Spend any time working in New York and you start to look at your hair differently. That insouciant bedhead that looks right in London looks like you have been dragged through a hedge backwards in Manhattan. So over my four years in America, I developed a blow dry obsession that has crossed back over the Atlantic with me.

But aieeee, finding anywhere that can do a proper bouncy, glossy, voluminous, sexy blow dry in London with just a round brush (curling tongs are fab but I prefer to avoid if I can), has been like looking for a needle in a haystack. Nearly everywhere I have tried relies on gallons of sticky goop to give volume, so I wake up the next day with my hair a foot wide tangle, instead of a silky veil that should last a good three or four days.

And when I ask for no product (or just a little root volumiser) I just get limp flat hair. I have taken in the photos on this post on my tablet to show but it seems to make no difference.

I did this in Rush last week and I still ended up with thin, stick straight hair, oddly thinner and flatter than it is naturally. (And it was £40 odd quid. Complete & utter waste of money. Avoid.) I smiled brightly in the salon, but there were nearly tears once I got home & realised I had a scant 20mins to make it look red carpet worthy. I grabbed the curling irons the moment I get home in a desperate attempt to add some zhush & frankly did a better job myself.)

I’ve had three comprehensive successes in London so far, and two great updos, so here’s my roundup of the best places for long hair looks that I’ve found in 2011.

The first was by the charming Olivier at the Aveda Lifestyle Spa Salon Covent Garden , (above). I love him. I went back a second time & it was just as good. The second was  by Shai Greenberg at Gielly Green, just before London Fashion Week in September, which was frankly a work of art,


and the third this past week by the lovely lovely Zlata Jasenc at Daniel Galvin at the Corinthia Hotel. (I said I wanted lots of  volume, bounce and curl at the ends. Job done. Really pleased.)

Daniel Galvin

There isn’t exactly a wide choice of hairdressers around Trafalgar Square, Northumberland Avenue & Whitehall, so this is definitely a find for the area.

I’ve had one brilliant blow dry and one absolute shocker at Headmasters, so it clearly depends on the stylist, but when I stick to their clever blowdry menu I’ve had great success. There was this pretty Bardot style


and this updo



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They look fantastic, it seems such an injustice that you can see celebrities with perfect hair at any event but you just can’t get the same result in a hairdressers yourself no matter how much you pay! That Aveda one is fantastic, I know where I’m going for my next blow dry!


@Kayley: Mind you – that perfect hair is pretty much flammable if you get up close! I was super duper pleased with Aveda. LLGxx


Love your hair! I’ve always wanted to be blonde but what I have is coarse thick hair. Oh well. I know what you mean. I didn’t cut my hair for a whole year and ended up looking like Rapunzel albeit an Asian version. It has taken me this long to find a hairdresser who knows how to deal with my hair.


@chocolatecookiesandcandies: Thank you! Yup, it is real trial and error finding the right hairdresser. Goodness knows why it has to be such an effort. LLGxx


You need to move to Paris! They put soooo much oomph in to their blow drys, your hair comes out about a foot wide! I unfortunately, end up looking like a cross between Margaret Thatcher and Hilary Clinton!

Emma xx


Sasha,I gave up years ago looking for someone to both colour and blow dry my long layered hair. I found a lovely girl who trims it to keep it nice about three times a year is all it needs.
I constantly cover the last three quarters in warmed olive oil with a dash of rosemary or lavender essential oils , wrap my head in cling film and watch telly , hoover read etc for at least an hour , before washing it out with a gentle shampoo, Fabulous deep conditioning treatment, so is Kerastase age one (but not as cheep obv) and just colour the roots with the ten minute stuff.

But a good blow dry that lasts is hard to find, I grant you.

The best up do , occasion hair I ever had was for my sis’ wedding and a posh fancy dress thingy one year. Both times I went to an old lady salon, with a picture or two and said can you do this for me please? It involved setting lotion rollers and sitting under a noisy hot hairdryer machine circa 1960. reading mags and drinking tea, hair pins and a bucket of Elnet. But, it only cost me £30 and lasted so well I had to wash it to have it back to normal again two days later! Marvellous!


Love the Daniel Galvin one! x


Try O’Sullivans opposite The Savoy and ask for Sean, he is a fantastic hairdresser!


Very interesting- I am noticing that the trend to be groomed is making it over here and not just in the fashion industry.

I have long very curly ringlets naturally and you’d be amazed how many stylists, even in quite expensive salons try and do the old ‘shall we use the diffuser’ line… er no I’m paying for a blow dry, I can diffuse my own hair. I’m pathetic so I often say thanks when I don’t like what is done. I had a brilliant blow dry at the salon at Selfridges and I must say also at Headmasters near Vogue house. I have also had an excellent one at Super Cuts in an emergency!!


I have very curly hair and like nothing more than a round brush blow dry to smooth and give me plenty of volume with a bit of curl. Sadly very few hairdressers have been able to accomplish this. The place that I now go to whenever I need a good hair day is the Islington Blow Bar, which offers a range of up-dos and blow dries. A round brush blow dry is only £28 and is always great.


God I feel your pain, I have the most straight and floppy hair imaginable. I have had a couple of really great up dos done at Headmasters, but on one occasion, the Portobello Pony had started to unravel by the time I got to my car. Cue plenty of tantrums that night. All I want is a bit of oomph without my blonde hair looking brown and greasy because there’s so much product in it. Grrr.

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