Holland Park Avenue hairdressers Scissors Palace has been in the area for 34 years and is still going strong. The Resident paid a visit to the West London salon to see what has made it such a hit with the locals
From the outside Scissors Palace hairdresser on Holland Park Avenue doesn’t stand out, but this is its aim. Look closely and you might see one of the world’s top models jumping from the fire escape, a member of a royal family shuffling through the back door or a politician having his hair cut. Because, for 34 years Scissors Palace has been cutting the hair of the bold and the beautiful of Holland Park and Notting Hill.
The hairdresser was set up by owner Aida. Inspired by a trip to the bright lights and glamour of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, she brought its flamboyant style to West London where she set up the hairdresser first on Princedale Road in 1980 and then to Scissor Palace’s current location on Holland Park Avenue in 1985.
Inside the unassuming building is a classic beauty salon, run with family values by cutting edge hairdressers and beauticians. Sturdy barber’s chairs line the salon that is constantly filled with a friendly chatter. Grandmothers have their hair set, mothers have their hair styled, and daughters get the latest trends chopped into their tresses, and all three generations will feel just as at home.
But it doesn’t stop at hair. While your highlights are brewing, a team of smiling staff will give your nails a sleek manicure, iron out the knots in your back with a massage or, if you can take the pain, thread your eyebrows. Aida’s aim is that her clients can walk in and out within an hour having their hair styled, nails done and face prepped – with up to four members of staff working on you at one time.
Scissors Palace epitomises old-school glamour. And I should know. Last week I hauled my deep dark roots and stress-bitten nails into Scissors Palace for a session with one of its expert Gurus. The staff at Scissors Palace are labelled according to their level of expertise – Budding Stylists are juniors, while the Gurus are Aida’s long-standing members, who really know their stuff.
Following a thorough consultation, where my guru examined my colour and hair with a fine-tooth comb, she picked out three different shades to work with and rustled up the perfect colour match.
As my hair sat in foils, the wonderful manicurist set about transforming my nails from my seat and whiled away the waiting time chatting easily, then, to complete the VIP package, a soothing arm and shoulder massage.
By the time I was ready to leave I felt like I knew everyone in the salon. That’s the kind of place Scissors Palace is, friendly and warm, like a big family. Most of the staff have worked there for over four years, some as long as 12, and many loyal locals have been coming even longer than that.
Sadly Scissors Palace isn’t in my local neighbourhood, if it was I’d be in every day (and bankrupt). But making the journey every few months for the same experience wouldn’t be so bad, especially now I know the tricks of the trade.
1 Have a children’s birthday party
While girls get their nails painted, little boys can have their first ‘shave’ in the barber’s chair.
2 Get an express blow-dry
Walk into the salon for an express blow-dry (from £22), you’ll have your tresses seen to by whoever is available. It might be a top Guru or a Budding Stylist, either way the costs the same.
3 Have an express manicure or pedicure
The same goes for manis and pedis. No appointment is necessary, stroll in and get your full nails done for the price of a mini manicure (£18) or pedicure (£29).
4 Bring your dog along
Scissors Palace is so welcoming, you can even bring your dog along with you when you’re visiting the salon.
5 Find a stylist to suit your budget
Scissors Palace has a range of stylists, from the Budding Stylist who may still be learning, right up to the Gurus who have been with the salon for years and years. If you’re looking for something really special book one of the top guys, if you’d like to save a bit of money, book a Budding Stylist – they’ll always work under the watchful eye of a more experienced staff member.
6 Bring a bottle to the hairdressers
Bring a bottle and enjoy a drink while you have a makeover. Scissor Palace’s colour and style expert gurus Nico, Rashid, Nazi and Mahzad will give you a thorough consultation followed by total hair transformation and new look. If you forget to bring your tipple of choice, one of the team will run out and pick something up for you.
7 Total transformation in record time
Scissor Palace’s motto is say yes to everything! With that in mind customers can walk in off the street and have a colour, cut, blow dry, manicure, pedicure and their eyebrows done all within an hour and a half. Or it will adapt to the time you have.
8 Get the VIP treatment
If you’d rather total privacy when having your hair, nails or eyebrows done, Scissors Palace has private rooms that you can be treated in. It costs nothing extra, just ask when you book.