Geddes Hairdressing and Beauty Salon, 42 Ladywell Road

Brockley Central's approach to getting a hair cut is to wait until the unruliness of our hair intersects with the imminency and profile of our social engagement. Then, we panic and run from our desk in a desperate search for a place near work that will cut our hair immediately, whatever the price.

This is our way of explaining why to-date, there has been no review of Geddes - the Ladywell hairdresser and beauty salon - in spite of our best intentions. However, lots of people have been bigging-it-up in other parts of the site and we can now finally provide a few words of recommendation, courtesy of our wife, who has much nicer hair than we do anyway:

"Geddes is great - it offers a West End-quality service at Ladywell prices. Everyone who I've met there is friendly and knows what they're doing. They use lovely Aveda products and they're open late and on Sundays, which is the kind of flexbility you need for a local service."

83 comments:

Brockley Kate said...

I was very impressed with Aqua in Crofton Park when I went there recently.

Anonymous said...

What's a "lovely Aveda product"?

Google has the answer - "sustainably sourced ingredients and certified organic essential oils"

May have to book myself in for a Mung Tea Rinse

max said...

Now why would I want to big up my hairdresser and find that they are so busy that they haven't got a slot for my haircut next?
I used to go there before Geddes, when it was Tip to Toe and I was happy with it, in my opinion the best haircut around here, ad I tried a lot of places.
I had one of the best haircut in years at Geddes though. And the scalp massage was great too.

Brockley Nick said...

Sigh... this mung bean stereotype is losing all meaning if you're attributing it to users of Aveda, which is a brand which is no-doubt frowned upon by readers of Ethical Consumer.

"Lovely Aveda products" means posh stuff.

Pretty much all posh stuff would make such claims. It's almost a pre-requisite.

It doesn't make the person who appreciates that sort of thing a mung-bean eater, although it may make them a mug, but that's the kind of argument that keeps our marriage as fresh as it was on our wedding day.

Richard said...

I've always trekked to Bromley for a trim, but can't find the energy nearly often enough - maybe Geddes is the answer. The area is definitely very different to 10 years ago if there's actually a decent hairdresser around!

nobbly brick said...

I use a 'barbers' up in Blackheath, tolerable 'number 2 up the back and sides and a bit off the top'

Wouldn't like to be sheared in full view of the public...

Anonymous said...

I used to go to a very posh hairdresser in Mayfair for 8 years and decided to give Geddes a try (credit crunch and all). I'm reasonably impressed with it (and that's comparing it to the creme de la creme) and have gone back twice since. However, I keep asking to have red hair and it always comes out nearly black, and they don't seem to notice that it's not at all what I asked for. Don't get me wrong, it still looks kinda cool but it's not what I request when I go in.

The Cat Man said...

I normally use essentuals in the city for my hair do - £45 quid, quite expensive but I get a decent cup of coffee and a peppermint head massage.

The hairdressers are fit.

The Cat Man said...

Forgot to add, my point is that if there was a decent place locally (with fit men) i'd quite happily use that instead.

To be in compliance with my policy of 'shop local' of course.

Headhunter said...

I always get a chop round the corner from work at lunchtime. I usually have to persuade the Eastern European woman who does it that I need a little more off the back so that the style is less mullett-like...

Tressilliana said...

Repeating my comment from the other thread:

It's interesting to see so many positive comments about Geddes Hair and Beauty. Yes, it's good but so was Top to Toe which is the business they took over and re-named. The difference appears to be the way the shop is decorated and furnished, and the prices, which are far higher.

Anonymous said...

Somehow Andy, I don't think the blokes working in the local hairdressers are your sort ;-)

drakefell debaser said...

I have been to Tom Boyz 3 goes on the trot now, cup of tea if you want one, good cut, well priced – less than a tenner and convenient.

I prefer to get my head massages at home anyway.

Monkeyboy said...

