Hair Lounge

347 Portobello Road, London
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Review Rating from 23 reviews

Address
347 Portobello Road, North Kensington, London, W10 5SA

Telephone
020 8969 9444

Nearest Station
Ladbroke Grove (0.27 miles)

Category
Hairdressers

Website
http://www.charlottemensah.com

Opening Summary

Tues - Thurs & Sat: 10am - 6pm
Fri: 10am - 8pm

Hair Lounge is the multi-award winning Afro salon's run by artistic director and proprietor celebrity hairstylist Charlotte Mensah. Charlotte has just been crowned Schwarzkopf British Afro Hairdresser of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year running as well as Stylist of The Year 2014 at Blackbeauty/Sensationnel Awards. Her styling team was also awarded with Styling Team of the Year 2014. Charlotte is recognized one of UK's leading authorities on 'Natural Afro Hair' and has been championing Natural Afro Hair movement for many years.

Hair Lounge Picture Gallery

Hair Lounge Salon Interior
Hair Lounge Salon Interior

User Reviews

Reviewed by Secret Shopper from HAMPSTEAD
Highly overrated. Too much gossip going on in there. Prices are inflated for a very poor service.
Even try to make you pay for things you did not do or pay twice for things.
Don't think I will be going back there. Sorry.

Mar 9, 2022
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Reviewed by Anona from London
If this was a random hair salon, I would honestly not complain as I'm a firm believer in you get what you pay for. But given I ended up spending over £120, I couldn't believe the poor level of service and lack of basic hair training. The staff are indeed warm and friendly, it doesn't distract you from the lack of professionalism in the salon. At those prices, you should expect a timely service with experienced stylists. Instead, they were understaffed and didn't have a clue as to how to care for my hair. I ended up spending over 3 and a half hours in the salon for a simple treatment and cornrow. No one offered a shred of hair care advice, something which is usually standard practice especially if the stylist is aware you hair is breaking. Overall, it was a very disappointing experience, I've had much better service and care in cheaper salons. Below is a breakdown of my experience:

I had heard good things about this salon from friends and Google reviews, but sadly my experience was extremely far from pleasant. Firstly, I was kept waiting outside for a good 20 minutes. It was only after I complained that I was ushered indoors and a stylist left another client's hair to begin mine.

I have soft texlaxed hair which requires little detangling, and I had even sectioned my hair into 4 prior to my visit, only for the stylist to bunch it all together and proceeded to "detangle" it using a paddle brush. I was a bit shocked by this, as I'm used to hairstylists sectioning hair to detangle/wash. During the wash the same thing occurred; instead of sectioning my hair to wash it, she bunched my hair altogether and proceeded to scrub. It honestly felt like she was using a Brillo pad to scrub a pot and was extremely painful. I complained about how aggressive she was being, she apologised but then continued to do the same thing. I then asked for a different hairstylist thinking maybe this particular stylist had hard hands, but the second hairstylist was just as bad. Not only was this a painful process but the lack of care and attention left my hair extremely tangled. She applied conditioner and instead of sectioning the hair to detangle it gently and carefully, she left it bunched together and ripped through it with a paddle brush. I shudder to think how much hair I lost!

I was then put under a standard hairdryer instead of a steamer for my hair treatment. Again, I complained and I was then put under the proper steamer (very surprising to be told they only have 1 steamer in such an expensive salon). I asked about what treatment had been done to my hair and the stylist explained it was a moisture treatment. I asked why that treatment was chosen and not a protein treatment and she couldn't explain why; I assume because she didn't know. I asked if my hair was breaking and she was initially unsure (shocking given she had now been handling my hair for over an hour), but then confirmed it was breaking. No advice was offered as to how to combat this etc. After my rinse out, I had to wait another 40-45 mins for another stylist to become available to do basic cornrows. This was another painful experience as she kept pulling my edges, so she had to start again several times.

