If there’s one way of summarising Dalston’s Blue Tit Hair Salon – it’s that it’s a refreshingly different hairdressing experience.

To say I’m not a fan of visiting the hairdressers is an understatement.Too many people crammed into too small a space, an overly clinical interior finish and an attitude that feels all too much like they want to get you in and out of there as quick as possible and then onto the next victim – sorry – customer.

Often, there’s so much noise they barely hear you say “please cut no more than an inch” and you come out with hair 6 inches shorter than when you arrive. Add irritating commercial music and some nauseating Hello Magazines and you’ve got a recipe for me wanting to run out of there quicker than they can say “what can we do for you today?”

Now, rant over I can begin on the numerous positives of finding a salon that is so far removed from the normal, its practically unrecognisable as a hair salon.

Here’s the Blue Tit Salon guide to getting it right…

The Design

First impressions count for a lot. Sure, clients are expecting a certain level of cleanliness and order, but that doesn’t mean it has to resemble a your local dentist. Dalson’s Blue Tit Salon is a work of art in itself. Designed to feel more like a lounge area, picture a scene of antique eccentricity, a wall of vintage photographs in quirky frames, massive aging World globes, dark wooden seating, vintage looking wallpaper. It’s homely, in an olde England Drawing room kind of way. Result? I’m mesmerised by everything around me, and distracted from waiting all of 3 minutes.

The Refreshments

Okay so maybe you wouldn’t normally expect this to even be a consideration – until now. Most salons offer tea and stale biscuit and up until this visit I have to say that was more than satisfactory. Not only are the hot drinks on offer – oh no – Blue Tit offer freshly made Smoothies, as well as Wine and Beer. NOW you’re talking, Beer on its way…

The Staff

Donning eccentric hairstyles sort of comes with the territory as a hairdresser, especially if you’re out East. But don’t be fooled into thinking they’re going to want to shave the right side of your head, bleach it white and add some sparklers. This bunch is a chilled-out friendly, (no fake smiles here) and were as chatty as I lead to them to be. Just before falling asleep during my conditioning head massage, the lady washing my hair went to great lengths to explain the organic products that they use.

After an embarassingly long explanation to my stylist Andi (also the co-owner) he listened to me warble on about my hair growing slowly, split ends and root lifts, seeming not only to actually care what I thought but understood what I wanted. Either that or he was a great actor. Because of this I trusted him enough that I had more cut off than I was planning to. (I was really grateful he gave me an assertive nudge because the results were amazing.)

The Cut

To say I’m a pussy in the hairdressers really is an understatement. One centimetre feels like ten inches to me, and I’m petrified of them doing something wrong. I now count myself as cured from this weird phobia and I cant really say how or what cured me, but lets just say the interiors calmed, the staff made me smile and trusted the stylist which is kind of a big deal. To be honest I think the beer made me chill the f**k out. And we all need a little dutch courage afterall.

The Styling

Most stylists put so much conditioning oily crap in my hair that I come out looking like I’ve been greased up ready for a weightlifting championship. I lose all lift at the roots and they always always blowdry in a way that makes me feel like a 45 year old frump. Most of the time id rather save £20 and leave with wet hair. Blue Tit seemed to win on this too, I bounced out there feeling like I was in a shampoo advert, swishing my hair about in the wind and looking like a proper tit all the way home. Then waited hours for my housemates to return just so someone could see it. (No one saw it, I went to bed and woke up with bedhead hair.)

The Price

I appreciate I’m singing their praises a lot with these guys but genuinely to find a salon as unique as this is as refreshing as a cold G&T after stepping off the Central Line at rush hour, pass me the jug. A ladies cut is £51 and a flat rate is not something most salons do. Andi explained they have a certain standard at the salon, a standard that all stylists must meet. There are no tiered systems so they can guarantee that all customers receive the same level of service and expertise.

So there you have it, the unexpected hair salon. Blue Tit miraculously cured my hatred for hairdressing salons. I think a lot of them could learn a thing or two from Blue Tit – but then again it’s the comparison that makes them stand out in the field. Besides, the proof is in the pudding – as of last week they just opened their third salon in Peckham Rye.

Blue Tit thank you.