Clerkenwell isn't really one of those parts of London I ever spend much time in. Bar the odd visit to Clerkenwell Design Week, it's never held much of a draw to me - until now. You know when you stumble across a salon and colourist that are so great you simultaneously want to shout it from the rooftops so they're really successful, but also want to keep a secret so no one has hair as good as yours? Yeah. That.
One would be forgiven for thinking The Lion & The Fox was a local boozer rather than a hair mecca, but you'd be mistaken. It is in fact a sharply designed, achingly cool hair salon come gallery, offering a clever and unique concept that delivers the latest dose of photographic and art works alongside some of London’s most talented hair stylists and colourists.
The brainchild of established session stylist Tim Pateman and renowned photographer Leo Cackett, The Lion & The Fox was born over a desire to reinvent the classic salon experience alongside the chance to promote their passions of hair and photography in tandem. Spanning two floors, the overall interiors approach was devised by Rich Ryan and celebrates the original architecture giving it an industrial yet polished feel with exposed brickwork, wooden flooring, feature lighting and on brand muted tones. Upon entering, clients are welcomed into the gallery space and presented with great pieces of wild and raw photography from Leo’s latest projects. In the middle of the room, no obstructive reception desk, instead a low profile relaxed chair and table set up.
Committed to the highest standards of hair dressing, Tim Pateman leads the team with an emphasis on honing their own techniques whilst creating a look that is individual to each client- there is no cookie cutter approach here.
I popped in a few weeks back, fresh off a 12 hour flight from South Africa, in desperate need of a colour refresh, a decent trim and the removal of a number of sun-frazzled split ends. Having not coloured my hair in over two and a half years, the majority was a fairly decent whack of my natural hair colour (a surprisingly glossy, non-offensive dark blonde/golden brown. Who knew after 15 years of dyeing it?), while the bottom was the remainder of a blonde dye job which had luckily grown out into a rather subtle and oft-complimented ombré. Nevertheless, I wanted a freshen up, something a bit lighter and more natural/less dip-dye, as we head into summer.
As soon as I met my colourist Sarah I knew I was in safe hands. We hit it off immediately, bonding over stories of travelling as a single 30-something, and I trusted her completely from the first second she told me her plans. Ditching the foils, she went for some handpainted highlights, seamlessly blending my current colour up into my natural hair. Two lattes and a stack of magazines later, one Davines hair treatment (look them up - their products are utterly DIVINE, not to mention all natural), a trim of those raggedy ends and a new batch of layers, and I swung out of the salon with a revived spring in my step. In the following days I can't tell you the compliments I had on my new look. It was exactly what I was after; a subtle, natural colour, perfectly accentuating and working with my natural colour without being obvious or brash. I love it.
With a refreshingly up front pricing structure and a range of services including a full cut and colour menu, braid bar, fringe trims and Brazilian blow dries, The Lion & The Fox is worth discovering. A women's cut and blow dry starts from £40 and full head of highlights from £85 (£69 and £135 respectively with Sarah).
Love Laurel x