Sep 7, 2020
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Reviewed by Georgia from Britain
I have been searching for a good afro hair salon for years and saw this one on a programme at xmas, 'what Britain bought in 2018' by Mary Portas. I was very excited and happy to treat myself in the new year. I had an appointment for 10.30 and the first consultation I had was about 11.20. I had travelled from far to be here. I did not leave the salon till 3.15 and my poor son was very tired and had missed his haircut appointment. Again, not many stylists, too much chatting about her awards, shows etc. My hair cut was rubbish, she could not even twist my hair properly, I went into dryer and steamer more times than I should have. The sting in the tail was my bill!! She was pushing her overpriced products which I naively bought and they are still sitting at home unused. I am still reeling from the whole experience. I would never recommend her to anyone. Find a local hairdresser near you, get your own products etc. She is getting too much coverage by the press cos they don't know her.

Jan 28, 2019
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Reviewed by Lorraine from London
Past experiences have left me wary of hairdressers. This, however, I can happily call my new hair salon. Both staff and clients are wonderful and friendly. Charlotte is an amazing woman and I am truly grateful to her. I came here in despair. My hair was breaking and in terrible condition after a visit to a different hair salon. Whenever I brushed or combed it, I'd be covered in hair. It was awful. People advised me to get a big chop (nope, not going to happen). Even Charlotte, bless her, advised the same but was never forceful in her advice. She was fighting a losing battle on that one I'm afraid; and instead gave me an amazing pixie cut. She has worked wonders and truly revived my hair. It's now so healthy. Charlotte really knows her stuff. I love my new hairstyle and that magic in a bottle: Manketti Hair Oil. Wonderful. I'd definitely recommend this salon but not too loudly as, personally, I'd like to keep her all to myself. Thank you Charlotte and your wonderful staff.

Oct 8, 2018
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Reviewed by Carol john from London
The best salon in London for Afro/curly hair!! The Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil are super nourishing and hydrating my is still soft and silky after 1 week of using the products! Highly recommend

Apr 22, 2018
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Reviewed by Melanie Williams from London
The treatment consists of Charlotte's 'special' conditioner which is the same as the regular and a quick steam. The only product used in my hair was Charlotte's own brand "Manketti oil" (mongongo oil) with manketti oil listed as one of the last ingredients on the bottle. No leave in conditioner, no heat protectant or moisturising product was used in my hair. A junior stylist blow dried my hair with a pick followed by straightening. My hair was not straight and still had thick roots. I was told by owner Charlotte that I should have mentioned to the stylist to use a round brush when blow-drying! Charlotte said she would correct this. My hair was then blowdried and straighten for the second time. This is excessive heat being used in one sitting. The hair still looked frizzy, not slick at all and definitely not worth £80. I could have achieved this look myself at home. This is below par for a 'higher end' salon. I would sugget less upselling as it ruins the customer experi

Apr 15, 2018
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Response from Belinda Manager
Dear Melanie,
Thank you for your comments and review. I'm very sorry to hear about your experience and also disappointed that we have failed your expectation as this is definitely not the standard of service our customers have come to expect from us. “I would really like to speak to you to learn more about what happened so I can try resolving the problems you've encountered with the team. Please do contact me” at [email protected]

Apr 23, 2018

Reviewed by Rachel Cisse from Glasgow
Charlotte gave me a perfect haircut. This was my first visit, and I felt pampered from the minute I walked in. I loved the scalp massage and the Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil products they used were amazing --it was a total experience that made me very happy. Everyone in the salon made me feel welcome and special! I would certainly recommend Charlotte Mensah Hair Lounge to anyone that is looking for a top quality professional salon

Jul 27, 2016
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Reviewed by Kwabs from South
I read so much about this salon in the black hair magazines. I was so excited! I went to all the other top salons but was still searching for the ultimate high end Afro experience. Well this wasn't what I expected. The owner wasn't particularly inviting and I was under the impression, from her site that there were more stylists there. It was only her seeing to three of us and I can imagine it's stressful but if I'm paying a lot of money for such a service I was expecting to be taken care of. The salon is very nice to look at and its in a nice area but that's pretty much all it was. No different to cheaper Afro salons where they will do unnecessary things to your hair to keep you there longer and charge you more, they just upgrade your service without telling you and bullies you into paying for it. Never again. My quest for my perfect Afro salon continues.

