into the capital to track down the best hairdressers in central, north, south, east and west London.

And why stop at just your hair? Once you’ve got your locks looking luscious, check out our list of London’s best nail salons and best brow bars, who’ll keep you looking nothing less than fabulous.

Health and beauty, Hair salons

Ena Salon

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Best for
Eco-products

Transport
Covent Garden

This photogenic salon lies within a Georgian townhouse that’s both Grade II-listed and the only original building left on Great Queen Street. Behind its handsome exterior is an airy, stylish space, offering hair and beauty treatments (the latter including manicures, waxing and the like), as well as an academy for aspiring hairdressers, over four floors. Ena has an eco-friendly philosophy, which is reflected in everything from its tastefully upcycled decor to its use of sumptuous organic hair and beauty brands. A cut, colour and blow-dry (from £59) was handled by the expert team with flair and the homemade cookies baked by one of the styling team were a welcome perk. 

Time Out says
Blade Soho
© Blade Soho

Blade Soho

Best for
Stylish blow dry

Transport
Tottenham Court Road

Inspired by her haircut-hating, cocktail-connoisseur partner, founder Julia (whose hospitality is faultless) decided her salon would be a much more enjoyable experience if you could binge watch Netflix and sip expresso martinis while your tresses are tended to, and we're inclined to agree. Whether mixing cocktails or styling hair, the highly skilled staff are relaxed, attentive and give a mean head massage. The wine is biodynamic, the juice is freshly squeezed and the tunes transport you back to the roaring twenties. If you’re looking to get dolled up before a night on the town, there’s no place better. Keep an eye on the Facebook page to hear about upcoming live jazz, cut and cocktail events.

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Shopping, Salons and spas

Blow Ltd

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Best for
Stylish blow dry

Transport
Covent Garden

This drop-in hair bar opened on a cosy Islington backstreet in 2010, and although that north London branch is closed, there are now shops in Covent Garden and Canary Wharf. The young, stylish team offer various different blow-dry styles from £29. With late openings from 7pm and your new do just a swipe away (bookable via the Blow app) you’ll be prepped for a night out in no time.

Health and beauty, Hair salons

Electric

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Best for
Being a safe pair of hands

Transport
Bond St

With super-friendly, down-to-earth staff who really listen to what you want, this unpretentious Marylebone salon is a hair haven. All of the stylists have been personally schooled by award-winning founder Mark Woolley, so even if you can’t stump up the cash for the man himself, your locks are in very safe hands indeed.
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SACO
© David Oldham
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Saco

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Best for
Personalised service

Transport
Goodge St

‘Beauty first’ is the philosophy at Saco, which means whatever ideas (or ego) your stylist has, they’ll be put aside to make you look and feel beautiful. It’s a refreshing approach, ensuring that you won’t end up with an asymmetrical bob and a blunt-cut fringe – unless, of course, that’s a look you can totally rock. The narrow salon is sleek and simple, and there’s not even a whiff of pretension among the talented stylists and colourists. In fact, even a session with Richard Ashforth, one of the founders, is an entirely laid-back affair that includes a reassuring consultation and plenty of chat about face shape, hair length and ‘beauty-enhancing’ styles.

Shopping

Atherton Cox

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Best for
Men’s cuts

Transport
Bond St

Think of Atherton Cox as the Jil Sander of hairdressers: beautiful cuts delivered without fuss. It was founded nearly two decades ago by Lisa Atherton and Paul Cox, and the team is now nearly 40-strong, catering predominantly for glamorous thirtysomething Marylebone professionals and yummy mummies. Thanks to Men’s Hairdresser of the Year Desmond Murray (who charges £128 for a ladies’ ‘re-design’ and £79 for men’s) it’s a go-to for a brilliant gents’ cut as well.

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Renata Boruch
Shopping

Aveda Institute

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Best for
Natural colour

Transport
Holborn

For those who care about what is going into and on to their bodies, the Aveda Institute on High Holborn is hard to beat. One of the original purveyors of natural hair and skin products, the brand continues to deliver quality treatments at this vast, airy hair and beauty spa. Time Out has long been a fan of the salon, not only for its fabulous non-aggressive colour and great cuts, but the serene manicure and pedicure booths, tucked away at the back. What makes this salon appealing is it’s refreshingly un-sceney: no air-kissing, fuss or celebrity gossip.

Karen Hatch
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Windle & Moodie

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Best for
Style update

Transport
Covent Garden

This buzzy Covent Garden salon has a reputation for styling the uber-gorgeous, as the glossy mag pages on the walls featuring the locks of Kate Moss, Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow demonstrate. But don’t be intimidated by the A-lister clientele – the salon has a friendly and down-to-earth vibe. Even the minimalist decor is offset by a huge table in the reception piled with retro board games, tastefully placed art books, and erm, ‘The Complete Guide to Ferrets’.

Venue says Welcome to our acclaimed, award-winning salon Windle & Moodie in Covent Garden, London.

