In the heart of Chelsea, nestled on picturesque Pavilion Road, Salon Sloane is known as “the insiders go to.” It’s little surprise, then, that this boutique salon was co-founded by industry-acclaimed Belle Cannan, whose resume boasts over 25 years of experience and a rich Vidal Sassoon and Nicky Clarke heritage to boot. The ethos behind Salon Sloane is that client experience sits at its core. But how does that fare in a boutique hair salon during a global pandemic that brings with it stringent measures to adhere to?
After six months of lockdown hair (think greasy roots, lank dry ends and a mountain of rats’ tails in between) I was ready for a serious chop. Armed with a mask and alcohol gel I headed to my appointment with a strangely nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. Not the usual ‘will my hair be decent at the end of this’ nervousness, but the kind that’s unsure as to how safe it would be and how the salon would interpret the safety measures advice. Also, would a trip to the salon be a pleasant an experience as it once was?
On arrival, I selected my own gown (very pleased they’d thought about that – I hadn’t) and was asked to sanitise my hands. Although very few team members were present in the salon space at all, those that were wore a visor (not the most comfortable I’m told) and the only other client wore a mask, so I felt more than safe from the get-go. The doors were flung open throughout the day, inviting fresh air into the salon, and there was a screen around the reception area. The team were very thorough – directing me to all the safety provisions in place, as well as floor markings to follow. And even though it was quiet, it felt buzzy yet comfortable – in a family business sort of way.
My consultation was thorough, which I loved, and Belle knew exactly what I wanted from the off; she gave me advice based on my hair type, face shape and hair health. Next up, the pre-cut wash: usually a non-event, right? Well for me this part is super important. Something that I usually struggle with at hair salons is the weak hair wash – you know when someone is gently rubbing shampoo into your hair, but so gently that your hair doesn’t actually feel clean at the end of it? Well for me that’s a thing. So, when the lady at Salon Sloane went in (and I mean went in) on the hair washing, I was ecstatic. My head felt scrubbed and my hair fully cleansed. Ok, weird bit over.
The cut was amazing, no other word to describe it frankly. I’ve rarely said that about any hair cut in my entire 35 years on this planet, but I can say it with conviction here. The process was just as fabulous – Belle and the team made sure that my experience wasn’t hindered by, say, the small matter of a global pandemic. If anything, it felt as though I’d been frequenting the salon for years. And if wearing a mask can dampen that then something is not quite right. In a nutshell, the ‘new normal’ is no issue for Salon Sloane’s customer experience ethos, that’s for sure.
Salon Sloane is open at 186 Pavilion Road, SW3 2B. Prices start from £35 for a blowdry and £75 for a haircut.