The Knackered Chef visits Boki's Hair salon
I think it would be fair to say that hair dressing is a far out of my comfort zone as it gets and by contrast as chalk is to cheese this is miles apart however community is community and one just can’t forget that Herne hill consists of a vast array of mixed businesses.
I must walk past Boki’s at least twice a day, in fact when I introduced myself to him he said “ yes it’s you I see you all the time”. I’m offered a drink and in a relaxed style we stand and talk at the reception counter, He and his wife have been in the area running his business for almost twenty one years which rather takes me back a little if I’m honest although having lived close by for the last twenty something years myself I wasn’t aware that he’d been trading as long as he had. I ask him “how’s business then” smiling he says it’s like everywhere it’s a little difficult, up and down. He’s suffering from the increase in rentals and house prices, while you sit reading this you must wonder how that could be, it’s quite simple, some of his customers are moving away from London some for a quieter life and some just because it’s ridiculously expensive to live around this area, I tend to agree rentals for a modest two bedroom flat are around £1700 and an average sized house is nudging one million in this area or at least they are in some places. Two professionals on an average salary would struggle after paying bills and taxes etc. It leaves little or no expendable income so things like haircuts essential as they are become a luxury treat. You don’t have to have a masters in economics however if your client base of say 10 decide that they will tighten the purse strings and defer their regular trip to the hair dresser by two weeks you start to lose business, you still have the same clients but you’re twenty percent down. Essentially you have to find two more customers to cover the loss, similar if the same applies to those who moved out of the area and this is where like many businesses he suffers.
All businesses have running costs in the world of fashion you have to stay current and the mind boggles when he tells me the money that he has spent updating and refurbishing his business. A work station cost almost two and a half thousand pounds and that’s without the tools that accompany it, and let’s face it you can’t work in the dark with a hair dryer.
He’s a great one for community spirit and I’m shown artwork commissioned by a local artist, Banksy or someone like that, I didn’t catch his name. I ask him about the changes he has seen recently and he’s slightly saddened like most, it hard to keep moral high when shops are being closed and landlords are enforcing higher than average rent increases, he finds it tough to be positive and I don’t blame him. He feels that some of the wonderful community spirit is leaving Herne Hill.
I speak to one of his customers I ask him how long they have been using the salon surprisingly he tells me that believe it or not I have been coming here for almost fifteen years, that’s great I say, he really must be good at his job then. This customer moved out of the area almost ten years ago, I see that as a sign of true customer loyalty it’s very rare to find in this day and age. It’s hardly suprising though the mood is light and everyone smiles, it’s a great family business and his wife is there to lend a helping hand, it’s clean and well thought out in the salon. Space is well managed so much so that he has a child friendly area for those parents that find it hard to find the time to get that trip to the hair dressers fitted into a busy modern day life, everything is very well priced and haircuts are very reasonable, you might be lucky and take advantage of some of his midweek offers as and when they come along.
Good salons like this are few and far between, Boki and his team work extremely hard to bring a great service to the area and have done so for over twenty years, that’s worthy of support, best of all he might even offer you a glass of wine while you wait for that all important hair cut for the job interview or maybe you just feel like treating yourself. Either way as salons in the area go he’s right there and always happy to help. Service is spot on it doesn’t break the bank and what more can you ask for your facing Brockwell Park one of the nicest park in London. “Why travel into town for an overpriced haircut when Boki’s is on your doorstep” Julian Ovenden
Most evenings he’s open until 9pm so if you’re one of those people like myself who work rather long hours then that’s great he can fit you in.
Go on what are you waiting for get your Hair done at Boki's
61 Norwood Road,