Saturday, 31 January 2009

Let's go back to the future

Having tried out my own 50's hair stylings last weekend, I decided to take a look at London's underground hair salons that specialise in retro hair styling. I came across two specific salons - Nina's Hair Parlour and the brand new It's Something Hells - a French retro hair salon.

Looking first at the London fashionista choice of retro salon - Nina's Hair Parlour. This is based in Marylebone - 13-25 Church Street to be precise. Here is what the website says

Nina's Hair Parlour is the first UK specialist in vintage and retro hair and beauty. We help men and women indulge in the glamour and decadence of years gone by in an authentic and one of a kind salon. Within the parlour we stock a number of handpicked, rare and original period hats from the 1930's-1960's, extravagant and unique hair accessories and Retro L'Amour snoods, all of which are available for sale and hire.

Nina's Hair Parlour is committed to sharing our skills with people who enjoy the exotic, theatrical and glamorous, those who want to indulge in fantasy or take a fun journey of true self expression to another era.

Prices start at £35 for a set and style to £45 for a cut and set, men can get a cut and style for £25. You can also take a 3 hour vintage hair and make up class where you learn how to do it all yourself, it costs £200 so its not cheap but this is what you get:

1-2-1 Vintage Hair/Make up Super Class - £200
3 hrs

The class involves:
1) A haircut and finished style
2) An old fashioned set under the original 1950's dryer, accompanied by the glass of champagne and chocolate truffles
3) A tailored lesson on how to do 3 styles of your choice (except fingerwaving). You will be required to supply us with the examples in advance
4) A make up class with a professional make up artist relevant to an era of your choice.

You can also get make up lessons, a quick hair and make up sesh for £60 if you want to be 'done' before you go out one night. There are loads of tailor made lessons you can get at Nina's.

French Vogue, The Guardian, London Paper. Italian Vogue and Elle are all fans, I am desperate to go for a set.

Now onto It's Something Hell's on London's Carnaby Street, part owned by Miss Betty and Mister Ducktail who specialise in vintage coiffures and switchblade haircuts respectively. Having opened originally in France in 2001, their success led to a further shop in the heart of London's West End, Carnaby Street. Miss Betty's secret to retro hair is Elnett hairspray. Prices start at £15 - not quite so much to say here as I did about Nina's Hair Parlour due to the lack of any real website, hopefully one will turn up soon.


Swell Vintage - Frankie said...

post photos of your hair! x

Anonymous said...

I had a long midi 50's haircut with Miss Betty last weekend, and I must say she did a fantastic job! The girl before me also seemed very pleased with her (very very cute) sixties bob, so definitely a thumbs up from me! Short hair cut and style (Jan 2009) is 40 pounds, long hair 50 pounds. Also, for thse with a penchant for red hairdye, I don't know what red hairdye she uses, but there were three (dyed) redheads being finished off there when I arrived and the colour was fabulous, really bright but with lots of depth.. I just wish my hair wasn't naturally too dark to take any colour

Sarah Edwina Rose said...

This looks amazing! Would love to try them out

loveyoumore said...

Glad you like the post, really interested to hear if anyone else has been to Miss Betty / NIna's said...

WOW! I've been to Nina's!
She did my hair like Ava Gardner, and it lasted 4 days!..and while I was there STeve Strange from VIsage came and had his hair done in was so cool! :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular of Nina's, she's been doing my hair since around the time she styled Kylie. I've had my hair done by both Nina and Leila and they were both fabulous. The hairspray they use is like glue so you can hold your style in for days - my record is 5 days!! I've also had a make up lesson with Issidora, worth every penny as she showed me how to use what make up I have and also what I needed to get rid of (because it didn't suit me). Overall a 5 star service, can't recommend it highly enough.

Mr Ducktail said...

No website but a myspace page with lots of our hairstyles on it , pictures speak always better than words
Mr Ducktail

Abby Hignell said...

Since finding Nina 2 years ago I have never looked back. These women are SOLID GOLD! I still can't believe they're not megabucks - they do Versace catwalks and Kylie for heavens sake!
But its more than getting your hair done - its a magical experience and fantastic fun with the best gals in town. You'll never feel more glamourous.
Don't be scared if you haven't done this kind of thing before or aren't 50's down to your authentic frilly knickers, this really is for everyone and you're in the best and friendliest hands! For either a cut or style there's simply nothing they can't do.
I will never go anywhere else!
Abby Hignell

Ophelia Bitz said...

Oh Nina Nina Nina! She's a force of nature and since finding her three years ago I've never thought to go anywhere else.

Not only are her authentic styling skills and tools all far beyond anything else I've experienced, her imagination and willingness to do the weird jobs no other stylist will touch (green shaved leopard print anyone?) have won her a place in my heart forever.

Visiting Nina's salon is like going to visit friends and all the staff are great fun to be around, as well as hyper-talented!

The salon itself is a thing of beauty, crammed with gorgeous vintage hairdressing gear, antique advertising, fliers for cabaret, burlesque and rockabilly nights in town and a giant picture of Bettie Page, watching over us all.