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Health and beauty, Hair salons

Hare & Bone

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Best for
Sleek and stylish ’dos

Transport
Oxford Circus

Bloomsbury is well-served by swish salons, and this spot from hairdresser to the (fashion) stars Sam Burnett is no exception. Sleek, smart and with lovely stylists who’ll offer you a glass of fizz while you get your tresses trimmed, it really is five-star service. Happily, despite a large number of awards under this salon’s perfectly-groomed belt, it’s a down-to-earth, friendly place that you won’t walk out of with a ‘directional’ (read: ridiculous) new hairdo. 

Shopping

The Lounge Soho

icon-location-pin Soho

Best for
Style update

Transport
Tube: Piccadilly Circus

The times are a-changing in Soho. With all the closures and redevelopments, it can be hard to find any ‘real’ Soho spots left, but The Lounge is one of them. Tucked just off Berwick Street, Joe Mills and his team have been cutting and colouring hair here for the past 17 years. Joe has a passion for barbering, which has attracted so many male clients that he opened Joe & Co a few doors down. The Lounge lacks the pretentiousness of many West End salons and strives to make clients feel at home – hence the name. It’s the kind of place you could easily visit for a complete restyle, or just your regular trim. There are drinks on tap, including prosecco and fresh coffee, a good selection of magazines to read, iPads to use and, most importantly, the backwash chairs have footrests and shiatsu back massagers. The whole vibe is comfortable and relaxed, staff are friendly without any airs or graces and the clientele is an eclectic mix reflective of Soho dwellers, which explains why so many music industry and London celebs get their barnets coiffed here.

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Charles Worthington, hairdresser, haircut
© Charles Worthington
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Charles Worthington

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Best for
Cut and colour

Transport
Tottenham Court Rd

For no-nonsense blow dries or great colour and cuts in bright, comfortable surroundings, Charles Worthington is your man. Many have long-frequented the Percy Street outlet for lunchtime blow-dries (from £30 with a graduate), and it’s hard to fault the customer service – a bowl of nuts and a glass of bubbly is always offered within seconds of sitting down (an extra £2.50 also gives you unlimited refreshments, so in theory you could break even, if you arrive with an appetite). The salon is minimal but super-comfortable, and for a place with such a big name behind it, it’s remarkably friendly.

FEATURE_BrooksAndBrooks_press2011.jpg
© Brooks And Brooks
Shopping

Brooks and Brooks

icon-location-pin Holborn

Best for
Personalised service

Transport
Holborn

Brooks and Brooks is a multi-award-winning salon in Bloomsbury – it’s been London Hairdresser of the Year three times, for starters. The team of professional stylists at this sleek Bloomsbury venue take a down-to-earth, no nonsense approach, and understand that one style doesn’t fit all. That’s why they’ll try to match you with the best hairdresser for your needs. Haircut prices range from £49.50-£115, and you can check the app for last-minute appointments and live availability.

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FEATURE_HershesonsBlowDry_CREDIT_HershesonsBlowDry_Bar_Topshop_TOpic.jpg
© Hershesons Blow-Dry Bar Topshop
Shopping

Hershesons Blow Dry Bars

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Best for
Speedy blow dries

Transport
Oxford Circus

The Time Out team have been fans of Hershesons Blow Dry Bars since the first one opened in the Oxford Circus branch of Topshop in 2006. Branches now also exist in Harvey Nichols, One New Change and Selfridges. A 30-minute blow dry (pick from one of 12 set styles, from a neat wave to an ambitious Bardot up-do) will set you back just £28. Booking is recommended.

Stuart Phillips
© Stuart Phillips
Health and beauty, Beauty salons

Stuart Phillips

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Best for
Cut and blow dry

Transport
Covent Garden

Having tended the tresses of the rich and famous – from Ivana Trump to Jamie Oliver – Stuart Philips retains a remarkably down-to-earth attitude, and his plush Covent Garden salon reflects his friendly, professional demeanor. It’s not hard to be impressed by the treatment you receive here – a blow dry manages to give volume to fine, limp hair without making it frizzy. The interior is ultra-comfy and induces instant calm; recline in cool leather chairs and have a chat with the friendly, informative staff. From £37 for gents and £42 for a ladies’ wash and blow dry.

Venue says Multi-award-winning London salon. Quoted by Time Out magazine, 'one of the most relaxing salons we’ve ever experienced'.

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Daniel Hersheson

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Best for
Speedy blow dries

Transport
Oxford Circus

Despite its location in the heart of upmarket Mayfair, this modern salon, set over two floors, isn’t at all snooty, and features a roster of very talented cutters and colourists. Prices start at £80 (£45 for men), though you’ll pay £350 for a cut and finish with Daniel (£200 for men). There’s also a menu of therapies; the swish Harvey Nichols branch has a dedicated spa. Hersheson’s Blow Dry Bars are located in the Oxford Circus Topshop branch, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and One New Change.

SHOPPING_GeoFTrumper_Press2011_001.jpg
© Geo. F. Trumper
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Geo F Trumper

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Best for
Men’s grooming

Nearest tube
Green Park

Guys have put their trust in this traditional Mayfair barber since 1875. And once you’ve had your face swathed in a hot towel, delicately lathered, professionally shaved, then moisturised and massaged you’ll see why. As well as an indulgent range of treatments from wet shaves to manicures and facials, there’s also an extensive range of fragrances and grooming products (aftershave balms, razors, shaving brushes) on offer. If you want to feel pampered, you’ve come to the right place. Branches: 1 Duke of York St, SW1Y 6JP; 9 Curzon St, W1J 5HQ.

