Larry King’s Notting Hill branch is nestled in a pretty cobbled mews just opposite Daylesford Organic in Westbourne Grove. The salon is the younger sister of the iconic South Kensington branch, which upon opening in 2017, was quickly showered with accolades. Tatler named it ‘London’s Hottest New Salon’, Harpers’ Bazaar followed suit declaring it their ‘Number One Salon’ and The Telegraph heralded it the ‘Best London Salon for a blow-dry’
Whilst winning titles is obviously a huge accomplishment, living up to the hype on a day-to-day basis can sometimes be another matter. So is Larry King worthy of it’s many crowns? If the success of their latest Notting Hill venture is anything to go by, then they’re clearly doing something right.
I visit on an icy January afternoon and am warmly greeted by the cheerful front-of-house staff who relieve me of my arctic-worthy outerwear and offer me a hot tea. The decor in the salon is relaxed and eclectic. Pink velvet lampshades meet anthracite walls, subway tiles and original parquet flooring. It feels modern, but playfully nods to a 1940s boudoir.
I’m greeted by colourist Sophia Karayiannis – and whilst it’s not relevant to the review – it would be remiss of me not to mention that she’s wearing the most gorgeous vintage sweater I’ve ever seen. Sophia, who is the newest member of Larry’s colour team, has over fifteen years of experience working in London salons and around the world. She has also taught colour and worked on various feature photoshoots for glossies such as Elle and Grazia.
Intrigued by the parade of flawless bombshells on her Instagram, I go bold and tell her that I’d like to go much lighter with my blonde. The winter blues have crept in and I’ve found myself feeling dull and grey (both follicularly speaking and in spirit). Sophia seems confident she can remedy the situation and suggests a full head of highlights that are brighter at the front to frame my face. Then she suggests some balayage through the darker under sections and freehand creamier highlights through the tips.
Whilst she works, our chat covers everything from XL Bullies to colourful Mexican hill towns. An hour and a half later, it’s time to remove the foils. They come out in the order in which they were applied, ensuring an even development time. Once my hair has been rinsed and shampooed, Sophia applies Olaplex and a gloss mask. To finish, Katie gives me a gorgeous bouncy blow dry to showcase my new colour.
I’m really pleased with my lighter, brighter blonde. Sophia has delivered exactly what I asked for – blonde hair that pops without losing tone or texture. The Olaplex has worked it’s magic and despite the intense lightening process, my hair still feels soft and nourished. Remarkably, my complexion seems brighter too. The dark January shadows are but a distant memory – its giving Gwen Stefani, fluffy easter chick and above all, it’s briniging a little bit of sunshine on a very dull, grey day.
A full head of highlights with Sophia costs £360. A blow dry with Katie costs £60.
2-4 Lambton Place, Notting Hill, W11 2SH