Ahhh....something that I agree with Nobbly about.

I go to my barbers. Sit down, number 3 all over please, back home before my tea is cold - sorted.

(options become a tad limited as the follicles begin to get bored with the whole hair thing.)

Anonymous said...

I've been going to Heat for the last year or so - very nice people there and great value - plus occasional compliments from friends on the haircut

nobbly brick said...

you should agree with me more often MB

;)

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare it must be working in a hairdressers one of the lowest paid industries and having to be subjected to sexual ogling by maladjusted individuals.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, they love it!

Monkeyboy said...

Oh I don't know. The big Greek chap at the barbers uses a cut throat razor to tidy up the back of my neck, not sure how he would react if I goosed him.

The Cat Man said...

hmm, would you want to?

veggiegirl said...

I'm a fan too.

I've been living in Brockley for three years and with short, greying hair, I get it seen to (ie dyed and cut properly) every 5 or 6 weeks.

Locally I've tried a few of the cheaper places, which were frankly useless for me. Terrible cutting and cheap dyes which made my scalp itch like mad.

Finally settled on Fresh in Blackheath, partly because of the Aveda products, which are the only dyes which don't irritate my scalp.

So I gave Geddes a go on the basis of their products and a discount voucher handed out at the Hilly Fields summer fair. And I'm very happy. No, they are not the cheapest around here but they are worth it and I'm pleased to have found a place within 15 minutes walk.

billiecat said...

Had my hair done by Mandy at Geddes last week and she did a fantastic job. it wasn't any more expensive than the hairdresser in the centre of town that I've been going to for years, and the fact that they are open late and at weekends is a bonus.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I used to go to Trumpers in Curzon Street, Mayfair - by appointment don't-you-know.

Alas with the passage of time, it's not worth spending £20-£30 on what little hair I have left.

I therefore make do with a no2 to the sides, a no3 in the top and a polish at the back at Razies Salon on Loampit Hill.

All for £5! Good value and local.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone got any experience of the hairdressers next to Duke, or the one next to the petrol garage/dry cleaners?

abdou said...

I've bought clippers in an effort to offset my other half's increasing addicition to Geddes

Anonymous said...

I directed a lady in search of waxing to Geddes just the other day. She came back happy with the service but a good deal poorer with much less of a follicular abundance.

Never been in to the place myself. Being a guy, my visits to the hairdressers are pretty prefunctory. Trim this barnet! Bish bash bosh here is the dosh. Then out into the wide world and the feeling of fresh air on your neck.

Anonymous said...

I often go for a back, sack and crack

Eleanor said...

I can rate Geddes as being a totally addictive experience. Having been somewhat reluctant to part with £45 for a hair cut some months back, I decided to give it a go in order to show some support for local businesses.

Handing over the £45 made my eyes water, but for some reason I was drawn to go back for a facial, then a hot stone massage; some weeks later another haircut and a toe polish followed by a colour. OMG my bank balance is nose-diving, but there is definitely something in the water there!

As I was having yet another dreamy head massage there last night, I reflected on my addiction, trying to work out why this has happened to me.

It seems to me that Olivia, Mandy and Stephanie are just such lovely people that I love being around them! I even find myself popping in on the way home from work, just for a gossip! The service levels are just fantastic.

I agree, they don't get things right every time, but they have such a down-to-earth, sincere and personable way of dealing with their customers, that it more than makes up for the occassional blip.

The proof of the pudding is that they have plenty of the old dears who used to frequent T-T-P still on their books going in for a rinse and set. They treat them with the respect they deserve and haven't shunned them for a younger, hipper clientelle.

I now don't mind parting with £45 as the experience justifies the price. Hats off to them and long may they continue to set a standard that other businesses in the area should be aspiring to.

4x4 said...