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gielly green salon
© Gielly Green
Shopping

Gielly Green

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Best for
Luxury cuts

Transport
Bond St

You can tell a fair bit about a salon from the calibre of towel on offer. At this swish Marylebone hairdressers they’re as thick as duvets and the colour of caramel highlights. That level of service runs through the whole establishment, which is darkly glossy and reassuringly expensive. Cuts cost up to £165 (although you can get a junior stylist for £65 for women and £47 for men). If you have the money to spend, this is a great place to spend it.

SHOPPING_JoeandCo2_CREDIT_RobGreig.jpg
© Rob Greig
Shopping

Joe & Co

icon-location-pin Soho

Best for
Luxury men’s grooming

Transport
Piccadilly Circus

Generations after Paul Raymond ruled the southern end of Berwick Street, a less sleazy and more tonsorial ‘King of Soho’ has emerged in the same neighbourhood. Stylist and owner Joe Mills has ducked and weaved smartly with the area’s changing needs: Joe & Co is an ultra-contemporary men’s barbers that eschews the stuffy wood panels and badger brushes of traditional barbershops. Meticulous wet shaves and on-point cuts range from £44-£54, but all gentlemanly follicular needs are handled – from moustache shapings and quick hairline touch-ups to keep a cut in check, right through to straightening and grey hair blendings. Highly recommended.

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FEATURE_KarineJackson
© Karine Jackson
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Karine Jackson

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Best for
Natural colour

Transport
Covent Garden

This glossy two-floor hair and beauty salon in Covent Garden has won several industry awards for its cut and colour services (including London Hairdresser of the Year for Karine). Despite its stellar credentials, colour with a graduate – Monday to Friday – starts at £35 for women and £25 for men, including refreshments. Staff are friendly and accommodating, whether you’re popping in for a quick fringe-trim or a brand new cut.

SHOPPING_Tommyguns
© Tommy Gun
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Tommy Guns

icon-location-pin Soho

Best for
Men’s grooming

Transport
Oxford Circus

Now over a decade old, and with new branches on Brewer Street and all the way over in New York, Tommy Guns remains a very cool prospect indeed. The original Soho space has recently been refurbed, complete with retro fittings and neon signage and now offers colour and cuts for ladies too. And with a tag line like ‘Walk in. Strut out’ you’ve got to admire this salon’s confidence (and get your swagger on). 

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Health and beauty, Beauty salons

The King’s Canary

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Best for
Friendly atmosphere

Nearest tube
Goodge St

The King’s Canary is nothing flash, but it’s neat as a pin; just cool enough, but not too cool. And it has a few little touches that make you realise every detail has been really thought about. The combined skills of its two owners (Stanley Wright, a swish ladies’ hairdresser, formerly of Chandler Wright in Blackheath, and Gavin Cornwell, a barber from cool dude coiffeur Joe & Co in Soho) mean its services are equally appealing to guys and girls. The former have a kind of zone at the back offering all manner of barbery as well as Don Draperish refreshments like whisky, while the girls are up front with chic cutting stations and bubbles on offer. If that kind of gender stereotyping annoys you, then you’re welcome to swap orders – but we were very happy with our lot.

Venue says The King’s Canary has earned a reputation as the unpretentious culture hub for those looking to get a haircut.

The Philip Kingsley London Trichological Clinic - interior 2
© Philip Kingsley
Health and beauty, Spas

Philip Kingsley

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Best for
Hair maintenance

Transport
Marble Arch

Whether you’re desperately trying to rectify the disaster of a home perm, minimising the damage from a sloppy salon, or you’re a model victim of a photoshoot involving super glue and a blast furnace, the experts at Philip Kingsley are the people to see. The London Clinic, set in the Edwardian splendour of Mayfair, specialises in trichology – the study of hair and the scalp. The team of trichologists here are pros at dealing with issues such as hair thinning and hair loss and have even collaborated with cancer charities and patients who have had their hair or scalp affected by various treatments, so you can be sure your barnet is in very capable hands.

Shopping

Oskar Pink

icon-location-pin Camden Town

Best for
Personalised service

Transport
Mornington Crescent

Walk into Oskar Pink and you’ll be met with a pleasing, somewhat Parisian-style interior – there’s a gorgeous art nouveau-style mural on the wall and bespoke wallpaper with a quirky repeat-print scissor pattern. It’s a wonderfully welcoming space, and the latest salon in a stable of three (the other two are in Chalk Farm and Kentish Town); each come with their own style, though all are headed up by the charismatic Stavros Konstantinou. Having spent ten years as a creative director at Toni & Guy, and a further year managing a salon for Nicky Clarke, he decided to turn away from the corporate world of hairdressing, shake off his formal training and adopt a more freestyle approach to cutting and colour. He opened his first branch in 2007, hoping to attract cool north Londoners by encouraging his stylists to put the customer first rather than just cutting to a formula – and the approach pays off.

