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Review: Leigh Roberts

The secret hair salon that's loved by those in-the-know - Muddy get's the royal treatment from Kent's King of Colour in Tunbridge Wells

THE BRIEF

I’m desperately seeking highlights – those roots have got to go,! But to complicate things the rest of my hair is frazzled and bleached out by the summer sun. The colour is all over the place, basically, and needs urgently sorting. Plus, a bit of a trim would be splendid.

THE SALON

If you regularly travel through Tunbridge Wells then chances are you’ve driven or sauntered past the salon without even realising it. You’ll find them tucked away in the brick building opposite the train station also known as The Old Post Office. There’s no showy sign, it’s all very under-stated, which is just how Leigh Roberts like it because this is the secret salon that’s loved by those in-the-know. Which is no doubt why you lovely lot voted them Best Hair Salon in Kent in this year’s Muddy Awards (2018).

The low-down

Leigh Roberts was a top London colourist for many years, but his salon has been going strong in Tunny Wells for 16 years now, although it had a major refurb only 18 months ago. The space is is beautifully designed and bright and the staff welcoming making it the kind of place where your shoulders automatically drop three inches as you walk through the door – and relaaax.

They don’t go for big marketing but prefer the word-of-mouth subtle message. It’s testament to Leigh’s success that around 20 per cent of his clients come down from London still keen to stick with their favourite colourist.

Stylist Charlotte is very handy with the scissors

HOW THEY DID IT

The colour Leigh Roberts has been a colour specialist for over 30 years and has some serious credentials. When Toni & Guy only owned a handful of salons and were top of their game he helped set up their Paris salon. Then he taught at the L’Oreal Technical Centre in Kensington. He’s beautified the barnets of some celebs in his time – earning himself the nickname King of the Blondes. But as a brunette I can testify that could just as easily be King of Colour, because he can turn his magic equally as successfully on darker locks.

The cut by Stylist Charlotte: ‘Ali’s trying to grow her hair out so we didn’t take too much off, rather it was a case of re-shaping slightly and giving it a bit more bounce. I cut in some long layers to lift the hair.”

What else?

The salon uses Davines products – I’m a massive fan – it’s basically a brand that uses only the highest quality natural ingredients being paraben and sulphate-free, as well as sustainable.

And, here’s a brilliant extra touch. We all know that having your hair done can take half a day – should you fancy multi-tasking and fitting in a lunch someone from the team will put in an order at Juliets (fab cafe on the High Street) so you can eat while your colour takes.

THE RESULTS

I was thrilled with the colour (can you tell by my cheesy grin?).

Leigh just knew exactly what my hair needed after a summer of sun, sea and chlorine stripping it of its condition and lightening the ends too much. He balanced the colour and gave me highlights that are subtle and expensive-looking rather than stripy (always the fear). The cut was fantastic too – just a tweak but the shape was so much sleeker.

THE COST

If you want the King of Colour then a Full-head of highlights with Leigh costs £150, with Tint/Regrowth costing £65. But prices cost less with a Senior Colourist. Wash, cut and blowdry with a Stylist costs £60 and goes up to £80 for the Director. The price is pretty much what you’d expect for a London-standard salon based in town – sure it’s a real investment – but obviously you don’t need a full head of colour every time.

Leigh Roberts, 6 Vale Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1BT, Tel: 01892 557718, leighroberts.co.uk

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