In response to tressiliana I have had my haircut at both Geddes and Top to Toe and to say they are comparable except for the price is rediculous. At top to toe a surly girl ripped through my hair in two minutes flat-yes it was cheap but it was also crap. At Geddes I had a wonderful scalp message by a pretty young black girl and then a guy called Jay cut my hair and I was very pleased. The bird on the reception (is she the owner?) was acutie also.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you get the quality you pay for.

I remember the days when the Ladywell barbers was run by ladies. I was one of their regular customers and always impressed by their charming manner.

It changed hands a few years ago and was taken over by guys who took it back to basics. The offer of hot towels and wet razors did not entice. I took my custom elsewhere and now frequent Heat. I think I change hairdressers once a decade.

Geddes seems to have managed to keep some of the old clients and attract new ones. That is quite a feat.

Anonymous said...

My mum used to frequent Top to Toe before the Geddes people took over. She was really worried that it had turned all posh and pretentious and that it was going to be much more expensive-she couldn't have been more wrong. Yes it looks contempoary and modern and the prices are higher but the service and cut and colour my mum received were far better than she had experienced under the previous owners. I usually get my haircut in town but I intend to shop local now solely on my mum's recomendation. Geddes and Oscars cafe are definitely the future of Ladywell.

Anonymous said...

I totally recommend Mandy at Geddes. She's great and such a sweetheart. I used to get my hair cut at GM's in e. dulwich. Went there for 4 years and it seemed every haircut the price went up and the cut got worse - and this was with their top stylist.
So happy I tried Geddes. I don't think the prices are too high - go to GM's and get a £75 terrible haircut and then complain!

Amanda said...

Nice Blog

Graeme said...

75 quid for a hair cut :-0 This is one of the occasions it pays to have a Y chromosone. 15 quid gets you a set of clippers from Argos giving you unlimited number 3's. Job done!

Anonymous said...

And you can do your own minge with it.

Anonymous said...

Could anyone tell me why Geddes keeps changing its staff?? And although it looks super swanky I feel it lacks a warmth and personality, Mandy is very nice but not so keen on the owner made me feel a bit small when I went in there. Can anyone tell me if they know where one of the hairdressers who worked in there when it was Top to Toe is working her name was Thelma??

Anonymous said...

To anonymous, Thelma is now a freelance hairdresser and she does my hair, she's wiked!
Were you a regular? I know she has kept in contact with some of her regulars.

Monkeyboy said...

£75!!

It's great when you're a non trendy balding bloke. You can go to any barbers in the country and say "No. 3 all over" and still have change out of a tenner for a pint and a pie.

...but I am single

tyrwhitt ali said...

Ahhhh poor Monkeyboy!

Of course, I've had stupidly expensive haircuts in the past and I'm single, so it might not just be the hair..... :-)

Anonymous said...

I tried Mandy at Geddes as it beat the schlep into the West End. She was very good. Agree about the owner who seemed to look down her nose a bit - but am going back as it is local and the cut was good.

Anonymous said...

What's the beauty like in Geddes? Went to Kate in Top to Toe for years and was really happy with her. My friend tried geddes and had her legs waxed and was left holding the owners baby!! It put me right off.

Simon & Olivia said...

