How To Get London Salon-Quality Hair At Home, By The City’s Best Stylist

Photographed by Laura Chen.
Ask any beauty editor or influencer to shortlist their favourite London hairdressers and you can always expect Adam Reed to make the cut. As personable as he is talented, Adam's forte is whipping up expensive-looking hair in a matter of moments. Think curated colour (his copper creations are dreamy, to say the least) and throwing out conventional styling in favour of a burgeoning new trend called instinctive cutting, which promises a unique and tailored coiffure every single time.
It was only a matter of time, then, before Adam turned his attention to haircare. Though his handiwork is positively luxe, everyone deserves great hair, which is why he just unveiled ARKIVE at Boots — an 11-strong collection of styling products, all under £14. From staples like shampoo and conditioner to useful extras like blow-dry spray and an already TikTok-famous hair primer, it's never been easier to replicate London salon-quality hair at home.
As a beauty editor who has tried pretty much every hairdresser's range, from George Northwood to Larry King, ARKIVE gets my most enthusiastic vote. Not only is everything affordable (and currently on offer, act fast) but the sensory experience is unrivalled. The ARKIVE mantra? Bringing style to your hair, and care for your head. One thing I missed during the pandemic was having my hair washed in a salon. It may sound silly but I revelled in that moment of calm. With that in mind, using ARKIVE at home is the next best thing to a well-earned salon appointment.
Topping my favourites list is the All Day Everyday Conditioner, £12. It's lightweight in texture but so nourishing and makes my bleached, parched strands the softest they've felt in months. It smells incredible, too. Another top pick is The Good Habit Hybrid Oil, £14, which has replaced my leave-in conditioner — it's that good. The oil-meets-serum keeps frizzy bits on lockdown and is the only product I've been using to help me embrace my hair's natural wave. Lastly, The New Form Blow-Dry Spray, £13. This is a product I've never used in my hair routine. A quick spritz does exactly what it says on the label and helps hair keep its shape, whether you scrunch it during a quick rough-dry, or straighten or curl it.
So you've got all the products but what about perfecting your technique? Ahead, Adam shares his most valuable tips for incredible hair— whatever your budget.

Try the 'dry shampooing' technique

We hate to break it to you but you might be washing your hair all wrong. Adam's way sounds a lot more effective, especially if your hair is dirty, if you use a lot of products in your hair or you don't shampoo that regularly. "Put the shampoo onto your hair before you put the water on," says Adam. "Water can act as a repellent and push product away," he adds, which could explain why hair sometimes doesn't lather up well on the first go. "In salon, we call that a dry shampoo," says Adam. "It helps break everything down," including dirt, oil, and product build-up. Once you've massaged in the shampoo dry, Adam suggests adding water and starting your usual foaming cleanse.
Though Adam's All Day Everyday Shampoo, £12, is sulphate-free, he points out that there's no reason to fear sulphates in haircare (unless you react to them). "Everybody harks on about SLS [sodium lauryl sulphate] but I'm a big fan of the ingredient and have no problem with it. SLS is just a surfactant. It cleans the hair and it does so really well. Don't worry too much about any of that stuff. If you find a shampoo you like, stick with it."

There's a right way to condition your hair

"So many people say they don't condition their roots, and I'm always like, 'Why wouldn't you?'" Adam says that marketing in haircare over the years has resulted in lots of misconceptions. If you avoid conditioning the roots you may need to condition the ends more in the long run when your hair inevitably grows out. "I always advise conditioning from root through to tip. It's all about prevention and you should never let your hair get to a point where you need to rescue it. Your hair isn't like your skin and it doesn't rejuvenate itself. It's dead when it comes out." That means it needs all the moisture and nourishment it can get. "Using a conditioner in this way will also help to moisturise the scalp a little bit," says Adam. The key is effectively rinsing it out. "If you're doing this, there shouldn't be any negatives." The All Day Everyday Conditioner, £12, is lightweight but so nourishing and makes parched strands seriously soft. It smells incredible, too.

Rinse, rinse and rinse again

Talking of rinsing, one of the biggest mistakes people make when washing their hair at home is not washing shampoo and conditioner away properly, which can lead to build-up and impact how your hair looks and feels. "When you think you've finished rinsing, rinse for another two minutes," says Adam. "One thing people always say to me is that their hair feels a little bit heavy. The only reason this would happen is if you're not rinsing effectively enough." Adam also likes a cold blast of water at the end of a wash to seal the hair's cuticle and to promote shine.

