Moving to a new city comes with so much excitement. There are new restaurants and bars to visit, sites to see, friends to make and hidden gems to seek out. But finding a new hairdresser? Nah mate. I’m not up for it. I don’t need to tell you that the relationship between a woman and her hairdresser is a sacred one. They have the power to make you feel revived, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. The best hairdressers will listen, give you advice and tell you what you need to hear – all part of the free therapy session that comes with the best haircut.

So, with that in mind I did my research to try and find a good quality salon in my new local area. Living in Birmingham means I have endless options. With so many to choose from it seemed wrong to simply choose the one that was most convenient for me (close to where I work) but true to form, I went with the lazy option and did it anyway. James Bushell has two salons and the branch I visited is located just outside of the city centre, on Calthorpe Road. It has a huge glass front meaning if you have anxiety like me, you can walk past awkwardly several times and look at the layout before you pluck up the courage to actually walk in.

I knew I was onto a winner as soon as I made my appointment, because within minutes I was in the chair with Advanced Colour Technician Allan who gave me a free consultation to discuss my colour. Planning to go from blonde to red, I knew I might be met with some hesitation as I know it can be hard to get the colour to stick to bleached hair. However he explained to me that dying it orange first would solve this problem and then he spent time helping me pick the exact shade of red I wanted. I’m no colour expert, so having someone suggest which colour might look best along with using celebrity examples for reference was super helpful and put me at ease with my final decision. He quickly did a patch test and I booked my appointment for the following week.

As soon as I sat in the chair I was offered a cup of tea, and Allan went through the colour chart again to make 100% sure I was happy with my choice. This was great because after a week I honestly had forgotten which one I’d picked. He warned me that the first shade of orange would be close to neon (it truly was magnificent) but not to worry, it would be dyed over with the right colour straight after. Everything he said was true, and the final colour was exactly what I’d asked for – a warm copper that looked like it was my natural hair. Even if my colour had turned out a disaster, having my hair washed whilst sitting in a vibrating massage chair would have been worth the hassle. No joke.

I opted for a simple trim and my stylist Kim was happy to oblige. She could tell my hair was thick and heavy and took little off the length but loads of weight out of the ends – just what the doctor ordered. Whilst she got to cutting my new ginger mop I took in the atmosphere in the salon.

Juniors were busy cleaning, sweeping up and helping stylists with odd jobs. Every client was tended to with either a cuppa, a glass of wine or some much-needed relationship advice. An elderly lady with dementia was having her colour done and I heard the staff dealing with her needs with with decorum of a family member. Another lady was feeling faint and two stylists sat with her on the front step until she was ready to come back in.

The place was buzzing with activity, but I still felt like I was taken care of intently from start to finish. No customer was ignored, but in the same breath no staff member seemed stressed or spread too thin. After my cut my final colour was reviewed by Allan; another personal touch that really made me feel valued as a client.

The prices are really reasonable considering the standard of service that you’re guaranteed to receive. I can’t recommend these guys highly enough and can’t wait to go back for my next visit. Now for the important bit – before and after shots:

dying blonde hair red


dying blonde hair red

Have you ever been to James Bushell ?