Muddy bobs up at Salon Bon Bon
There’s a brand new hair salon in Hitchin. It’s called Salon Bon Bon. I was there for the launch: balloons bobbed in the breeze and fizz was offered to anyone who stepped over the threshold. I ended up accepting a glass of prosecco earlier than usual, and when Sue offered to cut my hair, I agreed to go back the following week.
If you are familiar with Hitchin, you’ll know what a brilliant town this is. It’s full of quirky and independent businesses, and there is a vibe that is unique to Hitchin. I don’t quite know how to describe the vibe, but it comes from a combination of people who are a little bit out there and interested in the wider world. If you don’t know it, may I recommend the lifestyle boutique What Sarah Did? It’s owned and run by the brilliant Sarah Clare, who is a wonderful ambassador for all things Hitchin. There is a palpable community spirit among the business owners and shopkeepers, and I think this is appreciated by residents and visitors. Perhaps I could start with an aerial view of Hitchin, the one favoured in Doctor Foster. Here goes:
Salon Bon Bon is in Churchyard, with a great view of St Mary’s Church.
Meet Sue Lever. Sue is Madame Bon Bon. Vidal Sassoon trained and a Hitchin resident, she has spent the last 20 years or so working on the other side: developing colours and products for Wella and, more recently, Fudge. She seems to think that opening her own salon will involve a more leisurely pace of life, and yes, it might mean fewer flights to Geneva, but she tells me that her bookings are stacking up and she is already on the lookout for an extra pair of hands.
I arrive on a Friday afternoon, looking forward to a chat. I’m totally floored when Sue asks me: ‘What do you like about your hair?’ I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this question before, and, being British and no longer young, I can only point out what I don’t like about my hair: it’s getting thinner and greyer by the day. Sue listens and nods. She suggests a new style: a bob. A bob! The last time I had a bob I was younger and slimmer and bouncier. ‘It’s the Little Black Dress of hair styles,’ says Sue. ‘It’s always in fashion.’ Go on, Sue. Let’s do it!
Sue tells me that she’s had a warm welcome from her Churchyard neighbours. She’s close to Vintage Bay, winner of Best Gift Shop in the Muddy Awards this year. Salon Bon Bon is in the building that used to be home to Hitchin Bid – now just around the corner and still opposite St Mary’s Church. The salon is a beautiful space with exposed beams and brickwork. It’s light and bright and is uncluttered. It feels relaxing and calm. Sue has worked with lots of good local people, including Markham Reclaimed, Fab Flooring, and the salon flowers are from Town Garden. There’s another floor upstairs and Sue’s also got plans for developing the outside courtyard space behind the salon. As for Sue: she is lovely. Her approach is completely down to earth and she’s a good listener. While she gets to work I know that all is well – she is both assured and reassuring.
We are talking so much that I barely notice what Sue is doing while she is cutting, until rather a long lock floats down and lands in my lap. But I started by saying ‘I’m in your hands, Sue’, so there’s no need to panic. I’m actually looking forward to something a bit different and shedding the straggly nest. Keep going, Sue!
The result. Blockier, glossier, swishier. My hair is swinging forward at the front and cut a bit shorter at the back and I’m delighted. And the whole salon experience is relaxing and extremely enjoyable. It’s a lovely way to end the week. I’m very happy to recommend Salon Bon Bon to one and all. Thank you, Sue!
Prices: Cut and style: £47. Colour: from £35 for partial highlights to £85 for full head. Glossing and regrowth from £25. Bespoke colour including balayage: from £85. At the moment, if you book your first appointment before 4 Nov, there’s a bit of a Bon Bon sweet treat on offer: 30% off.
Parking: Another great thing about Hitchin is that it’s easy to park. There’a car park in front of the church where there’s always loads of room, although slightly trickier on market days: Tues, Fri and Sat. But there are also lots of free parking places for 2 hours – on White Hill, the road to the side of the big hill and opposite the car park in front of St Mary’s Church.
Salon Bon Bon, 27 Churchyard, Hitchin SG5 1HP 01462 451 302