A few weeks ago, our glorious British summer decided to abruptly take a break and down came about a month’s worth of rain in a few hours. Obviously this was when I had planned a trip into Central London to visit the guys at Live True London in Soho’s Wardour Street, so my timing was perfect. I arrived early, looking like a grumpy drowned rat, and gave the salon a call to see if they could see me any earlier, which thankfully they could, so my late afternoon appointment got going as soon as I arrived.
The Live True London salon in Soho is a tricky one to pin down when it comes to how to describe it; I want to call it kind of “Camden Grunge” but that makes it sound a lot more alternative than it is, as whilst the fabulous stylists and colourists were most definitely dressed to impress, the clientele appeared to be fairly conservative/laid-back and typical for the area. The salon itself has that trendy, intentionally worn look (think exposed piping, cool metals and gentle neon lighting adding pops of icy colour) and the services span over two floors (note to anyone who struggles with stairs, there’s a winding metal staircase that’ll be pretty much unavoidable for any treatment since all the sinks are downstairs) with a section away from the rest of the salon that I think might be available for private treatments.
I was booked in to see Flora, a fantastic French stylist who was chic, approachable and utterly charming; she smiled and quietly sang to herself the whole time and just looked like she was really enjoying doing her thing. We had a chat and agreed that we’d go quite a bit shorter to a length that’ll sit below my ears and graduate a little, with layers to add texture, volume and depth. For the colour, Flora recommended we just focus on brightening up the overall blonde, giving it a good lift with a Balayage technique that’s softened and blended with toner treatments. I explained to Flora that I lived alone with my 8 year old son who starts his day talking and doesn’t actually stop until he goes to sleep (and sometimes not even then) so I was hoping to politely read and indulge in a bit of peace, which she (thankfully!) completely understood.
I don’t think I’ve ever had colour that was so meticulously applied. Flora really took her time applying ever foil carefully and cautiously to ensure the results were exactly as she wanted. The whole colour process took about three hours and Flora dried each strand of hair before applying the colour to ensure it was flat and would take the colour evenly, a technique I haven’t experienced previously. I was then moved downstairs to have the colour removed, then toner applied, along with an Olaplex treatment that was used both within the earlier colour application to protect my hair, and during the washing process to enhance and protect my colour.
Once the colour was done, we moved back upstairs to do the cut and finish. Flora took the same care with her cutting as she did with the colour (I had to keep very still, which I am soooo bad at, sorry Flora!) and once she reached a point where she was satisfied, she dried my hair to see how it would look before fine-tuning it a little more. The final step was a blow dry which was fine, although I literally never like the way stylists dry my hair and I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally booked a blow dry because I seem to lack the ability to communicate what I want. Consequently, I always judge a new hair restyle by how I like it after I’ve washed and dried it myself and in fairness to Flora, my hair looked thick and shiny, but it was very neat and I never like neat – I think most stylists are just programmed to give you a tidy finish, whereas I just want to chuck a load of salt spray at it and go mad!
I always like to try and give a balanced review on visits like these, although I would really struggle to find anything especially negative to report. If I’m to be really fussy, I would say that the refreshment options are limited (although my appointment was very late so they may have just run out – at the time, all they had were a couple of herbal teas or coffee on offer, but no dairy alternatives or snacks) and obviously the staircase is a bit of a pain for someone on crutches, like me, but these are nowhere near dealbreakers – next time I’ll order in a coffee on Deliveroo and I’ll be all set!
So in conclusion, would I return to Live True London? Absolutely, 100% yes. The colour is amazing – I am completely thrilled as the tone is spot-on and exactly the kind of blonde I like; cool and ashy but still blonde enough that it adds light to my face, plus it’s blended so beautifully that it looks incredibly natural, and consequently should grow out quite inoffensively. I was a bit nervous that I’d gone too short, but once I’d washed my hair and styled it myself I was equally thrilled; the texture has been cut in so well that my hair just looks so much thicker with minimal effort – I actually look forward to washing and styling it now, which is something I never thought I’d say! Thanks so much Live True London and specifically Flora for the lovely experience, my confidence is at an all-time high; you just can’t beat the positive impact of really good hair, can you?!
Live True London have several salons across London in Brixton, Clapham, Vauxhall and the aforementioned Soho. You can book online which is especially handy if you’re keen to get an appointment ASAP. Prices at the Soho salon start at £63 for a cut and blow dry with an entry-level stylist and £145 for a full head of Balayage with an entry-level colourist. Obviously there are a huge selection of colour options available, so check out their site here – link – for more info.
Disclosure: unpaid ad – PR appointment