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Francesco Picardi has two salons, one in the West End and this one near Old Street station. Old St is on the Northern Line easily accessed from Euston and King's Cross, and the salon is just a few minutes walk up Old Street itself, on the right hand side. It's easy to miss as it's in a building with several offices on the different floors, and only has a small sign and a buzzer at street level.
I had a look at the prices on the website, and although this is much more expensive than the places I usually go to, with 50% off it wasn't too bad! A cut and blow dry is usually £60, so I paid £30. Highlights are from £80 although it depends who does them. Having said this, I've just looked at the website again now and it has some more special offers: free cut with a colour, etc. The website itself is a bit cluttered but the photos of the salon looked nice so I thought it was worth a try.
I phoned up on the Monday to make an appointment and managed to get one after work on the Thursday (6.30pm). When I arrived, Francesco himself was the only person there and it was empty otherwise. It was hard to say whether this made it feel exclusive or a bit spooky! However the salon is lovely, very modern looking and lots of mirrors and posh products on display. The bare brickwork gives it a contemporary edge. Francesco himself was very 'Italian' - very friendly and chatty and quickly put me at ease. He asked me what I'd like to do with my hair (I only wanted a good trim and a bit more shape to my long graduated bob) and listened carefully to what I was saying.
Once he put the radio on I felt a bit more relaxed and settled down for a lovely hairwash (lovely products - not sure what they were but there was no hard sell, which suits me!) and head massage. He cut my hair pretty quickly and with a slightly flamboyant air which made me slightly nervous but I had confidence that he would do a good job. He was chatty but not annoyingly so (I hate it when hairdressers never shut up!) and asked my opinion at several stages, to check I was happy with the amount he was cutting off, and that kind of thing. Then he blowdried it, which I really enjoyed. It looked fab - much better than I ever get it to look myself!
Normally when I've had a cut and blow dry, I have to go home, wash my hair and dry it myself to make it look 'normal' again; however I resisted the urge this time as he hadn't blowdried it too 'bouffy', and I loved it! The cut works perfectly with my hair, and a few weeks on it still looks as good and is still easy to style. I think this chap really knows his stuff! I'd be confident heading back for a re-style, but only when I'm feeling flush!