We review Primrose Hill’s hottest hair salon and discover Notting Hill’s newest nail bar
Luke Ormsby Hair, Primrose Hill
In the long dark days of lockdown, I made a promise to myself that when it was all over, I’d prioritise pampering treatments. I’m embarrassed to say that since then I’ve visited a hair salon all of three times. I was blessed with naturally straight, shiny hair with plenty of body – in the days before the greys started appearing in earnest I could go for months between appointments. I’m sorry to say that this is no longer the case, and the sight that confronts me in the mirror demands urgent attention. Not least because I’m meeting with an old friend who I haven’t seen since 2019.
The new Luke Ormsby Hair salon in Primrose Hill offers salvation. I’ve no time for a full colour overhaul, but I know that a good cut and a bouncy blow dry will, at the very least, distract from the greys. The day of my appointment is cold and drizzly, but the welcome is warm and the salon itself is bright and inviting. With wooden floors and furnishings, luscious green plants everywhere and lighting that is just right, it feels like summer in here, even if nowhere else.
After a quick consultation in which we decide I can afford to lose at least four inches (I had no idea how long these locks had grown), I’m shown over to the backwash station. The next 10 minutes are heaven – the reclining chair incorporates a clever mechanical massage system, and as the knots are kneaded from my back, post shampoo, I’m also treated to what is possibly the best head massage I have ever experienced. It is bliss and I wish I could stay here all day. The products smell divine, too, making this feel like a true spa experience. Luke and his team use Oway, a haircare brand made with organic, biodynamically grown ingredients to deliver salon-professional performance. Produced on one farm in Italy, the products are packaged in gorgeous apothecary style glass bottles which protect the contents from UV damage.
Back in front of the mirror, the cutting begins, and as my stylist gets to work, we chat happily while I sip on a coffee – it comes served in a thermal mug, which is genius. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to abandon a long cold cuppa in salons in the past… Once the length has been sorted, I’m given a swift blowdry in order for layers to be added and shape cut in. I can already see that the appearance has been vastly improved. Once the final cuts have been made, my locks are curled to give the look a little more volume and movement. The difference is staggering, and I can barely notice the greys at all. Though I do seize the opportunity to have a quick patch test and colour consultation so that I can pop back in and complete my transformation when I have a little more time. I leave the salon with a bounce not just in my bob, but my step, too, there really is nothing better than a spot of pampering.
23 Princess Road, NW1 (020 7586 0969; lukeormsbyhair.com)