London: Affordable haircuts you can trust

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Hair by Fairy London
Great cuts at Hair by Fairy in Covent Garden. Photo: Melissa Jonas

By Lara Kavanagh in London—

Trying to get a haircut at a good price can be a bit of a gamble. Budget establishments can be less creative, and a bit of a worry if you want something specific. Visiting a salon with a more defined sense of style can be prohibitively expensive, particularly if you’re female.

Luckily, London has some great budget hair salons. Here are three of my favorites:

Hair By Fairy
8–10 Neal’s Yard
Tel: 020 7497 0776
Web site
Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

A long-time favorite in central London is the wonderful Hair By Fairy, set in the uber-colorful Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. A mere £13 will get you a quick, professional cut and a brief blow-dry of sorts (just be warned that you won’t emerge as a picture of perfection), and the quality of the cuts rivals much more expensive salons. There’s no need to book; just turn up and queue, but avoid busy Friday lunchtimes.

Nationwide chain – see site for contact details and opening hours
Web site

A reliable chain option with stores across town, and rarely much of a queue. The value cut will cost you £13.95, and £20.95 will get a shampoo, cut and blow dry. The stylists know their stuff, and are friendly, professional and provide good value for money.

10 Gales
Railway Arch 10
Gales Gardens Mews
E2 0EJ
Tel: 020 7729 8416
Web site
Opening hours: Tuesday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

The quirkiest option in the list is the arty 10 Gales, a complex set into the railway arches by Bethnal Green tube station, comprising an exhibition space, café, vintage shop and a “Cut & Go” hair salon. Cuts cost between £5 and £15–an absolute steal for the quality and rather cool surrounds.

About the author

Lara Kavanagh

About the author: Lara Kavanagh is a travel editor and freelance writer based in London, and has also had the great pleasure of living in and writing about Paris. Top vintage shopping, great food and quirky nightlife are her favourite things about London.

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One thought on “London: Affordable haircuts you can trust”

  1. Even cheaper is Mr. Leo with 6 pound haircuts for men (only 5 on Tuesday). The stylists at the 60 Tottenham Court Road location (there are others, including Charing Cross Road) all seem pretty hip and the clientele demanding university types. I was a little leery given the low price, but my stylist took her time, was very meticulous, and was eager to give me the kind of cut *I* wanted. The other stylists seemed to be pretty intent on making their clients’ hair distinctive, too, and I was amazed at the wide diversity of styles they were cutting for both women and men. All this for about a third the price I pay at home in the States.


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