Stuart Holmes SalonIf there’s ever a time to treat yourself to a new ‘do’, it’s definitely Christmas time. No wonder the hairdressers get booked up so far in advance, – when there’s Christmas parties and drinks and gatherings, naturally everybody wants to look their best.

I was starting to have a mini panic about when I was going to book my next hair appointment, when the Stuart Holmes Salon in Cheltenham got in touch to invite me along to their #BlackFridayBloggingWeek. Feeling extremely grateful that I wouldn’t spend Christmas with garish roots, I booked in for an appointment last week.

Having lived in Cheltenham for most of my life, I am very familiar with Stuart Holmes. It’s a firm family favourite, with my Mum, aunties and cousins all being regular customers. Having moved to Bristol two years ago, I hadn’t been in for a long time so I was very excited to visit again!

On arrival, you are led up the stairs to the salon via red carpet, which makes you feel like a bit of a celebrity. No doubt this is the intention – and it really works! The salon looked exceptionally festive, it was like walking into a winter wonderland with their gorgeous decorations and I really appreciated the Stuart Holmes baubles. Very on brand! 

Salon Christmas tree

I ordered a latte from reception and sat down before meeting Senior Art Director Kat, who would be colouring and cutting my hair that day. Kat was lovely and understood exactly what I was after – having bleached hair is pretty high maintenance and I am always keen to keep my hair in the best condition it can be. Once we had decided on the tone I wanted my hair to be, Kat went on to explain that she was going to use a product called Smartbond (which is a bit like Olaplex).  

Smartbond protects your hair whilst colouring, which is perfect for bleach heads like me – and keeps your hair soft, strong and shiny. It sounded perfect for what I was after!  

Gold foils

The bleaching process was very relaxing, usually I have some itchiness on application which can be uncomfortable, but they must use a very gentle bleach at Stuart Holmes because I didn’t have any irritation at all. They kept me fully stocked up on hot drinks and water, and Kat was lovely to chat to. 


When I was ready to have my hair toned and shampooed, I was taken upstairs to the wash room. The decor of this room is stunning, pitch black with gorgeous art on the walls. The washbasins all have foot stalls, so I was able to sit back and relax as the team took care of the rest of my hair treatment. I was also treated to a scalp massage, which was incredible.

The end result was absolutely gorgeous – the toner turned my hair a very subtle lilac shade which I loved – and Kat did a great job of tidying up my cut, feathering out areas to help with any split ends. Despite bleaching, I am still trying to grow my hair, so I only opted to have a trim to keep it healthy. I finished off my visit with a blow dry and had it styled into loose waves with lots of texture. I felt very glam and festive by the time I was out of the chair. 

Before and after

A big thank you to Kat and the whole team at Stuart Holmes for having me in this Christmas. You can find out more about the salon, and book your next hair appointment here.

Stuart Holmes Pinterest