Mar 19, 2016
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Reviewed by Concerned customer from London
Better customer service is needed.

Jan 31, 2016
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Reviewed by Nathalie, from London
I had been searching for a high end black hair salon, after many years of processing my own hair since about the age of 15, it had become quite damaged over time. I kept seeing spectacular reviews about Charlotte Mensah. I was so impressed by the reviews, I made the call. To be very honest, even if Charlotte's salon was based in Scotland, I would have traveled from London. I was anxious but I trusted her implicitly, as she had won awards year in year out. I look fantastic, I've been singing her praises for days. It is no wonder she is being recognised for the excellent work that she does.

Dec 6, 2014
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Reviewed by Fumilayo86
I'd been looking for a great salon to call home for sometime now and have visited far too many Afro salons to mention. Anyway, I recently read a review in Cosmopolitan about the Manketti Hair Treatment that was available at Hair Lounge and thought I must try it. OMG! it was amazing Charlotte Mensah and her Hair Lounge team are raising the bar,the customer service was first rate and the head massage incredible. This treatment not only left my hair feeling soft manageable but also smelt that good that even my husband commented on it, Thank you ladies. Fumi x

May 14, 2014
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Reviewed by Janisouwa from King's Cross
I went to Hair Lounge a year ago and was impressed with the stylists' knowledge and friendly demeanour. The decor, too, is very presentable. I am transitioning from relaxed hair to natural and booked myself in for a treatment and wash n go. All went well, despite the expensive £60 price tag, until it was time to style my hair. They seemed to have no idea how to handle 3b/3c curls and I was left a frizzy mess. I suggest they ask customers how best to style their hair, as all curls are different. Thankfully, when I explained I was unhappy they took my styling tips and I the salon looking decent

Feb 25, 2014
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Reviewed by Denise Robson
Having visited many Afro salons in London over the last 10 years I must admit that I'm going to become a regular of Charlotte Mensah and her salon Hair Lounge. I visited this salon after it was recommended by a close friend of mine. I could rave on and on about what an amazingly salon it is, not only for its friendliness and welcoming vibe but Charlotte Mensah's hairdressing skills are incredible I guess thats why she recently won British Afr Hairdresser of the Year. Thank you Charlotte and the Hair Lounge Team for making me feel and look a million $$$. Denise x

Jan 10, 2014
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Reviewed by Ruth Ifode from W10
Having made the decision 3 years ago to go natural it's been hit and miss trying to find a 'home' salon I am happy with or want to return to.. BUT
Hair Lounge ticks ALL the boxes for me! From the moment I arrive and meet the delightful junior stylist, I am spoilt with I nice cuppa mint tea and homemade biscuits, great music selection (which I want copy by the way!), not forgetting my new naturally twisted hair!! I shall most certainly reccomend! Keep up the good work :)

Feb 20, 2013
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Reviewed by Hair Spy
So fashionistas Charlotte Mensah owner of Hair Lounge had recently won not only Weave Stylist of the Year but also Stylist Of The Year by BBH/S Awards. So at the beginning of this week I thought I would treat myself, you know, start of 2013 needing to look and feel good. So i called the Hair Lounge and book an appointment, very slick I must say... On arrival I was greeted with a friendly smile offered a selection of refreshments and had a wicked head massage and wash. Charlotte Mensah you made my hair look so amazing, I'm still blown away all I can say is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ladies....

