BEAUTY – Why be 50 shades of grey, when you can be 50 shades of blonde?

Giannasso Hair and Beauty Salon

“Why be 50 shades of grey, when you can be 50 shades of blonde?” asks colour maestro Sergio Giannasso. Indeed, I muse. Growing into your thirties gracefully can be a tricky journey when you’re continually bleaching your brunette locks with peroxide, chasing your tousled twenties. But, the fine line between blonde and brassy can become increasingly blurred. After a bad experience with a particularly blunt ombré dye job seven years ago during the early stages of its popularity, I had been reluctant to try it again, sticking to the tried-and-tested highlights and re-growth routine. But when my mother gently suggested that perhaps I should start veering towards my darker roots as I get older, in order to keep my barnet in better condition, I, after shock and outrage, took stock.

Enter Giannasso Hair & Beauty, located between Leicester Square and Covent Garden in the delightfully trendy St Martin’s Lane. I was initially nervous about my consultation with owner and colour expert Sergio. What if he suggested I go back to brunette altogether? Was I ready to leave my blonde hedonism behind?Fortunately, he knew just what I was after and, although the salon offers everything from balayage to reverse ombré, he suggested I get a Colour Melt.
This clever colour effect uses multiple tones from colour, creating a seamless colour from root to tip. In my case, Italian-born Sergio didn’t even have to use any bleach, just a semi-permanent toner, which matched my natural colour, and ‘bled’ it down from my roots. Being a trained make-up artist as well gives Sergio an upper hand when it comes to colour matching mastery. In determining which tone of blonde to exaggerate he pawed at my wrist to detect the colour of my veins.
He explained: “Thanks to my background with working with both hair and make up, I am able to see colour with a different eye. I know what will flatter the skin and make the eyes pop. I also take the face shape into consideration as well.  “It’s a combination of knowledge and choice, and compromise with what the customer wants. It’s all about the multi-dimensional blonde these days.” After working at Charles Worthington, Sergio has built up a loyal client base in the nine years he has had his own salon, who clearly swear by his colour knowledge. Having washed out the colour and soothed in a toning treatment to nourish and moisturise my bleach-damaged follicles I was excited, and a touch nervous, when he started to blow dry it to see what my new-do would look like. I needn’t have worried, Sergio is a true pro and I squealed with excitement as my new cashmere mane started to shine through. The simple colour trick had eliminated my roots, improved the condition of my hair and instantly added an air of sophistication to my overall look.

As well as the stellar hair advice, the overall experience at Giannasso’s is remarkably personal and warming. Upon nestling into my comfy chair I was offered a menu of drinks, from cappuccino to prosecco, and even dishes I could order for lunch. But the signature salon soupçon is Sergio’s homemade Tiramisu, which is a renowned mid-treatment treat.

I was delighted to discover that Giannasso’s is not only dog, but also pet friendly, well behaved companions are welcome to join their owners in the salon.
During my visit, I met a gorgeous black Labrador Dexter, who has been coming to the salon since he was a puppy.

The downstairs beauty salon offers a plethora of treatments to complete your make-over, I had my eyebrows expertly threaded into neat arches, but there is also tinting, waxing, manicures, pedicures, massages and facials to satiate your beauty needs. For a gift idea, you can also buy hair and beauty packages, which would make a lovely pre-theatre present given the salon’s West End location.

I was so chuffed with my transformation I couldn’t help but hug Sergio as I skipped out into the sunlight, shaking my new caramel mane at any unsuspecting stranger passing me by.

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