Big birthdays call for special preparation. So, in time for my mother’s 70th, I decided that it was time to book one of my bi-annual visits to the hairdresser. Admittedly, I’d gone more than six months this time without getting my highlights re-done – a testament to a very good colourist, Craig Clarke – where my roots blended easily into my natural hair colour for meant months after. 
Today though, I’m trying out a new salon. Not a new salon per se but new to me. Hari’s, in-fact has been around for a very long time and anyone who’s anyone has had their hair done at this iconic salon. 
There are two Hari’s in Chelsea, one in Parson’s Green but I’m going closer to home, to their newest addition in Notting Hill. Hari’s is a little piece of luxury, located on the lovely, leafy, Ledbury Road. Surrounded by designer boutiques and swanky restaurants, this upmarket salon fits right in. 
I’d been putting off a visit for ages. I get bored sitting around for hours and hours. My mum’s 70th Birthday was enough of a push to get me out of the house and away from the children for the afternoon  it actually turned out to be a nice little escape after all. 
Hari Salem has been at the centre of the hairdressing scene for over forty years. Beginning his career in hair at the tender age of 16, working with the likes Twiggy and Bianca Jagger. It was from there that he created his brand. 
Hari’s is now synonymous with celebrity and generations of families are returning clients. Unlike their flagship, state of the art salon in Fulham Road which has its own herb bar and organic hair counter, Notting Hill is almost cosy. The staff are exceptionally friendly and it’s a place to relax whilst your hair is transformed. 
My colourist Darron, seemed more like a long lost friend. I arrived hot and bothered, not knowing what to do with my hair. He immediately put me at ease and gave me a helping hand trying to make some decisions. He told me that I’d ‘love’ my ammonia free highlights and worked at super speed putting in the foils. I have to admit for a while, the sceptical me was worried that he was too quick. I was definitely wrong. A Kerastase treatment shot and toner later and my hair was back to a fabulous, effortless looking and very natural blonde. He’d blended the colour and applied it to perfection! 
It was then down to Tom to restyle a haircut that had grown out many months ago. Tom was a true protégé of Hari’s, having trained directly under him and worked his way up the ranks. We chatted whilst he worked, lots about travel and Thailand! A combination of the best and worst client, I’d sort of given him free reign but insinuated that I didn’t want it too short and really wanted more of the same. Somehow, Tom gave me the haircut that I’d wanted, without me ever asking. He’d taken the stress out of the process. The split ends gone, some long layers cut in and a stress-free blow dry and styling to follow. I was ready for the birthday celebrations. 

That afternoon, as a birthday surprise we took my mum to Kew to visit the Dale Chihuly exhibition – a spectacular art installation in the gardens, showcasing dazzling sculptures and beautiful glass artworks scattered throughout. Open until October and included in Garden entry, a visit is a must. It’s also a brilliant family-friendly outing. 

Here, my little ones presented their grandma with their unique birthday gift to her – A Birthday Edition Newspaper book. A beautiful, leather-bound, personalised book of front pages of the newspaper from each birthday, from the day she was born until today. 

From fabulous hair to gorgeous gardens and historic gifts. 70 is so bad after all! 

Hari’s Notting Hill, 41 Ledbury Road, W11 2AA. 020 3873 0544;
Birthday Edition Newspaper Book from Historic Newspapers
For the Chihuly Exhibition visit 

By Caron Bluestone, Contributing Editor  
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