Bloww by Bloww
A few weeks ago, we were both invited to the Bloww Hair and Urban Spa to try a treatment each of our choice. Situated off Regent Street, Bloww has been open for five years, although it has had various different guises (we believe it was home to Lee Stafford for a little while as well). After much umming and ahhing, we selected a hair and a spa treatment.
Here’s Helen’s account…
If you read my Confessional interview over at Modesty Brown the other day, you’ll know that I’ve been a bit of a stranger to the hairdresser of late. All my life I have had long hair and whilst it’s not exactly like my husband’s pathological fear of the dentist, I always feel nervous when it comes to getting the chop.
I needn’t have worried though as the moment I stepped through the doors at Bloww, I realised I was in safe hands. I had a lovely chat to salon manager Louise, who has the mammoth task of keeping this vast salon functioning, and I think she’s doing a marvellous job. Unlike many managers who prowl the floor or hide in an office, Louise was manning reception, greeting guests and offering a welcome and friendly service. All whilst wearing fabulous heels.
I was immediately taken care of by stylist Jo, who gave me the best hair wash I have ever had. The sink area is in a little darkened room off the main floor, and using Redken products, my hair was cleaned, conditioned and my scalp given a really thorough massage. Slightly dazed and zoned out, I then parked myself in the chair as Jo set to clearing up the mess of my hair.
I’ve been growing out a chemical straightening treatment for the last 18 months, and the ends of my hair were shouting this fact loud and clear. Thankfully, they were snipped off, some loose layers added back in, and some shaping created around my face.
Jo was relaxed and professional and didn’t once ask about if I had any holidays planned. We did manage to chat about all manner of other things though, like The Only Way Is Essex, terrible rail services, and Katie Piper (who was also in the salon having her hair done at the same time).
Once my cut was complete, Jo did a fantastic blow-dry. The best I’ve ever had. I’ve never had my hair curled during the drying process – I’ve always had it blasted and then tonged or curled with GHDs, but Jo managed to give me an amazing Hollywood look using just the brush and the dryer. Seriously talented. The whole process took less than an hour, but yet I didn’t feel rushed at all.
So, my hair is undeniably shorter (but that’s the point, right?) but in far, far better condition. If I were based permanently in London then I would probably be popping into Bloww on a regular basis for Jo’s awesome blow-drying skills alone, something that could become seriously addictive. So, if you’re looking for a salon in central London that offers excellent and fast service, in a friendly and professional atmosphere, then Bloww is the place for you.
Ladies cut and blow dry prices range from £38 for a stylist and £95 for a Creative Director.
Being the self-professed spa queen, it was really difficult to pick something as everything offered by Bloww sounded heavenly. Eventually I settled for the Arabian Steam Rasul treatment. I’ve had my fair share of massages, facials and hair-ripped from the roots treatments so I wanted to try something different.
Bloww recently acquired the spa premises in the basement (before it was rented out to a different owner). Upstairs, you walk into the brightness and contemporary decor of a hair salon. Downstairs, it’s a different world – dark yet tranquil, and hard to believe you’re below one of the busiest streets in London.
Rasul is an ancient Arabic cleansing bathing ritual, performed in a private rasul steam room that uses mineral-rich mud, heat and steam. The holistic experience begins when Chakra mud is applied all over the body by yourself for cleansing, detoxifying and smoothing of the skin. You can go alone but the treatment is also open to couples, hence the two seating areas in the steam room. It’s like walking into the bat cave or perhaps Dr Evil’s lair…this underground haunt with curved seats and arm rests. The great thing is there is absolute privacy – not even staff will disturb you.
I was met by a beautician who showed me to the changing rooms where I locked away my belongings and where I was given a bathrobe, towel and slippers before she led me to the treatment room. There I was presented with a platter of three types of Chakra mud – white for the face, yellow for the arms and chest, and black for the legs and back. Each mud has a different level of exfoliation, so the face one was delicate and less grainy, whereas the far extreme of the darkest mud was more coarse. I’ve got to say, the darkest one felt the best to use. It really felt like it was working…that’s what a body exfoliator should feel like. Everything else I’ve tried has been pants! I want this stuff in a jar! I was told these muds would remove all impurities in the skin and give me a nice polished glow. The beautician offered to do my back but I declined. It was actually really nice to be left to your own devices and I managed perfectly well by myself.
I had about 10 minutes to cover myself and then the herbal-infused steam begun automatically. At first it was slow to begin with. Then things took a dramatic turn. The twinkly lights on the ceiling lit up, water started pouring and from within that, steam began to pump into the booth. There was more than enough to conceal another person should there have been one sitting in front of me.
During this period, all I had to was relax as the aromatic steam did its work, infusing the mud, relaxing aching muscles and cleansing and purifying the respiratory system. After half an hour, it all stops automatically and ends with a rain of shower washing away the mud and toxins. It’s the steam that drives the toxins out and the mud that allows the moisturising minerals to seep into your skin.
I then had a proper shower where everything you could ever desire is provided – shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, make-up remover and a hair dryer.
So did I see a difference? Well I was pleasantly surprised. My complexion looked noticeably clear (bearing in mind all my make-up had come off) and I didn’t need to put make-up on again so I was very pleased. It’s only when I saw my mum in the evening that she remarked my skin looked brighter, especially my neck and upper chest area (no, I wasn’t sitting topless in front of her at the time!)
I have glanced at these type of treatments before (all sorts of deals crop up on the internet) and they are usually presented as a treatment for two people, which strikes me as a bit sordid. Well I really can’t imagine my fella jumping at the chance of doing something like this but hey ho, each to their own. It’s quite spectacular that a little bit of mud can boost and cleanse your skin, which is why I am certainly going to undergo this treatment again.
At Bloww, an Arabian Steam Rasul for an individual costs £65.00, and for couples it’s £100.00. If you’d like a 25 minute massage after, the price is £95.00 for an individual and £165.00 for couples and for a 50 minutes massage, it’s £125.00 and £195.00. A session lasts about 45 minutes, excluding showering and there is no rush to push you out.
To find out more about Bloww or to enquire about their range of treatments, visit www.bloww.com or call 020 7292 0300. Bloww is at 4 Regent Place, London, W1B 5EA.