Perched naturally on Marylebone’s New Quebec Street, Mathew Alexander is a breath of fresh air. This is down to a handful of well thought out business decisions by the brains (and hands) behind the slick operation, Mathew himself, a warm and welcoming hair stylist and makeup artist who, after conscious visualisation and four years inside the Intercontinental hotel on Park Lane, made the move into his dream spot on the charming neighbourhood street.
Mathew Alexander is a unique addition to the hair salon scene in Marylebone which, to paint a slightly stark but realistic picture, looks like one unconscious-L’Oréal-stocking-grey-white-and-black-interiors salon after another. From the Farrow & Ball pea green walls to the reclaimed marble surfaces, the 100% recyclable chairs to the 12-year old mirrors reused from his old salon, the biodegradable coffee pods offered to his loyal customers to the Who Gives a Crap loo roll in the artistic loo stocked with Penhaligon’s eau de toilettes, this salon is high-end to say the least. Why? It isn’t down to stocking the typical hair care brands or opting for flashy futuristic furniture. It’s down to the positivity the salon exudes, the live plants draping down from the skylight, the Shampoo-Free Blow Dry service using some of most beautiful environmentally conscious brands around such as Hairstory, Davines and Moohair. The Mathew Alexander salon offers a new and much needed pampering experience in London: a conscious one.
The Mathew Alexander Salon is a great choice for city dwellers who enjoy a luxurious salon service that goes far beyond a mindless hairdressing experience. Mathew is passionate, well informed and has a likeable quality that is rarely found in business owners - he recognises and admits where and how he can improve and do better. Already having gone much farther down the sustainability road than every other of his competitor salons, he speaks determinedly about him and his business partner’s plan to start donating funds to a charity of their choice at the end of their first year of trading. In his personal life, Mathew is interested and active in making choices that impact positively on the world and because of this, aided by a kind staff who share the vision, the salon holds a rare and distinctive easy going, ethereal atmosphere where you can sit back and be absolutely pampered whilst knowing your money is not going to another large, unethical corporation who doesn't need or deserve it. The high quality haircut and blow dry offering at Mathew Alexander is made even sweeter with the understanding that the money spent here is going towards someone and something that simultaneously has the world's and your hair's best interests at heart.
The Shampoo-Free Blow Dry
Hairstory was created by Eli Halliwell of well known and celebrity-loved hair care brand Bumble and bumble. Its philosophy is that shampoo is the worst thing for hair, and the answer is their hero product, New Wash. It's a hair cleanser that replaces both shampoo and conditioner and helps hair retain its natural oils whilst clearing impurities. Hairstory is transparent with their ingredient listings, provide a subscription service for stockists such as Mathew Alexander, The Karcher salon in New York and KJ Hair Studio in Boston as well as individual customers who can all save on unnecessary packaging by ordering a refillable aluminium dispenser. They are also are a part of 1% for the Planet, a charity started by two businessmen who decided to give 1% of their sales back to the environment after owning their own responsibility to protect the planet.
Last summer, Hairstory collaborated with Mathew Alexander to launch a styling service quite like no other which counts as an undeniable win for those who like to live their lives in a luxurious and eco-friendly manner. The Shampoo-Free Blow Dry, which works well as an after work indulgence or as a regular treatment for those who like to be pampered often, leaves hair feeling smooth, sleek and healthy; an impressive and slightly unexpected outcome for those such as us at Bee who have typically always used both shampoo and conditioner.
Here's the gospel truth: running a sustainable business is, unfortunately at this point in time, not the easy option and it’s most certainly not the cheap option, which is why it’s always surprising and grossly misleading when supposedly high end brands label themselves as luxury and refuse to delve into the aspects of their businesses that make them oh so cheap, such as a handful of London restaurants who still use plastic straws and stirrers (cough cough Bob Bob Ricard), and most luxury hotels who still provide slippers in single-use plastic packaging. Many industries such as fashion, food, beauty and hospitality, are rife with greenwashing and it’s hard to know who to trust. Mathew Alexander is the good guy in a thoughtless salon world. Its sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly badges of honour do not diminish its unquestionable badge of luxury - each enhances the other.
Mathew Alexander Salon
21 New Quebec Street, Marylebone, London W1H 7SA