If you're living in a foreign city, it can be twice as hard. I once had my hair cut and coloured in Pamplona and walked out with tiger-striped carrot and blonde hair, parted in the centre and barrel-dried. The height of fashion for someone in their SEVENTIES, perhaps. It was truly horrific. Fortunately I had my trusty beret to hand and scurried all the way home to salvage my fro'.
And so in Barcelona, I was a little apprehensive about approaching another Spanish hairdresser. Luckily, I was pleased to discover myself a little gem at Anthony Llobet English Hair Salon. Going by the name of Tatiana, this woman was a force to be reckoned with! Friendly, bubbly and oozing charm. We had two great cuts and great chats, she put me totally at ease. It was safe to say that I was madly in love with her and her scissors....
However, one day she was simply gone, vanished, and so I had to look for an alternative. I went to Rulo on C/ Joaquin Costa and had a really brilliant cut with the lovely chaps there but I felt a bit like I was cheating on Tatiana. She had won my loyalty and now I was left wondering WHERE HAD SHE GONE?
Well, one day, as I was strolling through the Raval, there she was! Bouncing around happily in front of a little hair salon, La Strada Hair Salon, which turned out to be her new venture. A lovely quaint affair on C/ Riera Baixa... also known to many as 'vintage street' for all of its quirky mini shops.
I quickly booked an appointment and before I knew it, we were bantering away again. We talked about other hair salons and other businesses and how they were simply missing that one key ingredient- CUSTOMER SERVICE. So many places nowadays are about turfing people in and out and emptying their wallets without even asking their name. What they don't realise is that people are infinitely loyal if you treat them well. They'll come back for more, they'll shout your name from the rooftops and what's more, you'll build a friendship with them.
Tatiana knows this. She rocks it. And she knows A LOT about hair.
Dear bloggers, allow me to tell you a tad more.
I was born in Nicaragua but I was raised in Miami and California, where I worked for SAKS and Elizabeth Arden for many years. I moved to Barcelona when I fell in love and decided to follow him. It turned out that he wasn't the one for me but, in the meantime, I had lost my heart to Barcelona. It just captured me. I love it here.
Why did you decide to open your own salon?
Well actually I am both a photographer and a hairdresser but for me, the salon was more viable. I had worked in other hairdressers and found myself being told that I was taking too long with the customers. From a business point of view, five minutes less with each customer would equal an extra haircut squeezed into the day but I didn't want to work like that. I prefer to focus on quality, not quantity.
Why the location in the Raval?
The Raval is so cool. Especially this street. It has its own small community and we all look out for each other. It's the perfect place. As soon as I saw it, I took it. Everyone on the street is so great, there's such an incredible vibe. A lot of us have tables and chairs outside so we can sit, enjoy the sunshine and take coffee during quiet times.
What products do you use?
Mostly I use Schwarzkopf and Senscience. Schwarzkopf is great for styling products and they have such an amazing variety. It's my favourite line. Senscience is a bit more expensive but they have some wonderful things, too. The new pro line by Schwarzkopf is really really popular. It uses Argan Oil, which is a Moroccan oil and is just fantastic. It makes your hair shiny and conditioned but without the grease or the weight of a serum. Our bestseller is a deep conditioning treatment that leaves a gold shimmer in your hair and really brings the colour to life.
What makes you special?
We focus on all eras. From the great influence of the past all the way up to the present, we recreate vintage styles or give them a modern twist. We're a small and intimate salon with just myself and Celia and we just have so much fun. I love coming to work!
What's your favourite thing to do in Barcelona?
I'm not a massive party animal but if I do go out, I love to go to a Xiringuito on the beach and drink a mojito and watch the sunset. It's typical but it's just so gorgeous.
For appointments with Tatiana call 931774641 or pop in when you're passing by C/ Riera Baixa 13.
You can support Tatiana and her team on their Facebook page, where you'll also find seasonal offers and fun things.