Wow! We have certainly taken a bit of a pounding with three nagative comments almost on the bounce.
In business you have to take the rough with the smooth and I guess the same goes for the comments posted on this blogg. We have been the beneficiaries of much positive feedback and thanks to Brockley Central we have seen many new clients come through the door.
We can't really have too many complaints when things don't go our way.
Since the acquisition of the former Top to Toe salon in Ladywell on the 7th March 2008 we have seen our business go from strength to strength. We have been made to feel very welcome by the local community and we will be forever grateful for the support we have received. As with any service business you are not going to please all of the people all of the time but we would like to assure Brockley Central that we are doing our utmost to get things right.
We endeavour to provide the local area with excellent hairdressing and beauty therapy services and we have not only invested heavily in fixtures and fittings, but also in training our team members.
We would like to take this opportunity to answer our critics:
Anon-"Could anyone tell me why Geddes keeps changing its staff"??
Well, the honest answer is we don't. Since we took over the business in March 2008 we have recruited some thirteen people both full time and part-time. Of the three people who have left-one beauty therapist went back to Ireland. Our stylist Cara resigned due to health problems and we regret that we terminated the employment of another stylist during her probationary period.
We were legally obliged to continue the employment of the Top to Toe staff. One of the stylists we inherited still works two days per week in the salon attending to the senior citizens who have been clients for years. The other stylist left soon after the takeover. Of the two beauty therapists we inherited-one part-time therapist left for a new job where she was offered better money. The other girl left after five months to set up her own business. We also inherited two casual assistants doing a couple of days a week each-one left to work at the salon her mother has frequented for years. We had to let the other girl go due to financial constraints in the early stages of our new venture.
In our other salon we are staffed to full capacity. We have six stylists-one has worked at the salon for the full thirteen years we have been open. Another has worked at the salon for over six years. Two other stylists have been with us almost four years and two others have been at the salon two and two and a half years respectively. Our two beauty therapists are also well into their fourth year with us!
In such a transient industry we think our staff retention quite remarkable.
With regard to the stylist Thelma-she has never been an employee of Geddes. I understand she left Top to Toe at xmas 2007 (3 moths before the takeover) to start up her own home hairdressing round-we wish her well. Note:We have only ever heard nice things about Thelma and we would have loved to have worked with her.
To Anon "What's the beauty therapy like in Geddes"?
Why ask?
You say you have already been "put right off" by stories of holding "the owners baby" so one wonders why you are interested-if not just to post a negative comment?
For the record-when we first started the process of buying the business in Ladywell, we didn't know Olivia was pregnant. By the time we found out we were too far down the line and our son Matthew was born two weeks after we opened. Olivia managed the salon from the reception and as she was breast feeding carried Matthew in a Baby Bjorn for the first six months of his life. During this period Olivia very rarely did any treatments as she was needed at reception and we thought it inappropriate to have a baby in the treatment room. We cannot actually remember asking our clients to hold the baby whilst having their treatment although we were inundated with requests from clients for a cuddle.
We have not had our baby in the salon now for over five months-we now have a nanny. Should we have imposed our son on any of our clients we are sorry and we can assure you it will not happen again.
To Anon's: We were surprised to hear that you were made to "feel small" by the owner or that you felt she "looked down her nose a bit"-this was and never is our intention. Perception isn't always fair and if you were made to feel uncomfortable we apologise unreservedly.Being the son of a Scunthorpe steelworker and Olivia's parents being dairy farmers in Australia we certainly having no reason to look down our noses. We will try to be more mindful of our body language etc in the future and we thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Finally, we would like to congratulate Brockley Central on a great blogg. It is a fantastic barometer for the feeling in the local community. All we ask is that people come and try us and judge us for themselves.
To the Anon's-We would like to invite you both back into the salon to discuss these issues over a glass of wine/coffee and to offer you some complimentary treatments. Please could you make yourselves known to us-I'M SPARTACUS!

Simon & Olivia

Proprietors: Geddes Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy

fabhat said...

Simon and Olivia - what a considered and thoughtful response from you both. That seems a good sign of the kind of customer service you are trying to offer at Geddes.

I'm afraid my loyalty to my hairdresser can't be broken, but I'm certainly going to be trying you out for treatments very soon...

osh said...

Wow, what a great attitude, well done guys. I'll be coming in in the next couple of weeks. I think it's a great place.

westsider said...

Nice one. I've been meaning to give you a try on the basis of what people on here have said. Now I definitely will. It's always nice to hear from the businesses themselves.

Monkeyboy said...

Can I get my back waxed?

Simon & Olivia said...

