Layered Online reader Elise had been feeling out of sorts since returning to the UK. What she needed was the ultimate relaxation – which is where Edward James came in
I returned to rainy London after two glorious months away in Thailand – and landed with a bit of a bump. I went from feeling carefree and living life at my own pace to being thrown back into the rat race. It was a complete assault to all senses and, along with a bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder, it was clear to me that my morale was quite low. My hair resembled a scarecrow’s from being parched by the scorching hot Thai sun, not to mention daily chlorine from the pool and salt from the sea. I decided that a pamper day was in order, so after a much needed facial I headed to Edward James’s new Balham salon for a ‘mindful haircut‘.
Could they make me look and feel refreshed, ready to take on city life again?
I was greeted with tea and biscuits by salon director Harriet, who talked me through the session and discussed what I wanted to do with my hair. I simply said ‘please make it look alive again’.
Edward James salons are known for providing a holistically luxurious experience, which is reflected in the relaxing ambience felt in the salon. By teaming up with hypnotherapist Malminder Gill, they offer clients a series of meditations to take you through your salon experience. Edward James recognises that ‘with the fast-paced society we live in, it’s easy to forget the meaning of what a hair appointment should really be – a time so sit, relax, draw back and focus on ourselves’ – and that is exactly what I did.
To begin with, I was asked to choose between four Aveda aromatherapy oils for my scalp, neck and shoulder massage. I went for the Stress Fix (of course), closed my eyes and tuned into Malminder’s first meditation. This five minute session focussed on reaching a state of relaxation, switching off and allowing yourself to enjoy this moment of self-care. After a hectic commute on a packed Tube train, it was just what I needed to wind down.
I was then led downstairs for my hair treatment. Harriet recommended that we use the Aveda Dry Remedy range to treat my sun-scorched hair.
After shampoo and conditioner, Harriet applied the penetrating moisture remedy which is formulated to intensely moisturise dry hair in just five minutes. My hair was wrapped in a hot towel and I was left to enjoy Malminder’s second session. This guided meditation focused on nurturing yourself and promoting self-love in your life. Malminder transports you to water where you wash away stress and tension. This worked perfectly with the head-to-toe massage chair, which was the most comfortable one I have ever experienced. It felt like my body was floating on water with waves slowly working their way up and down.
During the haircut, Malminder leads a more hypnotic meditation where I was guided through a visualisation process, placing myself in a particular setting and encouraged to repeat positive affirmations of self-belief and self-worth, encouraging me to reflect on my experiences and to believe in my power, strength and resilience. When getting a haircut, I would normally take this time to answer emails and messages or scroll though social media. The mindful haircut reminded me to stop and take time truly for myself to reflect on my achievements, give myself a pat on the back and generally be kinder to myself. I left Edward James with my hair looking and feeling refreshed, but more importantly, feeling mentally reinvigorated and ready to take on London life once more.