Nature is beautiful and beauty can be made through nature. This is the philosophy of hair salon GA Salons, a high-end establishment focusing on natural products, processes, and bringing effortlessly luxurious, healthy hair to clients in its purest form. As a natural blonde with very fine hair prone to breakages, drying out, and unfortunately falling out, I was excited to discover their salons and products so near to my home in Kensington. On a Thursday afternoon, then, I decided to get a cut and blow-dry with a strengthening treatment before an evening out with a girlfriend. And I’m glad I did!
Gennaro Dell’Aquila is an award-winning stylist who began his career at just 16 in Napoli, Italy. Passionate about hair and excellent at styling it, he soon moved to Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, where he trained at a prestigious hair academy. Later, he made his way to London where he worked at an elite hair-salon in Chelsea, catering to the wealthiest of the wealthy with royal family members, celebrities, and lofty individuals. It was here that Genaro became passionate about the power of nature in hair styling as he grew increasingly disillusioned with the inevitable damage that happens to hair when chemical processes are used. He realised that when chemicals are used over a long period of time, the hair weakens (mine is testimony to this) and then the ongoing maintenance is a challenge. Damaging to the hair, and destructive to the budget, Genaro wanted to make a difference. With this in mind, he began his journey to create and develop a 100% natural, plant based alternative that would result in deliciously soft and healthy hair – without the artificial products.
His vision worked. In 2015, he opened his first salon in Wimbledon, and before long, there were more locations. 2018 and 2019 witnessed the opening of GA Salons in Notting Hill and GA Salons in Chelsea, whilst in 2022 we’ve seen the Westbourne Grove location open too. Collectively, these salons remain true to their philosophy – there is no marketing or gimmicks here. All of the GA Salons dyes and treatments are made by hand, in the salon, using only herbs and fresh ingredients, 100% natural with nothing to hide. There are no chemicals, paragons, carcinogens, synthetic fragrances, nanoparticles, nor animal testing. Even the hair colouring products are naturally derived – I was amazed to see that henna, walnut, turmeric, chamomile and other natural elements are used to produce the dyes. As such, the products (and salons) are perfect for those groups who are often left out in the world of beauty – women who are pregnant, or those undergoing chemotherapy, or suffering skin allergies. This is a refreshingly inclusive space. Everything is rigorously authentic and there is no hiding behind jargon.
For me, I decided to have a hair strengthening treatment along with a cut and blow-dry. I was lucky enough to have the Head Stylist, the wonderful Carmen from Puglia who brings over 14 years of experience. She started her career in Italy and cut her teeth across many ultra premium salons, including Aveda. Upon arrival, she examined my hair and recommended deviating this time from the natural treatment to really restore my hair for the first treatment with Olaplex, before moving to the natural products in subsequent treatments. My hair was in appalling condition (thanks to a long hot summer, and frankly bad care). An Olaplex deep treatment is normally hard to do by yourself as one needs a heater to really activate the product, and the products themselves are hard to come by. This was an absolute treat, taking about 30 minutes in total with the various conditioners as I sipped my luxurious tea and snacked on my Italian biscotti. There were other treatments available too, including an Oway Mask, Gloss Treatment (I’ll get this next time – I’ve had this before, and the results are exceptional), Herbal Spa Treatment, Redken ABC Treatment, Cezanne Treatment, Toner, Oway Serum Treatment, Oway Herbs and Clay Treatment, Oway Mask, and ABC Bonding Treatment. The salon also offers services for brows, eyelashes, nails, hair removal, make up, body services like LPG Endermologie and massage and face treatments. Pretty much anything and everything that you might need to feel like a million dollars, with an emphasis on natural products.
Post treatment, my hair felt incredibly soft and voluptuous. Suddenly filled with volume and a decadent silky feel, it truly felt like I had been in the spa for days. My cut and blow-dry was equally wonderful, with Carmen navigating my hair and trimming just the right amount to keep it long but healthy. She curled it with the curling irons and used natural products to set the hair before I left. She assured me that the softness I felt and the nourishment would last for a few months, and to return for a top up – but this time, natural. Amazing that already within one treatment, I had broken the horrible chemical treatment cycle and was ready to go all in with nature and plant based healing.
The whole experience, from the venue, the aesthetics, the staff, products, and treatments, was truly a delight and one that I will return to. I feel very lucky that this salon is just down the road from me, and cannot wait to come back for more treatments. I’m curious what a makeup lesson might look like and of course, after an indulgent festive season, I imagine a facial or two will be needed to help me look fresh for 2023. GA Salons, I will be back!
GA Salons Notting Hill
2 Wellington Terrace