Ombre Hair at Michael Barnes Hairdressing Salon Review

I was in London a week or two ago and paid a visit to Michael Barnes hairdressers just off….a street somewhere…I don’t know. Never been good with London directions. It was really close to Covent Garden anyway, that’s all you need to know.

Michael Barnes is an unpretentious, relaxed kinda salon. Busy…very busy. Staff always busy with new customers – so far so good.


I went with the intention of getting some kind of Ombre hair. I’ve seen this on a few gals and I do think it’s funky and kinda of cute regardless of how you decided to do it – dramatic or with bold colour etc.

Ombre hair is sort of like dip-dyed hair. It goes from dark to light but it has to be done in a way so it doesn’t just look like really bad roots.

An example…

My hair is darker than Alexa Chung’s but on principle I wanted something similar. I love Alexa Chung I really do, I think she is beautiful and oh-so-cool. I love girls that can rock a boyish style and not try to hard.


Anyway, back to Michael Barnes salon. My hairdresser and colourist was Brett, a crazy hyper Australian who slagged off my pink bejewelled Nintendo DS who was friendly and super easy going.

Brett started off with using colour remover to take out traces of red from my hair, then did my roots, then added highlights to the end of my hair under the top layer.

He said it was important to add the highlights from underneath; that way it would stop it from looking like bad roots so the result is more graduated.

I make this sound quick but it took a while!

I had a colour and a cut and it did take around 4 and a half hours in the end. Yeah…at one point I thought I was going to have to sleep there with my head in the basin. What can I say, this was a bigger job than I expected!

Also, they really made sure I had all the refreshments I needed, it wasn’t like in some places where you get one mouldy cup of coffee and that’s it for the next few hours. I think I had about 3 Columbian coffees and 3 fruit juices in the end including a Brett special off random fruit juices mixed together…it was nice!

Cut wise I just wanted a trim – I am still growing out layers and asked to have it dried a bit wavy. Michael Barnes himself did some curling magic with the GHDs, and we talked Nintendo DS’s….


Anyway here was my hair before from the back. Please remember that:

a. This is my hair washed with no products and no blow drying – it’s just in it’s most organic state! and

b. I went to bed a 6am and woke at 7.30am to get the train. This is ‘I slept on the train’ hair


Holy crap I look like my mum from the back…

See how I look really stary? I was SO tired! And I had a party to go to afterwards. I was actually Hallucinating at this point:


Now – like I said before it took 4.5 hours to do my hair so it was really dark when I was done and I had to go to a party so there was no time to take a photo.

This is a picture of the hair the MORNING after – I had a good sleep and ruffle with it, so it is not as nice as when I first stepped out of the salon, but it will have to do:


I haven’t had light hair for a while – I quite like it, it makes me look tanned.



My hair looks more reddy copper in these photos, it’s cooler in real life. I don’t know why my hair always photographs so red.

So sorry, slept in bed head, but I couldn’t wash it because the shower at the hotel was broken and I had no hair products on me anyway, and if I brushed it too much it would frizz up. But you get the jist.

It’s been 2 weeks or so now and I have to say the hair has got better – I don’t know, it’s cooler now (thanks to Organic Care Systems silver shampoo) and it just seems to have settled in after a few washes.

This process is drying on the hair, depending on WHAT you have done. I had a few things done so of course it was traumatic but if you don’t need the roots doing or you don’t need colour removed etc. the process will be faster for you and your hair will be less damaged.

So all in all, I am happy with the result, I wanted something funky, casual, just a bit different from the usual uniformed highlights and I got that!

The Michael Barnes was great too, was a lot of fun and they made a long process bearable and really explained everything that was happening as we went along so I didn’t have any nasty shocks.

See the salon site here

Michael Barnes Hairdressing
224 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8EB

Tel: 020 7836 7152

(For the record, I noticed the have a 40% offer for new clients here!)

*This was a complimentary treatment

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    • Row says

      Hi Koko

      Because it’s tailored for you prices vary get in touch with them directly x

  1. julee says

    Hi. I was wondering when you asked for ombré hair, did you ask the stylist for specific color? Or was it up to him? For example, mix cool and warm tones? What about the base color? Looks wonderful. Thx!!!! : )