Edward James London in Putney has a luxurious new Aveda spa. We met with salon owner and creative director Edward James to find out more

Tell us about Edward James London salons?
We opened our first Aveda hair salon on Northcote Road three years ago. Our second salon opened in Putney at the end of 2013 and we launched a new holistic Aveda spa there in October.

What’s the Aveda philosophy?
Overall it’s 96% naturally derived products. They are formulated to eliminate the nasties you get in a lot of petrochemical-based products. Aveda provides great products in haircare, skincare and also lifestyle, such as gorgeous candles and Aveda tea. Aveda follows the original believes of the founder, Horst Rechelbacher. He set it up in 1978.

What’s your connection with Aveda?

I was introduced to Aveda about five years ago. The colours are a lot more gentle on the hair and I love the holistic philosophy around having your treatment – you get a complimentary aromatherapy massage with your hair service or a foot soak before your spa treatment. With our brand it’s really about the quality of what we do; the quality of the hair dressing and the quality of the beauty treatments. We also sneak in not-so holistic sparkling wine in the evening.

What’s your background?
I used to work for Nicky Clarke, I was his general manager for three years and I really loved working in the West End. I wanted to bring the west end to people who don’t live in central London and don’t have time to visit there; the busy mums and working men and women who need to get their hair done at 8 o’clock in the evening or on Sunday. That was the basis for our business model, and it worked incredibly well in our first branch in Northcote Road.

What treatments are on offer in the spa?
Treatments range from full body treatments, body wraps, massages, plus a range of manicures and pedicures. We also do pregnancy massage, massages for local mums and NCT groups. Once every three months we do a mums and babies evening, mums can have treatments whilst connecting with other mums.

What popular requests do you get in your Putney salon and spa?
People are time poor and they want services and products that are going to cheat their way to looking groomed at all times — perma-grooming. That’s manicures that last two weeks, it’s blow drys that last a week. People want quality but they also want value.
For hair, the most popular request we get at the moment is Sienna Miller’s bob.

Was hairdressing your dream job?
When I was four I used to try and brush my grandmother’s hair but I wasn’t very good, I just used to hit her on the head with a hairbrush. As I grew up I had very unmanageable curly hair so I never really liked my own hair and it felt very uncomfortable having it cut, I think that’s where the interest came. It’s the best job in the world and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s got creativity, and I find the business side fascinating. I love hairdressing because you can make someone’s day so easily, you can make someone feel amazing. It’s wonderful to make people feel good.

What’s next for Edward James?
We’re launching a semi-permanent blow dry service called the British blow-dry, which is ideal for fine hair and CACI facials too. I’d love to open a third salon, perhaps next year, we’re looking at locations in South West London now.

Edward James London, 77 Putney High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SR; 020 8789 9639
18 Northcote Road, Battersea, London SW11 1NX; 020 7223 6225

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