We’re certainly not short of reasons to love Brixton at the moment, but only one of those reasons offers us a moment of tranquility, an escape from the chaos and restless vibrancy of the area. That place is The Blue Peacock, a new, boutique hair salon that I highly recommend visiting whether your follicles need fussing or not.

Carlos Martin has worked with hair for some 25 years in salons stretching from Madrid to Chelsea, including the quirky, cool Tidy Hair on Atlantic Road. The Blue Peacock, so named simply because he has a fondness for this beautiful of birds, has created a beautiful small salon with the help of his interior designer partner.

The style of the salon is ‘rustic alfresco’ – it’s light, bright, full of foliage (one oversized plant sits in a huge terracotta pot atop a dramatic salvaged pedestal), Moroccan-style pendant lamps and beautiful rustic doors with mirrored panels to the rear of the salon that resemble the entrance to a Tuscan farm house. It really is the most beautiful salon I’ve ever set foot in, probably because it looks nothing like a salon.

There’s even a gorgeous vintage Hungarian bench that Carlos discovered at a vintage market in Battersea. It’s a treasured possession that he hauled out of his home and into the salon because it fit so perfectly.

But what really matters is the hair cut, and Carlos applies just the same attention to detail to your hair as he has the salon. I took my long, blond, somewhat limp tresses along for a trim and the whole experience was a pleasure. Sitting in a brightly lit salon staring at myself in the mirror is one of my least favourite experiences, which is why my salon visits tend to be annual.

But here everything is calm and unhurried – a relaxing hair wash with head massage, zero chat about X Factor or the Kardashians, and the pleasure of sitting at a table in the centre of the salon, a good distance from the mirror, while the suave, softly spoken Carlos takes charge, his quiet confidence assuring you that your hair is in good hands. He shaped my hair with skilled and deliberate snips, adding in layers and blow-drying my hair with plenty of body and movement so that I could sashay off to meet my friends in Brixton Village in the knowledge I’ll be generating some serious hair envy.

This is exactly how the salon experience should be.

334a Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8QH;


Carlos Martin (photo by Ana Escobar)

Price guide

Ladies cut and finish, £52
Blow dry, £30-£40
High / Low Lights (half head) / Balayage, £85

Click here for the full price list


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