A cool newish salon
Does Newbury need another hair salon? It does when it's a boutique pocket rocket like Banks & Klein Hair Studio.
Newbury has its fair share of hair salons, but none quite like Banks & Klein Hair Studio. Owner Stacey Johnson, who has worked for Toni & Guy, opened her boutique salon (honouring her grandmas with the name – cute) on Bartholomew Street to offer clients an intimate, personal experience. Once you step through the door, you relax, have a chat and then Stacey works her magic. One year on and the salon is going from strength to strength, so I thought it was high time I took my straw basket meets Worzel Gummidge-esque ‘do along for some TLC.
After a summer of sun exposure – blimey we had some scorchers – my frazzled barnet was dry, out of shape and resembling a copper pot. It was in desperate need of toning down. I usually have my do done every two months but have been so busy it’s now been been over three. The roots have to go, the *ahem grey needs to be obliterated, the condition is poor and the colour is all over the place. Basically, it needs CPR.
It’s tucked away down Bartholomew Street at the top end of Newbury – away from the high street chains and home to more independent businesses. Some people might turn their nose up at the more urban vibes, but times they are a changing. There is a hive of activity with new bars, restaurants and a milkshake/ dessert bar about to open up. I reckon Stacey can take all the credit for being a trailblazer. So put your snooty pants back in the drawer and hang out with the cool kids. The space is bijou but bright, chic and minimal, with immaculate white walls, wooden floors and bespoke modular fittings.
It’s just Stacey here, and she could not be more welcoming – making it the kind of place where your shoulders automatically drop three inches as you walk through the door – and relaaax. Loved the not-too-loud, not-too-hectic soundtrack. Full marks too for the thorough consultation – Stacey asked me loads of questions about my lifestyle before working out what to do with my hair. They take into account things like how long you have to get ready in the morning (er, approx 2 mins) and how often you tie your hair back – which means you don’t leave the salon with a gorgeous ‘do that’s completely impractical for real life and/or impossible to recreate at home.
HOW IT WAS DONE
The colour: First things first – to deal with the block of blonde. As a Kevin Murphy Session Salon, Stacey uses both his products and colour on my hair. I love his products, their eco-friendly, cruelty free and achieve the freakin impossible with my mane. Stacey applied mid brown to even out the colour with a splash of Folayage (a cross between fold and Balayage – it’s all very boutique and bespoke, just like the salon), while keeping some of the existing blonde (but toning it right down) so that my hair isn’t one solid helmet head of colour.
The cut: We weren’t go for reinvention, so Stacey didn’t take off too much, rather it was a case of re-shaping and adding some volume. She cut in some texture around the front to flatter my cheekbones, tidy up the back and created texture and softness at the bottom.
I could have hugged her – bit awkward as we had only just met, but I was thrilled with the cut and colour (can you tell by my cheesy grin? Not sure what the weird claw hand is all about). It was just tweak but the shape was so much sleeker. The colour was really luxie and I skipped out of the salon.
I also wanted to show you a pic of it a week on, as now it’s settled it looks even better I think. This look is the result of literally 30 seconds of upside-down blow drying and a quick pump of serum on the ends. Previously I would’ve had to use a whole heap of volumizing products to get it like this, and spend far longer grappling with the drier. I’m not sure if it’s the result of clever cutting or Kevin Murphy products on my hair or both, but, either way, I’m seriously impressed.
Colour pricing varies dramatically but for a permanent tint through the roots, lengths and ends, Stacey charges £50. A full head of highlights is £100 and the bang on trend Balayage is £90. A wash, cut and blowdry is £55. So my cut and colour was around the £140. It is an investment, but competitive locally. Obviously you don’t need a full head of colour and Stacey advised that my next visit would only require a bit of root maintenance.