Thursday, November 23The Voice of London

Bleach London: worth the hype?

Written by: Jessica Penfold | Sub-editor: Alma Fabiani

I took a trip to the salon that specializes in bleaching and super cool colors, is it really worth the money and hype?

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Earlier on this year, I decided to try out a hairstylist who was cheaper than what I usually pay for when it comes to getting my hair highlighted as blonde as possible. I have never regretted something so much in my life. I came out of the salon just unhappy with the result, whereas when getting your hair done you want to come out of the salon feeling a million pounds, not feeling worse than when you came in.

I began doing my research back in August in search of a new salon, one typically different from the salon I’ve been going to for the past few years but not a cheaper one just to save money like the one I went to back in April. I stumbled across Bleach London on Instagram. With over a quarter of a million followers and their feed consisting of hair images in every color of the rainbow, they are hard to miss. Like the name, they specialize in bleaching hair whether that is on virgin hair or on balayage/ombre/highlighted hair like myself, as well as coloring your hair whatever colour you desire. Yes, meaning anything from shocking red to bright green.

I decided rather than sticking to my roots and going back where I was most comfortable which was Toni&Guy I would take the plunge and book an appointment with Bleach London. They have three salons in London, the main salon being in Dalston with the other two in Berwick Street and Oxford Circus Topshop. I decided to go for the Oxford Circus branch where it is located at the bottom of Topshop with the rest of the beauty salons. I was booked in with Tasher Spencer for 12am on a Friday. Booking in with a new stylist is always a bit daunting because every hairdresser has their own technique and style of working, you’re never fully sure they are going to understand what you want however my hair was in dire need.

As soon as I met Tasher I was blown away as to how fast she understood what I wanted and how she knew what she was talking about in terms of my hair upon just looking at my it. Sometimes you just get the feeling where you know you’ve made the right decision. Immediately she gave me her professional advice and straight away we started off on the right foot where we completely understood each other in terms of what I wanted to achieve. I’ve never had that feeling even with the previous stylist I had been seeing for almost three years, with her it was almost in and out within a few hours compared to the five hours I spent in Bleach London.

Upon talking to Tasher I learnt that the techniques they use are catered completely to the type of hair you have and what you are getting done. I was going for a full head of bleach highlights asking her to put in as much blonde as she can, she didn’t disappoint. This alone took two hours to put in all the foils, compared to just one hour at the previous salon. She then was recommending me certain products based on my hair type and learning that I have an aggravated scalp, (no hairdresser has picked up on this before or ever recommended me products) I have found a holy grail product since which has completely regenerated my scalp and hair and fixed the problem I have had for years. This was all by her own accord, she doesn’t get any commission for recommending products to me even if I do eventually buy them. This blew me away as no stylist has ever helped me with this problem, rather just knew it was there but didn’t acknowledge it which didn’t help me at all.

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I had the highly raved about treatment Olaplex put into my hair, this wasn’t included in the price for highlights alone but my hair was in need of some pampering as it had been so long since I had really treated my hair. I also wanted to make sure I really experienced everything. Olaplex has been highly raved about in the hairdressing industry so much you feel like you need to know what all the hype is about and whether a product alone can be that good, it is. Stylists can’t live without this stuff and I do not blame them, for any bleach user this is a must and you can even buy this yourself to do at home. She put the Olaplex in the bleach and also used the second step after we took the bleach out where I had to sit for about 15 minutes whilst it worked its magic. My hair felt instantly revived and super soft and silky, something we all desire when it comes to our hair.

After washing the bleach and Olaplex out it was time to start blow drying out and finally seeing the end result. Both me and Tasher were equally excited about the outcome because we both saw what my hair was like before hand and knew it was going to be a transformation. Below on the left is my hair before, you can’t even see the highlights that I had done back in April they are so thin and badly placed, compared to the image on the right which is just after I got it done. A complete blonde transformation and anyone can agree the image on the right is 100 times better than the image on the left, almost like it’s two completely different people.

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The salon itself oozed industrial estate vibes and I like that it’s different to traditional modern salons we’re all used to seeing. There are lots of wood and metal pipes flowing through the dinky salon and upon having your hair done on your left you are faced with this wall full of Bleach London products. This includes the super cool colors which I have an upcoming post about telling and showing you what I think,  having tried and tested Violet skies and Rose along with some tips to get the best application possible. The lady getting her hair done in the chair next to me was going for a purple/pink/blue ombre look and although I’m not that brave to try and pull that off, I have experimented with a couple colors and wanted to see what all the hype was about.

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The whole vibe of the salon is extremely laid back and I felt very comfortable throughout, compared to certain salons where they have five chairs in a row with people being treated so it can get quite loud, the maximum number is just two here. Tasher told me that they only have two people working at once, being that the salon isn’t the biggest. I like that they haven’t tried to cram in as many clients at once as possible. Again it’s all about the personal experience and making sure you get the best experience they can possibly give you. IMG_3198

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My overall experience exceeded my expectations completely. I had no expectations beforehand as I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to be disappointed again, however I was blown away at everything from the service I received from Tasher as a stylist to the outcome of my hair. The price list has been placed below taken from the Bleach London website, in case you’re like me and bored of your current stylist and are looking for a complete revamp in terms of stylist and experience. Consultations are free so don’t be afraid to pop in to speak to a stylist, which happened a couple times throughout my appointment and Tasher gave excellent advice to potential future customers.

If you’re like me and like to get highlights, Tasher recommended that I only need to get them every 4-5 months which saves me money as they grow out a lot more natural than a whole head of bleach would, also causing less damage as you’re essentially only covering half of your hair.

I couldn’t fault the experience one bit, which makes me one very happy customer as I will definitely be returning to Tasher and am eternally grateful I took the plunge to try something new as it was worth every minute.

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