It’s a tricky journey, trying to find the one. Failed attempts at conversation, awkward first meetings and the absence of that elusive, indescribable connection are just a few of the reasons so many of us persist with our search – not for the ideal life partner, but for the perfect hairdresser.
After all, Brits mate for life when it comes to their stylists – 74 per cent of us are committed to our hairdressers – so it’s important to find the right one. But while common perception is that the finest friseurs are only to be found in our capital of London, there’s an army of hair masters setting up shop all over the UK, so the search doesn’t have to be as far and wide as first expected.
Scroll down to peruse our picks of the best salons outside the big smoke. Who knows, you might just find a new hair husband…
RE:NU Hair Studio, Leicester
Salon director Leighanne Regan has cut her teeth as a guest artist for ghd and as a seasoned session stylist backstage at London Fashion Week, opening her own salon in her native Leicester at the beginning of 2018. She’s also a renowned colour specialist, so head here for beachy-cool, sunkissed looks and effortlessly sexy styles in this Beverley Hills-meets-boho salon space - which has been personally curated by Leighanne.
Ishoka Hair & Beauty, Aberdeen
Found amongst a row of Georgian townhouses, Ishoka was launched 30 years ago out of a desire to bring luxury London salons to the north of the UK. Elegant updos and glossy blowdries are the order of the day here, made all the more pleasing by the salon's grand period details and quiet surroundings. The salon has an extensive beauty offering, too, so stop for a file and polish while your highlights develop.
DNA Art Space, Nottingham
The brainchild of industry-renowned hairdressers Angelo Vallillo and Dale Herne, this East Midlands salon counts actress Vicky McClure as a client, and feels more like a gallery than a cutting floor – but its USP is its branding as a ‘creative hub’ rather than a run-of-the-mill salon. Still, the atmosphere is immediately warm and friendly, helped along by the cosy living room reception space – and Angelo and Dale’s passion for hair is immediately catching. The vast and talented team cover all bases, but if you’re looking for a cut with a difference, book in for a consultation quick.
Rainbow Room International, Stirling
Scottish salon group Rainbow Room International have a legion of fans up north for their eclectic offering of both cool cuts and classic styles. The Stirling outpost has a retro-yet-luxury feel and is entirely paperless and wireless, complete with Walt Disney wall quotes and colourful mood lighting - you know you're in good hands here.
Quirky cuts, unexpected colours and a warm and inclusive atmosphere are what you can expect from this cool salon space in Manchester's northern quarter - where the team is made up of some of the city's most talented hairdressers. A sister company to Barber Below (the city's cult male grooming spot) everyone is catered for in this multi-storey, bohemian salon.
Creative director Mark Woolley has gone on to open six bespoke salons since his flagship in Brighton, which is still one of the beach town's most popular hair hangouts. Book in with art director Sam Oxford for on-trend cuts and the coolest colours, and look out for guest appearances from Mark's long list of industry-renowned pals.
The Chapel, Tunbridge Wells
The team behind The Chapel's four salons (one of which is in Verbier, Switzerland) really know how to do unique luxury. Their original outpost in Tunbridge Wells is an old Baptist chapel with individual design elements throughout the vast space - and though beautiful, it's the expertise of the team that keeps clients coming back for more. Book a consultation with colourist Luke Gilbert for stunning soft balayage, or call up bespoke stylist Daniel Knight for fashion-inspired looks.