Italian hairdresser Patrizia Manias has picked a tricky time for her West End opening. Covent Garden is eerily empty when I visit shortly before the second lockdown. And I am the only client in the salon, which does have the advantage of making it feel extra exclusive and indulgent. Low lit and elegantly designed with dark marble counters and large floating mirrors, the space oozes Italian style. After settling me in a stylish orange leather seat, my stylist Giorgia offers me a small dish containing a divinely scented hot towel for my hands – it certainly beats alcohol gel. The vibe is more intimate cocktail bar than a hair salon; it’s 10am, and a little early for cocktails, but a cup of authentically strong Italian coffee is equally welcome and promptly served.
Originally from Milan, Patrizia and her team are known for their signature cutting style; I’m keen to see what the fuss is about. After a quick consultation to discuss what I’d like to achieve, I’m led to the wash station, where the reclining chair is exceedingly comfortable and the head massage outrageously good. The Philip Martin’s products smell gorgeous, too.
The Patrizia Manias cut involves parting the hair into 14 sections, allowing for true precision. Though every cut is tailored to suit individual needs, face shape and personality, texture and volume are always introduced through the top sections, while the bottom sections are given a blunt cut to add a sense of weight to the hairline. As she sets to work sectioning my hair in preparation to cut, it’s clear that I am in safe hands with Giorgia. She works quickly but precisely, and in no time is treating me to a spectacular blow dry. My hair has been transformed, and consequently my mood, too. Here’s hoping this month allows the salon to reopen and start attracting the business it deserves.
Wash, cut and blow-dry from £80. 20-22 Shelton Street, WC2H (020 3474 5295; patriziamanias.com)