Blue Tit
© Blue Tit
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Blue Tit

icon-location-pin Stoke Newington

Best for
Trendy cuts

Transport
Dalston Kingsland Overground

Forget slick, minimalistic hair salons, this indie hairdressers has a proudly decadent interior with framed antique photographs, bare-brick walls, a wooden bar lit with delicate lightbulbs and lots of reclaimed vintage furniture. The Dalston massive, try-hard City boys and east London locals tend to come here for trendy looks and dip dyes – but a classic fringe, or even a few Chelsea layers are also perfectly executed by skilled staff who specialise in listening to their customers. Other branches in Clapton, Peckham, Brockley, East Village, Brixton and Streatham.

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Health and beauty, Beauty salons

Chaps & Dames

icon-location-pin Finsbury Park

Best for
Value for money

Transport
Finsbury Park

A ten-minute walk from Finsbury Park station, Chaps & Dames is worth seeking out, if not for the great value, then for the homely atmosphere. There are mismatched mirrors, old suitcases doubling up as tables and there’s even a piano in the window – the same one that owner Paul Federici has been playing since he was seven. You can find the singing barber tinkering at the old ivories at least twice a week. Open since 2005, Federici’s modest hairdressers has discarded its old vintage emporium in the back, but various voguish items can still be found scattered around the place.

garyIngham_hampstead
© Gary Ingham

Gary Ingham Lifestyle Salon & Spa

icon-location-pin Hampstead

Best for
High-tech touches

Transport
Hampstead

Having outgrown its original Hampstead space, the popular Gary Ingham salon relocated to a bigger, flashier site on Heath Street in spring 2012. The move saw the Aveda salon expand its offering with a new upstairs spa and a broad range of treatments, from threading, waxing and facials, to chakra balancing and ‘lava shell’ massages. Therapists are friendly and skilled – ours offered personalised tweaks to a very accomplished and effective deep-tissue massage – while the hair salon staff are equally service-minded, ferrying wines, coffees and Aveda's own-blend herbal tea to relaxed punters. High-tech additions (such as bliss-inducing electronic massage chairs at the wash basins) show Gary Ingham to be ahead of its competitors, while talented hair stylists and colour technicians make use of Aveda’s superior products to deliver uniformly excellent results. There are also branches in Primrose Hill and St John’s Wood.

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That Hair Place, london's best hairdressers, 2017

That Hair Place

Best for
Value for money

Transport
Canonbury

Take a leisurely stroll up Green Lanes and eventually you’ll reach That Hair Place, a cosy little salon with wooden floors, potted plants and colourful art-covered brick walls. Just because this isn’t your swanky salon-to-the-stars doesn’t mean it skimps on the little touches that make the trip to the hairdressers worth the journey. Enjoy a complimentary drink – booze, coffee or juice – from the plush red sofas while you’re deciding on your new look. It’s reasonably priced too – a cut, wash and blow dry starts at £30.

Health and beauty, Hair salons

Moose London

icon-location-pin Upper Clapton

Best for
Trendy cuts

Transport
Clapton Rail

Sean Fordham, owner and regular stylist to Graham Norton, FYI, established himself on the Soho hairdressing scene for 13 years before opening this hip east London salon. With its distressed wooden floors, bare-brick walls and lush green tiles, the interior at this unisex salon is very much as stylish as the hairstyles it creates. Excellent aftercare advice and attentive stylists ensure a regular stream of loyal clients. Plus, this place even produces its own pale ale. Who needs pubs when you’ve got hairdressers like this? 

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Nick Matthews
Health and beauty, Hair salons

The Chapel

icon-location-pin Angel

Best for
Personalised service

Transport
Angel

No, it isn’t located in a chapel but a former Victorian pub (that would be the first branch – located in a former nineteenth-century Baptist church in Tunbridge Wells) even so it’s hard to miss this green and orange-tiled salon on the corner of Owen Street and St John Street. The colourful, spacious salon has a unique pricing strategy, charging by time rather than by cut. Prices range from £50-£100 (depending on which stylist you go for) and complimentary drinks are served, including seasonal extras, like scrummy hot-chocolate shots. Set over two floors, each zone has a different artistic theme. We reckon you’ll fall in love with the chic modern interior as much as your new hairdo.

Venue says The Chapel in Islington offers dedicated one-to-one attention from our team of expert stylists and technicians, led by director Mark Palmer.

Hair Bar London, best hairdressers 2017
© Hair Bar London
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Hair Bar London

icon-location-pin Hornsey

Best for
Value for money

Transport
Hornsey

Bypass the pricey Crouch End salons and head to this cute salon in Hornsey instead. While some hairdressers shy away from afro hair, this salon embraces all hair types. Though the décor is nothing fancy – mauve walls, framed mirrors and dinky chandeliers – the stylists are skilled and knowledgeable and you can enjoy a complimentary drink on arrival.

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Feature_marcocarola
© Marco Carola

Marco Carola

Best for
Hair maintenance  

Transport
Angel

Bad hair day? Split ends galore? Or you just want some style inspiration? Marco is your man if your hair is in need of some TLC with Italian flair. This smart boutique salon is a hidden gem in Islington – the chic, modern interior with its dark mirrored walls provides a perfect setting for your cut or colour of choice. One-on-one consultations ensure your locks get the attention they deserve – this is one salon that excels at getting dry, brittle, over-dyed hair in tip-top condition.

