A Salon Experience With Callum Standen-May

Callum Standen-May

Some hair TLC with celebrity stylist Callum Standen-May…

By Layla Turner

With the abundance of hair salons in London, it can be hard to choose the right fit. Each offers a different service, from highlights to creative colouring and beyond. Visiting a salon is an experience, with many offering a range of amenities more comprehensive than the last – but how do you know which one is right for you?

Situated on a quiet street in Shoreditch, Bond is an intimate yet inviting space. The interiors are uber cool, with abstract artworks covering the brick walls. Upon arrival, I am greeted by staff who instantly make me feel welcomed. Today, I am here to visit celebrity stylist, cutting influencer and 3x British hairdressing award nominee, Callum Standen-May. 

As a regular receiver of highlights (and someone who hasn’t shied away from a scalp bleach over the years), my hair has definitely seen better days. Recently, I had fallen victim to the latest TikTok hair trend: the trusty blow dry brush. I opted for an at home blow dry with volume and bounce, but was left with a snapped fringe. As Callum laughs at my rookie mistake and examines the rest of my tresses, we both agree that my hair would benefit from a good freshen up, with some shaping around my fringe area. 

Callum leads me to the sink, which is situated in the downstairs of the salon. A plethora of products occupy the walls, and next to the hair-washing sinks are daybeds, meaning you can kiss goodbye to the standard post-salon sore neck. Callum washes my hair and treats me to a scalp massage – one of life’s simple pleasures, before leading me back upstairs to work his magic. 

As Callum gets to work on my hair, we chat about everything from hair trends to weekend plans. Callum tells me his favourite current cuts are the Mullet (we are in Shoreditch, after all) and The Midi – a cut that plays homage to the Bob style, with textured ends that linger around the décolletage area. 

There is a crazy amount of hair on the floor, and for a moment I wonder that there may have been a miscommunication between myself and Callum and that he may have given me a bob, or a pixie cut. But, as Callum unveils his work, my hair is still very much on my head. It’s truly crazy how much difference a good cut can make – I walked into the salon with hair that lacked lustre and bounce, and in under an hour, Callum had breathed life into my hair. The ends of my hair were textured, and the front was full of shape and volume without Callum having even styled it yet. 

Callum blow dries my hair so that it is straight yet full of volume, and the result is a light, textured and voluminous – he had even managed to hide my TikTok fringe without leaving a trace. When I walked into the Salon today, I had little idea of what I wanted to do with my hair. Whilst it’s important for a stylist to listen to your hair goals, it is also important that they are confident in suggesting what’s best for you. Callum took the time to advise me on what styles would work best for me, asking questions about my hair care routine and how long I take to style my locks.  The experience was an enjoyable one from start to finish. I felt comfortable throughout – Callum is one of those individuals who has you talking for hours. I leave the salon with a spring in my step, and of course, fabulous hair. 

Callum charges £90 for a standard cut and £100 for a restyle. He operates within Bond Shoreditch salon, whilst non-Londoners can visit him at Standen May salon, Norwich. View his work at @callumstandenmay.

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