The East End is home to all sorts of different people, and the hairdressing salons in the area reflect that; from a speedy and cheap cut to a luxurious ombre and Brazilian blow-dry, there’s a salon for everyone.
But price and convenience aren’t the only factor in getting a good hair experience. The salons around Roman Road are often favoured by customers not just because of their snipping skills, but because the stylists offer them something else, whether it’s friendship, football, or just a no-fuss cut perfected over 60 years.
It can take a lot of trial and error to settle on a salon that’s right for you, so our roundup of hair salons around Roman Road can skip a step and serve as a guide if you’re looking for a new spot to treat your tresses.
Reids, Roman Road
A veteran local salon, Reids used to share Roman Road with Randolfi’s, Percy Ingle and Herbert’s, but you couldn’t tell its impressive age now with the facelift the current Panayiotou family have given it: the salon looks as new and fresh as ever. Its loyal customers remember the family from generations back, but keep returning for their stylists who keep up with the latest trends and products. One of our readers, Craig Richards, has been going to Reids for almost 20 years. ‘It’s a great family run business that has been on the Roman since the late ’70s,’ he says.
££ ¦ Book and more info
Address: 471 Roman Road, London E3 5LX
Ossie’s, Roman Road
Run by Cypriot husband and wife team Ossie and Jan, Ossie’s promises consistent quality and offers a comprehensive range of styles, but it’s a firm community favourite because of their connections with their customers. If you want a no-fuss haircut skilfully undertaken with a personal touch and a good laugh with the regulars, Ossie’s is your spot. Ossie has had to move venue a few times to counter increases in rent, but we’re happy to say he’s still here.
Address: 434 Roman Road, Bow, E3 5L
Lux Studio, Roman Road
Though this salon does almost anything beauty-related you could think of, its cuts and colours are something people keep coming back for even from beyond the area. Manager Rita’s aim is to give people a service from any stylist at work there that is the best they can possibly do, and it shows. She and her staff are highly skilled in hair colouring, from selecting precise tones for each hair type to impacting the minimum level of damage. The result? High end for low prices. Be sure to stop by on Halloween, because the staff go all out on their spooky makeup. Have you ever seen zombies cutting hair? You can at Lux.
Address: 549 Roman Road, London, E3 5EL
Rembrants, Roman Road
Run by Wendy and Michelle, Rembrants is an unpretentious and welcoming salon that offers consistent cutting quality for its secure base of customers. But it’s not just cheap and cheerful haircuts the locals keep coming back for; Wendy and Michelle are both big football fans, and often show matches inside the salon. They’re West Ham fans, but other fans enjoy their company too, even if just for some lively footy debate during a trim.
Address: 39 Roman Rd, London E2 0HU
Idol Hair, Victoria Park Road
This salon is a local favourite for its tight-knit familial staff as well as its ability to accomplish any look under the sun. On a busy Saturday you’ll see people of all ages getting anything from a simple blow-dry to a fluorescent pink balayage, but the community vibe keeps people coming back. ‘Going in is like dropping in on a neighbour for an impromptu party,’ says reader Rachel Richardson. Unlike others in the area, Idol has visiting stylists, so if you have a favourite from Instagram they might pop by here. Plus, the salon is doing its best to be environmentally friendly; they now offer customers refills on shampoo and conditioners. Just bring in your empty bottle and they’ll fill it up, plastic-free.
££ ¦ Book and more info
Tony’s, Roman Road
Tony’s is one of the oldest salons in Bow, from its first opening on St Stephens Road in 1960. Now, the place is often full, either of customers getting a well-honed haircut or of people enjoying the lively sociable atmosphere of this historic local gem. They’ll give you a quality chat with your cut and they cater for everyone, including young children. And since it’s right on Roman Road Market, you can get a great shot of East End market life while you get your hair done.
Address: 602 Roman Road, London E3 2RW
New Image, Old Ford Road
New Image has been around Old Ford for 34 years, and the group of smiling cousins who run it have seen some of their customers for all that time. They remember some who came in for cuts when they were children, and are now adults bringing their own children of the same age. The customers keep coming back over the decades for the reasonable prices and stylists with years of experience, but also for a good chin-wag. Plus, they’re one of the few salons left that still have roller sets, and discounted pensioner days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to accompany them.
Address: 466 Old Ford Road, London E3 5JP
Creations, Roman Road
Situated right on Roman Road Market and only open on market days, Creations has an ornate shopfront which lures visitors inside the tiny (and equally cute) interior. The brick walls and a glamorous chandelier is not what you would expect of such a modest place, but it all adds up to a warm neighbourhood vibe. Owner Adi has come from Brazil to bring people the best in authentic damage-preventing Brazilian blow-dries, but also likes his clientele to become friends rather than just customers. Most of the decorations and furniture is up-cycled; the mirrors all come from old wardrobes and plants have been picked up from the street.
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Address: 581 Roman Road, London E3 5EL
The Canary, Old Bethnal Green Road
The hippest hairdressing salon on our list, The Canary nests on a spot that used to be a halal butcher. Now it’s a modern salon offering nail and eyelash as well as hair beautification, and even more prominent than co-owner Vix’s overflowing cactus collection is its ongoing aim is to be as eco-friendly as possible. Their products are all vegan and low-energy consumption, and they are moving into a plastic-free era, using glass and experimenting with sugar cane ‘plastic’. They also feature changing local art in the salon and the adjoined vegan cafe, so you can snazz up your hair while taking in the local culture and sipping an almond latte.
£££ ¦ Book and more info
Spencer Hair, Roman Road
Janet Spencer offers the only Afro-Caribbean hair services in the local area, so she’s rightfully become a favourite of much of the local community. She’s been on Roman Road for 20 years, but may soon have to leave the area because of rising rent. Many of her loyal customers will miss her friendly touch and lifetime of experience with black hair, so we hope to see her stick around and keep telling us stories in the years to come.
Address: 379 Roman Road, London E3 5QR
Hair 359, Roman Road
A 7-year-old salon, Hair 359 is one of the younger hairdressers of the area. But the salon spawned from a much longer-established one in the area; Russo’s had been around for 40 years when Mr Russo decided to retire, but one of his managers, Barry, continued the dream and opened Hair 359. Sadly, Barry passed away last year, but his legacy lives on in his dedicated and caring staff, not to mention his dog and salon mascot Ralph. New customers and those coming from Russo’s keep coming back to Hair 359 for the family atmosphere and Danielle’s quality haircuts. Even Mr Russo comes out of retirement occasionally to cut hair at the salon.
££ ¦ Book and more info
Address: 359 Roman Rd, London E3 5QR
Diane James, Roman Road
Diane James established her beautifying skills working in hair and makeup for the music and television industries, but has brought her skills to Globe Town for the last 15 years. Her aim is to bring the West End quality she’s mastered into the East End, and the people who travel from further than the East for her salon will vouch for her skills and quality products.
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Address: 27 Roman Road, London E2 0HU
La Shine Salon, Roman Road
Laurence at La Shine has been cutting and styling hair on Roman Road for 10 years, and with his wide range of skills and consistent quality he’s built up a lot of regulars. ‘I have 100 regulars,’ he said, ‘I know I have 100 because that’s as many as my phone book can take!’ He’s also a master of Japanese hair treatments, so while you feel at home in his cosy salon you can also get your hair into its best and most beautiful shape.
Address: 411 Roman Road, London E3 5QS
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