FEATURE_Flok
© Flok

Flok O’ Naturel

Best for
Trendy cuts

Transport
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Overground

This small but perfectly formed hairdressers on Caledonian Road offers affordable cuts without skimping on the quality. The relaxed setting is due to it being part salon and part gallery, so you can get your art fix at the same time as getting your hair fixed. A rotating exhibition of up-and-coming art adorns the walls and a carefully selected playlist sounds out in the background. Dyes here are naturally sourced and organic – perfect if you’re ditching harsh chemical products. The team of friendly stylists clearly take pride in their work, so you will too.

Shopping, Independent retailers

RXB Barbers

icon-location-pin Stockwell

Best for
Affordable men’s grooming

Transport
Oval

This Oval barber shop caters mostly, though not exclusively, for young south London men who want a decent cut for a good price, with an extra slice of banter. Owner Tokunbo promises ‘class, comfort and culture’, and a ‘sharp trim’. The relaxed atmosphere makes you feel like you’re among your mates. Having been pulled up on their lengthy waiting times, the salon now offers same-day appointments.

Health and beauty, Spas

Hobbs Barbers

icon-location-pin South Bank

Best for
Old-school charm

Transport
London Bridge

Underneath the London Bridge railway tracks, among the stalls of Borough Market is Hobbs, a salon with all the charm of an old-school barbershop plus a few hip twists. A mish-mash of ’70s tat covers the walls – Bowie posters, antlers, violins and saucy seaside postcards in golden frames – and Union Jack flags dangle from the ceiling, semi-ironically. This no-nonsense barber offers cheap-and-cheerful cuts and beard trims, with no appointment necessary.

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Hype Coiffure

icon-location-pin Clapham Junction

Best for
Afro hair

Transport
Clapham Junction 

Hype Coiffure is one of London’s black-hair specialists, with another branch in Brixton. Billing itself as the ‘African Caribbean equivalent to Toni & Guy’, clients are offered a comprehensive range of services including relaxers, perms, waves, weaves, extensions, braids and cornrows, as well as beauty treatments such as Dermalogica facials, waxing, massage, manicures and pedicures. Its stylists have also collected a veritable trophy-cupboard of awards (Battersea’s Kim Johnson and Michelle Sultan won Afro Hairdresser of the year, 2010 British Hairdressing Awards). In short, your barnet is in safe hands here.

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Witches Hut

icon-location-pin Clapham

Best for
Colour and cut

Nearest tube
Clapham Common

This much-loved salon has been tending local tresses for over 20 years. As well as offering excellent colour and cuts in simple but stylish surroundings, you can catch up on all the local gossip upstairs on the roof terrace while enjoying a complimentary drink. That’s our kind of salon. Blow dries from £25 and ladies cuts from £35.

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German Sercovick Hair Salon

Best for
Value for money

Transport
Borough

There’s an air of decadence about German Sercovick, with its dark walls, floor-length gold-edged mirrors and black, beaded chandeliers, but this venue is far from intimidating. Friendly, professional staff will make you feel at ease, and the salon offers colour and straightening treatments tailored to European hair. At £25 for a wash, cut and finish, it isn’t too pricey either.

Twentuno hair salon, best hairdressers, 2017, London
Ugne Pouwell

Twentuno Salon

Best for
Personalised service

Transport
Clapham Junction

A golden wash room, complimentary Italian chocs and prosecco on arrival (wine or hot drinks are also available) make this salon well worth the trip, even if you don’t live locally. Then there’s the tailored advice, beautiful haircuts and colours produced by passionate creative director Gennaro and his team of professional stylists. 

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Genco Male Grooming Richmond

Best for
Luxury men’s grooming

Transport
Richmond

Whether you’re after a trim, restyle, shave or wax, Genco has all your male-grooming needs sorted. Great conversation, top tunes and complimentary drinks all flow freely at this smart barbers. The masculine interior (obligatory dark wood, leather seating) is simple but does the job. Little touches make it a cut above the rest. Relax into a massage chair while you get a trim and soak up a hot moisturising towel treatment afterward. Plus you can enjoy a complimentary drink on arrival - G&T? Don’t mind if I do. 

Peterpenny’s Hair

Best for
Cut and colour

Transport
Putney

The rustic wooden furnishings, use of plants and sculptures in this Putney salon make a refreshing change from the gaudy, glitzy interiors you usually find in high-street hairdressers. With more than 20 years of experience, Peterpenny’s has built up a loyal following of happy clients, styled by personable staff with a wealth of hairdressing knowledge. There’s a light, airy space at the back for washing hair and every haircut includes a shiatsu scalp massage and hot towel treatment on the house.

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Dacian Barbers
© Dacian Barbers

Dacian Barbers

Best for
Value for money

Transport
Stockwell

This no-frills barbers on an unassuming road opposite Stockwell station actually does excellent ladies’ cuts from a chair at the back of the shop. Professional stylist Dana is really the star of the show here, whizzing through stylish cuts, well-blended colours and curly blow dries in a highly skilled yet approachable manner. The rest of the team are equally as welcoming and at £12 for a wash and cut you’ll be wondering why you ever spent a penny more.

