Urban Retreat, Fifth Floor, Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL

0207 893 8333

Judy Johnson has always hated going to the hairdressers, but would she discover love at first sight at Urban Retreat?


Review: Urban Retreat, Harrods

5 stars


It's safe to say I hate getting my hair cut. It's no better than a trip to the dentist's for me, with a history of bad hair days becoming even worse post-salon visit. I also have a sensitive scalp that hair stylists seem intent on pulling and tugging at when giving me the mother of all blow dries (that I didn't ask for).

So when I had the chance to visit Urban Retreat at Harrods for a much-needed restyle, I was incredibly nervous. I'd given up hope of ever having thick and healthy hair and had resigned myself to a lifetime of top knots to hide my disappointing barnet. But when I walked through the doors of Urban Retreat (after 20 minutes of getting well and truly lost in the store - I went from fish counter to jewellery shop to restaurant to gym before I discovered my destination on the fifth floor), I took one look around and thought: I can trust this place.

Pottering up to the 'check in' desk, I was sent through another glam and dark archway to the cloakroom where I was to swap my coat for a gown before sitting in the far brighter and gleaming waiting area with a copy of Vogue. No sooner had I made it past the Editor's Letter than Fletcher, a tall man with long flowing curls that even I was jealous of, came along to get me for my appointment.

Warm and friendly from the outset, I felt at ease the second that I sat in the chair and Fletcher perched opposite me. Most hairdressers I've come across will immediately stand behind me, flicking my hair all over the place while half-heartedly listening to my plea for a good 'do. But not here. Fletcher's first question was "What's your hair story?". So on I rambled about my hair disasters, fear of hairdressers armed with over zealous brushes, and that I had no idea what I wanted other than thicker hair.

Fletcher stood up to the challenge right away, showing me my oval face shape in the mirror and explaining how a full fringe that comes down at the sides would be the most flattering look, together with some kind of bounce in the rest of my hair. Off I went to have an incredibly relaxing shampoo and treatment in one of their reclining chairs before Fletcher whipped out the scissors and turned my non-descript side parting into a middle parting, complete with full, feathery fringe and some light layers around the top for extra oomph.

The conversation flowed from our love of Ibiza to Fletcher's recent work at Men's Fashion Week to yoga and everything in between, so I barely noticed all the chopping which would usually make me incredibly nervous.

After using a round brush to heat the hair into curls which he then pinned back for ten minutes before letting loose, Fletcher showed me my new look. I have to say, I've never really understood what hairdressers were talking about when they say you have 'movement' in your hair (of course it moves, it's not superglued…) - until now. My previously long, lank and body-lacking hair was now shiny, bouncy and looking fuller than ever, and the fringe really did suit far better than the side-swept one I'd been sporting. I left a very happy customer, and have had good hair days ever since.


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