The other week, myself and a handful of Manchester based beauty bloggers headed down to check out the Umberto Giannini Hair Salon in Harvey Nichols, for an evening of prosecco, macaroons, and serious hair talks. Because hair is a serious issue, right? Right. As an avid salon regular, I book in with a hairdresser usually around once every three months, usually for a half head of highlights and a trim. Sometimes I’m more adventurous – there have been a few occasions where I’ve walked out of a salon sporting a dark brunette barnet – not to mention the hair ‘mess-ups’ that have annoying happened over the years too.
Whether you want to go for a daring colour change, a complete re-style, just the usual touch-up and trim, or to book in for a styling session, the same thing must apply (in my humble opinion) every single time: you must trust your stylist. I know first hand from walking into random hair salons on the other side of the world when living in Aus just how WRONG your hair can go when you don’t look into the professionalism of the staff, the salon, and the techniques/training. There is nothing more comforting and reassuring than knowing you are in the hands of a professional salon, with a dedicate and passionate team of stylists, whose enthusiasm and skills show from the offset.
This is the first impression I got from the Umberto Giannini salon. It’s slightly tucked away on the ground floor of Harvey Nichols (look left when you approach the beauty counter) and upon first glance looks like a fairly small set up. However, when taken through to the actual salon, it opens up to a lavish, large scale salon, with dedicated areas for styling, washing and treatments. It’s bright and minimal, just how I feel a salon should look. In my eyes, a salon should look modern and classic so that it reflects the feeling that the emphasis is all about the quality and skills of the team, and not about funky displays and off putting decor.
I’ve been familiar with the Umberto Giannini brand for a long time, but mainly through the range of hair care products. I have to say, I have used a couple of products over the years and have never been disappointed – plus I’m a huge fan of the bold, illustrated packaging (here we go again, me raving on about the packaging…)
After having a little tour of the salon, we got to chat with the salon manager, Ben, about everything related to the salon in terms of whats on offer, pricing, stylists and what’s coming up next. I was genuinely impressed with how serious they take hair trends, I had only stepped inside the salon for ten minutes and was introduced to hair contouring, which is a method used with colouring which can compliment your face shape. Now that is something I need to hear a little more about! Hair contouring aside, it was lovely to learn about each individual stylist on board the team (Ben, James, Anthony and Claire to name a few), and the shocking realisation that you can actually book in for a hair cut for just £36.50. I just assumed it would cost so much more than this! To me, that is excellent value, and when they asked me to guess what the cheapest haircut at Umberto Giannini would be I actually said £60 and that was playing it down a little.
After learning about the intensive training the stylists go through, we had a sneak peak at their new SS16 video, which gave us a few snapshots of styling and trends. Towards the end of my evening with the team, Ben finally got his hands on my scruffy ponytail and transformed my locks into a messy up-do, which I am absolutley useless at creating. One minute I had this flat looking high ponytail which shamefully was a little on the greasy side, and the next, I had this voluminous, dry-shampooed, bouffant style up-do which looks so incredible stylish. I did tell Ben that it’s virtually impossible to get ANY bit of ‘oomph’ in this hair of mine, but hats off to him – he proved me wrong…
The salon has that whole lifestyle element where you can book in, have a glass of wine or food from the restaurant if you desire, have a mini make-over booked in afterwards at one of the beauty counters… you know the drill, the whole girly pamper. It’s so impressive, I’m tempted to book in for a styling appointment for New Years Eve like some of my friends already have done!
A huge thanks to the team for putting on a lovely evening. Although I haven’t yet experienced a colour or cut here, I’m more than confident this salon is a fail-safe option for anyone in need of a professional salon to try out in Manchester. I highly recommend!