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Cool hair, oh yeah!

Bored of your barnet? Head to Gilded Hair a quirky, boutique salon in Wokingham pronto.

Groovy boutique hair salon, Gilded Hair at Holme Grange in Wokingham, has long been a Muddy fave – and it’s just moved to a bigger space. In desperate need to give my Worzel Gummage hair a new lease of life, I practically begged stylist in chief Jo Gilder to squeeze me in. But could they work a miracle on my manky mop? Spoiler alert. YES!


After 4 painfully long months, I was well overdue a cut and colour. The grey hairs had invited a loads of new friends over and they were having quite the party. Even colouring in with a roots crayon could not combat the stubborn grey pubes sprouting out of my head. For starters, they need blitzing pronto; my grown-out blonde balayage had left limp, dark roots in their wake; the tone was brassier than Bet Lynch with the texture of straw. It’s a hot mess! I want it a little less blonde, a cut that is low maintenance, but not mumsy and long enough to pull back into a pony tail for those can’t be arsed days. Crikey anymore demands and I’ll be giving Donald Trump and Kim Jung Un a run for their money.


On the outskirts of Wokingham town centre, you’ll find the delightfully quirky Holme Grange Craft Village. If you’ve not visited, it’s a must, with 5 fab 2017 Muddy Awards finalists, including Gilded Hair – who bagged the Best Hair Salon Muddy Award in 2016. Quite simply, it is follicular perfection bursting with retro vibes and creativity. It’s a far cry from the monochrome safety zone of many high street salons. Think William & Morris wallpaper sitting alongside psychedelic swirls, a mid century velvet sofas and chairs, vintage record player playing real vinyl and a Gilded Hair selfie wall. It is like no other salon you have ever visited. Now there’s a challenge.

Jo Gilder is a big-hearted, ever-so-slightly-eccentric owner and creative director of Gilded Hair. She’s an ambassador and educator for Kevin Murphy products and has launched her own hairdressing academy. Jo started her career in a Sunningdale salon when she was 14, after she’d spent her childhood shaving kids’ heads in the neighbourhood with her mum’s Ladyshave!

Hair stylists black t shirts cruelty free – blonde cropped hair black specs and black cruelty free t shirt

Gilded Hair gals: Senior Stylist Jemma with owner Jo

She’s been cutting and colouring for nearly 30 years, trained and worked at all the big salons both locally and in London, and always knew she’d open her own boutique salon. In January this year it was out with ‘my first salon’ and in with a new bigger, bolder and beautiful boutique when she and her team moved around the corner. Same feel, but space grow.


BEFORE: Like something out of Prisoner Cell Block H – all shades of bad.

The colour (by Senior Stylist Jemma): A thorough cleanse of the hair, then a ashy brown colour was used to knock out a bit of the blonde and look more natural. It’ll also be lower-maintenance as the regrowth won’t be so obvious. Jemma kept the existing highlights but toned them down. Gilded Hair uses Kevin Murphy products which are ammonia and PPD free – perfect for my fine, over-processed hair.

The cut (by Senior Stylist Jemma): Inches came off the bottom, layers were kept long and the whole thing was reshaped with the front angled down to frame the face. It’s all very well leaving a salon with it perfectly styled but Jemma made sure the cut would work with my everyday quick bedroom upside down blow-dry too – sleek or boho, it looks good.


Muddy Stilettos Berkshire editor Rachel Jane brown bobbed hair black jumpsuit

AFTER: Apologises for the fuzzy face – too much excitement to get this one in focus. But look at the lush locks.

Basically, this is one of the best cuts and colour I’ve had for a long time. We checked out some images I had on my phone so Jemma could get a sense of what I was after – a smart move as she totally nailed the mussed-up, bob I craved. She also worked a miracle, quite frankly, on my colour. She knocked the orange out of my hair and used a darker tone to cover the grey, blending through and leaving some of the existing highlights to shimmer and shine. My hair looks healthy and expensive.


My colour was about £50 (colour prices start at £35 to £80 for a full head of highlights) and cut £44, so £94 total – I think this is very very reasonable for work of this calibre, given many salons in the area, let alone London, nudge £150 for the same. Gilded Hair also does men’s cut and colour (from £25) and children’s cuts, so it’s a one-stop shop for the whole family.

Gilded Hair, Holme Grange Craft Village, Heathlands Road, Wokingham, RG40 3AW; 0118 327 6073,

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