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Dark and dramatic hair: would you dare?

Dark, dramatic and deep red thanks to the talented team at this Guildford salon where the customer is queen.

It’s no secret that I change my hair colour like I change my clothes. I’m usually in the red zone – ranging from copper to claret – and just before we went into lockdown I really ramped things up going for a deep burgundy red.


The vibrant ruby red shade I’d had put in a few months before had faded out, greys were appearing and starting to dominate. It’s the downside of going grey and colouring your hair in a different tone – they really do stand out.

Cut wise, my hair is super thick which means my bonce can go very quickly from bouncy and billowing to big and boofy. I’d also had shorter wispy bits cut in around my face – a tentative first step which I wanted to embrace more.


DLO Hairdressing is in Guildford on Madrid Road, just a few minutes walk from the centre of Guildford, the train station and the university. There’s free parking nearby – always handy – and a great vegan café has just opened up next door so if you need some sustenance before or after your appointment you’re sorted.

The salon is run by husband and wife team David and Amy Lopez – who between them have more than 40 years in the hairdressing industry. And they’ve put together a crack team of hair stylists and colour specialists.

A word on the products used at this salon, by the way, because I think this is a particular stand-out feature. Hair products are from Australian brand Kevin Murphy, which is friendly to the environment, friendly to animals and friendly to your hair. They’re also sulphate free, paraben free and the packaging is made from 100 per cent recycled ocean materials.


The salon is simple and stylist – think understated Parisian glam! It’s open plan, with a set of basins (and the comfiest reclining chairs I’ve had the pleasure of dozing in) at the back and the most enormous free-standing gilt mirrors lining the walls on either side. There’s a plush white leather desk at the front by the door which lends some opulent drama to proceedings.


The colour

My colourist was senior technician, Vicky, who’s worked alongside owner Amy for many years. I don’t often sit back in the chair and pretty much let a hairdresser do what they want, but Vicky has a calm and assured way about her – as well as bags of experience – so I was happy to put my trust in her.

There’s no doubt the grey had to go, and we agreed the red was a good colour – so we’d stick with those hues. But Vicky suggested weaving in some gold highlights to brighten my barnet, and whilst also going deeper and more dramatic with the red. At the sink, Vicky toned the darker and lighter chunks so it all blended seamlessly – no stripy tiger stripes here – and stylishly.

The cut

The scissors were in the hands of creative stylist Jade. We talked through what needed to be done. Weight taken out to encourage my natural curls, straggly dry ends cut and more accentuated wispy bits cut in around my temples.

First up was an inch from the length. Gone. Then Jade got stuck into my layers, and finally after blowdrying it straight, she shaped the hair around my face.


I couldn’t not be happy with the outcome. The colour is rich, the greys are gone, my hair feels lighter and brighter. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a car or shop window and remember how dramatic it is. And I love it all over again!


The salon was forced to close its doors for Covid shortly after my visit, but has reopened again with all Covid social-distancing measures in place. Masks and visors are worn by all, hand sanitiser is at the door and temperatures are taken. All gowns are washed and sterilised, and left in a bag beside each sterilised chair for clients to put on themselves to minimise contact.


A whole head of highlights with a senior technician starts at £95, a permanent tint is £45 and a gloss treatment is £45. A ladies’ wash, cut and finish with a creative stylist is from £45. A blow dry is £35.

DLO Hairdressing are at 24 Madrid Road, Guildford, Surrey.

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