British girls may be known for their artfully rumpled hair, but make no mistake—it takes a masterful hand to conjure that kind of easy insouciance. Once something of a novelty in the city, blow-dry bars (and their quirkier braiding counterparts) have been taking London by storm, with a flurry of new speed studios opening their doors. If you’re in the city this weekend, there’s no shortage of destinations worth adding to your black book.
The Bob Bar at George Northwood
Ever wanted to try a bob but weren’t sure you could actually commit? Then step into hairstylist George Northwood’s salon and have a seat at his “try before you buy” Bob Bar. There, a lineup of realistic-looking wigs inspired by the signature lengths of Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow (as Margot Tenenbaum), Alexa Chung, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley can be tried on and adjusted before you submit to the shears.
24 Wells Street, London, W1T 3PH
Duck & Dry
Whether you’re in need of an updo before a big event (but don’t have the time or the inclination to be in the hairstylist’s chair for too long) or you just want a clean, swingy blowout, Duck & Dry on King’s Road has become the city’s go-to for speed hair treatments. There are 16 looks to choose from on the menu—and, yes, you can duck in and duck out for any of them.
335-337 King’s Rd, London SW3 5ES
Braid Bar at Selfridges
The concept is simple, the execution spot-on. Realizing there wasn’t something that catered to the fun and frivolous nature of the braid, Braid Bar founders Sarah Hiscox and Willa Burton set about launching their power plaiting studio in the style of a blowout bar. After popping up at events and festivals such as Port Eliot and Secret Garden, The Braid Bar has found a permanent home in Selfridges; during London Fashion Week, they’ve also set up a pop-up outpost on Brewer Street, right opposite the British Fashion Council’s Headquarters.
Ground Floor, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB
“Blow-dries, brows, and beauty” is the motto of South Kensington’s Aer hair bar, founded by former New Yorker Anushka Lakhani. And as promised, multitasking is made simple here, whether that means stocking up on Oribe products or adding on a brow and lash tint before you leave.
172 Old Brompton Road, London, SW5 0BA
Conveniently located next door to spinning haven Psycle (London’s answer to Soul Cycle), it’s now possible to sneak in a morning workout before dropping in next door afterwards for a quick blow-dry. Services here are made to have staying power, starting with a serious shampoo using Philip B products and a divine scalp massage that results in extra volume and bounce that looks that much better after you’ve slept on it.
74 Mortimer Street, London, W1W 7RZ
If there’s one topic that heiress Tamara Ecclestone is familiar with, it’s a blowout. Named after her two-year-old line of volume sprays, dry shampoos, and hair oils, [http://showbeauty.com], Show Dry’s Notting Hill studio features sleek design and the city’s best hairstylists. Clients can book an Uber home through the studio’s app, meaning a rainy day in London never has to spoil your blowout.
173 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2RS
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