Just traipse around Brighton for five minutes and you'll realise one thing: this is a town completely obsessed with all things retro. This expression and love for anything quirky, kitsch and vintage has moved from being reserved for subcultures to exploding into Brighton's mainstream culture. There are shops brimming with retro clothes, jumble sales filled with quirky hand-me-down accessories, and restaurants aimed at giving you that 1950s experience. Now, Betty Lou helps to add to this vintage-fest with their 1950s/1060s inspired salon.
Situated right by the sea-front on Preston Street, the salon is easy to get to yet still tucked away from the hustle and bustle of town. Filled with 1950s 'pin-up' inspired art and vintage trinkets, owner Liz has created a wonderful burst of retro that is not usually found in hair salons today. Compared to the ultra-sleek, less personable salons high-street business such as Rush or Toni & Guy, Betty Lou is a friendly, inviting place which is really bringing that sociable, relaxed element of hairdressing back to the game. It's so refreshing to see. The salon is having a bit of a makeover itself soon, with the 1950s style being ditched for some 1920s/1930s inspired renovations. I'm so excited to see the end result; the 1950s have been so overdone in Brighton, it'll be nice to see a new era introduced (which will bring an abundance of new beauty styles with it).
That being said, Liz insists that her salon isn't strictly limited to one era. Whilst you may associate flapper styles with the 1920s, pin-up with the 1950s, and boyish looks with the 1960s, Betty Lou provides an overall sense of twentieth century beauty. She works on blending these eras together, picking the best bits from each and fusing them; as an ex-historian this makes sense. People didn't stop wearing short, tassled dresses in 1929, only to adopt fuller, feminine skirts as soon as 1930 came about. Style and beauty is about gradual evolution and blending, and I think Betty Lou have got this element of 'vintage' spot on. They say that they adopt styles and looks from the start of the 20th century up to today; they see a number of clients opting for bright 'rainbow' or even leopard print hair, whilst others want blonde Hollywood waves. It's a real mixture of looks, but the team at Betty Lou are talented enough to pull all of it off.
If you're into retro looks or the bright, bold colours being donned at the moment, this salon would be perfect for you. They really push the boundaries when it comes to hair colour and styling, so you would be in very capable hands; they aim at creating something you wouldn't be able to get elsewhere, so you would certainly be leaving the salon with a unique style. All products they use are vegan too; they are introducing Davines products in every aspect of their salon. Davines is an Italian brand which sells organic, vegan products; all is ethically sourced and you can even trace each product back to the original farm and farmer! Their colours are also ammonia-free, meaning the formula is far better for your hair than the colours most other salons use.
I was lucky enough to have a retro-inspired set of curls done; the team specialise in vintage styling mainly on weekends and often are called in to style wedding 'dos. The style looked absolutely gorgeous and lasted all afternoon and night; I even got a cuddle from the salon puppy, Desmond, in the process! Prices are really reasonable at this salon too, especially for the quality of products they are using on your hair and the time some of the requests take to achieve! I can't wait to go back and get my hair coloured there; they are lovely people who truly know their stuff. They're definitely my new favourite salon!