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Muddy review: The Boudoir, Babbacombe

Muddy writer Ashley takes her barnet to Torbay's only boutique salon with a prestigious Wella Colour Expert Award. But will she embrace the grey?

What a joyous way to spend a morning, driving along the dramatic and beautiful coastline of Torquay towards Babbacombe (great name, redolent of calypso and rum) to The Boudoir, the petite hair salon of Louise Ward.


Lively and busy with the coastal walks above Babbacombe Beach only 500 yards from the salon and 100 yards from a convenient car park.


A warm and friendly greeting by the owner of the salon, Louise Ward, a friendly, attractive (in the truest sense of the word) gentle-voiced lady who has been a stylist and expert colourist for Wella for many years designed to put you instantly at ease.

Louise holds the Prestigious Wella Colour expert award, has worked for many years as both hairdresser and trainer and has run a number of salons.


The entrance to the hair salon takes you in through a colourful, bijou shop, La Vie en Rose, which sells a tempting selection of gifts including some fabulous quirky  jewellery (the sort you buy for a friend then keep for yourself) reminiscent of the Colombia Road market and rich with the welcome colours of Mexico and summer sunshine.


Various lockdown timings had left my hair too long, dry and the colour had faded –  most definitely time for Louise’s attentive, expert assessment of my hair. She discussed all the options, was very thoughtful of my preferences and filled me with enough confidence to say, “I put myself entirely in your hands” – a rare level of trust to hand over on the first time at a new hair salon!


Louise added a smokey tone to the roots and scattered slices through the ends, added light caramel pieces to add texture and finished with a colour mask to add shine, colour and tone. She then cut my hair into a soft layered French bob and also offered some seriously handy advice for a possible future move to embrace more of the grey….gulp.


My hair was treated to all kind of delights. I particularly liked the Sebastian ‘Twisted’ perfect for curly mops and the Wella Colour fresh mask, a toner to be used between colour touch ups. She also introduced me to a whole new range ‘weDo’ which is bang up to date, 97% sustainable, vegan, paraben, sulfate and guilt free, fab for both our barnets and the planet.

All products used are environmentally-friendly where possible with recycled plastics etc and the designers that Louise curates for her delightful emporium are also chosen with an ethical footprint in mind, a nice added bonus.


Delicious coffee – an absolute must. The Wi-Fi code displayed discreetly for those compelled to surf the net whilst coiffured. Nails and makeup up can be added to your visit if you fancy the whole she-bang.


I can’t wait to return and maybe next time I’ll go for the asymmetric cut the lovely Louise recommended…

Good for: anyone who feels intimidated by big, trendy salons and anyone looking for expert colour advice; curly mops; vegans; anyone who does not like to be spotted whilst half their head is covered with tin foil; those thinking of embracing the grey.

Not for: people who prefer big, more anonymous salons with city centre shopping on hand.

The damage: regrowth and scattered colours £56, Cut and finish £45, Colour mask £24.95 (to take home after salon application); Texture curl cream by Sebastian £27.20 and the earrings added from La Vie en Rose, £15.95.

The Boudoir, 56 Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 3SW. Tel: 01803 316916

Words by Ashley Tremlett.

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