Kensington’s Valentino is a west London institution with an unmatched ethos and innovative techniques. Here’s what you need to know.
By Helen Brown
Lifestyle boutique salon, Valentino has become something of an institution in west London, having been servicing Kensington’s well-heeled residents since opening in 1981. Cultivators of what they call The Art of Presence, the salon’s ethos lies in ensuring that its clientele’s outer image reflects the inner being. Valentino’s loyal customers not only include the local west London residents but the city’s socially elite and loyal followers from outside of the UK.
The salon was established by Valentino, an inquisitive and creative thinker by nature, who at the age of just 23 opened the business on 1 Thackeray Street. His unique approach and knowledge of geometry and colour have led to the development of techniques quite unlike any others used in the capital. Today, the open-razor cut is an experience – one that his clients will travel across Europe and further afield to enjoy.
The salon got its grounding during a time of innovation and fashion-forward cuts; the 80s marked a different era in hair and Valentino became frustrated with trends. He understood that no single cut or style worked for everyone and believed that each person should be treated as an individual, taking into account not only the shape of the face and hair type, but also personality and lifestyle. 1 Thackeray Street has since become the home of The Art of Presence, a concept that has evolved over the course of the last 37 years to encompass a whole range of products and services designed to promote the very best in hair, beauty and well-being.
Valentino has recently undergone a complete refurbishment and with it, has established the Medispa, a brand new division of the business offering an array of medical and aesthetic treatments. A highly qualified and experienced team comprising an aesthetic doctor, senior aestheticians, acupuncturist, nutritional therapist, life coach and masseur work closely together to deliver effective and individually-tailored treatments for the face, body and general well-being.
The business strives to be ahead of the game when it comes to all aspects of colour rendering and product development. Even the salon’s fittings are to be admired following the installation of a state-of-the-art lighting system which can be individually controlled in each zone to create the optimum conditions. The Light + Colour Lab will be the latest innovation of the business which will see Valentino use his experience as a photographer, coupled with his knowledge of light and colour, to introduce a unique and scientific approach to colour analysis. This new style and image consultancy service will be available to clients in the coming months.
2018 also marked the establishment of Valentino’s own wet product range to accompany his best-selling Mind Brush. First brought to the market in 1990, the Mind Brush itself has been reworked to celebrate the relaunch of the business and is already making waves in the industry for its exceptional quality and professional results.
The Mind Brush
Valentino identified scalp brushing as critical to the maintenance of healthy hair and in 1990 developed the Mind Brush. Ideal for all hair types, this unique product promotes a healthy scalp and hair by creating an optimal environment for hair growth. Users of the brush will benefit from improved blood circulation, a release of tension of the scalp and the removal of naturally occurring environmental toxins from the hair. The range now comprises The Oval Mind Brush, The Palm Mind Brush and The Styling Mind Brush. Each guarantees perfect hair maintenance no matter what your hair type or texture.
Cleanse, Balance, Nourish
Valentino’s range of wet products includes a cleansing shampoo, a balancing conditioner and nourishing treatment. The hair care range is a further product of the holistic thinking behind the brand. When used in conjunction with the Mind Brush, the range supports a simple yet effective system of care for the hair and scalp. To get the very best results, Valentino recommends brushing the hair first with the Mind Brush before washing.
Valentino Cleanse Shampoo
For cleaner, healthier and shinier hair, the gentle formula of the cleanse shampoo uses botanical extracts to restore the natural brilliance of the hair. It removes unwanted deposits while cleansing and protecting the hair and scalp. The dual effects of aloe and lemon peel oil act together to strengthen and repair, promote healthy growth and combat an oily scalp.
Valentino Balance Conditioner
The balance conditioner uses bergamot, sweet almond and grapeseed oil to deliver stronger, fuller and softer hair. It works to maintain the health of the scalp, calm frizzy and unruly hair, moisturise and condition, enhance blood circulation and create natural shine.
Valentino Nourish Treatment
Perfect for all hair types, the nourish treatment works to revitalise hair and to perfect the finish. It strengthens the hair by enhancing natural elasticity and maintaining appropriate pH and moisture levels in the scalp and hair. Users can expect salon perfect hair that is full of life and lustre.
Images ©Suha Bekki Photography