Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Marylebone based salon, Leticia Haute Coiffure which is run by stylist to the stars, Pierre Doumit. Having visited the website of the salon before my visit, I was a little worried that it would be a bit too ‘fashion’ for my tastes (I don’t play well with fashion types….) but thankfully all worries were calmed on arrival.
The salon itself has struck the perfect balance between appearing trendy and upmarket without overdoing the decor or flamboyance so you’re left with a comfortable, relaxed yet professional environment that’s warm and welcoming whilst still maintaining that luxury feel.
|The man himself; Pierre.|
As soon as I arrived I was settled down with a drink (if you have any chocoholic inclinations then I INSIST you try their Choco-Milk which is a milkier version of their Hot Chocolate) which comes with a couple of those caramel biscuit things that I can never remember the name of but I’m always happy to see and even happier to munch on. Pierre then joined me for a chat to discuss my hair requirements. It’s worth noting a couple of things at this point; firstly, I’m incredibly fussy and hard to please regarding my hair and secondly, there is nothing I hate more than being told (read: barked at) what will look good on me. Having lived with my hair for 28 years, I’m open to suggestion, but I detest being bullied into things and I’ve come across this again and again at salons which I find incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, Pierre is my idea of the perfect stylist as he first asked me what it was I wanted to achieve and then mentioned a couple of subtle changes that he felt would enhance the look I was going for. I always feel that changing a hair look should be a team effort that includes involvement from both the stylist and the person being styled and whilst Pierre had ideas, he didn’t give me the impression that he would take it personally if I didn’t like them.
We agreed to change both the colour and the length of my hair. I prefer my hair to be above my shoulders and as I have a long face (Pierre tactfully referred to it as “oval”) it can’t be too severe and needs to be a style that will give the illusion of a slightly wider face to balance out the length of my face. I always like to go lighter when the sun starts appearing, however, I had very red hair last year that’s been a bit of a pain to remove, so Pierre and I agreed that we should lift the whole colour a couple of shades and make it slightly warmer so that we ended up with a warm blonde to counteract the red. Pierre also felt that a few subtle highlights around the face and crown would ensure it looked multi-tonal and natural.
|During the highlight application.|
Pierre got to work on mixing my colour and applying it and whilst talking to him it became very apparent just how much thought he’d put into creating the right atmosphere for the salon. He’s very experienced in the hair industry and knows what people like; they want to feel comfortable and feel as though they can say and do exactly as they please (within reason….!) and for this to occur, stylists need to create that comfortable vibe that puts clients at ease. Considering the clientele he’s used to working with (not only celebrities but royalty too) there’s no trace of arrogance and conversation flows as much or as little as you’d like. It’s also absolutely essential that I now mention Jack, who is Pierre’s King Charles Spaniel puppy who was my solid companion for the visit and took immense pleasure in nibbling on my fingers whilst my colour was applied. If there’s anything truly high fashion in the salon, it’s Jack’s outfit as you can see in the pictures.
|Jack making himself comfortable.|
|I don’t know how Pierre gets anything done with that little face following him around…|
For me, there are two markers for a good salon that I really take into account when deciding whether to revisit. Firstly, the massage you get during the conditioner application. As with facialists who apply a mask and then leave the room (when my thoughts are that they could be giving me a massage during the treatment!) I’m also not a fan of salons that apply a conditioner and then leave you with your head dipped awkwardly into the sink for ten minutes. I actually had the best head massage to date thanks to Alex (Pierre’s assistant) who spent I’m guessing at least 15 minutes (could be less, could be an hour….) doing an excellent job at massaging my head whilst the conditioner did it’s thing.
The second marker I use is how my hair is towel-dried. This might sound like a weird one, but I am so careful when towel-drying my hair as the only reason I’m doing it is to remove excess moisture so I carefully squeeze and stroke it out. Whereas at every salon I’ve ever attended, for some inexplicable reason, they insist on using a towel to ravage my hair with such ferocity that all I think about is the split ends I now have that I didn’t have previously to the towel-drying. So, as Alex came at me with the towel, I held my breath and waited for the ravage to ensue, but I’m (rather weirdly, I’m sure many of you are thinking….) thrilled to report that he dealt with my hair with the exact gentle care that I do myself. This alone has converted me to a LHC fan.
So it’s all very well talking about the bits and bobs that culminate to ensure a pleasant visit to a salon, but the most important thing is how the hair looks when completed. Pierre also mentioned earlier in my visit that my hair was very typically European, meaning that there’s plenty of it, but it’s very fine and much heavier at the ends so he suggested thinning the ends with a razor (yes, I wasn’t sure on this idea either…) to release the heaviness. It worked perfectly and now my hair is lighter and much easier to handle. It falls where I want it to, doesn’t lay flat and hangs beautifully. I had the hair makeover last week and since then I’ve been trying various different approaches to styling it, all of which have proved easy and manageable, which are also two great ways to describe the hair itself. The colour has really warmed my face and looks natural yet bright and summery. All together I’d say this is exactly what my hair needed; it’s lighter, brighter and easy to dress up or down with minimum effort.
So in conclusion, I really enjoyed my visit to Letitia Haute Coiffure (I’ll quickly mention that Letitia is Pierre’s wife’s name; everybody say “awwww”) and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I felt comfortable with both the salon atmosphere and the way my hair makeover was put together, so whether you’re in a hair slump and don’t know what to do to brighten up your look, or you know exactly what you like and just want someone who will LISTEN to what you have to say then it’s definitely worth visiting Letitia Haute Coiffure for a cup of Choco-Milk, a play with Jack and maybe even a hair treatment.
Leticia Haute Coiffure can be found at 61 Chiltern Street, W1U 6NG. The nearest Underground station is Baker Street, but there’s also a gigantic car park 2 minutes down the road. Prices start at £35 for a cut and finish with a graduate stylist and £25 for a natural glossing colour. More info can be found at the LHC website here where you can browse the huge array of beauty and hair services available.
*Treatment was received complimentary for the purpose of this review. Everything discussed in this review is my honest opinion.