To fabhat, osh and westsider-thanks for the kind words-we will loook forward to seeing you soon.
To the infamous Monkeyboy-yes you can get your back waxed, although i wouldn't be surprised if we are inundated by fellow bloggers offering their services to rip the wax off themselves!
Perhaps Olivia might oblige so long as you don't mind holding the baby!

Monkeyboy said...

I find the though of the daughter of an outback dairy farmer waxing me strangely exciting......sorry, it's late.

Brockley Kate said...

Wow, what a fabulous response from Simon & Olivia! There are definitely some local business owners who I believe could learn from your approach. Having been a decided sceptic about Geddes, I am now won over - I promise to give you guys a try. From the sporting attitude you've shown here you definitely deserve success, so good luck to you and thanks for posting.

Maradoll said...

I'm really impressed by that response too. Does Geddes have a website with all their treatments/prices listed? Had a nose around and couldn't find one.

Anonymous said...

Fair comment to Geddes, I am the one who asked about the beauty. I was only asking because I do want to try you but just asking. I had heard from a friend that was her experience. It is nice to see you reply for yourself and I will try you now but I will remain annon as it it my right to. Many Thanks for personally replying. Annon.

Anonymous said...

And I was the Anon that mentioned the 'looking down their noses'. Like everyone else here, glad to see the response and that it is taken seriously, and the offer of the complimentary treatment is nice. However, I won't need it, as I've already been back on the strength of the haircut, and Mandy was great again. Am still, as before, whole heartedly recommending a great addition to the locality.

Simon & Olivia said...

Thanks Maradoll-the answer to your question is our designer is just putting the finishing touches to our long overdue website and it should be up and running very shortly. Alternatively, please give Olivia a call at the salon on 020 86900509 and she will post a treatment list out to you with our prices.
To the Anon's: Many thanks for responding and once again for your feedback- we look forward to seeing you both in the salon soon.

Simon & Olivia @Gedddes

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Most important of all is that this is strong glue I was actually looking out for and this is used by nail salons and nail artists for professional applications. It is available at a cheap price at gel-nails and I remember seeing it at a discount of 74% which is great. Maybe this can help if you also face problems relating to poor glue quality as I did earlier.

tyrwhitt ali said...

Finally made it to Geddes today and wanted to say I was very impressed. Will definitely be going back!

Anonymous said...

I would just like to 'big up' Mandy, although lots of people have already done so on this site. She is brilliant, every bit as good as the hairdresser I used to use in Mayfair (very expensive). I must confess, I have been a little disappointed with the cuts I have received from Simon (I'm really sorry to say it, he's a lovely guy and no doubt a brilliant businessman and manager) but Mandy is a star.

Anonymous said...

can someone please tell me what 'rank' Mandy is? so I know roughly how much it will cost if I request her. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Corporal.

Simon @geddes said...

Hello Anon
Thank you for your enquiry re one of our stylists.
Mandy is one of our Directors with many years experience working in top class salons. We have a range of prices depnding on the level of experience each stylist has had.
Our website geddeshairandbeauty.co.uk has all of our treatment prices listed. Our personal e-mail adress is also on there should you need to contact either myself or Olivia for any further information.
Many thanks once again for your interest we hope to see you soon.
Simon @ Geddes

Brockley Kate said...

Really nice to see Geddes at the Hilly Fields fair!

Anonymous said...

yeah deffo Mandy is totally the best at geddes!! The place would'nt be the same without her!!!

Anonymous said...

I had my hair cut in here not long after it opened. When it was Top to Toe it cost me £23, now it is Geddes it cost me £45. I pay that at Toni & Guy at the West End where i get a beautiful head massage and an excellent cut. Both were missing at Geddes. The girl who washed my hair got water all over me and I spent the rest of the week cutting uneven hair in my fringe. Not worth the price tag.

Anonymous said...

toni & guy is rubbish!
ask anyone in the industry, it's all just a brand.

magazine reader said...

We need before & after images to judge your comment fairly.

