It’s taken a while for me to write up this Muse of London review – not because I didn’t enjoy my experience or because I’m waiting for a bad colour to grow out. Oh no. In fact, I’ve never felt more confidence walking through the streets of London that I did after visiting this place. (It was literally like in the ads.) It’s because I’m pretty certain I want to keep this little London salon my secret and mine alone.
However, that would be selfish of me. SO FINE. Have it your way.
Muse of London – the review
After tweeting about going Ombre professionally after my at-home-from-a-box attempt, because who hasn’t this day and age, Muse of London got in touch a few weeks ago to see if they could help lift my colour and make it lighter and brighter than it was. I usually pop over to Karine Jackson’s for all manner of perming needs, however bleach is a new experience for me.
This summer they’re holding the Champagne Campaign, helping blondes go brighter and brunettes go lighter, so of course I accepted.
After my appointment with Jason being cancelled twice, and a house move to factor in, I did question whether I was ever going to step foot in the salon. However third time’s a charm and I trotted over to Mortimer Street one sunny Saturday to see what magic they could work with my brown mop.
Muse of London is a stroll from Great Portland Street and Oxford circus. It used to be a salon by another name which I frequented when I worked that way back in 2009, but has since been relaunched with a brilliant new focus: colour and speed.
The Root, Style and Bleach Bars
Anyone with dyed hair will know that trips to the salon need to happen frequently. It costs an arm and a leg to get roots touched up, and can take an age too. So Muse of London have created three distinct bars for ladies who lunch (but who then need to dash back to the office in an hour).
The Root Bar (£18) is for those who need a quick touch up and nothing more. Appointments aren’t bookable and you can’t choose your stylist, but it’ll see your hair looking fresh and as good as new, in no more than an hour. To speed up the process, you have access to the self-dry bar if you don’t want to walk to work wet (and want to save pennies on a blow dry).
The Bleach Bar (£30) is for those who want a touch up. Choose whether you want your parting did, your ombre levelled or a creative lift. You again have a choice of a pro blowdry, or the self-dry bar.
The Style Bar (£15) is for those who need to be office hair to out there in fifteen minutes. Choose from smoothing, waving or pinning styles. Just pop by with clean hair, or book an appointment, and they’ll work their magic.
I opted for the bleach treatment to lift my brunette ends to something more summery.
Check in and the self-serve waiting area
I was warmly greeted by the receptionist who took my coat and settled me in the waiting area. It’s a super stylish little space where new clients wait to be taken through and those having their hair styled can settle with a cuppa while waiting for their colour to take. On offer was wine, coffee, tea and water – all self serve so there’s no waiting for busy staff to remember to ask.
‘So, what are you having today?’
After a short wait, Mark (sadly, Jason was for some reason unavailable once again) called me over and I took my seat. Mark, who hails from Glasgow, has been with Muse of London from the start. He loves colour, and ran through a few options I could consider given how dark my hair is. After deciding on a plan of action, he got to work backcombing my hair into oblivion.
I honestly had no idea what he was doing – he did know I was here for colour and not a ‘do, right? – but I did the British thing and said nothing. After he was satisfied my hair was poofy enough, he slathered on the bleach expertly, before covering my head with foils. It turns out the backcombing helps stop the ombre looking too linear, a telltale sign of a bad stylist. There was method to his madness.
I have to say, Mark was excellent, and I was thrilled Jason wasn’t around (harsh, but true). There was a bit of chit-chat, after all, I may have been a tad hungover from a night our in Rugby, but aside from that there wasn’t any of the usual talk about family, holidays, etc. He showed a genuine interest, but then he was fixated on my hair.
That’s exactly what any nervy person wants when bleach is being used.
Jayla Love Beauty and their super speedy gel nails
I then had a half hour wait for the bleach to lift my locks, so I popped downstairs for a quick treatment in the beauty bar, Jayla Love Beauty, with Holly, a girl who lives literally a few miles from me. Funny how that works! After one of the best gel nail experiences I’ve ever had, and in record time too, it was back upstairs to get the colour rinsed out.
The big reveal – is that it?
Mark was satisfied the colour was perfect for me, and started removing the foils. Honesty, I was underwhelmed. The colour barely looked blonde and my face must have shown my disappointment. No fear though. After a relaxing head massage and wash, I was popped back down in my seat and the blow drying began.
And what a transformation. I couldn’t believe how he’d managed to get my hair almost platinum in some places, and a gorgeous blonde all over. There was no sign of ginger. No sign at all. As a brunette, this is as good as sorcery in my opinion.
It was exactly like in ads
A quick blowdry later and my bouncy new blonde ends were ready to take on London. The confidence it gave me as astounding. Never have I felt that way before. I finally understood those adverts with women twirling around the street as their hair bounces naturally behind them. It made me feel like a million dollars, when it would have only cost me about £60.
To say I was ecstatic is an understatement, and I’m committed to Muse (and Mark) for as long as my hair needs colouring.
I’d definitely recommend a visit, especially if you work in the area or you’re popping into town for a shopping trip. Mark is amazing at what he does, and Holly was genuinely a joy to speak to. For £15, it’s worth the bleach bar experience at least.