As hair salons go, Foster London know how to cultivate a retro-inspired haven that sets itself apart from the crowd. Situated in the heart of Shoreditch next to the bustle of neighbouring Boxpark, Foster’s first salon opened in 2010 and offered customers a respite from the usual cut and blow dry experience. It was the beginning of a trend which left East London awash with quirky wallpaper and ‘grammable interiors. Forget minimalism, customers began pining for an immersive experience – and Foster London was one of many that delivered.
Eight years on and a second salon, located in the heart of Dalston, has finally arrived. Oozing more vintage charm than the contents of your grandparents’ wardrobes (just without the musty smell that tends to accompany their contents), the latest opening is a feast for the eyes as well as the hair. Stepping over the threshold, the kitsch 1970’s inspired lounge sits teaming with art-deco detailing. It’s like being invited into a bygone bubble, complete with ferns, gloriously garish wallpaper and plenty of velour, with the option to pop back to the real world at the end of your treatment.
From the basins surrounded by bold, geometric tiles to the authentic light fixtures smothering the walls, it’s the small details that add a hearty dose of nostalgia to the whole salon experience. It’s altogether airier too, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows that span the length of the salon. That being said, don’t let the quaint charm and throwback interior fool you. As delightfully dated as this salon’s interior may appear, the techniques and hair wizardry conjured up by its technicians are anything but. Sending over some of the most experienced stylists from the Shoreditch branch, its Dalston sibling is just as well equipped as the original.
First thing’s first: if you’re after a bit of a change or fancy delving into a whole new world of hair colour, you’ve come to the right place. Specialising in fierce platinum shades and soft pastel tones, the team (comprised of a range of technicians, stylists and colour experts) have got the oh-so popular colour trends down to a fine art. From natural sun kissed balayage to on-trend ombre, your options are endless – which is why the creativity of the team is generally always welcomed with open arms.
Aside from their signature colouring, Foster also specialise in Nano Keratin PURE – which I’m soon informed is the first Brazilian blow-dry with 0% Formaldehyde (all the more for Damian Hurst). It’s an indulging and nourishing treatment which is sure to leave you stroking your hair like you’ve got a genuine problem. Alongside the salon’s Yuko straightening service – yes, it is Japanese, and yes, it is world-renowned – your hair will undoubtedly leave the salon feeling substantially healthier than when it arrived.
The team is without a doubt one of the friendliest around. Not to mention one of the most laidback. An experience that wouldn’t be complete without a beverage in hand, any qualms about your crazy colour ideas and desires for an extreme cut should be left at the door. The Foster team advise not dictate, so voice your likes, your dislikes, your weird fantasies, and shake that magazine cut-out of Bella Hadid’s latest chop like a person possessed. Trust me when I say the results are sure to surpass your expectations.
Foster London Hair Salon, 70 Dalston Lane, London, E8 3AH, England
Tel: +44 (0)207 683 0509
The salon is a short 5-minute walk from Dalston Junction (London Overground) and a 15-minute walk to Hackney Central. It is open on Monday from 10:00am to 7:00pm; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00am to 8:00pm; Thursday form 10:00am to 9:00pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Price Band: Medium
Inside Tip: The team at Foster London are masters of pastel hair colour, so if you’re feeling adventurous or simply fancy a subtle change, ask your stylist for colour recommendations.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7.5/10
Danielle De Wolfe is a freelance journalist covering travel and beauty.
Photographs courtesy of Foster London Hair Salon