Decadence, Down to Earth
- It's long been said that the only thing you really need to make a career in the hairdressing world is charisma, and aside from the opulent lavishness and luxurious frills of the newly opened Sejour, owners Terry Bishop and Carl Dawson have it in spades...
Sejour Makes Heavy Pampering Hip Again
"Where I'm from, people put you on a pedestal," Terry Bishop asserts, flipping over a strand of my wet hair, "You don't put yourself."
He cuts my hair in a pair of jeans and a red football shirt, his hair in cornrows and his arms covered in tattoos. He talks about 3am trips to blow dry the Duchess of York at Heathrow, his work as a janitor, a DJ, an electronics dealer and a bricky in his home of Trinidad, and it seems that Bishop is more of a philosopher than a hairdresser. Yet again, maybe it's the same thing.
The idea of Sejour developed after stylist Bishop and colourist Carl Dawson's got sick of the Zen-like trend plaguing London salons: huge, overbearing studios with minimalist design and noisy activity. They met while learning under the well-known hands of Nicky Clarke, after Dawson had taken the newly arrived Bishop on his first ever escalator.
A near-decade of growing in the industry made the idea more tangible: after acquiring a broad clientele base, working late hours at homes, in bathrooms, and in Heathrow airport, Bishop and Dawson wanted to make a swish, flavourful, home-like space for them: Chelsea socialites, British and Saudi royalty, who tend to like their privacy.
'The Tribe,' as Assistant Manager Conrad Mitchell called Dawson and Bishop's troops of faithful clients, wanted a more intimate space, and the salon's different reception, colouring, shampooing and styling rooms offers them a quiet space upon which to be lavished. "It's really a home away from home," he said,"We like to call it that."
The 'boys' wholeheartedly agree, having unusually crept up the industry ladder as, what Dawson called, "two straight guys in the hairdressing world," to make a salon that they hope someday becomes a brand.
With a budding staff of talented Brazilians, South Africans and New Zealanders who have relinquished more Premadonna training grounds for the down-to-earth, quiet Bray Place salon, a wallpaper whose designer, Tara Bernerd, won a British Design Award, and a mass of designer aromatic, soothing hair/skin/face products, Sejour can’t be too far off.
Customers at Sejour can hope to pay around £75 for a cut, which includes a chance at the soft chairs and a thorough head massage. Colouring ranges from £40 to £120, varying between a full-colour and highlights.
- Megan M. Retka