Treatment Review: Karine Jackson Hair & Beauty, Covent Garden


Review: Alex Dyche

A treatment at Karine Jackson’s West End salon is nothing short of luxurious. Having worked with Charles Worthington, managing his Percy Street salon Karine set up her own, located two doors down from The Ivy, ten years ago. Spanning two floors, it is a modern and exquisite suburban-sanctuary which instantly feels warm and welcoming and puts you at ease. The most refreshing thing about the salon, however, is that it doesn’t smell like a hairdressers. Karine only uses Organic Colour Systems hair colouring that is ammonia free with fewer chemicals, so the overwhelming smell that can often hit you when walking into a salon is not there.

On arrival a member of Karine’s friendly team greeted me with a pile of magazines and a drink and nibbles. I was then met by the lady herself, who I am now a little in awe of as a stylist. I am the first to admit that, despite two years working within the beauty PR industry and following a period as a beauty writer, I am the world’s biggest wimp when it comes to my hair. I had a head of ‘virgin’ hair that was colour-free and subject to ‘just a trim’ on an all-too frequent basis. On admitting to Karine that I actually liked my tresses long and dark she did nothing to try and convince me to do something otherwise, that I didn’t want or that didn’t suit me. Instead she did what 90% of hairdressers, in my experience, don’t do and really listened to me and what I wanted. She used a colour chart to check whether my skin-tone was warm or cool and analysed my scalp and hair to establish what it needed and the amount of stretch each strand had. This revealed that I had a slightly dry scalp and hair and so Karine and her team used moisturising products accordingly as the perfect tonic for it. After careful discussion and consideration we opted for a rich and warm, permanent all over colour, but with a slight difference. My complete trust in Karine allowed me to be braver than normal and I opted for an ombre dye, whereby the ends of my hair are a shade lighter than the roots, graduating on the way down. This actually mimics a more natural colour as the sun and other elements lighten your hair as it grows.

The colour was applied to my hair and I enjoyed thirty minutes of glossy-mag reading and coffee supping as it worked its magic. I then went downstairs to the specialist hair-washing area and was treated to a moisturising shampoo and condition and the most relaxing scalp massage that I’ve ever been lucky enough to receive! I floated back upstairs where Karine finished my treatment with a cut and blow-dry and my dry split-ends were quickly made history. I watched eagerly as my style was formed and the colour revealed and what I was left with was the healthiest-looking hair that I have ever had. Not only did it feel soft, supple and full of bounce but it looked it too. The colour is incredibly glossy and a vivid chocolate brown that looks utterly rich and nourished.  After such a positive experience with organic colour I have to admit that I would now find it hard to be tempted by harsh chemical dyes in the future, especially after a little home-swotting on their harsh effects on both your body and hair.

Other than my treatment what struck me most about the salon was that Karine, a bubbly and super friendly Aussie, took the time to greet every customer who entered, often by name. Not only did this reveal that her customers are loyal regulars but it was something I found completely endearing and uncharacteristic of a busy London salon. Given this and my gorgeous new hair it has guaranteed that I will certainly be back.