Cutting it

Photo: Emily Harding

A coveted competition win, a growing clientele, unique products, a super chic salon and a wealth of experience and talent in its team, it is no wonder Hidden Hair on Little Mount Sion is proving to be a cut above…


Hidden Hair salon opened exactly one year and wow, what a 12 months it has been for owners Jess Lindsay and Mario Failla.

Not only did the salon win this year’s prestigious L’Oreal Colour Trophy for the Southern Region, an amazing achievement after only being open for nine months and topping a shortlist of 20 other competing salons, Jess and Mario have been able to expand their team to five and have seen their client base grow rapidly.

They are also finalists in the New Salon of the Year category of this year’s Kent Health and Beauty awards. The award ceremony takes place at Ashford International Hotel on Friday October 13 and the team are keeping everything crossed!

The charming Hidden Hair salon opened in October 2022 and is located halfway up Little Mount Sion. It’s a beautiful space that feels light and airy and immediately welcoming as you step over its threshold.

When I paid them a visit recently, Jess told me that such a whirlwind year – which has also included the couple welcoming a new baby – has got them thinking about converting the second floor of their salon in order to expand further.

Priding itself on offering its clients the best cuts, colours and treatments Hidden Hair also stocks some really high-end products such as Shu Uemera in order to provide clients with the ultimate in luxury haircare.

I’ve come to the chic salon early one Saturday morning not only to talk about their successful first year in business, but to also experience first-hand one of Hidden Hair’s signature cuts. I am lucky to be in the capable hands of Jess who takes one look at my sorry looking locks and tells me that a good chop is what’s needed after months of letting my thinning hair grow and allowing the split ends to multiply.

“If you like the length then I am happy to cut it just a little, but I think the best thing in terms of getting your hair back into good condition – and also looking more flattering on you – is to chop it into a bob,” advises Jess.

“We are passionate about our clients achieving a better quality of hair,” she adds before ushering me over to the smart backwash – which boasts lovely views of this quaint part of Tunbridge Wells. Then Jess asks if I’d like the chair’s massage button switched on while she tips it back and cleanses my tresses.

“Oh yes please,” I swiftly respond settling back and immediately feeling relaxed.

Tempting as it is to drift off to sleep thanks to the unexpected added bonus of having a mini massage while at the salon, instead I keep awake and enjoy chatting to Jess about how well the business is going.

“There are now plans to renovate the upstairs so we can expand and offer more services,” says Jess.

Once I’m back at the cutting station I’m offered a coffee and then Jess starts examining the condition of my hair and giving me some very useful tips.

“With hair as fine as yours I’d suggest you don’t use a cream mask but spritz in a lightweight leave-in conditioner. That way it won’t weigh down your hair and leave it looking flat.”

The Hidden Hair salon is beautifully appointed with sleek minimal furniture, cool LED lit oversized round mirrors, wooden flooring and white shuttered windows ensuring privacy for its clients. Dyson hairdryers come as standard.

In addition to Jess and Mario, the Hidden Hair team also includes Grace, Bella and Catie who are all ‘passionate’ about what they do and very much enjoying being part of Hidden Hair’s journey.

“Grace is very passionate about all types of hairdressing, she loves a restyle and a colour change,” Jess tells me.

“Bella loves all the elements involved with styling and is involved in running our Instagram account, while Catie is so talented at putting hair up and creating the most incredible styles.”

In terms of her and Mario’s professional experience, Jess reveals they are both L’Oreal colour specialists: “Mario also used to teach cutting at the L’Oreal Academy and colour is definitely my thing.”

But after seeing how Jess has taken her time to cut my hair into a stylish, jaw length bob with longer layers to add movement and the illusion of volume, it’s clear she’s pretty gifted at cutting too.

Jess then sets to work blow drying and styling it – something I wish I had her skills to do myself! Once done, I have to say the transformation from frazzled to fabulous is impressive.

Hidden Hair has given me some lovely time out of a busy life in stylish and relaxing surroundings – and also provided some much-needed TLC for my tresses with some incredible products. With service and results as good as this you can see why it’s already hit the ground running in its first year. Here’s to its continued success for many more years to come…

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter