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From Babies to Blow dries….

Saffron and Oliver

Saffron and Oliver

Oliver

Oliver

With Mother’s day just around the corner I’m reflecting on the past year… of being a working mum! I’m sure anyone reading this with children will agree that it is hard trying to juggle a career with a young family.

 

Returning to work after my maternity leave was a big step back into the real world! I’ve had a nearly a year off enjoying the challenges and love that motherhood brings; my gorgeous son Oliver is now 15 months old.

 

He’s not only walking, he is running…everywhere! He is into everything and nothing in our house is off limits! I am seriously considering getting him a baby crash helmet for my peace of mind! One of his favourite pass times is unpacking the cupboards and loading everything into the washing machine before setting it off on a long cycle… I actually feel like coming to work is like taking a break!

 

Oliver, of course is my priority but luckily for me at Gina Conway I can work flexible hours to suit me, my guests and my family.

 

I enjoy everything about my job; from the delicious smell of the Aveda products when I walk in, to my cheery colleagues and wonderful guests so full of chat and news.  I love how the salon environment encourages me to push myself and reach my goals as I like to be constantly progressing and dislike staying still….

 

But nothing beats the way Olivers eyes light up when I get home, this makes my heart melt (I know you working mums can relate to this)! My mummy hours are more precious to me than anything but I am lucky to have a great work/life balance which makes my time at home even more special. I am so thankful that I am doing what I love and being with the love of my life without compromise.

 

Happy Mothers day to you all, we surely do rock!

Saffron, Director and Educator at Gina Conway salons and spas.

 

 

 

Why does my wife spend all day at the hairdressers?!?

Shannon Warham

Shannon Warham

I have lived in Wimbledon for well over 10 years now and in that time I think my wife has tried just about every single salon within a 2 mile radius of where we live. For the last few years she has been a regular customer of the Gina Conway salon on Wimbledon Hill road.

 

Now I am in no way complaining as I’m very happy that my wife returns from the salon in such a good mood but when she books an appointment at Gina Conway I know she will be gone most of the day. The question I want answered is, why does she spend so much time there?

 

So when I was invited to experience a gent’s haircut I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now as a bloke I have been going to the same place for the last 7 years where I can walk in and say ‘the usual’ thanks. Its quick (done in 15 minutes) so I’m not there long enough to engage in deep conversation.

 

I’ve walked past the Gina Conway salon a hundred times and glanced through the window but never been in so I arrive a few minutes early for my appointment to ease into the atmosphere. As I walk in the first thing I notice is it’s very plush with a modern feel that is not at all what I’m used to. I immediately feel out of place and slightly underdressed (I’m an unshaven scruffy looking Aussie bloke in his early 40’s wearing a t-shirt and jeans). Before my feeling of unease overcomes me one of the girls from reception greets me with a warm welcome, asks me to have a seat and offers me a drink. I decline as I’m not used to these perks at the barbers!

 

After a couple of minutes of waiting I’m whisked off to the main area of chairs and large well lit mirrors. The young lady asks me to take a seat and again I’m offered a drink, this time I think why not and I accept her offer and go for a coffee.

Composition_Oil_family_stylized_product_image low res

In the meantime I am introduced to another member of staff Kimberly, who apparently will be doing my massage?!? ‘Massage?’ I ask a little confused. Yes as Kimberley explains apparently every time you go to Gina Conway you get a stress relieving head massage before your service. This is starting to get good I thought to myself.

 

Before the massage begins I am asked to close my eyes and choose an aromatherapy oil by smell which is also new to me. So there I was not realising that I was drifting off in full relaxation mode until I woke myself up with the obligatory ‘fell asleep on the tube snort’ which was a little embarrassing. Kim reassured me that this happens more times than you would think and explains that people who live in London have such busy schedules that they find it hard to justify a few minutes of downtime. This is the best place for them to relax without feeling guilty.

 

After a refreshing wash and shampoo (with a superb scalp massage) I’m back in the stylist’s chair. Sitting there with my posh coffee and also a filtered water with ice and a slice I’m surrounded by quiet chatting and the snipping sound of scissors as background noise. It’s starting to sink in that this could be one of the reasons my wife takes all day to get a haircut.