LAB260
London Lab 260

London Lab 260

Best for
Trendy cuts

Transport
Clapham Junction Overground

Nowhere near your usual overpriced, uninspiring high-street chain, the London Lab salons (other branches are in Kensington, Notting Hill and Richmond) have built up a reputation based on careful cuts and sophisticated styling, using natural, cruelty-free products. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxed and the stylists take their time with each client – there are no rush jobs here, so make sure you don’t have somewhere to be when you book your appointment.

Bleach
© Bleach
Shopping

Bleach

icon-location-pin Kingsland

Best for
Colour change

Nearest tube
Haggerston Overground

This Dalston salon was a trailblazer of the dip-dye trend, as seen on the famous barnets of Lady Gaga and Alexa Chung. Founded by colourist-of-the-moment Alex Brownsell, and her agent and friend Sam Teasdale, Bleach has a client list that reads more like a who’s-who of London party people, including Pixie Geldof, Daisy Lowe and Alice Dellal. The venue also happily shares its Dalston space with Wah Nails – so you can show off some art on your fingertips as well as your hair.

Kennaland
Shopping

Kennaland

icon-location-pin Hackney

Best for
Colour change

Nearest tube
Hackney Central Overground

What was once a speakeasy saloon salon above a pub is now a one-stop beauty spot on a former carwash site. International hair stylist Kenna is often abroad, tending the tresses of the beautiful people, but look to resident colourist Sophia for some of the most natural and lovely looking highlighting in London. Although you no longer have to pick your way through a pub to get to your seat, you'll still feel like you’re in the comfort of a local – while the services here are pure Mayfair, the laid-back attitude is Hackney through and through.

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Health and beauty, Hair salons

The Canary

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green

Best for:
Vegetarian-friendly haircare

Transport:
Bethnal Green

Tucked down a Bethnal Green side street is the east London outpost of another of our hair favourites: The King’s Canary. However, this iteration of the cheery and progressive hairdressers also comes complete with delicious veggie café. With an atmosphere that’s authentically creative and friendly, hair treatments using only environmentally considerate products and approachable staff, this is the salon for Londoners who care about the planet as much as their own locks.

Venue says The Canary is a hairdressers combined with a vegetarian café based in the heart of an East End community in Bethnal Green.

Foster London
© Foster London
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Foster London

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Best for
Cool cuts and friendly guidance

Nearest tube
Shoreditch High St Overground

A cutesy, laid-back salon that’s just a stone’s throw from Shoreditch High St Overground, Foster strikes the perfect balance between trendy and twee. Overlooking Boxpark it’s a total suntrap and ideal for people-watching, which is particularly handy when you’re killing time with a head full of foils. Creative, knowledgeable and attentive, and after giving you some gentle nudging, the team will send you back out into the wilds of Shoreditch with a brand new ‘do that suits you better than anything you could have dreamt up.

Venue says Award-winning colour specialists and barber. Complimentary treatment and 15% off your first in our Dalston salon only.

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Health and beauty, Beauty salons

Barber & Parlour

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Best for
Trendy cuts

Transport
Shoreditch High Street Overground

Perhaps the most exciting part of this multi-faceted beauty gem is the Josh Wood salon, featuring cuts and colour from a truly esteemed hairdresser. Wood has trained a new Shoreditch team and somehow agreed to a menu of services at least half the price of anything in his two west London branches. A basic trim is £50, a fringe trim £15, and colouring starts at £50. Although still on the pricey side, that means follicular kingpin Wood is now one of the most reasonably priced snippers in the area, in probably the nicest setting.

Huckle the Barber, London // www.samdocker.co.uk
Sam Docker Photography
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Huckle the Barber

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Best for
Luxury men’s grooming

Transport
Old St

You don’t always get what you pay for with a haircut. Often, a pseudo-sexual head massage and the dubious whiff of heritage are enough to double the price of a snip. So at Huckle – a no-nonsense barbershop that still charges £45 an appointment – you’d expect the service to be damn good. Luckily, it is. Shop owner and barber Chris Ward is an expert, and his knowledge shines through at both this Shoreditch branch and the Holborn outlet on Lamb’s Conduit Street.

Venue says No gimmicks, independent male grooming of the highest quality with no pretence. Two shops to choose from: Shoreditch and Holborn.

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SHOPPING_Murdock_.jpg
© Murdock

Murdock Shoreditch

Best for
Men’s grooming

Nearest tube
Shoreditch High St Overground

Murdock’s artfully over-scrubbed interiors – full of flock wallpaper, vintage shop fittings and retro-packaged products – belies the small London chain’s real age. Its first barbershop, in Shoreditch, opened in 2006, and still perfectly delivers the sort of centuries-old faux-heritage that is often copied but never bettered. Murdock offers a full grooming package, from wet shaves, manicures and in-chair treatments to simple cuts and clever restyles. The décor may be old, but the high-quality service is relaxed and contemporary.

