With 475 salons in some 48 countries, Toni & Guy is one of the world's largest salon chains. They finally opened up in Colombo (Colombo 07, where else?), to much excitement from the Cinnamon Gardens crew.
The ambience is much like most high-end Colombo salons. Lots of clean, open white space, plenty of natural light filtering in through the glass walls, and self-lit floor length mirrors. It's not particularly quirky or with any unique personality, as it needs to conform to the standard international branding.
The salon is pretty large, with 3 dedicated floors. The first floor handles make up, nails etc, the second floor hair, and the top floor waxing and body care.
We called up last week for a trim and a blow dry. From the initial phone conversation, the service was smooth and efficient. The receptionist asked me what I'd like done, if I had a stylist in mind, then recommended a senior stylist for me when I mentioned what I needed. I got an appointment for the same evening, and headed over. The doorman was pretty much the most friendly man I've ever met, and ushered me to the second floor entry.
Despite being late, everyone was friendly and courteous, and I immediately met my stylist, Sisira. It was apparent from the get go that he knew what he was doing, and actually listened to my needs. An internationally experienced senior stylist and colour technician, he's worked at Toni & Guy and other salons around the world, including in Singapore and Dubai.
The hair wash was an experience in itself, almost 15 minutes of lathery bliss mixed with a massage. My hair's incredibly thick and curly, so it took a while to tame, trim, and blow dry, but Sisira was patient and made sure I was comfortable. There was no heat damage, no discomfort, no unecessary yanking or pulling whilst detangling. If you have curly or tangled hair, you'll know how rare this is. When he was done, my hair felt healthy, bouncy, and looked pretty dang sleek.
They staff was also super accommodating, bringing me the latest glossies and checking if I needed anything.
T&G appear to have made sure to stick to Colombo's existing industry prices, which is pretty smart to begin with. They may revise their prices in the future as demand grows, so you'd better call and check before you book.
Seeing as I opted for a senior stylist, my cut and blow dry/ iron came to Rs. 4500. That's the standard price you'd pay at any of the top salons like Ramani's or KESS or Chagall. If you choose to go for a basic session with a junior stylist, it will cost you less, around Rs. 3000 or a bit more. From what I saw, hair colouring was a bit expensive, but they do also import their colours and products, and their colourists are internationally trained so perhaps it's well worth it. They also use their in-house brand, label.m, which is pretty high quality (I recommend the nourishing honey and oatmeal shampoo – smells delicious!).
The pedicures are again the standard Colombo salon price at Rs. 2500 to Rs.3000, and the waxing seemed reasonable to me, with a full body wax at about Rs. 4000 or a bit less. They also have a full selection of men's services, from hair and skin to waxing and scrubs.
Curls grow very slowly, so I'm generally pretty nervous about getting my hair cut, and end up cautiously slinking into a salon maybe twice a year. This time, I actually felt quite at ease, and left feeling great and a lot lighter (literally). For someone who doesn't really do a lot of beauty treatments (or any at all), Rs. 4500 seems a bit steep, but it's the same price I'd pay at any other nice place in the city.
A good, straightforward experience overall. It's not as loud or inconsistent as Ramani's, and not as quirky and familiar as KESS, but a strong contender for high quality service.