THE last nine months of my life have been spent in sunny Spain, where I slept all day and partied all night, while doing some culture jamming in between those prime activities. Whereas Spain offers us Britons the food, the weather and the men we’re all craving, Spanish hairdressers are far off from the plus list.
The interior is inspired by the England of ancient times, with gilded mirrors, period chandeliers and vintage furnishings. In between what could have been the set of Brideshead Revisited, we find a team of tattooed and edgy, grown-up punks.
It happened during one of my first weeks. The over exposure to sunlight and heat had made my hair a suitable home for nesting birds – needless to say, it was time to go to a salon. Barely half an hour later, I stumbled out with blood dripping down my neck, after an experience with ear-demolishing, piercing-ripper, Pablo, who, upon hearing my shrieks, just shrugged his shoulders.
I haven’t made my way back into a salon ever since (yes – that makes my last visit a year or so ago), but lately the split ends started leading their own lives and my half-too-short, half-too-long fringe was just getting hopeless. Right before I took matters into my own hands, the Golden Ticket land landed on my desk.
Last Thursday I surrendered myself to the capable hands of Lewis James, stylist for Jones & Payne. The salon is set in the heart of Shoreditch and is that kind of place where cool and edgy East End meets high-end perfectionist West End. The owners, leading hair stylist Ricky Lee Jones and manager Stewart Payne, have brought quality and style together.
The living room style salon is warm and snug, with a sophisticated feel about it, as if you’ve just walked into the place where the cool kids hang out. The interior is inspired by the England of ancient times, with gilded mirrors, period chandeliers and vintage furnishings. In between what could have been the set of Brideshead Revisited, we find a team of tattooed and edgy, grown-up punks.
Before closing the door, I am greeted by owner/tattooed Adonis Stewart Payne, who offers me a drink with a nibble – served on a silver platter. I then meet Lewis James, my stylist for the day and the incorporation of East End edgy chic. Before sending me off to the washing room, Lewis and I discuss what should happen to my flat and sad locks – luckily he sees room for improvement and lifts my spirit in seconds.
I strut down the spiraled staircase to the washing room, a darker room in the basement. The best thing about this room, apart from the dedicated hair washers with the massage skills of little Thai ladies, are the massage chairs. Never have I ever been so relaxed during a hairdressers visit. As soon as I’m back upstairs, still dazed from the lovely head massage, Lewis puts his skilled hands to work.
He asks me to stand up behind the chair, so he can cut my hair ends straight exactly the way it naturally falls. His years of experience in high-end salons have taught him a trick or two, and after he pulled some more out of his sleeve, I was left with, simply put, really well cut hair. Lewis even bravely attempted to make waves in my straighter than Bill Murray hair, and he managed to make them stay for a couple of hours (record!).
I can easily lavish superlatives on my visit to Jones & Payne, the whole experience was great. Everyone was friendly and happy; the overwhelming you’re-nothing-compared-to-me attitude often associated with high-end salons was nowhere to be seen. And most importantly, my hair is now fantastic.
For booking and prices please see www.jonesandpayne.com
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