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Review: H&Co, Finlake

The UK's youngest multi-award-winning hairdresser is in Devon and she's just opened her second salon. But can she part your Muddy editor from her scrunchy addiction?

I’ve been growing my hair for ages and constantly chickening out of having more than an inch off. But there are only so many scrunchies a grown woman should own so it was off to H&Co at Finlake’s new Sirona Spa near Chudleigh for a a spruce-up. Not a haircut, just a blow-dry and wave so I’d look groomed for a Friday night out.

Owned by Hannah and Ross Kernick, this brand-new bijou salon is H&Co’s second new premises to open in two years. Recently they’re in the local news A LOT, having won more awards in 2018 than any other UK salon – 9 in two years. Last year they won 3 categories in the prestigious Hairdressers Journal Awards 2018: best customer care, top independent newcomer and best salon design. They’re the only salon outside London to win three in a year and at 25 Hannah is the youngest hairdresser in the UK to have scooped so many gongs.

So I figure if anyone can give my hair a lift, Hannah can. Like many busy ladies I know, my hair gets washed, blasted with the drier then bundled into a knot and forgotten about. But that doesn’t mean I don’t long for lustrous locks, like Villanelle in Killing Eve except without the psychopathy. Though I would kill for thick, bouncy hair.

Hannah takes one look at my triangle-shaped barnet and tells me I need more height at the top. Volume is what’s needed and this can be only be done with products, round brushes, time ie: EFFORT or by whipping 3in off the bottom. Being basically lazy, and rubbish with a round brush, this sounds like the best option, so having only intended to go for a wash and blow dry, I’m under the tap and back in the chair with a cappuccino before you can say, ‘Oh god, what am I doing??!’

The new salon is small with a rustic-chic vibe and has an alcohol licence – Prosecco or Pimms anyone? – but I’m on the school run later and don’t want the other mums whispering about me. There are also packets of old-fashioned Swizzel sweets in bowls on the counter for a sugar hit. For eco fans, they have their Botanics Bar and organic products on pump where you can return for refills. They run regular surveys for clients online, meaning customers get to influence the playlist, and there is a Who’s For You questionnaire so you can be matched with the right stylist for you, based on whether you prefer chatty or quiet, your hair type and price expectations.

Hannah has Ross to thank for the online side as he’s a whizz with anything techie and he’s also created a phone app for booking last minute cancellations. And they don’t mind you bringing the dog – Hannah has two cute springer-crosses who frequent the salon.

While snipping away with the scissors, Hannah tells me her clients come for her for good colour and honest advice. I can see why – I’m trying not to flinch as she tells me she believes after a certain age women shouldn’t be growing their hair. Bobs are the most popular haircut for her clientele for good reason – not so short as to be brave, but not so long to be limp and feature-dragging.

Job done and Hannah reaches for the GHD’s and with a practiced twist and flick, my hair is left shorter by 3inches, bouncy and wavy. Bye-bye Neil from The Young Ones, hello Cerys Matthews.

I think the technical term is ‘swishy’, something I’ve never had before. Whadd’ya think? I think I’ll definitely be back. 


A cut and style with Hannah costs £47; Redesign £57; Blow Dry £35; a Big Bouncy Blow Dry (1hr) £43.

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