 

Nader, Stylist at Wimbledon

Nader, Stylist

Before I have too long to ponder a stylish looking chap comes over and introduces himself as Nader my stylist. We exchange pleasantries and he is straight down to business with the big icebreaking question ‘how would you like your hair’. As I can’t use my standard ‘the usual thanks’ phrase I think hard how I would like my hair and I come up with ‘shorter please’.

 

As the haircut begins so does the small talk (which I usually dread and try to avoid) but within a few minutes we work out we both support Arsenal and the chat just flows like a couple of blokes sharing a pint down the local. Turns out Nader was a lawyer but jacked it all in for a career dealing with nicer people in a more family environment where he actually enjoyed going to work every day (can’t say I blame him).

 

After what seemed like only a couple of minutes chatting he says what do you think? It looks like I’m all finished and I’m good to go. Out comes the hairdryer and a bit of Aveda hair product and a couple of minutes later I’m looking George Clooney sharp from the eyebrows up!

George Clooney, Credit: Hello Magazine

George, Hello Magazine

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New Men’s Grey blending – Coming soon

 

In fact, I’m now thinking that I should try the new men’s grey blending service that Nader mentioned.

 

Ok so I’m all done, the hairs looking good I’m feeling nice and chilled and for once I actually enjoyed getting a haircut. I thank Nader for the top job he’s done, he grabs my coat for me, bids me farewell and says that he hopes to see me again.

 

I leave Gina Conway with the feeling of a fresh haircut in a calm Zen like state from my visit. I now totally get why my wife spends a whole day getting a haircut. It’s not just because they are good at what they do. It’s the whole experience you get and the fact you can switch off from your hectic life.

 

My wife is definitely on to a good thing here! Would I be back for another visit? Hmmm let me think, good coffee, a head massage, a great haircut and an hour and a half to myself. It’s pretty safe to say I will be.

 

Shannen Warham,
Concierge

 

 

 

 

 

Charity is not just for Christmas

Kliff and his nephew
Christmas is a busy, many might say absorbing time of year and it can be easy to forget those less fortunate than ourselves. This year at Gina Conway we decided to fund raise for charities who work tirelessly for others, not just at Christmas but all the year round.

harington

My 21 year old nephew Emilio has Global Development Delay (GDD) and over the years has benefited greatly from his association with The Harington Scheme, a unique programme for young adults with learning difficulties. It has also been a lifeline for my sister, offering her support and encouragement – and a well-needed break from the routine of daily life.

 

So when salon manager, Hannah, asked the team at our Wimbledon location to choose our charity, this was my immediate choice. I was initially hesitant about putting it forward, as whilst it is very close to the hearts of my family, it is not as well known as some of the charities we have supported in the past.

 

I was surprised and delighted when our team, knowing the difference it had made to Emilio’s life, were all keen to support it.

 

Emilio was diagnosed with GDD at a young age and also suffers from phobias and finds certain situations overwhelming. Over the years The Harington Scheme has improved his confidence, allowing him to meet and make friends and have some of the autonomy we take for granted which is often denied him in daily life. He spent whole days at the centre learning therapeutic and calming skills such as gardening and we as a family have found it heart-warming that he found an environment he could thrive in.

 

I always remember one particularly moving moment when a boy with a speech difficulties overcame his impediment to speak at the end of year ceremony –  such an achievement for him; the volunteers there really do make a difference to the lives of these young people.

 

I know every contribution is appreciated and I am proud to say I work for a company which cares and gives back.

 

by Kliff Stephanou, Artistic Director at Gina Conway, Wimbledon

 

 

Finding ‘the one’ at the salon

jo-rooks2 jo-rooks-edit

I am at Gina Conway Salons & Spas Wimbledon in a bid to find my perfect hairdresser match.  I have been booked in with Jo who was highly recommended to me by a trusted friend and after reading a few reviews I realise Jo is not short of committed clients.  It doesn’t take me long to see why.  Our consultation feels like meeting up with an old friend.  She has a lovely manner that makes me feel at home straight away and … I trust her.  Yes I really do!  Maybe she is going to be ‘The one’!

I have had a lot of hairdressers over the years. Yes, I have moved location quite a bit but I can’t excuse the fact that I been known to change hairdresser rather frequently and for no apparent reason.  Maybe I just haven’t clicked with any of them enough to keep going back. But I can’t help feeling that I am somehow missing out on something rather special.

