A blow dry will do more for you than a new dress any day of the week - no wonder Anna Wintour reputedly has her hairdresser come by at 6.30am every morning to do her hair (though seriously, how hard can that bob actually be to do yourself?) and it's the one thing I rely on to transform how I look if I'm going to an event, or have to look especially soigné for some reason. For a proper rug rethink or for colour, I go to the genius Graham (Tilley & Carmichael), but he is to the quick fix blow dry what Le Gavroche is to Pret á Manger, too marvellous for everyday. Not being Anna Wintour, of course, I have to leave the house for my blow dry, but then I'm on my own money, not Condé Nast's.
The rise of the blow dry bar has put A-List grooming within the sights of ordinary mortals: there's the blow dry menu at Headmasters (though it's irritatingly restrictive to be offered only six styles), my go-to salon, Feel, on Berwick street, reliable and an accessible £22, and Hershesons, which suffers from the same menu-itis as Headmasters.
None of these quite passes the Wintour test: I've yet to find one that can get you back on the road in under 40 minutes, and not do they open early enough. If I want to pretend I'm an intergalactic business empress, I want to give good hair at a breakfast meeting, not skulk around until a lunchtime appointment: I like to maximise the hair-miles. However, I recently stumbled upon Blo by Real Hair -both the Elizabeth Street and Cale Street salons open at 7.30am and guarantee to take no longer than 30 minutes, all without shoehorning you into a menu card, but giving you the hair you want, your way, double quick and for £25. -the result is below. Utter bliss (slightly worried it might be habit forming...)
Blo By Real Hair
Opening hours, 7.30 am to 7.30 pm Monday to Wednesday, 7.30 to 8pm thursday friday, and 9am to 8pm Saturday (also open Sunday)
18 Cale Street Chelsea, SW3 3QU or 36 Elizabeth Street SW1W 9NZ
telephone number: 02030219050
A word about lipstick
My passion for red lipstick is well documented on these pages - in my head, scarlet lips offer instant screen-siren glamour and, like a blow-dry are one of my default style upgrades when the occasion but not necessarily the time demands. This, Lipstick Queen's Jungle Queen, was designed to work with animal print (which it does) because it's an orange toned red rather than blue. However, since I turn all red lipsticks too pink, the slightly orangey thing is a Godsend for me - and at £20, it's nearly half the price of my previous favourite, Tom Ford's Wilful, almost saving me the price of another blow dry at Blo.