I’m what you might call a low maintenance kind of girl.

My husband moans at me occasionally about the lack of time I spend on my appearance, I am that girl in last nights make up and a pair of joggers on the Sunday morning paper run.

I know, I’m hanging my head in shame as we speak.

However, as I have long, thick and generally quite difficult to manage, hair, I do try and get to the hair salon  for a colour and tidy up once in a blue moon – it’s never been my favourite past time and I especially hate waiting around for a stylist to take care of four other clients whilst my colour is taking having been passed a handful of trashy magazines and an instant coffee and then pretty much abandoned for an hour.

I had been a regular client at Martin James Leeds, for a number of years before moving house and consequently changing salons. I returned as I had enjoyed a great relationship with both my stylist, Michael, and his partner – and the owner, Martin, previously, and I felt like my hair had started looking a little lack lustre so it was time to change it up again.

martin james leeds
My tatty blonde hair

I have had blonde hair for the best part of 20 years and both Martin and Michael are superb colourists, well known for their expertise in creating fabulous blondes. However, I had had enough of my look, I felt after so many years of blonde I wanted something new.

It might sound slightly dramatic, but from being a lifetime blonde to a very dark brunette was a rather nerve wracking decision for me. There is absolutely nobody else I would trust with my hair now, and especially with such a big personal change.

It was a fairly long process getting my heavily coloured hair from one extreme to the other but this salon is not like any other I have ever been to.

Martin James Leeds is  more like visiting a luxurious day spa – for your hair. The air is filled with the delicious

martin james leeds
Having my hair washed here is a spa treatment in itself

aroma of a lime and mandarin or peony blush, the music is always very subtle but enjoyable and the super luxe decor gives an opulent feel to the whole experience. Plus, you won’t find a Gold Blend within sniffing distance here! You can enjoy a ‘proper coffee’, an iced G&T or an indulgent glass of fizz (my favourite) as part of the selection of refreshments on offer.

My hair was first pre treated with a porosity equaliser – this is because after years of bleaching, my hair was very porous and for the new dark colour to have an even finish, this is necessary. After that, my hair was infilled with a copper-red pigment which would help to limit any fading and patchiness.  Finally, a rich chocolate brunette tint was applied to create the absolutely gorgeous end result, a glossy dark brown that I absolutely adore!

The whole process was probably around 3.5 hours and I enjoyed every minute! The ability to make you feel special, important

martin james leeds
Glossy brunette is my new look

and a million dollars, is a talent both Martin and Michael have crafted perfectly.

I must mention also, I always like to treat myself to a product or two from their range, the

martin James Leeds
I am all over these selfies!!

lavishness of this salon has always attracted the highest quality in product suppliers and I am particularly fond of the award winning Oribe range, a line of luxurious products gels that condition, oils that hold, sprays that don’t flake, skincare-grade shampoos that prep hair for styling and gently balance the scalp, masques that have the richness and body of a lavish moisturising cream.

Oribe Hair Care was the first to use a fine fragrance in its hair products and as I wafted out of the door and headed home I was grinning like a cheshire cat. I love the new colour so much, my friends will tell you, I have been Insta crazy for at least a fortnight making sure everybody gets an eyeful! What a boost for my lagging confidence!


I am now a loyal client at Martin James Leeds which is based on Otley Road in Leeds, and I actually look forward to having my hair done, a glass of fizz and bit of pampering, plus a good laugh with the boys!

Your best bet for arranging a consultation is to send them an email or leave your details on the answer machine – they don’t tend to answer calls when they have clients, we’re all too busy having fun!

Book your martin James experience today – tell them I sent you….

Words by Joanne Brook-Smith – You can find her here

 66 Otley Rd, Leeds LS6 4BA

 0113 289 9568




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