It could be the stylist felt you needed a fresher look. Volume is not really 'IN' at the mo' in hairstyle.

Also everyone has had a 'bad' haircut, just laugh at it, cliche alert but it will grow out.

Pete said...

Presumably it already has grown out given that the cut was back in July and it is now November.

Anonymous said...

Mandy?

Well she came and she gave without taking
but I sent her away, oh Mandy
well she kissed me and stopped me from shaking
I need her today, oh Mandy.......to cut my hair.

Blue sky said...

What?! Tell me it isn't true.

London Yank said...

Sadly it is true, Mandy has left! If anyone finds out to where she has gone please post!

Anonymous said...

i hear shes in brockley

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

why was that removed?
are you being paid by Geddes???

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Interesting. I spy a conspiracy.

Brockley Nick said...

Why is it always anonymous people at weekends who allege conspiracies?

Please rest assured that I don't waste my weekends with my family deleting comments for fun.

If you want to query any moderation, you are welcome to email me at the usual address.

Duck said...

I can vouch for the fact that this is not a conspiracy!

I was one of the people that posted under anon and had my post removed. When I emailed Nick, he responded almost immediately and explained why.

I now understand why my post was removed and it was for a very good reason. Let's give Nick a chance to explain before jumping to conclusions. As he said, you can email him at the usual address.

Michelle

katy said...

Short changed at Geddes, Ladywell
I'm so disappointed, after booking myself a massage to try a ease shoulder pain and as a treat, not cheap at £40 for advertised 45 mins, my original appointment was cancelled by them. They kindly offered me 50% off to reschedule for a week later but failed to honour this when I came to pay after the treatment. Treatments are also meant to last 45 mins and on checking my phone on way home It had lasted just 30 mins from arrival including the time to dress and pay! It's rare I treat myself and feel short changed and annoyed. I have been before a few times but won't be going again. Poor treatment for regular customer.
Katy

Megan said...

I went in there about a month ago and got literally the worst hair cut I've ever had. The owner did a hack job and i'm fairly sure I could have done a better job myself with a pair of child's safety scissors. HORRIBLE.

Fred Casey said...

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Fred Casey said...

Thank you for sharing the information. I would like to tell that I have recently came across a beauty salon on internet who is providing the services in haircuts, hair color, waxing etc.
The Changing Room Salon

Brockleyres said...

This salon is really disappointing. I got charged £112 for a massage that the woman talked all the way through and a haircut. I was just allocated the most expensive hairdresser without being asked if this was OK. I liked him, but having paid the price for him, my haircut was used to train a junior stylist. Finally, I had also booked in for a tint only to be told that I could no longer have this as they were 'fully booked' - couldn't you have mentioned that on the phone, along with the price of the haircut and the fact that training would be taking place during it. I should have also been asked if this was OK during the haircut. I felt really cheated by this place and will not be returning. The tint I got from over the road at Xpressions was great. Go there instead.

simon & Olivia @geddes said...

We were really disappointed when we came across the potentially damaging post by Brockleyres earlier today.

Testing said...

That may well be but as a business owner myself I would never post full communication like that, I have people threaten posting negative comments and sometime they do, you should address this briefly with short clear points and ask that you continue the conversation to resolution in private, from there you can resolve the issue and ask them if they are happy with the outcome to post so under their original.

If you have happy customers the positive feedback will outweigh the negatives, getting drawn into a public disagreement never looks good IMO.

simon & Olivia @geddes said...

@Testing
You make a very good point and we did consider letting it go. We did try to have the conversation in private but to no avail. Brockley res has every opportunity to have the conversation in private but chose broadcast her views without giving us the chance to put things right. We decided to stand tall as we feel so strongly about this. In our opinion this wasn't a balanced and fair review and her email shows this. We may live to regret our decision but our business is too important to us to idly stand by and let this one go. We feel our team and our business deserve better.

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