Everyone can benefit from co-cleansing

Co-cleansing is nothing new (and has been a go-to for those with natural hair for some time now) but Adam points out that plenty of hair types and textures can benefit from the method. "It really is amazing for both the hair and the scalp," he says. "In fact, I only co-cleanse. It works by emulsification and uses mainly oils. The All Together Now Co-Cleanse, £13, features shea butter, aloe vera and cleansing jojoba oil. Basically, it's all about oil removing oil and it's a very gentle way of cleansing." Adam says that co-cleansing is great for naturally curly and afro hair but also fine hair because you won't get any residual build-up like you would from a conditioner. "It's great for scalp issues and defining curls, and once you start using it, it's hard to turn back from."
Following on from Adam's dry shampooing method, rake your chosen co-cleansing product through dry hair and start the massage. "Usually, you only need to do one cleanse and no conditioner but I would go in every third or fourth cleanse and use your usual shampoo so you get that lathering feeling you like. It's when you start to blow-dry and style the hair that you start to see that incredible difference when doing a co-cleanse."

Invest in a shower brush

Your fingers are more than enough to pull product through your hair and massage your scalp but if you want to step up your hair game, Adam suggest grabbing the Manta Brush, £25, essentially a rubber brush to be used in the shower. "I love the Manta Brush for pulling conditioner and treatments through the hair and I use it to gently exfoliate if I'm not using a scalp product, such as a scrub. I swear by a brush like this."
Also try the Hairburst Scalp Stimulating Massage Brush, £8, or the Denman Shower & Massage Brush, £5, if you're on a budget.

Don't overheat your hair

"I only use ghd styling tools in salon," says Adam. "I love the hairdryers as they give great air flow but I mainly use ghd tools because they're set at 185 degrees, which is the optimum temperature. So many people burn their hair and each time you do that, you dull it. This can also reduce the density of the hair, making it look thin, fine and a little bit tacky on the ends. Don’t overdo it."

This styling hack can transform hair

Whether you use hairspray, hair oil or a finishing serum, it's likely you're going overboard with the styling. Adam has a key trick for ensuring a salon-worthy finish. "At the end of a style, I would only ever apply product onto a brush, for example hairspray. I then run it through the hair. This way, you get flexible hold without that stiff feel. Rarely would I put a heavy product all over the hair to fix it. All of the work should be done via the brush."
Invest in a paddle brush like the Denman Paddle Brush, £12, or the ghd Paddle Brush, £23, which smooth hair quickly and easily.

Try a blow-dry spray

The New Form Blow-Dry Spray, £13, is the hair product Adam's clients never knew they needed. "Sprays like these are amazing, especially if you're doing your hair at home. The more you put in, the stronger the hold, because it's easy to layer and build up." You can even use a product like this if you aren't applying any heat. Adam suggests spritzing it into the hair and scrunching it with your hands to form shape. You can also use it as a finisher by spraying a little onto your fingers and smoothing down frizz or mussing up your roots for extra volume.

Throw out unrealistic expectations

More of us are willing to embrace natural texture with a simple wash and air-dry but Adam says it's important to be realistic — and to take your hair type into consideration. "If your hair is naturally curly and you want it straight, it's not going to happen. An air-dried style like this is only going to work if you like your hair type."
Embracing your hair's natural movement is all in the products. "Co-cleansing will give you a softness and hair will slowly dry naturally and fall into place. Some people like to leave a treatment in their hair, too, for example a tiny bit of cream worked through the hair using your hands." Adam suggests air-drying as overheating a product like this using styling tools could mean it ends up going greasy in your strands.
Hair oils are also a great shout. "Oil controls and stops fluffiness," says Adam. "When your hair is damp, put a bit on your hands and just shake it or simply scrunch it into your hair. Once you get your hair into the shape that you want, just leave it. Don't keep playing with it because you're going to bugger it up!" If your hair is prone to frizz and flyaways or gets dry very easily, Adam recommends getting into the habit of using a pre-wash treatment. You don't have to buy a dedicated product. A little hair oil like The Good Habit Hybrid Oil, £14, left in your hair for a little while before shampooing will make all the difference to the look and feel.
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