Nestled in a quiet, tree-lined street in uMhlanga Ridge is a little gem of a salon.
I’m a sucker for all things purple, but I swear the fact that Style Studio on 7, Salon and Training Centre, is decorated in my favourite shade is only part of the reason I plan on making a trip to the salon a monthly ritual.
Professional staff who offer excellent style advice, an owner who is as mad as a hatter but with a heart of pure gold, and excellent coffee – my patronage at this establishment is simply a no-brainer.
I digress slightly to rant, just a tad, about service (or lack thereof) at reputable establishments in and around Durban. Do you remember the days you booked a hairdresser because of his/her qualifications and you paid for what you booked for. That hairdresser would not only apply colour to your hair, but would also wash, cut and set your hair. Those days, my friends, are sadly long gone. Now there is a junior staff member to wash, apply colour, and even set your hair – the hairdresser, whose service you pay an arm and a leg for, will simply cut. If you’re a regular customer, said hairdresser will also set your hair. It irks me no end that I should fork out in excess of R300 for a hairdresser to spend no more than 10 minutes styling my hair – even if his/her scissors are gold-tipped. It irks me even more when I spend at least an hour at a salon and I’m not even offered a glass of water.
But, I find Style on 7 to be such a refreshing change. Here, service is paramount – from freshly laundered, stain-free (purple!) towels to dust-free surfaces and excellent (I repeat – excellent) coffee on offer – staff are keen to please. But they’re also confident enough to tell you if what you want done is not suitable.
I generally block off an entire morning for nails, hair as well as a good deal of chatter and laughter. It feeds my soul to be able to spend some “me” time in the pursuit of pampering and frivolity.
Nail art is a true talent that sadly only a few nail technicians in Durban possess. To be a true professional, I believe, requires passion, flare, patience and dedication. Jenna, under the tutelage of Style on 7 owner, Natasha, has honed a meticulous talent. I’ve never left the studio feeling unhappy with my nails – even though Natasha thinks I’m too sedate in my choices.
Style on 7 has such an amazing range of products and one is spoilt for choice in what you can have done. Whatever you choose though, you will leave with your nails looking like works of art.
Today, I tried out a Thermo Gel Polish from Velena that was launched last year. It’s really cool – depending on how hot or cold my nails are, the colour changes from a beautiful fuschia to deep purple! It’s the most adventurous I’ve been in a long time. And I just love it! I’ve had a couple of puzzled looks at lunch today as customers at the table next to me watched my nails change colour right under their eyes.
“Magic!” I winked at them.
I’ve said often that a truly exceptional hairdresser is someone who can style short hair well. Today, Liezel delivered exactly what would suit my face – accentuating my strengths (or pretty points) in the right way and in turn making me feel more confident about myself.
Natasha is a make-up artist of note and is happy to freshen up my make up just to give me that extra zing before I leave the salon. But Natasha’s real talent is sharing her knowledge and passion with others. Style on 7 is not just a nail and hair salon – it is also a training centre. And this is why I call it a little gem. Many young students have walked through her doors wet behind the ears and have left to work on cruise liners, open their own businesses and take the craft of nail art to new levels. Natasha’s greatest asset is her willingness to share her knowledge and talent with whoever wants to learn. This is a rare trait indeed.
Style Studio on 7 is a tiny package with big heart and loads to offer just about any woman. It is definitely a one-stop pick-me-up shop I will be using often. Keep an eye out on my blog for more on this establishment.