Hair Salon Review: Matthew Curtis at The Rosewood Hotel, Hoborn, London


Review: Kathryn Lewsey

Big in the hair game, Matthew Curtis is famed for his creative barnet snipping, colouring and styling, so when I was invited to try out his central London-based salon, I was more than eager to accept.

Located at the grand and beautiful Rosewood Hotel in Holborn, this tiny space is tucked away downstairs and next to the hotel’s spa. Dimly lit and tranquil, this area is a million miles away from the busy city streets and offers a calm escape when you’re looking to really switch off.

The actual salon has been made to look like a train carriage on the Orient Express and is decked out with the likes of drawers disguised as old-school luggage trunks and lavish furnishings. Although a pretty small space – you could probably only have two stylists and two customers at a time – it never felt cramped and the interior was a welcome change to the usual monotone and minimalistic style that so many salons have adopted.

I was there to try out the salon’s keratin blow-dry and the lovely Shanola was booked in do it. After settling in to my seat, Shanola explained what the whole process would entail and the results I could expect. Suffering from curly, frizzy locks means styling my hair can be a real challenge at times and even after hours of preening, any glimmer of humidity will undo all my hard work.

Shanola said that although the treatment wouldn’t completely rid of my waves, it would make my strands much smoother and help to banish frizz – and that it should last around 12 weeks. She also warned me that I would have to my hair unwashed for 48-72 hours to allow the keratin to bond.

Once this had all been discussed, she took me over to a basin where my mane was thoroughly washed twice – it’s important to get it as clean as possible as your hair will take to the keratin better.

Shanola then applied the actual product – Nanokeratin is the particular brand this salon uses. Next, my strands were blowdried with the product in it – this was done with precision to really get the hair as straight and smooth as possible.


For the final step, Shanola then used straighteners on my whole hair to locks in the keratin and keep my barnet incredibly smooth – let’s just say I’ve never had straighter hair in my life! And while other keratin blow-dries in the past have taken at least several hours to do, Shanola’s professional and efficient work meant I was in and out in just 90 minutes.

The first few days can be a tad tricky as you’re not allowed to wash your hair or even put it up, as you have to allow the keratin a few days to really absorb into your locks. So it basically means rocking a slightly greasy-looking and poker straight barnet – even dry shampoo is forbidden!

However, the results are something else. Reducing my hair styling time and leaving my mane softer, smoother and shinier than ever before – there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s worth enduring a few dodgy hair days at the beginning. I was even in the ridiculously humid Cairns, Australia, and my locks remained smooth and sleek.


Matthew Curtis at The Rosewood Hotel, 252, High Holborn, WC1 V7EN