Snip snip: Muddy tries Abstract Hairdressing (Beaconsfield)
The one thing that’s a dead cert when I go the hairdresser’s is that I’ll need a dye job. My hair is now Fifty Shades of Grey, a hue alluring only to the over eighties, and so a salon’s colour credentials are right at the top of my checklist. Abstract Hairdressing in Beaconsfield boasts three – THREE! – Master Colourists, the highest qualification you can get in the UK. Plus owner Hani recently won the Sassoon Professional Image of the Year, and of course they won Best Hair Salon at the Muddy Awards 2015. No wonder they’ve been on my hitlist for so long.
The first thing to tell you about Abstract is its size – large and attractive, its elegant two floors would sit happily in Covent Garden, so there’s a lovely feeling of being in an urban salon but without the premium or pretension of being inside the M25. I remember the trepidation of stepping inside Aveda Lifestyle Salon in High Holborn when I worked in central London, feeling a bit uncool and uncomfortable. And, um, poor. You could leave Aveda with a £250 bill after you’d had something in the cafe, been talked into a treatment or two and tipped the stylist.
Fortunately, few salons outside the M25 are flogging that level of exclusivity and cost, and Hani, who owns Abstract, has combined a city-style slickness – loved the interiors styling in the salon – with more Home Counties-style approachability. I walked in, and just kind of knew that everything was going to work out.
Tis a fact that I’m not massively adventurous with the Muddy barnet – years ago, I went very short and ended up looking like Hitler. Another time I decided on a whim to have a fringe and looked so awful I spent the next year clipping my hair like a schoolgirl to hide it. So experience has told me not to do anything too radical. However, I am sloooooooowly coming round to the idea of being more daring with my colour, so this time round I decided that I wanted to go lighter on the ends than my usual dark brown (hey, baby steps, OK?).
But first things first. An Olaplex treatment, only just introduced to the UK over the last few months and a sure way to press the ‘reset button’ on yur hair and repair those broken disulphide bonds (I don’t know what they are either, but it sounds wonderfully technical don’t you think?) It’s a treatment that helps rebuild the strength and structure of hair – and much promoted by Kim Kardashian who, whatever you think of her crazy life, does do excellent hair. It’s not a cheap treatment – at Abstract it costs £50, but if your hair is dry, brittle or (*cough*) dyed frequently, it really does work.
Half an hour later, I was having my roots darkened and the ends blondie-balayaged by the charming Ben, who was rocking a head of hair that the follicularly challenged Mr Muddy would sell his granny for.
Balayage sorted (nothing to report, just the usual brushing on of product and magazine reading while it worked), my hair was washed, and then it was time for tidy-up cut from Hani – trying to give more weight, shape and va-va-voom to my thin, flighty tresses.
And ta-da! Here it is! That’s Hani looking suspiciously at the camera below. Very happy with my Muddy haircut and the colour. Lighter in real life than in this photo actually, but you can see waves of colour if you look closely.
Abstract describe themselves rather beautifully as a ‘free roam salon’ so that you’re entirely free to choose your stylist and colourist differently every time if you like, no pressure to go back to the same person if you want to save money or try someone new. I love that idea, because you do sometimes feel the pressure to be loyal to a single stylist, even when you want a change. So depending on who you choose and your preferred budget, there are a four levels of price at Abstract. Haircuts start at £52, Bayanage at £85. Great customer care – thrown in for free.