Ladies, I have serious business to discuss with you. An issue so important I’m sure many of you have spent hours and days thinking and worrying about it, I am talking about: our hair. Should we wear it long? Short? Curly? Blonde? Pink? Go with fashion or stick to the same do we’ve had since we were teenagers? The question is not to be taken lightly as hair changes people. It can turn a boring girl into an exciting one, unfortunately it also works the other way around. I suppose what I’m really saying is, finding the right hairdresser can mean make or break for your life and your split ends.

lee cook best hair salon in london

Back in 2009 I was intensely bored with my hair. For a long time it had been quite long and curly but I needed a change. At 2am one morning I chopped it all off myself and started to wear it straight(ish) but that too didn’t really blow me out of the water. I wanted to dare the big move – I wanted to go blonde. At the time I had just moved from London to Berlin and finding a hairdresser who truly knows a thing or 2 about dying hair is like finding the literal needle in the hay. Whenever I asked blonde women where they got their hair done, most said they did it themselves, and some professional hairdressers I asked downright told me not to do it all together.

Then one day I saw my friend Claudia from London sporting the exact hair color I wanted. We had been friends for a while and her old color was quite similar to mine. I was in awe, she looked radiant. To make a long story short – 2 weeks later I was sat on a plane to London with an appointment to Mr Lee Cook, the hairdresser who had performed the miracle on Claudia’s hair, he was to turn my head into something completely new.

before and after katja hentschel

I cannot rave enough about this man. Since that time I never go to London anymore without a trip to Lee’s. We’re friends on facebook now so I just shoot him a message and we make it happen. This man is hardly just a coiffeur, he is a virtuoso and I was not at all surprised when he told me “I know it sounds crazy, but hair talks to me.” Pricesely the type of hairdresser I want – someone who can have a good old chat with my head.

Lee has been a hairdresser all his life, working for L’oreal, styling models at various fashion weeks as well as running his own salon. At the moment he works in the salon of his long-time friend and former co-worker Sarah Grafton who owns Katie Youngs, conveniently located on Hoxton Street. I never really leave East London when I go the British capital, so this central spot is perfect for me.

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Lee specializes as a colorist, as he says himself, but I think he rocks on all accounts, since I’ve never gotten better haircuts than the ones I got from him. All the people in this salon have their own field of speciality though, so depending on whether you have short, long or curly hair, you might want to ask who is the best person to chat to.

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After going back to my natural hair when I came here last summer, this time I wanted to try out a darker tone, inspired by Scarlett Johansson’s look, which she sports in her new film Under the skin. I sent Lee a blurry screenshot of what I wanted and sure enough he got it right again.

katja hentschel

If you’re in London and would like a really great new hairdo, phone in at the salon at +44(0) 20 7739 9271 to request an appointment. If you mention travelettes, you’ll get a jolly good 10 pounds off of any bill over £40. Go here for a list of their prices.

If you’re a student, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are special offers out there for you on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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Anyone I’ve seen getting their hair done at this salon looked like a movie star afterwards. If you choose to check it out, I’d love to read about your experience in a comment on this blogpost.

Katie Youngs is located at 191 Hoxton Street, N16RA.

Opening hours are Monday 10:00am – 6pm, Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm, Wednesday 12 am – 6 pm, Thursday 10 am – 8 pm , Friday 10am – 7 pm , Saturday 9am – 6pm, Sunday & Monday – Closed