The last time I lived in the UK, I did not have the best experience with hairdressers. Although, it has to be said, I had the best hairdresser I have ever had in the small town of Crieff, as soon as I moved to Manchester, the good hairdressers seemed to vanish.
There is a lot to be said for the recommendations of friends, and not knowing anyone in Manchester, I was left to blindly stumble on.
The first hairdresser I went to was one where you did not need to make an appointment, you just showed up and had to wait your turn. After two and a half hours, I got my turn and could not seem to make the hairdresser understand how I wanted it cut and left less than impressed. The second time, I went to a very well known salon chain, paid the premium price to a top stylist, and after the lovely head massage, the cup of tea, I was told that I could not have my hair cut how I wanted because it was not in their book of hairstyles! Yes, they had a book and were only "allowed" to cut the styles in the book. This was one of the very few times I have lost it in public, and I left with a style I didn't want and fumed all the way home on the bus.
After that, I grew my hair long and waited until I got home to Australia to have it cut.
This time, knowing I would be in the UK for longer, I kept my hair long and then, just a few months before leaving, I got it all cut off. I knew this was a risk due to my previous experience at hairdressers in this country.
I was not convinced that my experiences would improve when, just after I arrived, my boss recommended I go to the local Headmasters Training Academy to get my haircut by students training to be stylists. Students...I don't think so!
But I have since had my hair cut three times there and each time, although taking up to two hours for a cut, has been amazing. Yesterday, I went for a haircut and decided to get a fringe cut. I haven't had a fringe for at least 20 years, and that was the big lacquered one that all my friends had in year 12! I am very pleased with it and they did a fantastic job.
And it's really good value. Might be worth a look if your searching for a decent hairdresser.