Business: Stuart Holmes Hairdressers
Location: 5 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Glos
Date of Review: December 2013
Reason of Review: Staff member needed a haircut
You enter Stuart Holmes Hairdressers in Cheltenham by climbing up red carpet laid steps, although a little “Leicester Square Film Premier” I really quite liked it as it made me feel like I wasn’t just entering a normal hairdressers.
I wondered into the main reception area where 3 ladies were waiting to be served in front of me, my first thought was that WOW this place is busy then, sadly The girls behind the desk are very slow! But in reality it was just the fact the three ladies had finished their hair cuts at the same time and needed to pay. No biggy.
The reception room was nice a bright and lots of space to wait my turn, they have the normal type of hair products on displayed for you to purchase. To give them their due they had a lot of products very nicely laid out, almost like you were in Boots!
My appointment time was at 15:45 but sadly had to wait 16:05 before someone came to see me, which was my hairdresser. It would have been nice if one of the two reception ladies stopped nattering (all the customers were seen) and came over to let me know my hairdresser was running late. I was asked to sit down in their waiting area, it’s a separate room in this old Regency home with 3 sofas and a TV. I wasn’t sure if they were trying to make you feel at home (literary) with the décor or not, but it worked. In fact I would go to say one of the nicest waiting rooms I have been in in a Cheltenham hairdressers. The TV played a video of a man and woman explaining that their most important part of their business (I assume they were the owners) was customer service. Hmm.
Nice idea to play a video, however it looked like it was filmed on their kids Fisher Price video recorder, in fact it might have been their kids holding the camera. If that is the case WELL DONE KID!
If you are going to have a promo video get it done by a professional, this cheapened their image considerably.
Not that it should make any difference it was a Friday afternoon in December, so I image they are quite busy. But waiting 20 mins did seem a little long. To my annoyance I rush there from the shops to get there on time, if they texted me saying they were running late that would have made all the difference, now that’s customer service!
Greeting: (3 / 5)
I was led upstairs by my very chatty and nice young lady hairdresser into the first of two main “cutting” rooms. I don’t know if there was another room or two but they really didn’t need them. BAM! upon entering the room I was hit with Music, loud chatting, laughing, bright lights, at one point I thought I saw someone juggling a few chainsaws!
Wow I thought to myself, there were a lot of people in this one room. We made our way through the crowds of scissor cutting artists and their victims all the way to the other side. The hairdresser turned to me with a blank face as if “I’m sure I left my desk and chair here somewhere” but there wasn’t anywhere to sit. I think I should name my hairdresser as it will be easier to type and I think she deserves a name, I’ll call her “Blondie” (not her real name, however I think it would suit her).
Blondie then led me into the other room, BAM! another room exactly the same but even more noise. Once again Blondie and I started our expedition across the room full of chit and chat until we found a seat, phew! I was starting to get worried that I wasn’t going to have a chair. I did feel and probably looked like a wally (not the first time) standing in the middle of these rooms whilst waiting for Blondie to find us a home.
We sat down and discussed our creation she was going to, well, create. This took probably less than 2 mins and we were off again to get my hair washed. Now I am at an age where I have seen inside my fair share of hairdressers washing areas but not like this one. I always find it uncomfortable when getting my hair washed, the bowls always seem to hurt the back of my neck and therefore always want to hurry this bit up. However at Stuart Holmes they have foot rests, which makes the whole experience much nicer and comfortable. I even said “Yes” to Blondie when she asked if I would like a head massage or not.
Rating for Washing area has to be: (4.5 / 5)
Main cutting room rating: (3.5 / 5)
If you like gossiping to your friends or your own Blondie, or indeed just like listening in on other peoples gossip then you will love this place! But for me it was a little too much.
As I said before I know my way around a hairdressers and had my barnet cut by many places and I can honestly say Blondie did a really good job. One of the best I have had in the last couple of years. It was a shame she couldn’t hear me to well for our “Chat whilst she cuts” session due to the level of the noise in the room, she understood what I wanted and that was the important thing I guess.
The Cut: (4.5 / 5)
I later found out from Blondie that she was running 20 mins behind due to an earlier appointment turning up late, Shame on that person!!
So as Blondie was late for her next appointment she bid me fair well whilst I was still in the chair and asked her colleague to show me down to the reception. This felt quite odd, it wasn’t that this young lad was trying to replace MY Blondie but he carried on the conversation I was having with her. Are all the staff really just one person? Can they all hear everyone else’s conversation so at any moment Blondie could be substituted with a Sarah or a Bob? Hmm.
Anyway Graham (not his real name) showed me downstairs and offered to get my jacket. After paying Graham gave me my jacket and wished me Merry Christmas and went back up to the Gossip Den. I was left standing in the hall at the bottom of the “house” stairs holding my jacket and bag. It felt wrong to have to put my coat on standing in the hall whilst people were walking by minding their own business. I would have preferred being shown back into the waiting room where I could get dressed in a nice surrounding, like my Lounge at home.
Leaving rating: (2 / 5)
Quite poor really, being the last thing I do there it will be one of the main things I remember. I should have a nice warm glow that I have just had a great experience and want to come back very soon, which i didn’t. Customer service until the end.
Something that Stuart Holmes do not make you aware is that if you provide your mobile phone number at any time they will send you SMS messages for months afterwards! It’s not every day or even every week but it would have been nice to ask if I wanted them at all. If you don’t want text messages from them I would make it clear when booking that it is not something you are interested in.
Overall and Would I Recommend Stuart Holmes Hairdressers?:
Obviously everyone wants different things from their hairdressers and I’m sure if I went back there tomorrow I would have a different experience, may it be better or worse. If they sort out a couple of little things, then they are going to be hard to beat, but please stop those text messages!!
I would certainly recommend Stuart Holmes Hairdressers and will most likely be back to see Blondie and try and find out if they are really one person!
Overall Rating: (4 / 5)
But only just a 4!