LDN Experiences

Published on February 10th, 2015 | by Tatei Montejo

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Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salons and Spa, Bayswater

Gina Conway is a salon that feels like a spa. Friendly faces, beautiful smells and a calming vibe — what’s not to like? After I had my consultation with the super talented Kiwi stylist Ronan, his assistant Hannah offered me a Stress Relieving Massage, a quick head and shoulders massage with an essential oil of your choice (I chose the beautifying blend of course) that helps you leave the tensions from a busy day behind and enjoy what’s to come. Oh and it’s totally free! I love treatments with a holistic edge so by this point I was already sold.

As much as I love getting my hair spruced up, I tend to find the hairdresser experience a bit rushed and hectic, but that’s certainly not the case in this West London salon. Its full name is Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salons and Spas, which if you know anything about beauty you will have guessed is synonymous with quality organic products and a tranquil environment.

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Gina is a Californian who’s settled in London and now heads up a team of over a hundred across her four salons, frequented by the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lulu Guinness, Paloma Faith and the stunning Sienna Miller. I, like her, used to be blonde, but have recently joined the dark side. Despite what you may think, being a glossy brunette is nearly as high maintenance as the dreaded keeping up the highlights.

Ronan explained to me, while I sipped on my delicious liquorice and peppermint Aveda tea, that it’s tricky for colour to grab onto hair that’s been previously bleached and so this must be taken into account when mixing up the pigments, in order to avoid that awful green tone that blondes gone brunette fear the most. Believe it or not, the colours that he decided to use for my hair based on my natural undertones were yellow, blue and orange. Needless to say, I wasn’t too confident just then that this would turn into a warm chocolate brown.

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One thing I was confident about though, is that the Aveda colour wouldn’t damage my hair, as it’s 96% naturally derived. Once I’d had the dye on my roots for around ten minutes, I was guided downstairs for more colour to go in the rest of my (very long) locks, and the treats kept on coming, this time it was a soothing hand massage. I was also booked in for a spa haircut – that’s a wet and dry haircut plus a short beauty treatment of your choice. I went for Shine, a botanical hair and scalp therapy that brings mirror shine and strength. The colour turned out beautiful and glossy and the cut that followed was also great, plus I only lost a couple of inches from the length, which I’m extremely protective of.

My real hair issue though, is that as lovely as the colour may look when I leave the hairdressers, it just never lasts. As early as two weeks on, the blonde strands start coming through and the dream shade quickly fades away, which is why I was so excited to try the Aveda Color Conserve range, especially designed to help nourish, protect and conserve colour. Having tried the shampoo (£17.50), conditioner (£20.50), daily colour protect (£20.50), and strengthening treatment (£22), for a few washes, I can already see the difference — my hair feels healthy and the colour still looks deep and shiny. The plant-based ingredients and anti-oxidant blend in the formula have gained Aveda many diehard fans but another reason why I’d definitely recommend giving it a go is the amazing 100% certified organic aroma – an invigorating blend of peppermint, fresh grapefruit and mandarin, soothing lavender, and a touch of ylang ylang and spicy cinnamon.

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And although the theory that washing your hair everyday damages it is now a thing of the past among top stylists, just in case like me you don’t have the time to wash your hair daily I thought I’d share my most recent discovery in the world of dry shampoos. The COLAB range (£3.50 for 200ml bottle), launched by model Ruth Crilly, works like a dream at refreshing roots and the new Extreme Volume range (£4.50 for 200ml bottle) also features an extreme plumping powder for instant back-combed volume, texture and lift. If your hair is dark do not worry because the formula is sheer and won’t leave you looking like you’ve gone grey overnight, plus it comes in five different fragrances.

I’m not normally one for change but I’ve already swapped the products on my shower shelf and booked my next appointment at Gina Conway so if you’re tempted to follow my steps you won’t be disappointed; enjoy and tweet us your thoughts!

The total cost for a colour, spa haircut and shine treatment at Gina Conway is £206

www.ginaconway.co.uk

Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salons and Spas, 62 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH

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About the Author

Spanish by origin, Londoner by choice, Tatei has lived and worked in the City for the past four years. Lover of all things beauty she's partial to an indulgent spa treatment in the morning followed by a Real Madrid game in the afternoon and a Bellini in the evening



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