A night at Benjamin Ryan Hair and Beauty

The Great Western Arcade is one of Birmingham’s gems. A beautiful Victorian shopping arcade, Great Western houses some of the best independent stores in the City. Last week it was host to a special Christmas shopping evening, which saw the Arcade become alive with the sound of a festive choir, and treated customers to special discounts and late night openings at all stores. Benjamin Ryan Hair and Beauty welcomed bloggers and fashion folk for a glass of bubbly and nibbles, and a look around the wonderful salon.

DSCN5327Benjamin Ryan is one of Birmingham’s leading hair and beauty salons, offering a range of treatments that run from hair styling to Botox and Lipofirm. The salon itself was extended a couple of years ago and is a luxurious setting for the ultimate in pampering treats, with Decleor a key brand used in treatments. We were treated to glasses of bubbly and sweet and savoury festive treats with white iced cupcakes being a big favourite with the sweet toothed bloggers in attendance.


DSCN5316One of the highlights of the night was watching Style Birmingham’s Andrew Riley experiencing a wet shave with a cutthroat razor. This was useful as I got lots of tips and information to take home for the hubby, like how a hot towel applied to the face is perfect for drawing out the hair making it easier to remove. It was also interesting to hear how raised red spots on the skin can be caused by the removal of ingrowing hairs.


DSCN5313We were also treated to a tour around the salon by the lovely Claudia Matthews. Claudia was very knowledgable about the treatments offered at the salon and was able to  lots of questions we fired at her. The salon is a great mixture of luxury and relaxation, the frenetic energy of the busy hair salon is equally matched by the tranquil atmosphere of the treatment rooms.


DSCN5318For me, the most fascinating part of the night was the opportunity to watch Natasha from the salon receive a first course of Botox treatment. Benjamin Ryan offer a number of skin and facial aesthetic treatments administered by Dr CV Elliot. Despite being a little squeamish when it comes to needles, I was fascinated by how quick and painless the treatment was. It was also interesting to hear about how Botox can be used as a preventative measure rather than a cure, how it is now used on girls as young as 14 for medical issues, and that, contrary to popular belief, Botox does not have to mean losing all movement in your face.


DSCN5321There was just time for one last demonstration, this time with Jess Fitzpatrick from Scene magazine as the model. Jess was treated to a fab and fast hair treatment using chalk/crayoning which is just perfect for the party season.




Skin and Facial Aesthetic treatments
Skin and Facial Aesthetic treatments

Birmingham celebrates the Independents

As well as having a truly fabulous array of High Street names, Birmingham City Centre has a fabulous selection of independent stores that sell everything from clothes and shoes, to succulent sweeties and food. On Thursday night, as part of ‘retail independents week’,  The beautiful Great Western Arcade was transformed into an indoor garden for ‘Celebration of the Independents’, a fashion show and soiree, organised by Retail Birmingham, which showcased the best of Brum’s independent companies.

The Grade 2 listed shopping arcade, one of Birmingham’s treasures was transformed into an indoor secret garden with a green carpet, bunting and topiary, and living statues that provided surprises for one or two people. A luxury drinks reception of peach Bellinis, cupcakes and canapes went down a storm, showcasing the talents of the 90 day Cafe, Anderson and Hill, the Victoria restaurant, and Bitters ‘n’ twisted venues. There were also sweet treats provided by one of my favourite independents , Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe (how I love old school sweeties in paper bags!).

The show itself provided the 300 guests with a clear picture of the best fashion and beauty on offer in Birmingham’s independent gems. It featured some of the best independent fashion retailers in the city including Disorder, Breina, Autograph, Atoo, Aspecto, Prowler, Onu, Beadesaurus, Wysteria Lane, Silk Step, Sims Footwear, Sonique and Norton & Townsend. The fantastically dramatic hair styling was provided by award-winning Benjamin Ryan Hair & Beauty. The show featured scenes from the Mad Hatter’s tea party and Pimms on the lawn as it bought a real touch of summer to the second city.

With the High street struggling due to the recession, and independent stores facing more difficulties in a tough financial climate, this show was the perfect showcase for why  we really need to support the independents stores bringing something new and exciting to our towns and cities.


Benjamin Ryan’s amazing New Salon!

In this time of deep recession, many companies are feeling the pinch. So it’s really heartwarming to be able to write about a real Birmingham success story. The wonderful, award-winning Benjamin Ryan hair and beauty salon has recently moved into new premises that has quadrupled the size of its previous salon meaning they can offer a whole range of new services, from beauty to holistic treatments, as well as the q1award-winning hair styling.

The Salon is based in  Birmingham’s stunning Great Western Arcade, just a stone’s throw from the previous premises. The beautiful grade two listed arcade makes  a fantastic backdrop to the super-stylish new salon, with its luxurious hair salon framed with iconic black  and white portraits of Elvis and Marilyn, and the ultra decadent reception area,with chairs that look like they’re on loan from the Palace of Versailles.

Claudia Santillo, Operations Director for Benjamin Ryan Hair & Beauty says “The new salon is a dream come true for our Managing Directors Benjamin Matthews, Ryan Parsons and the team, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the salon represents our vision – creative colour and hairstyles that are individual but inspirational, holistic spa treatments to restore your well-being and inner calm, a warm welcome that comes from the heart of our team and a passion to create a luxurious and unique environment where you enjoy spending time with us so that we can make you look and feel your absolute best.”

So what can you expect if you book a visit to Benjamin Ryan? A creative team that can  boast of years of expertise, unique cutting techniques, highly skilled colour technicians and a genuine obsession for hair.  As well as adding an exclusive colour lounge/VIP area, you can also enjoy prescriptive SP Alchemy Treatments, Keratin Blow Dry and Hair Extensions. This is luxury pampering for your crowning  glory.

The expansion of the salon has seen the team strengthened and expanded with the appointment of a highly skilled beauty therapist Reena, who brings not only her professional expertise, but a unique soothing human touch and over four years’ experience with the exclusive Hotel du Vin Spa. On the holistic side, Jeanette Wakeman boasts over 16 years experience of working in the field of complementary therapies, offering Colonic hydrotherapy, Kinesiology, Hypno-Healing and Dowsing. Jeanette uses her vast knowledge and ‘down to earth’ approach to ensure clients feel relaxed and comfortable.

So whether you want your hair transformed this summer, need a St Tropez spray tan before your hols, fancy some Decleor spa treatments to invigorate mind, body or spirit, or just require a good pampering session, I suggest you check out the Benjamin Ryan Hair and Beauty Salon in the heart of Brum.

Benjamin Ryan Hair & Beauty, 28-29 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham B2 5HU. Tel: 0121 236 6600 www.benjaminryanhair.co.uk