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Review: The Chair, Canterbury

If you’re after luscious locks then you’ll want to know about The Chair in Canterbury’s beautiful sixteenth century salon. Read the Muddy review...

THE BRIEF

We visited The Chair last year and vowed that we would return to find out what the Balayage fuss was all about. And with the ‘summer’ that we have had to date, it was time to put a sun-kissed spin on my saggy hair.

THE LOW-DOWN

For those of you not up to speed: Balayage provides a natural looking hair colour with softer, less noticeable re-growth that makes you look like you have just returned from a week on the beach – and we’re talking sunning yourself on the beach, not sand in your hair, vibes.

The principal idea being less is more when creating a natural, multi-tonal finish and the technique uses patches of light and shade to create multiple dimensions to the colour. And where better place to go than The Chair as the team have a strong reputation in this area having been trained by a former Harrods guru in the art of Balayage.

THE SALON

The Chair has been a Finalist for Best Hair Salon in Kent for the past two years and you can see why they are so well-loved by their fans and followers. Firstly, the location will win you over as it’s on the King’s Mile, close to the Kings School entrance in the historic Northgate area of the city, so you have some seriously good independent shops and cafés around in which you’ll want to parade your hair upon leaving the salon.

Next plus point is the setting. Housed in a 16th Century building, formerly a bakery, with wooden beams and buckets of character, you feel that you have entered a world away from to-do lists and noisy children.

Lastly and most importantly, the other winning factor is its incredibly welcoming team who are also (helpfully) very handy with a pair of scissors or spatula. Hurrah.

Sometimes, it can feel quite intimidating entering a salon where you are not a regular, but this is not the case here with friendly chat and offers of hot drinks, water and mags to keep you happy while waiting for your appointment.

Much of this is down to Katie, who has been running The Chair for the past 16 years and is in hot demand by her clients but is armed with a fab team of stylists if you can’t secure an appointment with her. I was lucky enough to be paired with Assistant Art Director, Florence for the session.

HOW THEY DID IT?

This was my first colouring experience, so Florence had to deal with an onslaught of questions about the technique. We started with a French lesson as Balayage means ‘to paint/sweep’ and is a freehand technique where the spatula is used to almost stroke the colour onto your hair – starting from the higher mid-point of your hair until the tips.

The beauty of this is that there are NO ROOTS as the hair naturally grows out, so it really suits somebody who is looking for a low maintenance colour uplift as you will not running back to the salon six weeks later to address the root situation.

In theory, if you’re young enough and don’t have a head of grey hairs like me, you could quite easily get it done every year – signal the start of summer in May with some sunkissed hair vibes or do it January when you need something to cheer you up post the Christmas gorging.

What I particularly liked about the experience was the consultation with Florence beforehand as we discussed how blonde I wanted to go plus she took my appearance (complexion, style, make-up) into consideration to assess what would suit my look and lifestyle. I also had to a skin test 48 hours prior to the appointment and was briefed that they may need to use a toner at the end of the treatment to personalize the colour if the first outcome was too raw or brassy (so no nasty surprises here as all precautions were taken).

Florence said that she would not do Balayage on anybody who had damaged hair and I think that the honesty of that response is key to why The Chair is a cut above the rest (ho ho) as they do what is right for their clients and not just for their business. For a first-time colouring, I felt in very safe and experienced hands. I was also informed that the key to good Balayage is not to see where the blonde starts in your hair and that it is why it’s hugely important to always do this in a salon

What followed from there was a lot of ‘sweeping’ which was a very relaxing and non-intrusive experience and then it was time to wash my hair and have the obligatory head massage so a verrrrrry stressful morning. Florence had recommended that I went for the Kérastase Fusio dose as an additional treatment as it really supports your hair when you have had colour put on it and lasts up to seven weeks giving you strong and shiny hair. Sold.

After assessing my hair, Florence decided that I did not an additional toner and post wash, she worked her magic with a blow dry that I would have NEVER achieved at home.

WHAT ELSE

It is important to note that this is not a solution for grey hairs. If they are creeping into your hair space, Florence suggests doing a colour to tackle the grey hairs with the Balayage on top for that sun-kissed effect.

You also need to allow a minimum of three hours for the process but quite frankly, I could have stayed there all day. Particularly as a branch of the beauty salon, Pure Indulgence from Whitstable, has recently launched at The Chair.

Nearest parking spot is St. Radigund’s Car Park in Canterbury and if you can – make a day of it in Canterbury as it is a beautiful city to explore with afore-mentioned range of independent shops, cafes and restaurants that are a hop, skip and jump away from the salon.

THE RESULTS

I don’t want to blow my Balayage trumpet, but I was pretty pleased with the results and I especially liked how how natural it looked and weirdly enough, how it gave an additional glow to my skin. Florence had cleverly swept more around the front of my face starting a little higher as that would mirror how my hair would have caught the sun if I had been in hotter climates.

Despite the lashing rain outside, I left The Chair with a spring in my step and headed to a meeting. A colleague texted me later asking me where I had my hair done which is testament of Florence’s great work.

And where better place to show the Results than The Chair’s very own selfie wall?! They really have thought of everything.

THE COST

To give you a breakdown, it cost £84 for Balayage with an additional £16 for the Kerastase treatment plus £40 for the all-essential blow dry afterwards.

The Chair, 2-3 Borough, Canterbury CT1 2DR, 01227 455545, the-chair.co.uk

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