The Brentwood Project is something rather magical: a strange mix of old antique cars, cute riverside coffee shops, pizzerias and – wait for it – a vintage 1969 airstream, which has been converted into a stylish mobile salon.
‘Don’t call it a salon!’ says Timothy David, its owner, ‘Call it a studio, where freelance hair artists come and work’. He’s right, for one thing, there is art for sale on the walls of his studio (he is passionate about creating a community around him, and helping local artists display and showcase their work is a part of that). He also shares the space with other freelance hairdressers (all vetted to exceptionally high standards) instead of employing them, because he wants them to feel the freedom to create when they’re working there.
Timothy named the airstream Pauline, after his late mother, who he says inspires him every day of his life. And what a tribute! Pauline is a thing of absolute beauty and class. I can already imagine just how busy he’s going to be once the summer brings crowds of people down to the super cool Brentwood Project. It is gorgeously designed, complete with a sofa and special air vents that circulate airflow for full Covid safety.
Though Timothy works with celebrity clients, he doesn’t like to tell people about it, ‘I like being a secret,’ he says. This is a questionable statement, given the long list of clients who have been coming to him for years. As I arrive at the airstream, he’s just finishing off working on one of these clients’ hair. He tells me that he doesn’t work with the public on Mondays, but she called him and asked, and he couldn’t say no to her.
We take down my hair and I cringe at the mismatched mess it’s become over the last 12 months, but he tells me that he’s seen worse Lockdown hair. I’ve always had subtle highlights, but I dyed my hair a block colour whilst stuck at home, and as a result, you can see roots coming through. He manages my expectations and tells me exactly why blending them back in might take a few sessions. He doesn’t want me to take any shortcuts.
Timothy seems like the sort of person who, if I asked for something that wouldn’t suit me, would not hesitate to tell me off. He notes that I’ve gone for ashy tones in the past, but my skin tone and natural colour are a lot warmer, so he wants to use tones that compliment that. In terms of cut, we decide to keep the length but bring back my sleepy seventies fringe.
When I return two days later – after my patch test – Timothy has more thoughts about how to do the colour. He thinks we should leave my natural golden tones completely alone and focus on lifting the brighter parts. I am so excited that someone has been thinking about what to do with my hair when I’ve not even been in the room that I do a little squeak. He uses Loreal Professional colour – a brand new Studio 8 blonde range, which is multi-purpose. He puts highlights in different shades through my hair, and tops it up with a balayage – a few in the underneath and thin at the top – making my hair look lighter but keeping it natural.
We weren’t going for bright blonde, but as I’m looking at the results in the mirror, it looks lighter than many of the highlights I’ve had in the past; it’s the perfect mix of tones, with some bright blonde 90s strands at the front. He gives me a classic blow-dry, as he puts it, ‘channelling understated Hollywood glam’. The result is so natural and yet so vibrant!
There are extra perks to being situated in the Brentford Project. The airstream has QR codes for Coffiology, Santa Maria pizza (with 20% off) and the Brentford Project bar, so you can order whilst having your hair done. Not only did I leave with the best colour I’ve had in a very long time, but the entire experience felt like an exciting day out. I could not recommend him enough.
Timothy likes to keep his prices affordable, so you get a lot of bang for your buck:
Cut & Blowdry £50
Full head of Highlights £110/Balayage £130