I recently had the chance to try a nourishing hair and scalp treatment at award-winning Windle & Moodie hair salon in Covent Garden. The hair salon was set up in 1988, by Paul Windle who started his career at Vidal Sassoon and was initially called ‘Windle’ before he was joined by Neil Moodie in 2002.
The salon is a lovely space and the attentive staff really makes all the difference. From the outside it’s a minimalistic glass building, as you step inside you are ready to explore all the products from the brand displayed on the shelves and can sip on a lemon and mint water as you wait for your appointment. The salon has been in the heart of Covent Garden for 31 years. Paul Windle, (who was incredibly lovely) told me he doesn’t feel the need to have a chain. Instead, he has many loyal customers that come back for the excellent service and great products and I can see why. It’s worth noting none of the Windle & Moodie products contain any silicone, or sulphates and are cruelty-free, but more on that later from Paul himself.
The complete treatment
I sampled the Luxury Hair & Scalp treatment (£60). The lovely Martina meticulously applied oil to my dehydrated hair, which is the first step of the treatment.
The first step is to apply the Essential Oils Elixir, £30 on each small strand, twirled around to absorb the precious liquid. It contains apricot, coconut and camelia oil to deeply nourish the hair and can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment (as Martina did on my hair) or added in a mask or conditioner as a hydration booster. I’ll definitely do this at home. This oil is actually 98% natural and the gardenia is distilled using coconut oil.
With the lovely oils in my head, I had steam applied for 20 minutes. The steam helps the product penetrate deeper into the hair follicle. I have quite thick hair (and a lot of it!) so I need every bit of help to hydrate it properly.
Top tip: to do this at home, I would add a shower cap to my hair after the oil has been applied and take a warm bath. This would be the closest thing to achieving this ultimate hydration.
The second step is shampooing twice. The first shampoo Martina applied was to remove the oil, then shampooed again to properly clean the hair and scalp. The shampoos used on my hair were the Ultra Nourishing Treatment Shampoo, £24 and the Nourishing Treatment Shampoo, £20, the former contains monoi oil and is perfect for damaged hair, and the latter is infused Rooibos Tea and Argan Oil, which is great for dry and coloured hair. The same amazing camelia scent comes through as I relaxed in the dark shampoo room.
What made the whole experience even more enjoyable and relaxing, is the head massage together with the fact that the hair wash stations are with a bed type of chair, so your neck won’t hurt like in your normal salon. Genius right?! You might notice there is a theme of nourishment throughout the range, which is what you should look for in your hair products. Hair (and scalp) is part of your body, so why not treat it the same way as you would your face?
A mini moment of meditation. Post-shampooing a warm towel infused with essential oils is placed under your neck to relax you further, for the next 5 minutes, that you wish last forever. Yes, it’s that good.
The third and final step of nourishment is leaving the mask (Ultra Nourishing Masque, £34, infused with White Tea and Tahitian Monoi oil) to do its work while you rest and then is rinsed off before you get your hair styled. Martina gave me beach waves, which is my usual style when I get my hair done. She also applied an amazing product that’s the closest thing to skincare for your hair.
The Invisible Day & Night Cream, £22 is an allrounder, a chameleon for your hair if you wish, that not only acts as a heat protectant, which is essential before applying heat to your hair, but also protects from UV rays.
It contains monoi oil and sugar beet. It’s a lightweight cream that won’t weigh down your hair. Apply a pea-sized amount morning and night as you would with your face cream. I will be using this at the beach for sure in conjunction with my hair SPF spray, as your precious hair can become damaged and brittle under the sun and while at sea. It’s also been in the Top 25 products list of Into The Gloss – a powerhouse in beauty writing and reporting, and one of the websites that made me want to get into beauty. It’s also 100% vegan.
Chatting to Paul Windle
Apart from this lovely treatment, I had the chance to pick Paul Windle’s brains, who by the way has made the hair of countless stars from Georgia May Jagger to Cara Delevigne and is known for his editorial hair (including British Vogue and Elle).
“We need to look after our hair at the same level of care as we would our skin,”Paul Windle
From time to time I have been guilty of neglecting my hair, but currently trying to cut it ever 8 weeks and apply deep conditioning masks weekly.
I knew silicones were like a bandaid, they covered the issue (split ends, dryness, etc) but didn’t fix it. Silicone in shampoo hinders the process of cleaning, and Paul explained that the problem with sulphates in shampoos is that they basically “loosen” the dirt in your hair but that’s it. “The only thing that helps clean the hair properly is water – so rinse rinse rinse,” Paul recommends. The big companies only add silicones because the sulphates make the hair very dry, and they need to mask that. Makes sense, right?
The Windle & Moodie products started to be developed about 8 years ago and properly launched 4 and a half years ago. They use a gentle surfactant in their shampoo instead of harsh traditional ones. The main issue clients reported with a sulphate-free shampoo is that there is no foam, and as it doesn’t lather you would automatically think it doesn’t actually clean your hair. Their formula was developed as you would for a skincare product, offering a gentler option.
The next step for the brand? They will open their own lab in the Lake District and work with their own team of chemists on product development.
In terms of sustainability, the shampoos and conditioners can be refilled in store and you get a 30% discount towards the refill. The biggest problem with plastic is that it takes a long time for it to break down to recycle it, so wherever possible reuse the plastic you already have!
If it’s your first time visiting the salon you also leave with a pack of travel sized products in small sachets to use on holiday.
Paul’s top 5 tips for healthy hair
- Regular trims: Split ends can travel up the hair shaft.
- Keep the hair moisturised and supple: You can use our day and night cream multiple times a day.
- Keep the heat exposure down: No matter what the spin about ceramic irons, ours have temperature adjustment. Keep it as low as you can.
- Protect against the sun: Five of our products have sunblock. Including day and night cream. That said, the best thing is a hat!
- Gentle cleanse: Stay away from sulphate detergents. Remember – the bottom few inches of your long hair is several years old so be aware of what it has endured to get there.
All in all this was a wonderful experience, and despite my split ends I left with hair healthier and shinier than ever. I discovered the shampoo about 3 years ago when I was looking for a sulphate-free alternative. You may think that’s an easy task now, but when the pair first brought these out it wasn’t the case. Let’s see what they will make next!
Book your appointment here.
Windle & Moodie, 41-45 Shorts Garden, Covent Garden, WC2H 9AP