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Jones & Payne

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Best for
Personalised service

Nearest tube
Old St

‘Having previously always worked for other people, we’ve really paid attention to all the things that used to niggle at us!’ says Stewart Payne, co-founder and manager of this ‘east-meets-west London’ salon. Business partner Ricky Lee Jones (co-founder and Master Stylist, who trained at Trevor Sorbie and the nearby Taylor & Taylor) and the addition of a few ‘little wow factors’ borrowed from more exclusive establishments is what really sets this homely-feeling salon apart from its mid-range competitors.

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samson and delilah
© DARREN PALMER

Samson & Delilah Hair Studio

Best for
Amiable and attentive stylists

Transport
Hackney Central Overground

From the cactus-covered walls to the chilled out playlist, this Hackney hairdresser oozes relaxed vibes. Stylists Melissa and Luke are super friendly and attentive – taking their time to understand what you want and making spot-on suggestions if you're unsure – they don't call them the horse whisperer for the hairdresser phobic for nothing. On our visit, Luke snipped and teased our frizzy mane into bouncy natural curls in no time at all, adding the lovely Italian sustainable brand Davines for extra sheen. The duo shares the space with the quirky A/Side-B/Side Gallery, so you can get your art fix post-haircut. And if you arrive early for your appointment, you can pass the time filling in phallic colouring books, cheeky! 

The Painted Lady Salon
© The Painted Lady Salon
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The Painted Lady

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Best for
Retro styles

Transport
Shoreditch High St Overground

Located on a street that boasts APC and a Conran hotel as neighbours, The Painted Lady could be forgiven for going a bit upmarket. However, this gently lit, cute little salon is much more interested in what was going on in 1950s hairdressing than the modern Shoreditch scene. As well as contemporary cuts and colour, the stylists at TPL specialise in screen-siren up-dos (£50) like Marilyn waves or Hepburn rolls. They even host lessons for groups in retro styling, so you can recreate the magic of the salon in your own bedroom.

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SHOPPING_PERCY_AND_REED_EAST
Percy and Reed East
Health and beauty, Spas

Percy and Reed East

icon-location-pin Spitalfields

Best for
Cut and blow dry

Nearest tube
Liverpool St

In any other salon, it might be disconcerting to be entertained with stories of how the hairdresser currently cutting your hair has previously left clients bald, scorched or with a mop ‘tightly permed into pubes’. But 25 years have passed since celebrity stylist Adam Reed first cut his teeth as an apprentice. In that time, Reed and business partner Paul Percival have built a boutique hair styling empire with a Marylebone salon and a prettily packaged eponymous product line. Both now attract a ritzy clientele.

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Radio

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Best for
Cut and colour

Nearest tube
Shoreditch High St Overground

Occupying renovated premises on the corner of Swanfield Street, Radio is a stylish, light and spacious environment where you can relinquish tonsorial control to a team of premier league stylists and colourists. Cool often comes with attitude (this is east London, after all), but Bumble & Bumble’s flagship London store is hip, highly professional and friendly, offering everything from dip dyes to Brazilian blow-drys. Saturdays are super-busy, but the blond wood floors, pale paintwork and high ceilings make relaxing a doddle.

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Rockalily vintage hair
© Rockalily
Health and beauty, Beauty salons

Rockalily

icon-location-pin Hoxton

Best for
Colour change

Nearest tube
Hoxton Overground

The Fran Lebowitz quote on the wall says: ‘Violet will be a good colour for hair at just about the same time that brunette becomes a good colour for flowers.’ Well, ladies and gents, that time has come. ReeRee Rockette’s retro salon is stocked with a spectrum of hues, from tangerine to turquoise, ready to transform your boring barnet. Rockalily is a lovely little boudoir, furnished with beautiful vintage dressing tables and all sorts of retro knick-knacks, and the staff are cheery and chatty.

Stunt Dolly
© Stunt Dolly
Health and beauty, Hair salons

Stunt Dolly

icon-location-pin Kingsland

Best for
Friendly atmosphere

Nearest tube
Dalston Junction Overground

To cater for its vast community of style-focused residents, Dalston is now heaving with salons along Kingsland Road, but Stunt Dolly still holds its own. It has a refreshingly welcoming feel and caters for everyone, not just the dip-dye types that hit the strip – although they do a mean ombre too. Downstairs – where the dries and nails are carried out  – has more of a disco feel, thanks to two darkly painted rooms. The full menu of hair services come with a retro roller dry rather than a blow dry (for soft waves).

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Taylor Taylor

icon-location-pin Spitalfields

Best for
Luxury cuts

Nearest tube
Shoreditch High St Overground

Complete with a bar, cupcakes, pretty vintage china and a liberal dose of quirky charm, this Parisian-style salon is so good they named it twice. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and offer a full range of beautifying services – from manicures and pedicures, cool cuts and colour, to botox and an express service (where two technicians will have you in and out in half the time).

SHOPPING_BUTCHERS
© Carl Richardson
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Butchers

icon-location-pin Hoxton

Best for
Trendy cuts

Transport
Hoxton

Hackney Road’s hair scene just got a whole lot hipper. Butchers (the joint project of Susannah Jones – a former director at Aveda – and art school-trained editorial stylist Katie Knox) offers fashion-forward cuts in a minimalist, industrial-chic setting; think concrete walls and massive windows. As well as cutting-edge snips (from £48), great colour jobs are a speciality here, with Fabuloso and L’Oreal products used for anything from highlights to all-out reinventions (full-head colour tint starts at £57). Shampoos, conditioners and styling products come from new natural haircare kids on the block Evo.

