Kate O'Donnell feels the heat at London's hip new celebrity hairdresser
Hotel hairdressers can be gloomy, matronly places, with all the life of a flat battery. But Royston Blythe, hairstylists in residence at the glamorous spa at The Dorchester promise to change all that in their new London base. The name may sound like a comedy show, but Royston (it is actually his real name) and his laugh-a-minute, scissor-wielding partner Nick Malenko are deadly serious about what they are offering: a groovy 'street' salon where everyone is treated like a VIP. Where you can get the usual salon options (colour, cut, blow dry, etc), but with the personal ministrations of a session and celebrity duo who also trim the hair of clients such as Lily Cole and Melanie Griffith.
Considering they move in such elevated circles Royston and Nick are remarkably down to earth, with charming Midlands accents, and an understanding that, at heart, girls just want to look glamorous. In a mere 15 minutes, Nick had worked his blow-dry magic on my poker-straight hair, backcombing it, tonging it and whipping up a cocktail of volume mousse and shine serum until, by the end, I kid you not, I looked like Cheryl Cole. I was mightily impressed. But also cheered at the thought that Nick had used techniques, tools, and potions (L'Oreal is the house brand) that I could have a go at replicating myself at home should the budget not stretch to their personal ministrations.
Brides-to-be and their guests should head there like a shot as Royston Blythe specialise in long and wedding hair (such salons are, curiously, rarer than hen's teeth in London). Book one of The Dorchester's divine suites (rooms 501-502 would be perfect), book Royston B, and have a giddy girly hair sesh with friends and family. Then just lie back and bask in the compliments.
By Kate O'Donnell
Blow dries from £80 with Royston or Nick. Royston Blythe at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London, W1K 1QA (020 7319 7090: thedorchester.co.uk).