THE BEAUTY EXPERIENCE : UMBERTO GIANNINI MANCHESTER
An eclectic variety of clients fill the airy, laid-back space that adjoins Manchester’s Harvey Nichols store. Designed to do away with a conventional approach to hair maintenance, the salon is split into sections; a shop, sink area, pop-up DryBar, private room, and waiting area are centred around the main salon space. Its appeal is very much boosted by the clean, modern decor - softly-lit mirrors and fresh flowers create a relaxing ambience - a far cry from your typical cramped, overheated salon. The award winning lcoation has fast become the premier hair destination in the north, catering to locals, celebrities, and loyal clients who travel from across the country to have their locks tended to at the hands of the super-skilled team.
After styling models backstage at fashion week, the talented Ben Gregory and his team are now taking on the people of Manchester, specialising in beautiful, easy-to-wear cuts and creating healthy looking styles that work with your natural texture.
The salon offers services to meet every possible requirement, from cut and blow drys through to colouring, extensions, dry styling, and intensive hair treatments. A cut and blow dry starts at £36 [the service may match Harvey Nichols’ exacting standards and deserving reputation for offering a premium experience, but the price tag is far friendlier]. This is also significantly less than alternative city centre locations, which work on an almost conveyer-belt like production line basis, whilst charging maximum prices.
The stylists at Umberto Giannini offer clients a glass of Pinot Grigio, and thoughtfully analyse hair before cutting. The styles are cutting edge, bang on trend, and carefully aligned to clients’ individual needs and desires. The salon is well stocked in L’Oreal and Kerastase products, alongside the expected Umberto Giannini offerings; ensuring that all bases are covered, from deep cleansing shampoos and intensive treatment masks through to weightless styling mousses and nourishing oils.
After spending the past twelve months growing out a spur-of-the-moment choppy bob, I sought a much-needed cut to add shape, volume, and sleekness. Before anyone had even mentioned the word ‘cut’, Ben sat me down and quizzed me on my existing haircare routine, the products I use, my lifestyle, and my styling experience. In short, establishing a hair profile from which to establish the needs and requirements of my forthcoming style. Rather than dictate the latest trends, Ben was all ears, and took his work seriously, assessing my hair before laying out the plan for a sleek, straight look that would add volume without sacrificing length. At the risk of sounding like an awkward customer, I’ve never been 100 percent satisfied with a new haircut, but this was easily the best cut I’ve ever recieved. Experience has taught me that things rarely turn out well when I have sharp objects anywhere near my head, but Ben spoke four words that voided my fears, “I love long hair” before performing the most perfect micro-cut. After delicately snipping away my frayed and fluffy ends and transforming my disoriented layers into clean, blunt ends for a sleeker, more polished look, he carefully but quickly blew out my hair for a sleek, soft look [that lasted for days].
The result was exactly what I’d asked for - my hair had swing and verve and had lost the dead weight from the ends without sacrificing length. At the point where most stylists dust of clients shoulders and send them on their way, Ben took the time to demonstrate ways to style the new look and demystify the essentials of good haircare practice. An hour later, my hair looked silkier, healthier, and somehow even longer than when I’d walked in. The true test came later in the week, when my streamlined style fell right into place after washing, and I was able to recreate the flowing style effortlessly.