Most of my friends have managed to find a hairdresser who is ‘their’ hairdresser.  ‘The one’.  A trusted and sacred person who has cut their locks for years. They remember their short bob, helped them grow out a fringe and seen their first grey hair appear. This hairdresser relationship means that they will travel miles for an appointment and book in with them months in advance. So how come I have never found ‘the one’ when it comes to hair stylists? Have I just been unlucky or have I never booked frequently enough to let a hairdressing relationship blossom?

But finding ‘the one’ hairdresser isn’t JUST about how they cut your hair.  No, no, no.  There is, in my opinion, 3 fundamental areas which a great stylist will have in addition to being good at the scissor part.

A. Listening.

They have to listen.  Really listen.  To you, not the ibiza mix beats in the background or their fellow stylists chit-chat.  A good listener will always make a better hairdresser. Not just because you won’t end up with a bob unexpectedly. But because at the end of the day listening helps you, as their client, feel understood and feel valued.  Dare I say, feel loved. So you walk out the salon with that added glow.

B. Commitment.

Now, this is a very important one.  A great stylist makes you feel like you are their only client (at that moment anyway). I have been in many a situation with a mop of wet butterfly clipped hair covering half my face and no stylist.  Where is the stylist?  With another client that’s where!  The outrage!  The insult!  There needs to be a solid commitment from your hairdresser that their attention is fully on you and no one else

C.  Sensitivity.

It’s terribly difficult to say to a hairstylist (or anyone for that matter) ‘sorry but I’m not in the mood for talking right now’.  So if you have a chatty hairdresser and all you want to do is bury your head in a gossip magazine for 30 minutes it won’t make for the best coupling. A great hairstylist will recognise the social clues which lets them know what mood you are in and take your lead in the conversation. Happy to chat, happy to listen, happy to just stay silent.

And it is little surprise to me that Jo has all of the above and more.  She tells me she has been at GC wimbledon for close to 10 years and with that much experience in one salon there is no wonder how she has been able to build such a great many clients who don’t want to go anywhere else.  Jo mentioned that even one of her clients lives in Hong Kong and come back to have their cut with Jo time and time again.  Now that is dedication!

Gina Conway salons are renowned for giving their clients a first class service with added extras such as a complimentary mini treatment before your haircut to make you feel even more pampered and relaxed.   The salon is calmly decorated with muted tones, darks woods and has beautiful glass house plants adorning the countertops. The salon is spacious and you don’t feel too close to anyone else having a cut or treatment.  So much so that if you wanted to talk about something very private it would indeed be possible.  This place feels ‘just right’. And I can’t help thinking that the salon is designed that way.  To make sure that every client can connect with their stylist and work towards building the bond of ‘the one’ hairdresser.

Well, I am sold.  I think I may have found ‘the one’ and can’t wait for my next appointment!

Jo Rooks, Designer and Illustrator

Christmas and New Year’s hours…Great hair will show up when you do

Don’t forget, our stylists can do some beautiful bouncy blow dry’s or hair ups in preparation for New Year’s Eve.

Please see our Christmas trading hours below before booking.

 

Wimbledon

24th Dec Christmas eve 9-5pm

25th Dec closed

26th Dec closed

27th Dec closed

28th – 9.30-9pm

29th – 9.30-9pm

30th – 9.30-9pm

31st Dec NYE 9-5pm

1st Jan closed

2nd Jan closed

3rd Jan – 9.30-9pm

 

Fulham 

24th Dec Christmas eve 9-5pm

25th Dec closed

26th Dec closed

27th Dec closed

28th Dec closed

29th – 9.30-9pm

30th – 9.30-9pm

31st Dec NYE 9-5pm

1st Jan closed

2nd Jan closed

3rd Jan – 9.30-9pm

 

Westbourne Grove

24th Dec Christmas eve 9-5pm

25th Dec closed

26th Dec closed

27th Dec closed

28th Dec – 10-9pm

29th – 10-9pm

30th – 10-9pm

31st Dec NYE 9-5pm

1st Jan closed

2nd Jan closed

3rd Jan – 10-9pm

 

We wish you a Christmas filled with many uplifting moments and a happy healthy new year!

