Finding a hair salon and a great stylist is like dating. You have to play the field a bit, get together a couple of times and ultimately decide whether they’re worth settling down for. It’s exhausting, but once you meet the one, there’s no turning back.
They say Harness & Mane are Walthamstow’s most talked about salon, so I went along to find out if this could be ‘the one’.
Upon walking into the salon, I knew I was at just the place that could fix me. My friendly stylist, and owner Gunel, immediately understood my thick, curls, making me feel relaxed and welcome.
Opened in 2019 by Azerbaijan born Gunel, and husband, Gallway born Hughie, the couple set about creating a fetish-friendly salon where everyone was welcome and could be themselves.
‘I love the combination of dark and beautiful’ says Gunel. ‘It has real power and confidence – this inspired the theme of the salon.’
Gunel offered me the best advice to revive my natural curls. I trusted her expertise and it was the first time I saw my curls that springy and shiny in a long while.
Between my hair and the cool vibes of the salon, Harness and Mane not only use vegan, organic and cruelty-free products, but Gunel and Hughie leave a zero carbon footprint, as they only have to step across the street to the salon from their home.
Even if you’re not in the mood for a trim, the salon offers a relaxing head massage that will make you feel like you absolutely need this treatment at least once a month. 70% of their customers are regular locals, who not only come for a haircut but also the soothing head massage. If this wasn’t enough, all their treatments are gender-neutral with gender-neutral pricing.
Aside from hair, Harness and Mane stock a range of vegan fetish clothing and accessories you can take for a run in the salon’s private cage. They also hold regular salon events, such as Fetish themed Life Drawing classes and Shibari (Japanese Rope Bondage) workshops.
I left Harness & Mane feeling transformed and with a little more va va voom – not only with a fab haircut, but feeling inspired by the passion and warmth Gunel, Hughie and the staff exude.