showcasing the best of the south west

Top 10 Hairdressers in the SW

Right Over the Top, Shaftesbury, Dorset  

A family business that was set up by Rachel and Andrew Bennet-Watkins 26 years ago and now has their two children Harriet and Josh as the senior stylists.

Andrew trained at the legendary Leonard's of Mayfair back in the day, when his kids decided to follow suit he sent them to Nicky Clarke. Skilled stylists capable of delivering any cut you want, these two have an army of fans and even styled celebrity guests for the royal wedding. There's a nice, laidback vibe in the salon too right down to the family Golden Retriever padding about.


The Hair Company, Newquay, Cornwall

It used be pretty much impossible to get a decent haircut in Cornwall but not any more. Mikey Exell is your man - a brilliant colourist with a waiting list to show for it. Beloved of ex-London yummy mummies who swear by his flattering and sophisticated highlights. Ian Williams is the top stylist in the salon, known for being well ahead of the fashion curve. A cool and contemporary setting with a full blown nail studio offering everything from acrylic and gel nails to standard French Polish.

Robin James, Sherborne, Dorset  

Robin Hague brought London calibre hairdressing to Dorset when he set up Robin James in Sherborne 20 years ago. He doesn't cut himself anymore but he employs only the best stylists and colourists in his 4 West Country salons (they train at Vidal Sassoon) Sherborne, Poole, Bristol and Dorchester. The salons are all Aveda so expect great products including colours that actually leave your hair shiny and soft instead of parched and frizzy, plus the delicious detox tea, a pressure point head massage and an inhouse spa. Can personally vouch for Lynn, a brilliant stylist and colourist at Sherborne (6 months on my colour is still going strong). Deservedly popular with yummy mummies, metrosexual men (loving the facials and manicures apparently) and just about everyone else.

Bonomini, Bristol, Somerset

Bonomini prides itself on having a wide range of stylists to suit anyone who walks through their door, from boho to urban trendy and everything in between. The salon uses the Italian Davines products which produce natural, almost translucent colour and keep hair in great condition (try the hot new Milk treatment for detangling, defrizzing, adding shine and volume). This is a salon which stays on top of current trends - ask for a dip dye, the new low pony, ultra straight or braiding and they'll know exactly where you're at. Haircuts with a senior stylist from around £48. Treat yourself to a manicure with the fab OPI range of colours, £20. Bonomini also offers one to one blowdrying tuition from £30 so you can banish bad hair days for ever.

Stuart Holmes Hair and Beauty Spa, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire  

Lucky people of Gloucestershire to have such a bling hair salon.  Set up by Stuart and Sara Holmes in 2003 and styled like a chic boutique hotel, the salon is the ultimate in pampering. Stuart spent years styling models and celebs for shoots, the Oscars, BAFTA etc and has a loyal client list to show for it. Cut and blow dry with him from £72. There's a great team of highly trained stylists and colourists here who often work on L'Oreal photo shoots alongside the day job. Also there's a spa which covers pretty much all bases from Guinot facials, hot stone massages, eyelash extensions to Brazilian waxes. With a local celeb following the extras needed to be good and they are - great cappuccinos and a full range of teas, white wine, champagne or Bucks Fizz. Only in Gloucestershire.

Rococco, Truro, Cornwall

Nick and Jemima Jessup set up Rococco in Truro's Lemon Street 15 years ago and it's been block booked ever since. Nick's your man (tho with a 6 week waiting list) always abreast of new trends but happy to keep redelivering the classics.  Try Richard or James known for their pinpoint precision cuts, for hair extensions you'll want Laura. There's a full range of beauty therapies here too from waxing to tanning, manis, pedis, facials and massages. Intriguingly they also have Dr Samantha Wood, fully qualified GP, providing onsite non-surgical procedures including the mega fashionable dermaroller, a needle treatment which stimulates the skin to repair itself naturally. Head here for a major overhaul.

Melanie Giles, Bath & Frome, Somerset

Frome is so chock full of ex-Londoners with their demanding ways it had to boast a decent hairdresser - Melanie Giles is the fail-safe choice. She set up her own eponymous salon first in Bath and now in Frome, quirkily furnished with reclamation yard finds. The whole experience is a treat from the moment you walk in - Monmouth coffee, warm croissants and home-made strawberry jam,  caramel waffles. Melanie, known for her amazing styling has a big following of clients (though she's currently on maternity leave) but she also recruits the best staff.  Choose Maggie for sleek graduated bobs, Abby for the ultimate pre-party blow dry, Scarlett for the best precision cuts and expert Aveda colour. There's a range of beauty treatments including threading and the age-busting  high definition eyebrow treatment £25.

Jas Hair, Salisbury, Wilton, Wiltshire and Christchurch, Dorset

Three salons in this highly regarded chain where stylists pride themselves of staying on top of the latest trends. Competent stylists and colourists, cut and blow dry £47 for the most senior staff. For dry and damaged hair try the luxurious Kerastraight treatment, from £120 which uses keratin to repair, add gloss and shine.There's a full range of beauty treatments here too from Fake Bake tanning, Dermalogica facials, Jessica manicures and Botox. Lily Allen was a recent customer.

Amanda Marsden, Totnes, Devon

Cutting edge Aveda salon beloved of blonde-tastic yummy mummies who like their highlights to be just so. Aveda colours and products guarantee great condition for your hair and there's also a comprehensive spa here offering everything from tourmaline facials to fusion stone massage - taking the Totnes hippy quota into account.

Jeff Goodwin, Exeter, Devon

Set up 20 years ago by the eponymous Jeff Goodwin this salon is an institution in Exeter. There's an altogether different vibe here, jovial, upbeat, no one taking themselves too seriously. Your hair is their priority but Jeff and his talented team of stylists and colourists are determined to ensure you have a great time while they're doing it. Great scalp massages, say our readers, proper cappuccino and flattering highlights. Not uber-trendy but has a loyal fan-base who return for consistent cuts. Rhys is your man for spot on colouring and expert advice on seasonal tweaks, a hint of bronze for autumn, palamino for summer, magenta for the brave hearted. 

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