London day spa salon review: Gary Ingham, Hampstead

Gary Ingham Salon & Spa

The Gary Ingham salon is an intimate boutique Aveda hair salon and spa set in the quaint leafy surroundings of Hampstead Village. Just a stone’s throw from Hampstead underground, it's the perfect place to escape the chaos of London life.

What’s it like?

Natual themed decor, calming neutral colours and thick wooden furnishings - all part of the spa’s eco-friendly and relaxed theme. With an emphasis on natural elements, the salon prides itself on a wide range of soothing and nourishing treatments using Aveda’s organic plant-based products, which are naturally developed and environmentally friendly. Dressed up with over-sized foliage and bamboo details, it's a bit of an exotic paradise - and very easy to forget you are so close to the heart of London!

What about treatments?

The spa offers a menu of holistic healing therapies, as well as pampering beauty treatments. The Aveda treatments aim to engage all the senses by using organic plant-based products and invigorating natural aromas.

Before my treatment I have a personal consulation with a therapist - I've chosen the Aveda Elemental Nature Full Body Massage, a personalised soothing massage that works to relieve tension and stress. I'm given a choice of scented oils, all of which are made up of natural-based ingredients. To make the most of the calming atmosphere, I opt for calming lavender to really transport myself from the hustle of London and relish the relaxation.  

My therapist was attentive and made note of all my problem areas, working into them gently but with enough pressure to really feel the benefits afterwards. The penetrating treatment combined with the soothing lavender oils invigorated my mind and left me feeling balanced, rejuvenated and nourished. It was a wonderful treat at the end of a busy week - I totally recommend taking an afternoon off to treat yourself to the experience.

Next, it was time for my Aveda hair treatment, to complete the pampering and leave me weekend-ready! Before my styling session I was given a gorgeous head massage using aromatic Aveda essential oils, which also left my hair feeling nourished and silky smooth. I’m usually a little apprehensive about visiting new hairdressers, as I somehow always seem to end up with a lot less hair than I originally wanted to part with! But my stylist really listened to what I wanted and cut my hair to perfection. He also spent an extra half an hour styling my tresses into chic elegant waves ready for my Friday night out.

Tips to take home

After my treatments, I left the salon feeling revitalised and of course eager to show off my new lustrous locks! I also came away with some top tips, to help protect my skin during winter and keep my coloured hair looking sleek and healthy. For the days when I can't make it to an Aveda spa and salon ...

Top skincare tips for winter

Winter skin care tips: To protect your skin from the harsh winter weather, the Gary Ingham spa team recommend using a rich moisture-intense skincare product on the face, such as Aveda Green Science Firming Face Cream. This wonder product relies on the power of plant extracts such as Argan oil and cactus that are rich in anti-oxidants and peptides. This natural blend works to moisturise, strengthen and firm the skin, protecting against the harsher winter weather.

Hair-care tips

Wavy hair treatment: To keep curly or wavy hair looking super sleek and full of bounce, Gary Ingham Artisitc Art Director Fred Belanger advises never to towel-dry hair. Try squeezing the curls gently to release the moisture, then prep the hair with a curl-enhancing hair product such as Aveda Be Curly Style-Prep. Finish with a heat humidity-resistant product. This will make sure your gorgeous curls look healthy, voluminous and with a radiant shine.

Caring for coloured hair: Use a specific colour-safe cleansing and conditioning range, which will protect against enviromental stresses and prevent your vibrant colour from fading.

How much does it cost?

You can book a soothing Aveda Elemental Nature Full Body Massage for 60 minutes (£72) or 75 minutes (£87). A women’s cut and finish ranges from £55 with a stylist to £95 for a director.

How do I book?

The full range of spa and salon treatments are available to book on the Gary Ingham website, or call 0207 431 0777 for more information.

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See last month's spa review - a sublime massage on Lake Geneva

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