I remember it well: My first hairdressing experience in Madrid. There were tears. There was a tantrum. There was most certainly no danger of me leaving a tip.
The scene of the hairdressing crime was a little place near to Sol. In hindsight this was probably my first error, guiri central and clearly not the kind of place that a madrileño would frequent. My dirty blonde locks were left with a definite tinge of ginge and it took months (and a great deal of expense) to restore my battered tresses to their former ‘glory’.
Enter Aveda. The holy grail of hairdressers and one of my favourite spots to head to when TLC is needed. Situated on Calle de Jose Ortega y Gasset, it’s smack bang in the middle of what is the essentially the swishest of barrios, so if you’re judging a book by its cover, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. *I always leave feeling like a blissed out little Buddha!
Upon arrival you’re greeted with Vogue, an array of coffee options and a head massage. I’d pay 40 euros for that alone after a tough day at work. What comes next is a masterclass in keeping the customer sweet. They talk through your hair type, your style, (how early you’re willing to get up in the morning to tame your natural curls in my case) and only then will they help you to decide on a cut (or colour) that’s going to work. More often than not this chat happens in English — so if your pigeon Spanish won’t cut it you need not worry as it’s unlikely that they mistake the term ‘highlights’ for a ‘buzzcut’.
I admit that I am pretty picky when it comes to hairdressers and never really quite understand why I don’t leave a salon looking like Giselle (despite the fact that I’ve taken in a picture to show the stylist and everything!) but I have genuinely never left Aveda feeling anything less than chuffed. Word of warning: I am rarely able to leave without purchasing some of their gorgeous products or taking a cheeky dip into the nearby Lavinia for a post haircut tipple. (More of that in a future post).
Steer clear of any pretenders, Aveda is top of the chops.Web Where: Aveda Calle de José Ortega y Gasset, 26, 28006 Madrid Phone: 914 32 22 46 Metro: Núñez de Balboa or Velázquez
Leo is a great hairdresser in Madrid, bilingual in English and Spanish. His haircuts cost around 20€ (including blowdrying and styling). He also does hair coloring and makeup. Contact him through his page on Facebook.