Nyumba by Michael Charalambous
Since its launch in 2003, Nyumba by Michael Charalambous has established itself as one of London’s leading lights for beautiful, bespoke hairdressing and beauty.
Its enviable client list ranging from rockstars to royalty, fashion insiders, TV celebrities and loyal regulars all want one thing – the very best salon experience. This has probably got something to do with why it’s also the UK’s most exclusive salon.
Since its launch in London’s Mayfair (it originally opened in Mount Street) before moving to Sloane Square where it currently resides, Nyumba has always been home to a dream team of talent; many of whom are session stylists in the fashion and media industry.
Michael himself is hands-down the most technically perfect hairdresser in the business – he should be after 30 years at the top of his game. He has hand-picked his A-list team who, like him, can genuinely create the most flattering haircut you are ever likely to book in for.
His wife Giulia Zuccaroli heads up the colour team. Having trained in London and Rome (where she was entrusted to the hair of Sofia Loren and the Fendi sisters), nothing is too complex for her but she’s equally proficient at recreating the perfect Chelsea ‘blonde’.
Very much in keeping with today’s ‘anti-salon’ feel, Nyumba (which means ‘home’ in Swahili) was created to feel like a home-from-home – albeit an exotic Tanzanian one. “It’s easy to feel intimidated in salons, so I created an extension of my own home; somewhere to relax,” Michael says of the salon interior, which was inspired by his childhood in Africa. Seashells from Zanzibar make up a giant curtain which hangs alongside statues of Masai warriors and other African art which make a trip to the salon much more enlivening than just flipping though magazines.
It feels more like a private club where you feel equally at home popping in for a coffee as you do for a blow dry. There are also delicious, freshly produced dishes and smoothies prepared or outsourced from Michael’s favourite local restaurant, The Botanist, next door.
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