I am obsessed with finding the perfect salon.
I envy women who brag about having the same hairdresser for years.
I salon-hop believing that this time will be the time I walk away with the hair I’ve always wanted.
And it never, ever is.
Okay, sometimes it gets close to it. But it never quite looks the same as film star hair.
And so I carry on in blind hope that I will someday find the one.
It is this quest for perfect hair that took me to Gennaro Dell’Aquila.
A charming little salon tucked away on the trendy Wellington Terrace, just off Notting Hill.
This is where the well-coiffed women of W2 come to have their tresses styled.
I had the privilege to check-in for an appointment for a colour and blow dry.
The small but gorgeous salon was a hive of activity with regular clients popping in to say ‘Ciao’ to boss Gennaro.
At times you felt like you were gatecrashing a big Italian family do – and I loved it.
The staff were rushing around, talking loudly in Italian and blowing kisses.
But it was the receptionist who was the star of the show. He made me feel at ease straight away, and briefed me on an impressive selection of teas the salon hosts.
He also had cheekbones to die for.
I was sat down and my stylist – Paolo – asked me what I wanted done.
I explained that I just wanted a trim and a tint. I’m very boring with my hair after I had a cut eight years ago that lobbed off the whole lot. It’s taken me years to get it to the length it is now.
Surprisingly, my hair was cut first – which if I’m honest I found to be a little time-consuming as it meant I had to have my hair washed and blow dried twice.
But the result was worth it.
Paolo persuaded me to have a few layers to make my hair more bouncy.
“Please,” I said. “No curly blow dry.”
Hairdressers always try to curl my hair. And I end up saying yes awkwardly to only leave the salon looking like an extra from Annie: The Musical.
But the talented Paolo was happy to listen to me and the results were stunning.
My hair was straight but thick and shiny.
He had taken hardly any length off but sneaked in a few front layers which framed my face.
Finally the fringe I’ve been growing out for years blended in with the rest of my hair.
It truly was perfection.
At that point I wanted to show off my new stylish hair to everyone, but it was time for the colour.
I asked for a deep brown, a couple of shades darker than my natural.
Instead, Gennaro insisted I match my roots and that I would look better with evening my colour tone out. So, I had a light brown applied, before it was combed through the rest of my hair.
I had to tell the colourist – a young lad – a number of times to dye the front of my roots but he told me that it was meant to stay the same.
Suffice to say it wasn’t, and I was left with strands of lighter toned hair at the front.
Although I wasn’t overly pleased with the colour, not being able to notice any difference myself, the quality of the haircut was so good that I walked away a satisfied client.
Did this quirky little salon meet my ridiculously high expectations?
Yes, and no. I was left with the best blowdry I have ever had.
But I was disappointed colour wise.
Would I go back? Absolutely.
And for a salon commitment-phobe that’s a very high recommendation.