Jan 9, 2013
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Reviewed by Hair Detective
I came across the name Hair Lounge and its owner Charlotte Mensah from a celebrity friend of mine that is a regular there. So being a Hair Detective I sent along one of my team to find out what the fuss was about. We called the salon to book the appointment and were extremely impressed by their telephone manner and professionalism that was displayed with unfortunately is lacking in a number of salons today. Appointment booked, my team member went along to the salon and described how she was greeted with a warm friendly smile from the attentive staff and offered refreshments. She was then give a free ten minute consultation by Creative Director/Proprietor Charlotte Mensah who she said spent time explaining to her what options were available to her. When she returned to the office a few hours later the change was remarkable, she spoke about the atmosphere and fun that she had had and was over the moon with her new hairstyle. Yes ladies the prices maybe on the high side but you do pay for what you get. So we salute Hair Lounge and The Hair Dectective Agency give Charlotte Mensah and her team the Big Thumbs keep up the good work Ladies!!!!!!!

Dec 8, 2011
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Reviewed by mraoap
I visited Hair Lounge a few months ago,and was pleased to have found a top quality afro hair salon. However, after having my hair relaxed there I discovered to my horror that I was losing a lot of hair. My once below shoulder-length hair is now just below my ears and is very thin. I am very upset and disappointed with the results and am struggling to understand how this could happen under such a professional and expensive salon. The service is okay but I will never be going back to Hair Lounge

Dec 8, 2011
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Reviewed by Greattimes
BEST SALON I RECOMEND FOR AFRO HAIR IN LONDON

I've came across Hair Lounge in Blackhair & Beauty magazine 3 years ago and thought I would visit and trial out their services. Over the years I have been to many Afro salons some good and many bad. Hair Lounge though is certainly a premier salon, the staff are extremely friendly and professional. The owner is an amazing lady whose name is Charlotte Mensah she is certainly a bespoke stylist that has incredible vision, talent and knowledge of the products that she uses in her salon.
She has to be one of the most caring ladies that I know especially when it comes to haircare her cutting is second to none I've recommended her to many of my professional friends all have share the same but unique experience that you receive in Hair Lounge

SO LADIES...........IF YOU REALLY WANT THE BEST THERE IS IN HAIRCARE HAIR LOUNGE IS THE PLACE TO GO....

Nov 13, 2011
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Reviewed by Strawberry Hill
Ladies….AVOID! AVOID! AVOID! The Hair Lounge!

I’ve been to the Hair Lounge 3 times, as I like to support local black businesses, but I’m never going again. It is style over substance – I will say that it looks nice and I was please when I stumbled across it. The Owner cut my hair on my second visit and I thought mmmm not good. One side was clearly longer than the other and goodness knows what was happening at the back! So, note to self, still willing to support the business but never have hair cut at the Hair Lounge.

My 3rd and final visit has left me devastated. I had a retouch and 2 weeks after the retouch I have lost over a 1/3 of my hair, clumps of it are just breaking off, and I have had to have about 3 inches cut off. My husband just can’t believe it as my hair just continues to break and fall out. It is so bad I’m going to buy a wig this weekend – I’ve never worn a wig in my life!

During the retouch a friend of the Owner came and she went to have a coffee. The Junior went to fetcher her when the buzzer went of but the Onwer didn’t even bother to come back but gave the Junior instructions. It was clear the Junior had no idea and I suspect didn’t neutralise properly so the perm has just destroyed my hair.

I went back to the Hair Lounge to ask for help, advise, treatment. She made a host of pathetic excuses that it couldn’t have been the Hair Lounge but was my hair, my shampoo, the harshness of London water – pathetic, unprofessional and laughable. Not a hint of an apology or even the offer of a free treatment. And to add insult to injury, the whole time I was talking to her she didn’t even have the courtesy to get off her behind and come round the counter to engage with me in a professional way or even look at my hair.

Ladies, be warned DO NOT GO TO THE HAIR LOUNGE!

