DryBy, 74 Mortimer Street, London W1W 7RZ
Go onto every beauty editor's Intagram account and you're guaranteed to see a lot of love for DryBy, a new salon in London's Marylebone about 3 minutes from Oxford Circus. Founded by London-based sisters Krisztina and Anita, originally from Budapest, the salon looks more like a friendly, chic powder room with a communal table and beautiful individual mirrors, rather than the traditional (and often uninviting) cubicle set-up. This lends itself perfectly to hen parties, as does the exquisite nail studio downstairs (oh my - what a space. We're talking superluxe; a décor palette of blush, dove and midnight blue, with the best new polish brands such as Soigne, Nailberry and Lauren B and beautiful 'couture' nail art, with staff trained by catwalk and covershoot manicurist Marian Newman. Which is a bit like Meryl Streep giving you acting tips). Back upstairs, your desired hairstyle is thoroughly planned with the help of a style menu, then cleansed and prepped using expert botanical products by LA trichologist Philip B. Brides-to-be are treated like princesses, it's as simple as that, because the service is so warm, impeccable and attentive, you can't help feel they're the bridesmaid you secretly wish you had.
www.dryby.co.uk / 0207 637 9477
Mathew Curtis Hair Retreat at Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel, Staffordshire
Way more than just a glitzy salon, we were bowled over when we experienced the bespoke approach Mathew and his team have mastered at this fun-filled hair palace. Award-winning hairdresser Mathew may have earned his stripes styling celebrities and models, but his interest and passion for hair health is what really sets him apart. Having experience alopecia himself, he really understands how to connect with clients to draw out their true hair wishes - a language that can still feel quite frightening and confusing even to the most confident of British women, especially a bride-to-be who hasn't a clue what style to pick. When you arrive, you are showered with Prosecco and dazzled by the crystal chandeliers, uptempo music and modern, lavish decor and given a brilliant little blow-dry hairstyle menu to peruse. Meanwhile your scalp and hair are analysed using a high-tech camera, so that your stylist can prescribe a personalised treatment using the wonderful Leonor Greyl products - and it's all finished with a beautiful blow-dry or updo to match your favourite look from the menu. For weddings, you could have a series of treatments to significantly improve your hair health, and of course your trials will be insanely pampering and tailored to your every whim. This is a superb, glamorous and positive salon that will do all it can to transform your hair.
www.hoarcross.co.uk / 01283 576 512
SHOWDry, 173 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS
Hair salons that are founded and operated by women is a recipe for success: it's not just about a snazzy backwash and good coffee, it's about having crucial insight into the physical and emotional requirements for the simplest of blowdries. That means an efficient booking service online, a joint understanding of the final look you want, a lot of good base work with all-day-hold styling products, a barrel brush with a strong hairdryer and an even stronger bicep. And speed: the team assures a 45-minute turnaround, with an Uber waiting for you outside by the time you settle the bill, without feeling remotely rushed. The woman who has made this happen is Tamara Ecclestone. 'What, the pretty-rich-girl-in-the-papers' you say? Actually when we met her she was charming, gracious, warm, grateful, interesting and interested, and the way she interviewed the salon's hairstylists was sheer genius. A hand-picked group came to her home and had to blow-dry one single section of her hair. Because if you'vee experienced dozens (if not hundreds) of good and bad blowdries, as Tamara has, you can tell within seconds if that stylist's 'got it'. Even though they've been open for just a few months, there is already a Bridal Service package to cater for the countless requests they've received, and it's brilliantly affordable at £180 (with the option to have your stylist come to your venue, plus a discount for the bridal party). And, since you asked, yes: the backwashes are impossibly snazzy, and the coffee is sublime.
www.showdry.com / 0333 006 8888