Tim Firmager visits Blade Hairclub to try out the #hairclubbing concept from London’s Soho district, combining hairdressing and a well-stocked bar as a new social destination
Discretely located on Soho’s Frith Street is Blade Hairclub, a salon combined with a well-stocked bar. You may like us, be forgiven for walking past Blade Hairclub and not noticing it, but this venue has been around for over 5 years, quietly building up a strong reputation and clientele. The bar is the most recent addition, thanks to a liquor license. We did discuss this last year, so it was therefore inevitable that we at Vada chose to venture in.
Before reading on, we must clarify that we envoyed our Lifestyle Editor for the review, who is known to have, ahem…slightly less hair on his head than he hopes, so don’t expect any before and after photos in this review.
Meeting owner and stylist, Julia Olofsson and her husband Stroo, they showed us round the two-floor venue. Both levels are relatively cosy – where isn’t in Soho, have a bar area as well as a handful of salon chairs, which provides a relaxed vibe. Despite the small size, the atmosphere and conversation from staff was the opposite of intimidating. Swiping right on a few cocktails (on the in-house iPad app – installed at every chair, should you need to choose another drink), we made a selection (£8.50) before heading over to meet stylist, Lee, who would be in charge of the wash and cut.
A quick wash later, and seated in front of the mirror, admiring Lee’s pastel pink hair – Madonna, take note, that’s how roots should be fashioned, our drink arrived and we sank back into the chair for the cut. Usually trying a new hairdresser can be daunting, never quite knowing what to expect. At Blade, Julia told me that the minimum time for a gents cut is about 40 minutes (which can be reduced to 30 minutes sometimes), with the idea that clients should be relaxed and the process not rushed. Relaxed we were, a likely result of the combination of atmosphere and generous measures of alcohol. For those not needing a tipple, fresh juices, freshly ground coffees and a wide selection of TeaPigs are available.
Those in for a longer session can enjoy Netflix, also available on the chairs’ built-in iPads. Weekend revellers wanting a spruce up before a big night, will almost certainly need to book. And anyone wanting to try out an unusual whisky, gin or biodynamic wines, craft beer need just ask Stroo.
This Thursday evening visit was busy, but not packed, so the #hairclubbing experience was less on-the-way-out-out, more school-night-chill-out. Be that as it may, the experience was all together more sociable, and despite not quite reaching the RuPaul level of hair volume, was time well spent. The £36 cost for a short precision cut and blow dry is a little more than we’d normally pay, but money well spent as well.
Blade Hairclub is located at 26 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 5LD.
For more information or to book, visit bladehairclub.co.uk.