There are an abundance of hair and beauty salons in Leeds. A lot of them look the same, or sell the same products. A conveyor belt of stylists and assistants, rushing to fit in as many clients as possible in their same-old-same-old surroundings. We are lucky, however, to have some shining lights in hairdressing too. Some quirky, some alternative, some fashion-forward… but we didn’t really have a top-notch luxury salon before, in my opinion.
|Allertons – in Leeds’ The Light (next door to Prezzo) with Nick, the proud owner|
Until now… so with a little hurrah, Allertons hairdressers and beauty salon opened in June. Its sleek frontage now prominent in The Light. It claims to be ‘beauty and grooming for her, him and home’. All bases covered then it seems! By establishing a calm and stylish environment, the brains behind Allertons (Nick Nicholas, pictured above) has created a wonderful cross between somewhere like Space NK, and a luxury hairdressing salon.
|Beautiful Paul & Joe Beaute products|
When you enter, you’re in a beautifully-scented, tiny boutique shop – with the Parisian delights of Paul and Joe to your left; and to the right a beautiful display of lust-worthy and exclusive products, including Neom, Caudalie, Le Soft Perfume, Evody, Shu Uemura, American Crew and Neville.
|The cheek colours (front) are sheer and gorgeous. A wonderful Summer range from Paul & Joe!|
|It’s not wrong to want these solely based on the packaging, is it?|
|Another Paul & Joe shot, just because it’s so pretty!|
I stood for a fair while just staring! I had one of those moments where I wanted to sell everything I own and live in a house made of Caudalie Divine Oil bottles… you have that fantasy too, right? Moving on…
|Basically everything beauty you need, ever, on these few shelves.|
|The new NEOM packaging – what do you think?|
|Can you tell that Nick’s partner is a professional merchandiser? The experience shines through in the store layout.|
|Lauren – who styled my hair, has years of experience in and around Leeds with some great salons.|
|Dean – another stylist, previously the advanced style director at Nicky Clarke|
Enough gushing about the decor and products I hear you say. Good point, what about the hairdressing? I was treated to a cut and style by Lauren. My bleached, dyed (and died!) hair was well past the need for a trim. After a bad cut in March, I’d left it to grow out, and it did so with gusto and the addition of a lot of split ends.
|The Shu Uemura products that Lauren used on my hair|
After the consultation, it was onto a relaxing and gorgeous-smelling wash. Using Shu Uemura products (why have I not used them before?!) – Lauren used Silk Bloom shampoo and conditioner (a restorative shampoo for damaged hair). After a relaxing head massage, my hair was snipped and then dried to perfection.
|My lovely hair! Really pleased with it.|
Next, it was an amazing makeover, using the Paul and Joe products. It did start with a mishap – who knew I’d be allergic to the Caudalie cleanser? (Certainly not me – my face was redder than a tomato, it was a bit of a shock!), but the makeup artist was fantastic – she removed it immediately, and soothed my skin with a mist of toner and a wonderful primer that took all the heat and redness away from the skin. Once done, I had amazing flicked liquid liner, orangey red lips, and a natural pinky blush to die for. I couldn’t resist getting the lipstick and primer, so review coming soon! I posted some pics on my Twitter if you wanted to see the result!
You can visit Allertons website to shop their online store, learn a bit more about them, or book an appointment (they’re even open Sundays!).
Caitlin from Juxtarose was also at Allertons with me, make sure you visit her blog too!
Update: July 2014
In the interests of transparency, I need to write this update:
I returned to Allertons as a paying customer in July – this time for my hair to have a bleach root touch up; an overall bleach to even out some uneven patches from my friends-bleaching attempts; and finally to get a semi-permanent, vibrant, all-over pink applied – this time by stylist, Dean.
It didn’t go well I’m afraid. 4.5 hours were spent in the salon where, once the bleach was on my head, I was informed there was no hot water as the boiler had broken. That can’t be helped, but if I’d have been told it before bleach was applied, I would have rescheduled the appointment. I had to have my hair washed in icy cold water twice – really horrible experience when bleach has been on the scalp and the pores are open. My head stung and felt incredibly sore.
The colour just wasn’t what I asked for. This happens sometimes – colour is unpredictable like that. However, far from being pink, it was a washed-out dirty lilac colour. Some people would like it, but it did not suit my skin tone – despite this, it was far from what was agreed. It was also very patchy, but I believe this to be down to the previous patchiness of my hair colour.
All in all, I went away very unhappy with the whole experience. I felt like my hair was ruined, and I was in discomfort with my scalp.
I was offered the chance to return to get my colour re-done, complimentary (as you’d expect). However I had a shock tweet from the stylist and assistant manager, Dean, telling me it’d cost fifty pounds.
I nearly dropped my iphone. After a series of tweets, not all that pleasant to be honest, it was resolved by a phone call to the manager, Nick.
This was a definite lesson in PR, and how a great business can have its image tainted due to thoughtless actions on social media by its employees.
I am returning to get the colour corrected, but it is with trepidation now. It will be Lauren who’s attempting this job – and I trust her skills completely. However, due to the tweets and general attitude displayed by other employees of Allertons, it’s made me feel like I don’t want to go back, as let’s be frank here, it’s going to be mighty uncomfortable to go back in with the other employees around, isn’t it?