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FEATURE_KAIZO
© Kaizo

Kaizo

Best for
Style update

Transport
Old St

Yuka Ito and Lorenzo Comparelli treat every head of hair like it’s a work of art, delicately sculpting your locks to suit your face shape and lifestyle. After many years of nurturing young talent at the Toni & Guy Academy, the pair decided to open a salon in Shoreditch, on which they could stamp their own distinctive style – and thank God they did. Whether you’re after a classic cut or a bold new look, the talented team of stylists here won’t disappoint, and they’ve built up a regular clientele to prove it. You just can’t help but feel pampered when they roll out the massage chairs and good Italian coffee.

Health and beauty, Spas

Carter and Bond

icon-location-pin Westbourne Grove

Best for
Affordable men's grooming

Transport
Notting Hill Gate

This smart Notting Hill barbershop, now operating from Woodhouse Clothing, sells an extensive range of men’s grooming products, featuring quality brands such as Baxter of California and Lucky tiger.  From Tuesday to Sunday, they offer all the regular grooming services, including beard trims from £20, wet shaves from £20 and haircuts from £35.

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Paul Edmonds

icon-location-pin Brompton

Best for
Luxury cuts

Transport
South Kensington

For a glimpse at how the other half have their hair done, head to the unapologetically luxurious Paul Edmonds salon. Located in a Georgian-style townhouse near Harrods, it’s decorated with opulent black lacquer and design classics. Edmonds has worked his magic on the locks of many a celeb, from Emma Thompson to Penelope Cruz, and is universally considered one of the best in the business. It’s a jaw-dropping £500 for a cut and finish with the man himself (for new clients), but considering he trained Errol Douglas and Richard Ward, you can expect something truly special. Graduate stylists are more of a snip, at £35 for men and £58 for women. Edmonds trained for three years at the College of Psychic Studies as a healer (stay with us!), and the holistic approach used by all members of the 40-strong team ensures a calm atmosphere and individually tailored service.

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Richard Ward

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Best for
Luxury cuts/celeb-spotting

Transport
Sloane Square

From the outside it may look like a swish King’s Road cappuccino joint, with ladies picking at posh salads on the terrace (ordered in from local delis by salon staff), but from the moment that Gavin – Richard Ward’s flawless maître d’ – greets you, you’re assured a regal hair experience (the new Duchess of Cambridge is a regular). They do things differently here: placing the hairdressing on the first floor means the clients won’t get papped, and you can wait for your appointment in the bar with a glass of wine.

Health and beauty, Beauty salons

Salako London

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Best for
Luxury cuts

Transport
Marble Arch

What do you want from a salon? A simple cut and blow dry, no fuss, no frills – and potentially very little care? Or a more holistic experience which takes care of your creative wellbeing as well as your curls? Fans of the latter approach should seek out Salako. The bright, sleek space in Marylebone is not only an excellent place to get your hair cut (it’s manned by talented cutters, big-name colourists and friendly assistant staff), it’s also a destination for talks, workshops and pop-up events. It follows the ethos of owner Jimo Salako – a former session stylist who moonlighted as a photographer and magazine editor – and suggests that if you’re into art and culture, you’ll want your hair cut in an individual, creative way. He still works on big campaigns for high street labels, and faithful clients (such as Erin O’Connor) have stuck with him from his early catwalk and editorial days. A scissor-session with the man himself will set you back £160, but a standard cut with a stylist starts at £80 for women. and £55 for men. It’s a whopping £180 for a full-head of highlights, plus a £50 deposit for all colour treatments.

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Toni & Guy, Sloane Square

icon-location-pin Belgravia

Best for
Classic cuts

Transport
Sloane Square

For the original Toni & Guy experience, visit the Sloane Square salon. It’s been here for 35 years and harks back to the family roots of this global super brand, boasting a fiercely loyal clientele. The light and airy salon is the working residence of CEO Toni Mascolo OBE. A ladies’ cut and blow dry starts at £75 and will set you back £80 if you opt for one of the art directors.

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Cobella

icon-location-pin Kensington

Best for
Hair maintenance

Transport
High Street Kensington

This well-established High Street Kensington salon provides a range of hair services. Don’t be frightened off by the area’s moneyed demographic – Cobella has a low-key, laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth customer service. Those with fine, wispy, hard-to-style hair should book in for an appointment with Adam Smith, head of the Cobella art team. He’s a whizz with the scissors and will help achieve a style and colour you’re comfortable with.

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© MichaelJohn
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Michaeljohn

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Best for
Luxury cuts

Nearest tube
Knightsbridge

Despite its chic, contemporary look, Michaeljohn remains the ultimate old-school Knightsbridge salon catering for royalty (Princess Beatrice), fashion editors (Anna Wintour gets her fringe cut here by Charlie Chan) and blonde Hollywood bombshells from Cameron Diaz to Drew Barrymore. What keeps the stars returning, and what pleased our Time Out testers was the quality of the cut - even the most unruly head of hair comes out looking silky and sleek. 

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