As a Muslim woman who has worn the hijab for a decade, taking care of my hair has been pretty low down on my list of priorities. Aside from the odd oiling treatment or serum, I usually just slick it into a bun, pop a headscarf on and hope for the best. But, as I scrolled through Instagram and Pinterest and saw tonnes of photos of people with luscious locks, I was inspired to get my hair done professionally for the first time since deciding to wear the hijab 10 years ago.
I started wearing the hijab as a way to gain closeness to my faith, Islam. But why haven’t I had my hair done in a decade, you may ask? Well, it’s not that easy. As a hijab-wearing woman, I choose to cover my hair in front of men I’m not closely related to as a mark of faith and modesty, meaning that your usual high street salon with huge windows is a bit of a no-go.
Then, when I do come across salons that are hijab-friendly, I often have to compromise on service, price or quality. This means that I (or a friend, housemate, but mostly my mum) have resorted to cutting and styling my hair at home instead, resulting in some questionable chops more times than I care to admit.
So, when it finally came time for me to hand it over to the professionals, I discovered that haircare brand Aveda had a hijab-friendly salon. I headed over to their central London location for a one-of-a-kind, private experience catered specifically to women who cover their hair. It’s one of very few salons that offer this service, so, from privacy to pricing, here is everything you need to know about getting your hair done at a hijab-friendly salon.
What's it like going to Aveda’s hijab-friendly hair salon?
When I entered Aveda, I was greeted by a friendly staff member who guided me to the private section, partitioned off from the rest of the salon by a heavy curtain. There is no additional charge to use this room - with prices at the salon starting from £60 - and the utmost care is taken to ensure privacy for their clients. No one could see in, and everyone who entered and left the room made sure that of that, which I really appreciated.
After a dreamy hair wash and head massage, accompanied by a warming cup of herbal tea, my stylist got to cutting and styling my hair. I told her about how I tie my hair under my hijab, to which she recommended I got longer layers for better hold and she also recommended some moisturising hair care products to cater to the dryness I often experience from wearing the hijab.
Aveda’s salon manager, Sarah Barnsbury, told me more about their hijab-friendly service and why they offer it. “We’re making sure we’re a brand catering for all people and all hair types are at the heart of what we do,” she said. “That’s why our flagship salon is designed to be hijab-friendly, with a privacy suite to ensure guests with covered hair can enjoy their Aveda service in the comfort of a private space.”
She shared that since launching the private suite in 2022, there has been a huge demand and the popularity of this service just shows the serious lack of options for Muslim women and others who choose to cover their hair, which is what made this experience so much more special. People may ask, ‘Why get your hair done if you’re just going to cover it up?’ but, for me, it’s about treating myself, taking pride in my appearance and generally feeling good about myself, just like any other woman. Plus, there’s always an all-girls party for me to let down my locks at!
As for my experience at Aveda, I appreciated the tailored advice to my hair type which I’ve since implemented into my routine as well as the care taken to ensure my privacy. From wearing the hijab, my hair can be on the drier side and prone to breakage, which is the shortcoming of often having to style it at home. The service was professional, friendly and extremely helpful, which put me at ease as someone who hasn’t entered a hair salon in years. Oh, and my hair looked better and healthier than it ever has before and I really did leave feeling like a million pounds.
Getting my hair done is something I hope to do more regularly now I know a service like this exists and booking can be done so easily online, with salon manager Sarah recommending booking in advance and speaking to their staff beforehand about their hair type and texture to ensure that the right amount of time is allocated. I just hope that salons and services like this become more common, so everyone can get their hair cut in privacy if they choose and be able to take care of and treat themselves like we all deserve.
Other Hijab-friendly hair salons in London
Some salons may be able to accommodate hijab-wearing clients by putting up a partition or shield from other customers, so it's always worth calling up and checking.
Here are our recommendations for other hijab-friendly hair salons in London:
The Curl Bar London
Price: starting from £60
Location: Tottenham, North London
Price: starting from £40
BK Beauty Kulture Salon
Location: North Dulwich, South East London
Price: starting from £45
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