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Blow & Bubbles

It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that Kensal Rise has a new and welcome addition to the area.  In amongst the multitude of independent shops and restaurants lining Chamberlayne Road, just west of Queen’s Park sits Blow & Bubbles, the new colour, blow-dry and champagne bar.  And it’s not just new to Kensal Rise, it’s a new concept – and we got it first!

Set up by local sisters Sophia and Donia Chrifi-Alaoui, founders of the popular Kensal nail and brow bar Swanky, and Laurence Vuillemin, co-founder of artist agency D+V Management – Blow & Bubbles came about after seeing a gap in the market for an inclusive hair service which time-poor ladies can access easily and speedily.  And what’s more, it all takes place in the most beautiful of settings – think bespoke marble and glass countertops, sleek modern chandeliers and contemporary fine-art photography adorning the walls.

Having been a colourist herself for over ten years, Sophia knew the importance of delivering colour that adds depth whilst giving the face a subtle lift – and wanted to use her experience in the industry to give women the opportunity and confidence to let B&B’s professionally trained colourists (all of whom have been given her seal of approval) apply their skills in a comfortable, exciting and empowering environment.

The bar offers a range of colour options, including full coverage, permanent tint, highlights and lowlights, and balayage grading; whilst there are two options of blow-dry – the 30 minute signature (accompanied by a complimentary glass of bubbles) or the 15 min express for those on the go.  To ensure there is a blow-dry style for all, four different options are available – Ride the Wave (part beach, part bed-head), Straight Up (super sleek and polished), Bounce Back (high octane glamour with stylist curls) & Class Act (minimal root volume with a little flick).

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Considering the sleek salon environment, and the location – just a stones throw from Notting Hill, the prices are as expected and on par with other high end salons. Colour treatments range from £60 for a ‘Colour Gloss’ (to blend in those pesky greys), through to £180 for a full head of high or low lights; whilst the blow-drys are really accessible at £30 for the full thirty minute signature (bubbles included) to a very affordable £15 for the fifteen minute express.

So far so great, but one of the elements that make this bar so unique is the ethos of bringing women together and feeling part of a community.  As clichéd as that may sound, it is (in our humble opinion) an innovative concept that works really well simply by nature of its environment.  Treatments are undertaken around a communal ‘bar’, with each space having its own moveable mirror. The days of staring at yourself self-consciously for an hour are over, and in its place, is a more relaxed social space where it’s possible to see and talk to your pal or fellow local lady, or of course – simply sit back and enjoy the experience .  As Sophia so succinctly puts it – the salon offers a form of ‘feel-good social interaction’.

Now if the idea of ‘feel-good social interaction’ fills you with dread, don’t let it put you off!  The founders know many of us need to combine work and beauty to fit everything in.  For this reason – the central bar is the perfect height for resting a laptop and comes complete with underlying plug sockets.  The opening hours (from 7am Mon – Fri) are also a god-send for those needing a polished look for work that home blow drying never quite manages.  

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We recently had the pleasure of experiencing a treatment (twice) to see the workings of the salon first hand (we know – it’s a hard life), and we opted for a different experience each time.  One was filled with gossip, drinks and laughs, the other was head down, laptop on with a work deadline looming.  Both times, we came out feeling energised, and of course, looking a lot better than when we arrived. 

By identifying the needs of women in our fast paced society, and by nature of its inclusive, non-judgemental environment, Blow & Bubbles may just be onto something special – and for this reason we wish it all the success in the world.

Nb: In case you’re wondering – we opted for the balayage ‘freestyle’ colour courtesy of Sophia (brave – but worth it) and a Ride the Wave blow dry. 

Blow & Bubbles use Oribe and Kevin Murphy products which are all sulphate , paraben and cruelty free. 

Blow & Bubbles
60 Chamberlayne Road
London, NW10 3JY
TEL +44 20 8962 0100
www.blowandbubbles.co.uk

Opening hours: 
Mon – Wed: 7am – 7pm / Thurs-Fri: 7am – 8pm / Sat: 9am – 7pm

Blow & Bubbles is offering QPM card holders 50% off their first colour treatment throughout July.

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This article is sponsored but all words and opinions are our own.

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