The Drop Reviews…Saks Hair and Beauty

Editor Antonia Hawken has her tresses pampered all in the name of journalism.

Exeter Hair Princesshay review student

Being a student, I rarely turn down anything free.

When the recently opened Saks Hairdressers , located in Princesshay, contacted me inquiring whether I’d like to review the salon, and receive a free cut and blow dry for my efforts, I could hardly say no.

Prior to my appointment, which was pencilled in by a soothing voice referring to me as “Madame” making me feel oh so important, I attended a personal, intimate consultation. I described exactly what I wanted, how I’d had it done before and by whom, and which shades I envisaged my tattered locks to take. Notes were taken, and I immediately felt that my happiness was the priority of the following morning.

The first thing you notice about Saks is its distinct lack of opaque walls. The outside is entirely made of glass, creating a sense that each and every member of the public is welcome, and wanted. I make my way up the rather elegant and enchanting winding staircase, leaving behind the intense rush of the high-street to seclusion. When I mention this to manager Tom Wilson, he commented how this way, “only the finished product is visible, when you leave the shop. No one likes to be seen with wet hair stuck to their head.”

The salon is immaculately kept, bright white walls allowing for the delicate flower display to show off its colours. The room itself isn’t particularly large, a nod to the Saks’ mentality of creating a personal, as well as professional, experience for its customers. I wait to be seated, admiring the beautiful chandelier, as well as the tempting cupcake display on the coffee table. I skim magazine pages contained in semi transparent folders, adding an extra sense of professionalism and refinement.

Work begins on my thick line of re-growth, and I’m instantly pleased at the precision applied to each section of my hair by the stylist. As anyone who regularly goes through the arduous process of having your roots redone knows, apart from “I should have listened to my Mum”, the job can sometimes be botched.

I am exceptionally fussy and nervous when it comes to having my hair done, and stylists in the past have been known to groan and roll their eyes as I practically wince at their suggestions. I’m surprised some haven’t “accidentally” chopped off a few more inches than intended, as revenge for the scrutiny I put them under. For the first time in years, I’m instantly relaxed by the professionalism of my labourer for the next few hours. She’s thorough, quick and dedicated to creating something as natural as possible, if three shades of blonde and one light brown can be called “natural”.

I’m relaxed and thoroughly enjoying the process occurring on top of my head. I have a cup of tea, a cupcake (I caved), and a folder bound magazine, ensuring its protection from the bleach concoctions on the trolley beside me. As a firm believer in the hairdressers as a luxury outing, I’m as happy as larry, my essay woes disappearing like my brown roots.

When the time comes for foils to be removed I’m led to the typical washbasin and seat. Oh how happy I was to be wrong. Rather than placing myself in a standard chair, I’m treated to a massage throne whilst my hair is gently washed, followed by a soothing head rub. I long for my treatment to continue, again something I’ve never experienced.

Cut and blow dry completed, I sat and discussed with Tom exactly what makes Saks the salon of choice:

“We want to ensure that every customer feels special, from the moment they enter to the time they leave. We’re incredibly lucky to be in PrincessHay, the only hairdressers in the vicinity.
“Since our opening weekend we’ve been fully booked, leading the way for a loyal Saks community where customers feel happy to return, time and time again. We’re open 7 days a week, allowing for anyone with a hectic schedule the opportunity to come in at their leisure.

We’ve had hundreds of comments, both online and in the salon, on how professional, and most importantly, friendly our staff are. If you’re not content, neither are we. The experience of having your hair styled should be as smooth and pleasurable as possible, and that’s what we aim to deliver.”

Restored blonde tresses blowing in the Devon wind I feel confident in the service I’ve received, at a very reasonable price. As a bonus students can receive 10% off on cuts, as well as an introductory offer of a cut and blow dry for £25.

For more information visit the Saks Facebook page and Twitter @SaksExeter