Love Gina

 

Christmas Party hair

Annaliese, Creative Team Stylist, Wimbledon

Anneliese, Creative Team Stylist, Wimbledon

 

Festive celebrations fill the month of December and with it comes the debate on how to style your hair. As a member of the Creative Team at Gina Conway, I am constantly asked for advice on current trends for Christmas; so here are some tips to help you on your way to party perfection.

 

Don’t fight your hair  perfect-braided-hairstyles-to-try-this-year-262af30cb1b01cc1a59d8f400a759ba352

 

Spending hours curling straight hair that won’t stay and straightening overly curly hair that will end up frizzy won’t give you longevity if you’re doing it yourself at home. My advice is to embrace those curls! Use a good product such as Be Curly Style Prep, apply to the hair when the hair it is wet and before the curls dry manipulate them with your fingers. With naturally straight hair add some glamour with a simple up-style or even a braid and if your fingers are not too nimble then book yourself into our new Braid Bar!

 

Hairspray  0667cheryl-fernandez-versini

 

Never underestimate the power of a good hairspray, especially in our unpredictable weather. It will keep your style in place all night long as well as keeping any moisture in the air from ruining your well primped hair. Aveda Control Force is perfect as it’s light and does not leave a residue on the hair.

 

Treat your hair  olaplexponytail-hairstyle-new-years-eve

 

Healthy hair is the most important component to keep it looking great. Try not to over-style and next time you are in the salon I recommend investing in a treatment. Olaplex is a great; it permanently repairs damaged internal bonds in the hair and is guaranteed to make your hair feel genuinely smoother and far less frazzled.

 

Use my top tips and style your hair with confidence! Enjoy the party season!

 

Anneliese

Friday is Chai Day

 

 

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Gina Conway Salons & Spas is proud to support The Circle and celebrate CHAI DAY to help end violence against women in the UK and around the world.

Visit any of our salons on Friday, 25th November 2016 for a cup of Chai Tea to help raise money.

Or if you would like to support this cause directly please donate on-line by clicking here

 

 

 

 

Salons closed for the day – 3rd October

We are closed Monday, 3rd October for a Gina Conway gathering.

Once a year Gina Conway likes to organise a grand day out with all the staff to talk about past accomplishments, current inspirations and future aspirations.

 

Unfortunately this means that we have to close our 3 salons for the day.

We hope this doesn’t cause you too much inconvenience and we will do our best to accommodate you on the days before or following the closure.

 

Thank you

 

Autumn hair and beauty trends and tips

plum-lipstong-eyes-and-lipsAutumn has been sprung on us, which happens every year and can often leave us feeling melancholy about our summer holidays. However, the latest hair and fashions trends have inspired us to put away the denim shorts and sun-kissed make up and get excited about the new season.

 

red-hairjulianne-mooreFor hair, it’s all about bright rich colours. We are talking, deep rich browns, reds and accents of copper blondes. The colour ‘Bronde’, still has a big presence and has become the emerging colour for autumn. This mix of brown and blonde features a deep brown base with rich caramel highlights. Bronde is a great colour to use if you want to add dimension to your hair and warm up your skin tone. It looks fresh and vibrant giving a really natural but diverse look to your hair.
rhiannagigiNow, let’s talk make up! Make up is all about nude eyes and rich lip colours such as rich reds, plums, rustic browns: and of course the statement lip. Gigi Hadid always pulls off a great rustic brown lipstick, with her golden locks and tanned skin, she does this stunningly. Just like everything else she does…’sigh’…

 

foklor-red-full-bodyFinally, FASHION!  Prints, prints and more prints. It’s about bright flowers, for example paisley is a big YES! Colour wise, deep purples, greens, reds and orange are the talk of town. H&M are providing the goods and showcasing some lovely print design garments for autumn and winter.

 

This season is all about being fun with colour, daring, bold and out there! So up and at them girls and boys, go and do your thing!

 

Written by

Georgia Withers

Autumn tips brought to you by Adele Coles – Creative team stylist at GC Westbourne

 

 

 

Anya meets Gina Conway

 

Anya Sushko, the luxury handbag designer recently caught up with Gina to ask her about her career and what initially drew her to the UK from her native California.

 

Anya Meets … Gina Conway