So many salons, so few recommendations

Are there too many hairdressers in West Hampstead? I hear a resounding chorus of “yes” ringing out. An oft-heard criticism of West End Lane is the sheer number of stylists (and of course estate agents, but I’m not here to discuss them, slick though their hair may be).

Wandering the main streets of the area (West End Lane, Mill Lane, Fortune Green, Broadhurst Gardens) last weekend, I counted no fewer than 17 salons.

When I set out to produce the definitive guide to the best local women’s salons, I was therefore braced for a deluge of comment, opinion, recommendations, debate. Where would people suggest was the best place for a trim? Or a more “directional” cut and restyle? Or colour treatments? Where can you find the friendliest welcome, the most passionate and hair-savvy stylists, or the best coffee? Where’s the best place to go if you’re on a budget?

Instead, only a trickle of feedback was forthcoming (thank you to everyone who shared their recommendations, with a special mention for Heather who is the veritable whamp hair expert). And 90% of it was for the same two salons: HOB and Holistic. Barely any mention of the other places, which remain shrouded in mystery.

How to explain the surfeit of salons, given the local apathy? I asume there’s a demand for their services: most usually look busy (when I walked past on a typical Saturday, all had at least one customer and some places were positively buzzing) and of course all whampers are impeccably coiffed. So, perhaps it’s time to challenge the notion that there are too many. After all, the 17 salons encompass traditional-looking men’s barbers, trendy men’s salons, high-end unisex salons, and even a salon specialising in natural hair extensions (Helena’s Haircare on West End Lane).

As for the lack of hairdressing recommendations… do many locals get their hair cut in town (near work, perhaps?), and are the customers I see frequenting West Hampstead establishments price-sensitive souls attracted by special offers? Or are you just all jealously guarding your beauty secrets? Please use the comments below to let me know your thoughts on all matters follicular in West Hampstead.

By the way, your hair looks fabulous darling.

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  • I've asked around – the women in the office like HOB and Remix and the men like The Men's Lounge. I like to trek a little further afield to Tony Zreik on Finchley Road as there is some great artwork to look at!

    • @ZENW6

      Thanks for the feedback. I've heard from quite a few HOB fans, but this is the first Remix recommendation – funny, as it's always packed when I walk past. What do people like about it? Cuts/ colour/ good value?

    • My sources(!) say good value and the fact they have never had a bad cut there.

  • Ryan

    I'm a fella & fan of Remix. Been there for the last few cuts and would recommend them. I've had different stylists but all have done a good job. They just get on with it without too much fuss or awkward small talk. The missus is a Hob fan though.

    • @ZENW6

      Thanks – good to know! Maybe I should introduce a new category to the salon guide: an "awkward small talk" rating 🙂

  • Sheena

    I'm a huge fan of Kris at the Private Space on Mill Lane – he was at (now closed) Walker Smith on West End Lane before relocating to the Private Space. He's been cutting my hair for over 12 years now and I wouldn't let anyone else touch it. He actually listens to what you want and I've never had a bad haircut from him.

    • JackieS

      I'm with Sheena – Kris has been cutting and colouring my hair for years both at Walker Smith and Private Space. Wouldn't go to anyone else!

  • V & M on Greencroft Gardens – near the Waitrose on Finchley Road. Not strictly Whamp I guess but do a good job every time, very friendly, and just a tenner for a bloke's cut. No bottles of lager or laddish banter but frankly that's a bonus.

