As autumn fast approaches, beauty contributor Reena Patel delves into the creative minds of the hottest hairdressers in London to achieve a fresh new do this coming season.
The Style to Rock: Marcel Waves
“Long hair has been around for way too long and I’m sure a shorter length look will be all the rage soon,” says James, my super-friendly stylist at Knightsbridge-based swish salon, Paul Edmonds. I couldn’t agree with his sentiment more and hope his prediction is right. Reason being, I desperately can’t wait to have a good hair cut. Sadly, that will have to wait for another time, as today I’m going in for a blow-dry.
Paul Edmond’s salon is utterly inviting. Opulent classic black panels and walls give it a cosy boutique feel and the beautiful scent of his two candles (inspired by his daughters) intently allures you into his wonderful world. His affable nature and warm smile goes miles to make you feel completely welcome.
Whilst lying in the most comfortable massage chair, my hair was nourished with a shuuemura shampoo, followed by the legendary Japanese make-up artist’s brand’s conditioning treatment.
“I’d like to try a different look on you today,” insisted James. I was happy to be at his complete mercy, especially as I always opt for a voluminous Hollywood/ Bollywood blow-dry with my unruly tresses. “How about a 1920s style look, with gentle, structured waves?” With my long mane, I’ve wanted to try this technique for a while, known originally as the marcel wave, and now was my chance.
James started with an immaculate blow-dry, saving the heat from further damaging my hair with a shuuemura protective oil. He then tonged each section and clipped the sections together to help them set in place. Apparently they used to heat set hair after applying lots of gel to keep the style in place but new gadget technology avoids all of that hassle. The result? A Vintage-like style with a bit of movement that looks effortless but highly glamorous.
The Cut and Colour:
My hair has been long for long enough. After a botch-up with balyage (a freestyle technique where sections of the hair are hand-painted with lighter shades to give a sun-kissed glow) and a dark bitter chocolate all over dye to help tone it back down to my natural base colour, my once healthy locks have been left looking dull, tired, lifeless, feeling straw-like and over-sensitised.
Finally, the day came when I got to visit Karine Jackson –an award-winning hair haven amidst the hustle and bustle of London’s Covent Garden.
It was here that I met the fabulous Arash – a charming and extremely talented stylist who, wait for it, performs BOTH cut and colour on clients. In fact, all the team under Karine Jackson’s wing are experts in both. A complete rarity in London, where stylists now seem to only specialise in one or the other, it was comforting to know that I was going to be hosted by one person for my whole hair changing experience.
Arash descriptively talked through cut and colour ideas with me during my consultation and then got to it. I was introduced to Organic Colour Systems – an incredibly results driven yet chemically gentle hair colour brand. I decided to go for an ashy dark blonde to create a rich, warm golden hazelnut tone. After a quick rinse and application of the pleasantly scented dye (no more nasty, toxic fumes – phewee!), I was left under the heat for half an hour.
Organic Colour Systems is extremely careful about what goes in, using natural alternatives where possible, including aloe vera, comfrey, orange and grapefruit. The colour doesn’t contain ammonia, allowing the hair to retain its natural moisture and protein balance. And they use the absolute lowest level of PPD’s possible (the ingredient that causes the most allergic reactions in people).
The colour is so gentle that Trevor Sorbie’s My New Hair initiative for patients recovering from cancer and wanting to colour their hair as it re-grows, are also recommending that clients can consider using this brand. It’s as effective as any other colour on the market across the full spectrum of colours, from blondes and and highlights to darks, reds and even blues.
Karine Jackson herself also gave me some insight: “There’s a huge trend for using Organic Colour Systems and it’s here to stay – over 90% of our clients have switched. The colour is free from ammonia, so smells great and you can achieve anything you could with any other colour, so why expose yourself to additional chemicals?”
I agree and my hair is now soft, shiny, healthier looking and lustrous. As it has been less exposed to harsh ingredients, hopefully it will stay that way. Suffice to say, I am a total convert.
Next, the big chop. Arash and I agreed on a sassy long bob to kill off all the straggly ends and achieve a fresh look this winter. I flicked through some glossy magazines but could hardly find inspiration amongst all the famous faces and models with flowing locks. Luckily, Arash knew exactly what to do and gave me a modernised blunt style that has kicked my long hair days to the kerb.
Please call 01590 613 490 for more info on Organic Colour Systems.