Trying to find a good hair salon in London is both daunting and overwhelming. I would find somewhere close to work, visit it a few times but there was never any real love there. It was just preventative measures to make sure I didn’t enter full Cousin It mode. A year ago, when I was working in Sloane Square, I visited a chain salon to get a last minute trim and left 30 minutes later with a long bob, almost in tears. But I think finally, over a decade of living in London, my hair has found it’s true hair home- Vision N16 in Stoke Newington.
Ashley Vanderpuye, the salon’s top stylist, turned my boring curtain of hair into shiny, loose waves that I was swishing around like a Charlie’s Angel long after I had got home. He listened, empathised and was nice and gentle with my hair- and unlike some salons, I didn’t feel pressured into trying a different cut or style. He listened to what I wanted and liked, gave me some tips for keeping it healthy and maintained, and we had a good laugh too. I barely noticed my hair being cut as I was chatting away so much- the fact that I felt so comfortable straight away is testament to how lovely Ashley is.
After going a whole year without a trim, I had dry split ends and apart from conditioner and a couple of sprays of heat protector before a blow dry, I never really gave it much special attention. As well as Redken products, Vision also use Pureology shampoos and conditioners, that are vegan friendly, sulphate and ammonia free, and they smell delicious.
I had my hair washed before my cut, with Redken’s Frizz Dismiss shampoo to lather my hair clean. It’s good for keeping your hair under control in humidity- lest you fear looking like Monica Gellar in that episode of Friends on those swampier summer days. I was then given a leave-in conditioner treatment with Redken’s Rebel Tame control cream which I credit for making my hair feel like silk. My head was also massaged as the conditioner was applied- isn’t that the best part? I felt like a happy little house cat.
Vision N16’s roots started in Kensington 17 years ago, before moving to Brick Lane and recently settling in Stoke Newington. As they’ve moved, their clients have followed them which I find mind blowing. One particular lady having her hair coloured had come in from South West London…and if you know London, you know people loathe crossing between ‘their’ sides of the River!
Just before he blow dried my hair, Ashley applied a tiny little bit of Redken Extreme Length Sealer through the ends of my hair. Coupled with the conditioning treatment I just had, my hair was ridiculously soft and smooth afterwards. Instead of tutting at me for my lengthy gap between cuts, Ashley just gave me some good hair advice- from getting it cut every 6 to 8 weeks to recommending the right products for my hair type and how to apply them.
Honestly, even after my fabulous blow dry (those waves!) I wouldn’t leave. I was ready to hang out. That’s how much I liked being in the salon- as well as giving me beautiful hair, Ashley had also turned me into a chatterbox. Vision N16 is cool, but not intimidatingly so. It’s grown up cool. Elegant. Mindful. And because of that, I can see why their clientele is so eclectic (and loyal!)
And I can’t tell you how glad I am to have found them!
For a Top Stylist, you can expect to pay £45 for cutting and styling your hair. With the villagey feel that is Stoke Newington, children are welcome here too and their cuts start at £20.
Before we left, we chatted about hair colouring (because I am obsessed with achieving that beachy sunkissed look!) so watch this space!
80 Stoke Newington High Street
020 7254 8877
( the nearest station is Stoke Newington or Rectory Road, just a few short minutes walk from each)