BN1 visits: Velvet Hair Salon

It was a Wednesday evening and I was feeling like somebody had removed a large part of my liver and replaced it with cava and wine. After groaning, grumbling and shuffling around muttering the occasional ‘woe is me’, I settled down on the sofa and started my routine.

This consists of dialling up my favourite takeaway to splendour in a grease-fest of epic proportions, putting on my onesie that is made to look like a strawberry and indulging in hours of TV so bad that I swear I actually saw some brain cells evacuate my head and slide onto the floor in disgust. It was then that I caught my reflection in the window and realised that I was a creature of habit, and that one of the biggest victims of this was my hair.

For nearly a year it had hung limply past my shoulders and was currently a mousy horrible brown colour that was awash with light and dark bits. It was at that moment I decided I may not be able to change my hangover routine, but I could certainly do something about my god-awful barnet.

After the two day hangover wore off I trotted down to Velvet opposite Norfolk Square on Western Road. Walking in I was struck by how effortlessly it combines that unique kitsch-cool vibe that seems like such a Brighton institution with a welcoming and warm atmosphere. I particularly liked the parts of exposed brick and the fantastic bespoke light displays. I was met by the wonderful Dale, who along with the gorgeous Gemma (both pictured), run the salon.

Noticing the bold and bright shades on the colour chart I hinted to Dale that I wanted something pretty but maybe a tad alternative. With his friendly and clearly expert advice I decided on a mint green. Because my hair was a mish-mash of all sorts of colour, it would need to be lightened to blonde, and then the colour added on top. To say we didn’t stop talking for the whole lightening process almost seems like an understatementthere must have been birds that flew off the trees at our babbling and laughter.

After my hair was appropriately blonde he massaged in a conditioning treatment before looking at the minty greens I wanted. It was at this point that I underwent a complete u-turn and decided I actually really liked the blonde undercoat, and asked if it would be possible to maybe get a dip dyed purple colour instead!

Rather than look angry at my indecisiveness like so many hairdressers would, he enthusiastically went through the purples and we decided upon a lavender colour so cute it made me do a ludicrous little twirl in the salon. A toner was added to the blonde, and then the lavender colour added to create a dip dyed effect.

After trimming away the multitude of split ends, drying and then styling to my specifications (I opted for a beautiful wave effect) it was complete. To say I was over the moon really doesn’t do justice to the shrieking, clapping and jumping about on the chair that was embarrassingly my reaction. He had managed to translate my incomprehensible instructions into a mind-blowing new look.

The worry with such a fantastic salon is that the costs are going to be through the roof, but not so at Velvet, with a full head tint from £50 and a cut and finish from £40. However Velvet is not only a hair salon. Jaqi has a beautiful selection of options available for manicures, pedicures and lashes at the front of the shop.

In an adjoining room Kat and Eve offer tattooing, piercing and a pioneering new solution to male hair loss which involves tiny black dots being made on the head to resemble a very short ‘stubble or buzz cut’ type of appearance with prices from £180. You can even rent or commission a large selection of lights from Jaqi, such as the beauties that are evident throughout the shop. After the ridiculous amounts of compliments I’ve received for my beautiful new hair-so many that I’ve lost count – I’m a Velvet convert. After my next hair touch up I’ll probably be walking out with a whole bunch of other treatments too.

Velvet Hair Salon is at 48 Norfolk Square, Western Road Brighton. BN1 2PA

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