"It all began at the Vogue Festival last year," Luke Hersheson confided of the new Braid Bars that his family brand, Hershesons, is opening at Topshop. "We did quick braid styling from a menu there and it was packed all day long on both days. We then did a Braid Bar at the Topshop Showspace during London Fashion Week, and that was it."
An idea was born, and this week the concept has debuted at Topshop Oxford Circus before rolling out to 10 stores nationwide - eight styles, £15 and 15 minutes (we tested the pretty but intricate S Braid and even with a long bob determined to escape the clutches of bobby pins, we were out of the door in 10). You can also go off-menu, bring in your own inspirations or mix and match braids - Hersheson cites more plait types than we knew existed for those who want to further switch up their style.This month we've already seen all manner of other beauty "bars" pop up around the country - in fact, Hershesons's first blow-dry bar popped up almost 10 years ago - but what makes now the right time for a Braid Bar? "Braids always look great, they're relaxed, cool and look less try-hard than a blow-dry," Hersheson told us. "They've also got a kind of urban Nineties vibe which feels really right at the moment." That, and the ever-growing popularity of high-speed beauty treatments - as our schedules get more packed, the need for speed is more urgent than ever. And the best thing about braids? People will always ask you: "Did you do that?" rather than: "Where did you get that done?" And frankly, who's to stop you from fibbing?
Open now at Topshop Oxford Circus, nationwide from April 20.
Text by: Lisa Niven - Vogue