Nina is much more than a vintage hairdresser- her knowledge of styles, subcultures, art and fashion spans centuries and continents. She is by far one of the most informed and passionate women I have had the pleasure of meeting.

Wether you are looking for a perfect Lauren Bacall repro job or something punky and multi-coloured, a mile-high beehive or an orange Marcell Wave, look no further than Nina's Hair Parlour.

Don't forget to pop in next door and visit Issidora's Powder Room for those finishing touches or a full face of the most exquisitely applied make-up. I have worked with both Issidora and Nina on professional photo-shoots and their work stood out a mile.

Go forth and be pampered!

Tania Ahsan said...

I love Nina and have been going to her for some time now. She does the most amazing colours and her sets never fail to have me leaving feeling like a million dollars. Here's how great she is: I couldn't get my chubby fingers to do the curls as well as she does so she recommended I go to my local 'granny' hairdressers to have a regular set to avoid coming into town and spending so much money. She even drew a diagram for the local hairdresser! How generous and non-commercial is that! Anyhoo, she's a treat that I recommend highly and I would love to move nearer to her salon to avoid having to do the in-between sets with my local hairdresser who is nowhere near in Nina's league (occasionally she doesn't refer properly to Nina's instructions and I get a Maggie Thatcher instead of a Marilyn!). I have grown my hair now and am planning to go back to Nina's to get it dyed even redder and will hopefully have a Betty fringe too. Great post, love discussing retro hair!

Anonymous said...

I always go to see Nina at Nina's Hair Parlour; She does a great job on my hair, creating a fantastic style and a cut that helps me maintain it and Issidora does a great job sculpting eyebrows. I always leave feeling great not only due to my hairstyle but due to the charming atmosphere and hilarious conversation in the salon!

Miss M said...

Wonderful! Gorgeous! Creative! The adjectives are endless to describe Nina and her fabulous parlour. I've had the pleasure of having my hair cut and styled by Nina for 7 years. She has never disappointed but always amazed. Short hair. Long Hair. Blonde. Brunette. Purple. Red. Many a time I have been stopped in the street and asked where I got my hair done!

The biggest compliment I can give the lovely Nina is that I have over the years recommended her to 6 girl friends who have all gone and had their 'dos done by Nina and gone back!

donna said...

Nina is an absolute delight!
I have very long hair, and my natural colour confuses most hairdressers. I cannot tell you the number of times I have left "a" hairdressing salon, washed out copper on my head, defeat inside it; only to run to the nearest corner shop for a soul crushing back to brown home kit (and it's not just the hair, it's why did I pay for this? deafeat I'm talking about...).
Not so with Nina.
I felt absolutely fabulous, during - what I can only call my pampering session - and after; I am now a proud owner of a lush sandy main.
What's more, I have actually been complemented on my hair colour, first time thet happened in 15 years of dying my hair. Finally I got it right...
I have only had my hair done by Nina once, but I fully intend to become a regular.
See you under the steamers!!!

Anonymous said...

The story of a genious she is our Nina.

I first came in contact with Nina´s Vintage Hair parlor after a horrific experience at Toni&guy. Story was that they tryed to cut a 40´s hair-cut, and i ended up looking like camilla Parker Bowles when finished, how anyone EVER can succeed with that i do not know! As you know if you are into your vintage styles, that 40´s cuts where Layers in length.. not short hair rolled on rolls.
So 2 years later and my length back i found Nina. And it was amazins. Not just because she as a person is one of the most knowledged and interesting erergetic person you can ever come across, but because she in her years of experience is one of teh few people who has dedicated so much love to learning about vintage cutting, but at the same time has always kept up with whats "now" and can as easily do Fahsion shoots with amazing hair do´s!

What I think makes her unique and stand out from so many others is except for the lovely salon, leila her amazing side-kick, the athmosphere etc etc.. the fact that her love for this really comes out in what she does. Which ever era and hair style or hair colour.. its donne with such a love and knowledge behind it that you can not NOT feel that you have got a really good quality hair-time from walking away from there.

/ Renee

Sheri said...

I started going to Nina's a year ago, and will never go anywhere else. I had major sugery on my jaw and was not feeling my best, but on my first visit, not only did I end up looking fabulous (I had my first wolf whistle in ages on my way home from the salon), but Nina even bought me some chocolate cake from the cafe upstairs. And Issy gave me a wonderful makeover, just to boost my confidence. Everyone in the salon is a treasure and I love going there. My hair has never looked so good.

Alex said...

I met Nina when a friend suggested her for my wedding hair, and I've never looked back! She works absolute miracles with my hair which is fine and tends towards trying to be straight and wavy at the same time... The last cute little set of pin curls lasted all through the event I was at and turned into the most brilliant ringlets the next morning. I'm planning to go for a more radical cut and dye job next.

The Twinkle in the Milkmans Eyes said...

That looks great! It´s times like theese I wish I lived in a bigger city!