In my next search for a salon, the name Darren Scott kept popping up on blogs and forums so I decided to check it out, I called them up and was able to book an appointment for the very next day. My appointment was 17:00 Friday 10th May 2013.
It was really easy to find my way to the salon from my office in London Bridge, the whole journey took around 45 mins which is fine with me.
I was 15 minutes early but the staff welcomed me and greeted me by name which was nice.
The Salon is bright and airy with “graffiti” style art on one of the walls and lovely light fittings,
I know that seems like a small thing to mention but when you have been in many “hood” salons where all they have is a naked light bulb swinging from the ceiling with flies buzzing around it, a pretty light fitting really matters.
Apart from the decor and the warm atmosphere I also immediately noticed the two dogs wandering around the salon. Personally I am not really an animal person, I’m not afraid of animals and at times, I don’t mind touching animals but I like it to be my choice, the dogs are friendly enough (one licked my knee while I was waiting….) if you are not a dog person then I’m just giving you a heads up. At the end of the day when you run your own very successful business like Darren Scott does you can do what you want in it.
After a staff member took my coat and offered me a drink I had a hair consultation with one of the guys. I had come to the salon with damp hair as I’d had it under a shower cap and beenie hat all day. Even though my hair was physically damp the stylist could tell it was actually dry on the inside, I was really impressed by that, he also knew I had used Henna and that had contributed to the dryness of my ends. He said that even though Henna is natural it can be really drying to Afro-Caribbean hair, in fact this stylist and Darren Scott himself, both told me that (professional) bleaching would actually be better then Henna for my hair! The stylist recommended a treatment and trim which is exactly what I thought I needed, I had the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme treatment which is actually put on before washing the hair so it can penetrate into the strands, it’s basically a pre-poo! As I had a build up of castor oil on my hair it was given a quick a shampoo first then most of the excess water was gently squeezed out, the Elasticizer Extreme was applied, and I was popped under the steamer.
After 20 minutes or so, my hair was washed and conditioned, then my stylist Kerri blotted the water out of my hair and gently blow dried my hair with a round brush. I was freaking out about heat being used on my already damaged hair but Kerri was very gentle and explained that she wanted to straighten my hair in order to cut it. After blow drying with the round brush Kerri straightened my hair with the L’oreal Steampod it’s ceramic flat iron that delivers a stream of high pressure steam to the hair shaft, at the same time as straightening it, the steam is supposed to deeply hydrate the hair without causing heat damage. Kerri only had to do one pass of the steampod on each section of hair but my hair is very fine anyway, when she was done it was straight and didn’t feel dry or brittle however it wasn’t as shiny as I would have liked, I blame this on my damaged hair though not the tools or the stylist. As you can see from the photo below my ends were very uneven.
So Kerri trimmed and evened up my ends for me,
Eventually I’m going to cut out all of the Bleach/Henna I love the colour but the damage is horrendous!
My hair did not look nice at all no matter how many times Kerri tried to stroke it into position, I was quite upset even though I only had myself to blame for my ravaged ends, my hair did not look like I had just spent two hour plus in the salon, I was meeting my husband for “date night” and my hair was so shapeless and horrible I decided to dig into my purse for some pins and try to fling in an updo of some kind. I was kind of annoyed that my stylist didn’t have a solution or maybe she wasn’t allowed to do any more to my hair but luckily Darren saw us dithering about and asked what was wrong, I explained the issue and Darren was kind enough to switch places with Kerri and with a few smooth brush strokes and pins Darren had created this beautiful updo.
Clearly I was much happier with my hair at this point and I was happy to go and meet hubby for our date.
In total I paid £75 for this visit, I think that was quite good considering everything I had done. I also booked my next appointment which was to have a perm rod set a couple of days before my birthday.
I left the salon relaxed and happy which is a change from feeling tired and stressed, as I used to when leaving my old salon in Peckham. In the Peckham salon each stylist rented a chair from an unseen owner and had to go on the street and hassle random women outside hair shops to get business. I had a stylist I would always use but often other stylists would try to “steal” me away from her, I’d even seen a fight break out between other stylists because of this! In addition the salon was always full of the stylist’s and client’s children running around, as well as it not being very safe for children with all the fumes, dangerous chemicals and sharp objects it was not comfortable for the customer as the children would be shouting and screaming and climbing all over everyone, I never wanted to discipline any one else’s child but their mothers were always totally ignoring them, except one stylist who could often be seen breastfeeding her child while simultaneously braiding a customers hair!
Darren Scott Salon is a short walk away from Maida Vale Tube Station and I was soon back in central London to meet my beau.