Nov 4, 2011
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Reviewed by Anonymous
I have been going to Hair Lounge for about 4 years now. They are great with treatments and weaves, and the haircuts are just as great. I highly recommend Hair Lounge to anyone.

Aug 4, 2010
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Reviewed by Anonymous
Just come from Hair Lounge for highlights and all I can say is 'wow'! Best place I've ever had my hair done, and I'm fussy! Highly recommended. The staff are very welcoming and friendly. Top class salon.

Aug 3, 2010
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Reviewed by Anonymous
I had read about this salon in a leading blackhair magazine. I went along there last Tuesday just on the off chance as I hadn't made an appointment. I was greeted by a friendly memeber of staff and had a 10 minute consultation with Charlotte Mensah she didn't try to persuade me to try a style that I didn't want. And she gave me an amazing cut this is definitly a place I will go back to.

Aug 3, 2010
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Reviewed by Anonymous
I recently had an appointment at Hair Lounge and have decided to become a regular visitor to this salon for the service the staff and atmosphere.
I originally emailed the salon via their website. I received a reply that day and was informed to contact Charlotte (who turned out to be the owner)for a free consultation, to my surprise it was incredible straight forward we discussed my hair and my history and I was informed of a solution. I have been to a number of salon's over the years and its incredibly difficult to find a salon that understands natural hair. I have to say well done to Charlotte Mensah and her team for restoring my belief back into Afro hairdressers.

Jul 24, 2010
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Reviewed by Anonymous
I recently visited the Hair Lounge after reading excellent reviews about this award winning salon in a number of magazines and I was not disappointed. I have visited a number of afro salon's over the years which I have found to be extremely poor as far as the service goes but this salon and the personel were excellent. I was even sat next to a celebrity which I didn't expect and the treatment that I received was exactly the same as them. The owner did an excellent job on my relaxer and cut which cost £100 which I believe was money very well spent. I would recommend this hair salon to anyone that is looking for a friendly and professional Afro salon.

Jun 2, 2010
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Reviewed by Anonymous
I was very disappointed when I went to hair Lounge. I saw the ratings in the black hair magazines, and considered with it being an 'award winning' salon, there was little chance of things going wrong! Well, I went to have my afro hair texturised and after a consultation which involved me specifically stating I didn't want to have the hair straightened, the relaxer was applied. I asked what the difference was between having a straight perm and having your hair texturised and was told by the owner that it was the same relaxer but you just don't leave it on for as long when texturising the hair. When the relaxer was washed out, I noticed the hair was straight. When I asked the owner, she told me it was because it was wet and would be ok when dry (later occurred to me she didn't want to create a scene with the other customers there). I left in a hurry before it dried but when it did dry, it was straight! Of course i was disappointed that the afro I had been growing for a while was now straight but it was the attitude of the owner that surprised me. She refused to acknowledge her mistake and apologise and her words were 'what difference would an apology make!' She offered some treatment but I felt so offended and will never go there again, regardless of how many awards they win. Your attitude when you make a mistake with a customer's hair makes a difference.

Apr 26, 2010
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Reviewed by Anonymous
I went to the Hair Lounge for a simple hair treatment (no subsequent hair drying or straightening, I litterally left the salon with wet hair).
Whilst the care I received from the assistant was very good (nice scalp massage, excellent attention). The hair treatment I received was poor. The product used (Mizani) was not rich enough for my hair and didn't improve its condition subsequently.
This would not have been so bad it I was charge £45.50 for this.
£45.50 for a product I could have found in any black hair shop, and 30 minutes under the heater. And no drying at all. (I didn't want a drying because my I want my hair to dry naturally to keep the curls)

The owner of the salon told me first that it cost £50. When she saw my expression, she lowered it to £45. I left the salon outraged and I will never, ever come back there.
I normally have a hair treatment and drying and hair strenghtening for £50.
A treatment alone for this price is completely out of order. Especially when it is poor.

Nov 26, 2009
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