  • BIG SHOUT for Kris Hass at The Private Space on Mill Lane. I grew up in West Hampstead and went to Walker Smith where Kris cut hair. I’ve never looked back and have followed him up West End Lane to Mill Lane. My mother sees him too and I travel from Brighton where I now live to see Kris? Why? Because I had not visited a hairdresser regularly before Kris and had to overcome my hairdressing salonophobia as I was a strictly DIY gal.
    Kris knows what he is doing: his cuts are superb and grow out holding the shape; his hair colouring skills are second to none; and his personal qualities and client service is fab. I have never looked back and when I feel like an unkempt dollar bill he makes me feel and look a million dollars…

  • NS

    I whole heartedly agree with Miranda’s post below. I also grew up in West Hampstead and Kriss has been cutting my hair for the past 15 years. Now at the Private Space; he is exceptionally talented and his cuts are beautiful. Kriss also did my hair for my wedding and I knew he would never give me the standard naff wedding hair-up do, I had a stunning contemporary chic style which everyone commented on. I cannot recommend Kriss highly enough he really is a brilliant stylist with exquisite taste, but also a lovely person. So forget about these horrible franchises on West End Lane and find Kriss Hass.

  • Mark

    I can only agree with the comments below about Kriss Hass at the Private Space. He’s great at cutting men’s hair too! I have been going to him for years and can highly recommend his work. And he’s a nice guy and never asks me about football…

  • Lorraine

    Kriss is my hairdresser too and has been for the last seven years! I went to him on recommendation from my friend and was so happy with the cut I have never thought to go to anyone else. He’s a great guy and will work with you for new styles and keep your look up to date. I have lots of comments on my hair and everyone always says it’s cut well. I wholeheartedly recommend him and also enjoy spending time in Private Space where everyone is really friendly, good music is always playing and the vibe is just right!

  • Lana Selby

    Kris Hass at The Private Space has been my stylist for over 10 years. I thoroughly recommend Kris – he’s professional, skilled and a great guy. I always get compliments about my hair. The Private Space is a friendly, trendy salon and Kris is a fabulous stylist.

  • Kerin

    I too would like to sing the praises of Kris Hass. Not only is he a great hairdresser, he is also a really nice guy. I always have full confidence that I will walk away from Private Space with a great cut and colour. Been in the very capable cutting hands of Kriss for well over 6 years now and I would not go anywhere else. He is fab!

  • Rosanne

    Stay away from Remix. Rude arrogant staff, dirty salon and dishonest. I had a group on for a Brazilian, they demanded an extra £30 as soon as I walked in the door. Told me my fine, shoulder length hair was too long. When I argued they told me to leave and get a refund from Groupon. I called Groupon immediately from outside the salon and was told the voucher had been redeemed and service had been provided. So happy they did not touch my hair. Thieves to boot!

  • Alex

    I highly recommend Sam. He works in
    M & F Cuts unisex salon. The salon is new and they just opened less than 3 months. He cuts hair very well and also he is very good guy. Try him you wont be disappointment. He is good stylist.

  • Steph James

    I would recommend Remix. If you are local and go regularly to the salon, you would be really happy with the services. The stylists know well their frequent customers and they work hard to keep them satisfied. The salon’s been there for more than 5 years and is well-established in the area by now. One would be offered coffee and tea as well as magazines while waiting. Try them, hopefully you will have a great experience too!

  • Nicole

    The Private Space on Mill Lane is a fabulous haven for beauty and hair. Christian has been cutting and colouring my hair there for a while and always does a great job. Gigi is a superb beautician for all your needs and her massage touch is out of this world!

  • Caroline

    You cannot beat Gigi, the beautician at The Private Space , Mill Lane. Absolutely delightful and totally professional. She makes one feel completely special and is always accommodating . And we always have a laugh so I thoroughly enjoy my visits there with her.

    Ive never had Kriss cut my hair yet but by all accounts I must do so !

  • Pam Purewal

    The Private Space is a fantastic salon offering both hair and beauty treatments. The lovely ambience and friendly team are incredibly welcoming. Gigi is the best, friendly, professional and incredibly fantastic at her skill. I definitely recommend visiting her for all things beauty, what she didn’t know isn’t worth knowing. I also recommend hair from Kris and Christian both fantastic and make you look incredible.

