An up-and-coming Northampton hairdresser has been announced as a finalist for a national stylist graduation programme... so the Chronicle & Echo went to see what the salon could offer.
You can’t beat that just left the salon feeling when your hair looks and feels a million dollars. But if you've often left the salon and you feel more like Coco the clown rather than Coco Chanel, you would understand how important it is for a woman to have a hairdresser she can trust.
After visiting numerous Northamptonshire-based salons in search for the perfect balayage I thought I would give Seckingtons in Wellingborough Road a try as both my patience and hair were running thin.
Stylist Jemma Clemas has recently been shortlisted for the ghd art team - which those in the know will attest - is pretty thought of.
A place on the squad means a year of 'money-can’t-buy opportunities' for the chosen few – from training with top names to working on shows, seminars and events up and down the country.
So I thought I would try it out for myself.
My mid-week appointment was made for 5.45pm - a perfect time for full-time workers who finish late - and I was greeted with a free drinks menu including prosecco and a range of non-alcoholic drinks, but I hasten to add I had a water as I was driving.
Despite being a bore, my drink was still served to me on my own personal tray with a biscuit and a full range of magazines at my disposal.
After going for a patch-test two days before my appointment, I spoke to stylist, Jemma about the vision I had for my barnet.
As somebody who is naturally dark featured with more hair you can throw a Tangle Teezer at I have always thought about what it would be like to lighten my locks professionally as opposed to being styled in the middle of my friend's living room.
Jemma talked me through a range of cuts and showed me images on a Pinterest account - you know, those snaps you're told to never show a hairdresser because "they're too unrealistic" so you walk off feeling like a bumbling idiot...
However, after showing Jemma some of my hair nightmares and what I thought would look best, she coached me into thinking platinum blonde was not the way forward and that I should be more subtle. 'You're talking sense', I thought.
During the evening appointment, she lightened my ends with softer brown tones and shampoo and conditioned my locks before performing a head massage with lavender oil, which was included in the price.
I was then passed onto senior art director, Micky who made an ace job of my cut.
For the first time in my adult life, I met a hairdresser who listened to my request to "only cut the ends off" as opposed to nine inches.
I was given a mini-questionnaire to fill in, which asked me what I wanted from my experience and it quizzed me on what heated tools I use. I thought it would be best if I didn't say a steam-iron at this point.
The team told me Seckingtons only use natural products that they would feel happy to use on themselves and have used organic, Aveda products for over five years making them the only salon in a 15-mile radius who use the brand.
As an Aveda salon, all staff are fully trained on how to give salon-goers the "best-informed" decision on purchases and know what products to use during treatments.
It's safe to say the salon isn't cheap with a ladies 45-minute cut starting at £30 with a graduate stylist spanning to £63 with Johnny himself, but from my previous disappointing experiences, it's true when they say you "get what you pay for," and it's worth every penny.
After three-and-a-half-hours of graft, I can safely say the duo made a cracking job on my do and after a new side-fringe and a go at the curlers, I felt great. I look forward to the next time I book in with the team.
To book in with Jemma visit Seckingtons on Wellingborough Road, Northampton, call 01604 633366 or log onto www.seckingtons.co.uk.