A brush with Daphne’s in Barkingside

That’s the best pun I could think of for a hairdressing episode.

Daphne Simpson, 155 High St, Barkingside, Ilford, IG6 2AJ, 020 8551 7880

I’ve always had a good haircut at Daphne’s and I’ve been back about 6 times. The stylists are good-humoured and down-to-earth. They never criticise the as-is state of my hair. Daphne Simpson, who unless I’m mistaken is the striking Mediterranean-looking woman with the jet-black waist-length tresses, often adorns the front desk and can sometimes be seen cutting hair. They’ve changed their sign very recently because they hoped to appeal to younger women (I’m not sure whether Daphne’s does men – update – yes it does – in fact you’ll be lucky to see a man in there) as well as the mature women I usually see in there having enormous volume injected into short or shoulder-length styles, chatting over the noise of the hairdryer. One thing I’ve observed about Barkingside is that the women like to look smart. This is why I have on occasions where I have ventured out in my ‘house clothes’ (not a pretty sight) I’ve been called a “dog” on the street and attracted strange looks in the supermarket aisle. Anyway, I digress.

By chance (Matt booked) I was assigned to Avril who I think might be new. You should have seen the state of me when I went in, unwashed – and frankly unclean. She could have done me up like a kipper, in and out in 10 minutes, clearly somebody with no interest in their hair and therefore a living insult to hairstylists everywhere – certainly not worth spending £25-worth of time on. But she didn’t – she was extremely conscientious. She sat me down for a consultation and when she found out that I had had my last cut at Daphne’s and had been happy with it, she took time to comb through and inspect which type of layering had been used, which I thought was a very thoughtful tribute to her colleague (the tall blond woman with the cork-screw curls which she straightens ruthlessly). Then she asked me what I wanted, listened very carefully and made some intelligent suggestions.

Once we’d decided, she washed my hair. The washing was very energetic and invigorating and before choosing shampoo and conditioner she asked me if I had any problems with my scalp or hair.

Then she cut my hair painstakingingly and professionally, including not mangling my ears with the comb. At the end (I never use a dryer) she offered some serum. Back at home it’s good. Exactly what I asked for, including the scrupulous blending of my wavy top hair into my straight under-hair. I look pretty fetching again.

I’m impressed with Avril and I thought I had a very good deal for £25. In fact that was probably the best hairdressing experience I’ve ever had.

But then, it’s always good at Daphne’s.


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