Healthy way to treat yourself....

It's funny, I'm forever stressing the importance of health - eating well, exercising, managing a healthy balance - but when it comes to self-care, that's something that, for me, tends to go by the wayside. Sure, exercise and diet is important, but so is effective self-care - and that means pampering yourself from time to time.

Thing is, in todays society we have become accustomed to living in a highly stressed environment - particularly in London, where even getting from one tube stop to another can be a particularly stressful experience- especially if you're on the 8am Central line! Not only can stress lead to everything from headaches to anxiety and depression, but it also one of the main triggers of the hormone cortisol. Whilst this is fine in small doses, in large quantities it can lower your immune system, increase risk of mental illness, and even decrease bone density levels. Not ideal for a health and fitness enthusiast!

Rush - Wimbledon

So, when I was invited for a day of pampering at the brand new Rush Studio in Wimbledon town, given it was a MUST for my health and well-being (of course!), it was an opportunity I couldn't turn down....

Lush new salon

Arriving at the salon one sunny Saturday afternoon, I was greeted immediately by the friendly receptionist, who sat me down with a glass of bubbly as my consultant prepared the station for our appointment.

Waiting  Area

Wheeling me over to the mirror, she conducted a thorough analysis of my hair and its condition..... let's just to say the results were slightly scary!

First up was the strength test - no, not my usual kind of strength test - this time testing the strength and elasticity of my hair. Turns out, not so strong! Taking a single strand of hair and gently stretching it, she explained that if it returns to its original length without breaking, I had the perfect moisture/protein balance. If it breaks without stretching, it needs more moisture. If it stretches slightly more than it should then breaks, it needs more protein. Turns out  I was in the latter bracket and, with my hair severely lacking in protein, I need to be using a more appropriate shampoo than my usual Cowshed. And unfortunately, no, diet/simply eating more protein had nothing to do with it... dammit!

Next, it was an assessment of my cut. Using a mirror to show me the back of my head (cause when do we ever check there?!), I was a little horrified to see exactly what was going on back there, as she pointed out my overcut layers which were making my hair look limp and  wispy. Combined with my side parting giving  me an uneven spread of locks, I was really not doing myself any favours!

But that was all about to change, as I wheeled over to the 'spa' to receive a protein infused shampoo and conditioning treatment, and relaxing head, shoulder and back massage. Pure BLISS!

The 'Spa'

Listening to my concerns over my cut (i.e. I don't want to take too much off as I'm trying to keep my hair long, and I'm reluctant to go fringe-less due to my big forehead!), my stylist talked me through the best solution - to cut only a small amount from the ends, grow out the layers, return to a centre parting, but cut some shape into the front to frame my face. And for once, she actually stuck to it!

Some more nibbles and refreshments

Finishing with a bouncy blow dry, she also advised how to maintain the style myself at home. A few of her hints and tips included checking the mousse you are using has a fairly matte appearance (the cheaper ones contain silicones that give them a sheen and make your hair go crispy), blowdrying the hair straight to seal the cuticles before using tongs (I'd always used a diffuser which was only adding frizz), and to pull the tongs to the bottom of the hair and roll them upwards (I'd always curled from the top).

Product recommendations

All in all, I could not recommend Rush highly enough. If you want expert (but not at all pushy) advice in a luxury (but not at all pretentious) salon, it is the place to go! With a basic cut and blow dry beginning at £49 and rising to £75 (depending on the stylist), and highlights £105 - £125, it certainly delivers good value for money - especially at the moment when, if you enter RUSH50 when booking, you  can get 50% off. The offer is available for a limited period only, so visit the website here or call the salon on 0203 474 6998 to book in that appointment - pronto!

Feedback - 5 stars!



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