Review: No 15 Church Street, Welwyn
I live in Welwyn so I know No 15 Church Street. But until last week my only experience of the salon had been an eleventh hour emergency blow dry for a special occasion. But last week I was lucky enough to enjoy the full No 15 treatment, including grey management consultancy, and a cut and blow dry too. I’m writing this exactly a week after my visit, and I’ve suddenly remembered that someone once said that the difference between a good hair cut and a great hair cut is exactly a week. But for now, a bit about Welwyn village. I live here so naturally I think it’s fantastic, and I will write more about the village soon, but in the meantime, here are some locations that you might like to look out for, all a couple of minutes from No 15 Church Street.
The salon is in an old building and this goes for most of the shops and businesses in the village. Unsurprisingly it’s opposite the church (currently under scaffolding) and Church House, one of the places on the Welwyn Heritage Trail. Church Street is just off the High Street, yet it feels a lot quieter. That’s churchyards for you.
The salon has been open for eleven years and is now owned by Lynda, and here she is sitting at the front desk. Most of the current team have been here since the start and clients are loyal as loyal can be. The salon is flooded with light; you can enjoy the green of the trees in the churchyard, and it’s both relaxing and upbeat. It also feels very calm and unpressurised.
My stylist for the day is Becky, who is a colour expert, but she also cuts hair. Yes, that’s two in one, and I liked the continuity. No 15 is an Aveda salon, always a pleasure, and Becky is trained in the Way of Aveda. Becky knows such a lot about colour! I was impressed by the fact that she didn’t do any of the usual colour matching with hair swatches, she just did lots of nodding and looking as she ran her fingers through my hair and then off she went to mix up the colour. I knew I didn’t need to worry. It was obvious that she knew what she was doing.
I’ve always had the tendency to keep going back to black, or at least the dark brown shade that I was born with, but as one matures, the pigment in our skin lightens. What I’m basically saying is that I can look witchy. Never a good look. Becky says that she’ll be able to match the roots to the lightest brown shade of my hair so that gradually the very dark will grow out. She fills me with confidence.
Colour on, and I can relax. And what a great place to relax. No 15 has a lovely atmosphere: completely unpretentious yet it feels indulgent because you are so well cared for. I feel completely at home. It’s too early for wine or prosecco (the fridge here is well-stocked) so I go for tea. The usual herbal teas and juices are on offer. I’m offered fruit from a fruit bowl in addition to the grapes that come with my tea. A nice touch, I feel. I ask both Lynda and Becky about who comes to No15. Everyone from the very young to the mature, it turns out. While I am here two little girls are having their hair washed, cut and styled. They’ve got the kind of hair I would like to cut off and stick on my own head: thick and long and blonde. A couple of men come in to have their hair cut and appear to be regulars. Becky tells me that she has worked at other salons and that No 15 is a breath of fresh air. It’s different, she says, because the appointments are spaced out so she’s got time to spend with people and talk to them, unlike the conveyor belt atmosphere that you can experience in some salons.
After the colour has been washed off, I enjoy a perfect head massage and an Aveda smooth infusion mask. Or should that be masque? Whichever it is, I can now say that a week after my visit, my hair has never felt in such good condition. Soft and extremely well nourished.
Well, what can I say? A week on and my hair feels and looks completely brilliant. I’m in love with my locks and believe me, it’s a rare thing for me to say this. I love the colour. After washing my hair myself, twice, it still feels incredibly soft and is still shiny. Rather than attempting to blow dry it myself for that just-left-the-salon feel which we know never really works, I just leave it to dry and oh my goodness, it’s great. That’s a good cut for you. It’s blockier and bobbier than before. Becky said that she was going to leave the layers longer and that’s worked well. All in all, I can’t believe I haven’t experienced the full No 15 treatment before. But that’s often the way, isn’t it? You ignore what’s on your doorstep as you trot off in search of good things further afield.
So while you might not live in or close to the village, I would like to invite you to share the joy of the No 15 experience. I have three vouchers to give away. 50% off a cut and blow dry. If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will send you a voucher to the first three people who write, to be used before Saturday 1 July. So thank you Becky and No 15 for a brilliant result and utterly relaxing and enjoyable experience. And Muddy readers, I look forward to hearing from you!
My full head tint was £55, and my cut and blow dry with Becky, who is a senior stylist, was £40. You can have a cut and blow dry for £33 with a stylist, and this goes up to £55 for the director’s cut. I also had an Aveda smooth infusion mask and a head massage for £18.
You can park for free at Lockleys car park, a few minutes’ walk from No 15. Come out of the salon, turn right and then right again into Lockleys Drive after the Mimram Veterinary Centre.
No 15 Church Street, Welwyn, AL6 9LN 01438 718115 www.no15hair.co.uk