  • Kathryn

    I also want to recommend Kriss Hass at The Private Space as well. He’s really talented, always gives me a great cut and a really lovely guy too! Also, nice coffee at The Private Space which is a bonus. I have been visiting Kriss for around 4 years and even though I no longer live in the area (and where I live has plenty of hairdressers!) I still return to Kriss because he is fab!

  • Sophie

    STEAR CLEAR OF KRIS HASS AT PRIVATE SPACE! I came on here to find recommendations about where to get my hair cut, as I’m usually nervous about trying a new place. After seeing all the glowing reviews about Kris Hass I thought I would be in safe hands. However, he did not even listen to what I wanted him to do. By the end of the cut it wasn’t at all what I wanted but the blow dry he gave me was nice so I was distracted. I decided to go back once I had washed my hair myself and seen where the problems were. At first he seemed more than happy to fix the cut then when I was telling him what I wasn’t happy with HE STARTED SHOUTING AT ME! I am not joking! He got in a huff, scissors in hand and just started hacking away at my hair. It was awful, I felt completely trapped, I was scared and upset and wanted to leave but he had only cut one half of my head so I had to stay and let him do the other half. But there is nothing more unpleasant than having an angry man hacking away at your hair while shouting at you. This is why I am so shocked by all the positive reviews on here, maybe he’s only nice to you if you’ve been going to him for years. NEW CUSTOMERS STAY AWAY FROM KRIS HASS!!!!

  • Selena

    The last comment regarding Kriss has actually upset me. Kriss Hass has been cutting and colouring my hair for over 8 years. Not only is he a fantastic stylist and colourist ( I used to cry after every haircut until I met him) but he is calm, kind and professional and always listens to what his clients want. Over the years I’ve recommended him to friends and families and always only ever heard positive feedback. I actually moved out of London 6 months ago but still come to Kriss as I wouldn’t want anyone else cutting and colouring my hair.
    The private space is a individual salon with lovely unpretencious staff and I cannot recommend Kriss Hass enough.

  • Shirani

    KRISS HASS IS A GREAT HAIRDRESSER! He is the ultimate professional. So disappointing to see someone write negative comments below particularly when you see how many happy customers Kriss has in West Hampstead.

    I cannot recommend him enough. Check him out and be assured you will be treated in a kind, friendly and above all professional manner!

  • Miranda Gavin

    I’m sitting in the chair at The Private Space getting my hair cut and coloured before I go away for 5 weeks. I left a comment a year ago about Kriss Hass who has been cutting and colouring my hair for more than ten years. I cannot recommend Kriss highly enough and always walk out of the salon smiling. Why? Because I get a superb cut and colour that grows out beautifully; I feel comfortable in the salon and in Kriss’s safe hands and enjoy the whole experience. I never went to the hairdressers before coming across Kriss and now I am hooked. I travel up from Brighton to see him, as does my mum who started to visit him after seeing how good his cutting and colouring skills are. Take a look at my twitter pic @MirandaGavin if you don’t believe me. I may look ropey but my hair looks fab. Highly highly recommended.

  • Jody Ann

    I have been going to Private Space for several years now for hair and beauty treatments. I strongly disagree with the post about Kris Hass. I have been a client of both Kris and Christian for hair. They are great at cutting and colour. Both are professional. Kris and Christian are highly recommended by myself and others in the area. Any new customer I have recommended have now become regular customers.

  • Harween

    Kris Hass (at The Private Space) is AWESOME!

    I have curly, unruly hair and had developed a fear of hairdressers. Then I met Kris, he always listens to what I want and never decides half way through that I should have something more creative. For hair colouring, again, he always makes my hair look it’s best. I always get complemented about my hair after I have seen Kris 🙂

    I travel all the way from East London to see Kris and would not go anywhere else!

  • Liliana

    Try Artistic monkey Salon 7mins walk from west end lane…been open for 3 years now and great service, coffee, cakes, alcohol and of cause welcoming and great hairstylists doing amazing hair…