When it comes to vegan beauty products, it can be challenging finding ones that work for you, particularly when it comes to haircare. Then there's the issue of visiting your hairdresser and navigating which of their products are vegan-friendly, or even lugging your own along with you, just to be on the safe side.
That's why I love purely vegan hair salons, where I can feel comfortable and confident knowing that all of the products are cruelty-free and vegan. Enter WhiP, a boutique vegan, organic and eco-friendly hairdresser, barber and music lounge set in the bustling backdrop of Hackney in East London.
The first thing that struck me upon my visit was the eclectic decor: quirky patterned wallpaper, Art Deco mirrors, beaded curtains, and retro accents. There was even a wall dedicated to music with various records and a record player, a space that doubled as a mini record shop. WhiP prides itself of being an inclusive salon, where everyone is welcome, and all hair types are catered to. Well, I have long, wavy hair, so I needed no special treatment, but it filled me with confidence nonetheless, especially as I take great pride in my hair.
On the crisp Tuesday morning that I visited, it was quiet inside, particularly in contrast to the bustling streets outside. When the barber, Marco, finished with his previous client, he took my coat, settled me in with a drink and we decided what to do with my hair (just a trim for me!). Settling in at the monochromatic washing station, Marco and I got to know each other, and the conversation flowed easily as I enjoyed a deep cleanse and conditioning. The chit-chat and laughter continued as I settled into the retro Belmont classic car barber's chair for my cut and blow-dry. Before I knew it, Marco had worked his magic and left me with beautifully sleek, straight hair worthy of a photograph - which salon owner Lulu dutifully snapped.
There's nothing about WhiP that screamed vegan from the outside, and I reckon everyone would enjoy the experience as much as I did, but with the added benefit of knowing that the products used are healthy for your hair. The WhiP team certainly made me feel welcome and with a beautiful mane, to boot!