Located just off Westbourne Grove, right in the heart of Artesian village, Mimi et Mina is a light and airy boutique salon. All white walls and peach accents, and with just three styling stations it always feels intimate. The decor is contemporary and relaxing, which is fairly unusual for extensions specialists.
Offering normal colour and styling alongside extensions, they provide several different options, from wigs and weaves (not as scary as they sound), to the LA Weave, Remy and Russian micro-ring or bonded extensions.
Founded by Myriam Kone, and named in homage to a 24-year friendship with her best friend Mina, the Mimi et Mina salon celebrates a passion for beauty and is dedicated to delivering a customer experience that embodies the values of female friendship; fun, loyalty and support.
I had a consultation a few days before the process itself where we discussed options and opted for the LA Weave—this is quicker to fit, cheaper than standard extensions, and a great way to add volume quickly.
I have fine, dry and delicate hair, so my priority was additional volume with minimal damage. I was assured the weave wouldn’t damage my hair, but I decided to suspend judgement until I had the hair removed three months later.
The LA Weave consists of strips woven to the roots from one side of the head to the other, with as few or as many of these as you like, fitted about an inch above or below each other. We opted for four, as any more could be too visible depending on how I styled my hair.
To get a perfect colour-match Myriam blended two tones, fitting slightly lighter then darker rows in consecutive layers. I’d really wanted additional length as well as volume, but as I have a single-length blunt cut there would have been a clear line where my natural hair ended and the weave hair continued. We did achieve a lot more volume however, and the weave didn’t feel tight or uncomfortable at all. I think I’d watched too many America’s Next Top Model shows, where the girls have their ill-fitted, tight and painful weaves removed as soon as they walk in the door. I’d also thought weaves were only for afro hair, which isn’t the case at all.
One benefit of the LA Weave over normal extensions is that it’s fine to condition your roots, and you don’t need to obsessively blow-dry the micro-rings right after washing your hair. With previous extensions I’d been told not to use conditioner and that it’s imperative to blast the micro-rings bone-dry straight away, as otherwise they could soften and fall out. As someone who can’t live without conditioner and rarely uses a hairdryer, these stipulations were problematic. With the LA Weave I didn’t have to change anything about my normal routine, which was a relief.
The LA Weave is £160 at Mimi et Mina, which includes the prior consultation, the rows of hair, fitting and cut on the day, and then a blow-dry and check up six weeks later. Compared to other extensions, this is pretty amazing value. Especially as it uses real human hair, as opposed to other cheaper options that are often synthetic.
My hair looked much thicker, with a great colour match. The weave was quick to fit and remove, and, most importantly, there was absolutely no damage when we took them all out.
While overall I loved the effect, there were a couple of things I didn’t love—when I hadn’t styled my hair, friends could sometimes see the thin fabric rows where the weave had been stitched in, and these showed as ridges on the back of my head. My other issue was the texture—I have quite fine hair and unlike Russian extensions, the LA Weave hair was heavy and each strand thicker, which meant it felt and behaved slightly differently from my own. But overall, it’s a great, quick and cost-effective way to transform your hair, in a lovely salon, in a beautiful west London enclave.