Jenessa Williams on the local hairdressers putting the fun back into your follicles.

Don’t know your bangs from your balayage? Chances are you might not be a regular at the hair salon. With escalating prices and clinical environments, many of us are choosing to DIY at home rather than step foot in a high street salon. For those with special haircare needs such as Afro Hair (*waves*) or significant heat damage (*also waves*), the battle to find your hairdressing hero can be even harder.

If Toni isn’t your guy, there are plenty of other options in Leeds that are doing things a little differently. Forget awkward small talk and ageing magazines – these five salons have the unique skills and relaxed demeanor that will have you in that chair faster than you can say ‘wait, not that short!’

Gray's Salon

Putting the fun back into your follicles, Grays is a lot more cheerful than it’s name suggests. A true family-friendly endeavor, you’ll be welcomed into their sunny yellow surroundings with a well-made cuppa before discussing your treatment – children’s cuts start at a very reasonable £5 and they also offer razor cuts and shaving for those a little more mature. 

Using well established brands such as Tigi and Olaplex in their treatments, they specialise in colour correction – no matter how fearful your dodgy box job, they will endeavor to resolve it without leaving lasting damage. They also love a good beach wave –one consultation here and you’ll be picking up more Instagram endorsement deals than a 2017 Love Island contestant. 

If you fancy something a bit more permanent than a dye-job, all-female tattoo studio Rose & Thorn is attached to the salon, home to Chloe O'Malley, one of our 10 local tattoo artists you need to follow on Instragram

3a, Swinnow Grange Mills, Stanningley Rd, Leeds LS13 4EP

Pink hair for the beautiful Dominka by Jodie 💖#grayssalon #leedshairdresser #leeds #tigicreativeteam #tigicolortrip #braids
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Conveniently nestled right in the heart of the city centre, Tint serves serious home décor goals as well as professional service. Think exposed brick, hairpin tables and copies of LOVE and Dazed in the magazine rack – you certainly won’t be flicking through dog-eared copies of Prima here. 

Whether you’re after a simple cut and finish or a more radical dye-job, you’re in safe hands with any member of the team, who hold various accolades and qualifications from the likes of Wella and the British Hairdressing Awards. With prices starting at £70 for a full head of highlights or £25 for a blow dry, high fashion looks are what they do best, making them the ideal go-to for a big event or occasion. Best of all, they don’t shy away from afro hair – you’re made to feel welcome whatever your texture.

70 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

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Le Keux Salon 

Beauty school dropout? Step into the timewarp…the ladies at Le Keux are your go-to gals if you’re after a classic vintage look. Ideal for weddings (or a particularly elaborate take on an Otley Run), their deft way with a 50s updo has earnt them cult status across the north, even extending into a complimentary own brand of makeup and merchandise products. Heck, they even have the classic hood hairdryers in store.  

If you’re all spruced up with nowhere to go, sisters Diablo and lyndsey even host Le Keux parties and styling courses to truly live out that retro lifestyle. No need to agonise over YouTube tutorials – their simple tips on headscarf tying, pincurls and bobs are well worth the investment to set you up for a lifetime of self styling. 

2nd Floor (above Cath Kidston), 24b Lands Lane, Leeds City Centre, LS16LB

Hula Hair 

Get your cocktail glasses out – a trip to the deliciously kitschy Hula Hair may require a longer drive out of Leeds than some but it is well worth the treat. With a hairdressing menu that includes ‘Pastel Toners’, ‘Bright Dip Dye’ and ‘Unicorn Hair’, this is definitely no run of the mill salon. If you’re new to colour, make this you go-to – the hula team will talk you through every process of the application and offer up helpful tips on maintenance – no desperate attempts to bag repeat custom here.

Bonus points go out to their sister salon Lady Luck Nail Salon – do a full treat yo’self day with hair and nails clocking in at well under £100. We’re a fan of a peachy ombre teamed with mermaid nails, but hey, you do you. 

28 New Street, Selby, YO8 4PT

Sunshine and rainbows in Selbzzz today!! #hulahairdressing #hula #hulahair #secretrainbow #hiddenrainbowhair #hiddenrainbow
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Harlow’s Den 

Launched in summer 2014, Harlow’s Den is fuelled by the creative spirit of Laura and Talisa, who have well over 10 years of styling experience between them. Their USP is in their versatility; long or short, thick or thinning, curly or straight – whatever your hair type, they’ll handle it and probably snap a pic of you for their impressive instagram account to boot.

With wellbeing at the core of their ethos, expect laid back chat that never feels overbearing or distracting, leaving you to enjoy the peace of the pamper in all it’s glory. When you do come back to full consciousness, it won’t be because of the price – a ladies cut and finish is a very acceptable £28 and a full head of highlights is £60, putting it amongst the most reasonable in all of the city. 

29a New Briggate Leeds LS2 8JD

🍹🍹🍹 Colour on Lisa by Talisa
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