aer, South Kensington

Fact: blow dries are better than therapy... (And this place is open from 7:30am!)

While I wouldn't dream of calling myself a 'Chelsea Girl', I wouldn't mind waking up with my normally frizzy hair tamed into a 'Chelsea blow dry' every morning. To the uninitiated, a Chelsea blow dry is a full-volume loose style, lots of soft curls (not ringlets, never ringlets) and a texture that's super, super shiny - think a 90s Claudia Schiffer on the Versace catwalk and you're halfway there. This is normally accessorised with pearls and a Barbour jacket (and maybe a couple of spaniels in tow if you want to go the full stereotype...). So what better place to go and get such glamorous, glossy locks than in Chelsea itself? More specifically, aer - the cheeriest, uplifting blow dry bars in the city, which opened earlier this year.

Many blow dry bars in London try to emulate their New York counterparts (the city where the blow dry bar 'craze' got started). Many of which are geared around the time-strapped: you run in, get 'done' in 15 minutes and are promptly shooed out. At aer it's a much more of a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere - lots of greenery in pots, and circular tables in the middle of the room where you can get your tresses tended to, socialise or even get out your laptop and catch up with emails. (Think of it as an upmarket Starbucks but instead of a Gingerbread Latte you can order a braided up-do or the aforementioned Chelsea blow dry, then just hang out in their cosy - and when I popped in, very festive - surroundings.)

The staff are polite and professional, not chummy-chummy, but not aloof and intimidating either. They're just focused on getting your hair exactly how you want it - my own tresses were blow dried and then some rollers popped in to give it some extra oomph. They use products by uber-luxy haircare brand Oribe as well as good old Kerastase - and also offer deep conditioning treatments if your locks are feeling a little lacklustre.

As you can see, it took a lot of rollers to get my frizzy hair to behave, but it was worth the effort. Like I said, better than therapy...

Opening hours:

Mon-Thu : 7.30am – 7.30pm
Fri : 7.30am – 8.30pm
Saturday : 9.00am – 8.00pm
Sunday : 10.00am – 6.00pm

020 7244 9499

172 Old Brompton Road

(Nearest tubes are South Kensington and Gloucester Road - roughly a ten minute walk from each)