I’ve been going to my local Francesco Group salon for well over a year now, and right from my very first visit to the salon I was impressed by their professionalism and friendliness. I’ll admit I’m not the easiest of salon clients to be honest, and in the past I’ve chopped and changed where I’ve gone a few times if I haven’t been really happy with the end result. The way I see it though, is if you’re going to spend a fair bit of money on something then you should expect to get a good result. And that’s exactly what I got from the Francesco Group during my first visit for highlights and a cut, and which is why I’m now a very loyal client to the group.
Back in July I was excited to get an email asking if I’d like to go and visit the Francesco Group Academy in Poole, which is essentially their HQ for training. I would receive a colour from the salon’s master colour expert Hannah, and my cut and finish would be done by Francesco Group’s Director of Hairdressing Mia Dellicompagni. I didn’t need asking twice and made a booking as soon as poss.
So at the beginning of August off I popped to Poole for my appointment. The academy salon is located on Poole High Street and is set across two floors. The ground floor being the salon and the first floor is the ‘academy’ side of the building where the training takes place, and comes complete with class rooms and management areas as well as a lovely staff room for the stylists.
I was greeted by a very friendly receptionist after which Hannah took me to a style station and we had a chat about my colour. I’ve been blonde for quite a while now and one of the hardest things I find with the maintenance of being a bottle blonde is keeping the colour fresh and free from the dreaded brass effect. (Natural brunettes reading this who have highlighted hair, you KNOW what I’m talking about!).
So after a consultation with Hannah about going for a slightly ashier blonde to combat the yellow brass tones, I had a chat with Mia about the cut. I don’t know why but I was a little bit intimidated at the thought of a Director of Hairdressing cut my hair. Obviously I was super excited, but weirdly nervous at having someone so qualified tend to my locks. Mia was absolutely lovely though and so, so down to earth.
Her passion and knowledge for all things hair-related was apparent instantly, and she had some amazing ideas for my hair which drew attention to things I hadn’t even thought about before. (Side Note: I’m not surprised that Mia is a south west finalist for Hairdresser of the Year 2017 at the British Hairdressing Awards later this year and wish her all the luck for the competition).
Hannah spent a decent amount of time tending to my roots and after the usual foil-wait of an hour or so under heat, I was happy to see a much fresher, ashier blonde. Now it was up to Mia to cut and finish as my current hairstyle was lacking in a little um, style.
Mia brought in some much-needed texture to the back and feathered around the sides to better frame the face. I haven’t had layers put in for quite some time now that my hair is shorter, but it does tend to suffer from going on the bushy side if I’m not careful, and so Mia added some very gentle, barely-there layers to thin things up a little.
I have been over the moon with the finished result, and even though my hair grows at a ridiculous rate in the summer and is already quite a bit longer than these photos, the quality of the cut is very much still there, along with my pesky roots…
I was so surprised after a tour of the salon and training area to be given a goody bag with a selection of products used on my hair during the visit. I wasn’t expecting that at all and am super grateful to have been gifted with so many lovely professional products from Wella. (The Oil Reflections on the left in the gold bottle is AMAZING for smoothing frizz and flyaways).
The thing that has always struck me about my local Francesco Group salon is the mix of relaxed familiarity and friendliness amongst the stylists, and the level of quality and professionalism in their work. They all really care about the hair that they are doing, and that shows in their personality and the finished result. It was exactly the same feeling I got when I visited the Francesco Group Poole Academy, if not even more so because that’s where the training happens. There is a very noticeable passion and pride within all the stylists I saw, and Mia’s dedication to her craft is a true credit to the Francesco Group.
Without meaning to end this sounding too corny, even I’M proud to be a client of Francesco Group, and am totally not surprised to see that they are an award-winning company. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Mia and the rest of the staff for their hospitality, and for making my visit such an enjoyable experience.
There are three academies in total including Poole, with the other two being Birmingham and Stafford, and almost forty salons up and down the country, so you’re sure to find one near you.
If you’re after a style or colour change and thinking of trying out a new salon, I honestly couldn’t recommend Francesco Group enough. And if you have visited a Francesco Group salon before, then let me know your thoughts – would love to hear from you!