Sarah Loves... Nicola Clarke at John Frieda


John Frieda’s eponymous hair salon at Aldford Street in Mayfair, London, has been a haven for Jo and me for – crumbs! – over two decades, tending our thick and otherwise unruly manes into gorgeous glossy styles that have drawn a gratifying stream of compliments – and demands to know ‘where do you get your hair done’.

There’s long been another JF salon north of Oxford Street in New Cavendish Street. But now that has closed and – fanfare of trumpets – a truly sensational new salon has launched, led by the lovely and talented colour genius Nicola Clarke, dubbed the ‘Queen of Blondes’. Nicola has long looked after A-list heads, including Kate Moss, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and a glamorous (often blonde) roll-call of others. Now she's presiding over the new salon, with her own name alongside John's.

Jo was an 'early adopter' of the new salon, but I only visited recently and suffice it to say that I would – and will – go back in a heartbeat. Tucked down Margaret Court, a wee alleyway to the south of Margaret Street (a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus BTW), it’s a fab space – calm and welcoming, in fact everything we love about a great salon. And needless to say, the stylists and colourists are beyond excellent.

Nicky expertly chopped and snipped and flicked my wayward long bob (a lot less long after, which is a relief time-wise when it comes to washing, drying and styling), and Natasha did a stellar job on colour - all over tint and balayage, should you wish to know. And true to Nicola’s nickname I did come out blonder, which looks luscious. (And a big bonus: the wonderful Katrina is a must for an immaculate mani-pedi.)

Among the many moments of joy was a joyful reunion with the uber-stylist (and, like everyone else at JF, very very nice) Joel Goncalves, who has returned to the Frieda fold.

We’ve always said a good cut and colour is better than a face lift - not to mention less costly and not invasive.  And this is the place to go for the best.

Cut & Blow-dry from £60; Blow-dry from £30; Colour from £60 for tint, £115 for Half Head of Highlights

PS Look on the website to enquire about becoming a hair model, with ‘massive subsidised costs’.

Nicola Clarke at John Frieda/58-59 Margaret St, London W1W 8SN/020-7636 1401

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