Mermaid hair courtesy of L’Oreal Professionnel Hair Chalk

L'Oreal Hair Chalk

I first witnessed L’Oreal Professionnel Hair Chalk at London Fashion Week, when they created this mind-blowing look at Ashish. Although I was impressed by the results, I remained dubious as to whether they’d work on my hair – it’s always been too dark for any temporary colour to take, much as I might dream about it.

The other week, though, I was invited by L’Oreal to the lovely Daniel Galvin salon in Marylebone to trial Hair Chalk for myself – and trial it I did, getting chalked up in a major way. Like, more than anyone in the room. Like, crazy fangirl levels. I picked blue and green (t0 match my outfit, YOLO) and ended the night looking like a mermaid. The colour worked amazingly – amazingly vibrant, even on my dark red. I was so impressed, I even got my photo taken! And that never happens.

So what is Hair Chalk? It’s a liquid colour (think food dye consistency) which lasts up to three washes, designed for temporary transformations on any type of hair. In the salon, it comes with a sponge applicator so your colourist can paint it on, then blow-dry it in to ‘set’. The at-home version comes with tab-style applicators, which you blob the colour onto, fold over your hair, then pull through the ends – although I would definitely be tempted to get crafty with a paintbrush and do some more extravagant DIY.

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the brightness and visibility of these shades – even on black hair I’m certain you’d get a great result. The other surprise is just how normal it leaves your hair feeling. Much as I love some of the other temporary colour products out there, most have a slightly dry or dusty feel – which is fine when you’re doing a textured hair look, but not so great if you want something more polished. I couldn’t even feel anything in my hair once this was dried in, which I think would be a big selling point for those that aren’t as grungy as me and do, in fact, brush their hair more than once a week.

As a teenage Manic Panic addict, I adore Hair Chalk. The change is instant and it really does wash out easily – in fact, they did warn me it could be five washes with my hair being so porous (polite for ‘dry’), but it washed out in two goes with absolutely no trace. Maybe if you were blonde it’d last longer, but I can only imagine it would fade beautifully.

Pro tips: plait your hair and paint on at random for the feathery effect I have. You can only see one in that pic, but I had them throughout in Garden Party and Cruise.

Hair Chalk is salon only, as all good colour should be, and you can find your nearest stockist here. You can also get inspiration for techniques here!

This is Laundry: A super-cool Sheffield salon

Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield

I  was in Sheffield this weekend using up some annual leave, but being the dedicated journalist and hairdressing hound that I am, couldn’t resist the invitation to check out my home town’s latest salon; Laundry.

This stylish spot was opened a couple of weeks ago by the brains behind The Chimney House, which I haven’t had cause to visit yet but which is so beautiful that I’ve considered changing my opinion on marriage especially. Or perhaps just having a massive birthday party.

Being part of the Chimney House family, the salon is stupendously beautiful and full of cool and interesting things. Full disclaimer: I haven’t lived in Sheffield for years and maybe there are stylish salons like this everywhere. But I’m pretty sure there aren’t.

Co-owner Sally showed me around, and I tried really hard not to coo at everything like the fangirl I am – but look at it! Some highlights; flooring made from recycled school gym floors (hence the colourful court markings), amazing tiled counter, big butler sink, nice fresh meadow flowers throughout, massive comfy chairs, that awesome central concrete table rather than private styling stations, a gift-shop of cool fun stuff at the front. Oh, I just love it!

I didn’t have an appointment (roll on Christmas, when I definitely will book in) but the hairdressing side of things looks to be just as good as the OYMHGODIT’SBEAUTIFUL side. Heading things up is Mitchell Wilson; TONI&GUY trained and the man who brought their franchise to Sheffield in the first place. I saw good hair all round when I was nosying and, from a selfish point of view, was pleased to see they use Wella Professional colour as that’s what I get. And I’m clearly planning for the future.

After our look around, Sally took me next door to Tamper coffee; another cool new addition that has appeared in the last year. Tamper actually shares the same building as Laundry – a 19th century cutlery works (obv, this is Sheffield) which is Grade II listed and built around a sweet courtyard. I feel genuinely thrilled that my hometown has all this new cool stuff that I didn’t know about – it’s had the cool people long enough!

Prices for Laundry start at £25 and you can find them at 151 Sellers Wheel, Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU. Tamper is right next door!

[Pics via Laundry]

New York Fashion Week: Amazing hair at Jeremy Scott

The amazing Kris Atomic has already covered the hair at Jeremy Scott’s autumn/winter 2011 collection better than I could – complete with a spectacular illustration – but I wouldn’t be doing my duty as a hair journalist if I didn’t post a few pictures.

I mean, Snob is just the ideal finishing touch.

Pics from Dazed Digital!

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie

Last night I was invited to a screening of Vidal Sassoon The Movie, the upcoming biopic of arguably the world’s most famous hairdresser. The documentary spans Sassoon’s 60+ years in the industry, tracing his path from a London orphanage to international success, with a fair few adventures along the way. Following Michael Gordon, founder of Bumble and bumble, as he sets out to document Vidal’s life in an upcoming book, the film tells the story of how Sassoon revolutionised the world of hair.

And it’s really hard to coherently express just how Sassoon changed things. Like Mary Quant changed fashion with mini-skirts, like Steve Jobs changed technology with the iPod – he changed everything. Prior to Sassoon, women went to the salon once a week for a wash and set – that was that. You didn’t do your hair at home, you didn’t use hair products at home – you went to the salon for your weekly appointment, and your hair stayed in place for seven days.

Sassoon didn’t just change hair with his pioneering geometric, Bauhaus-inspired styles (although he did do that, and how); he changed how women wore their hair completely. His ‘wash and wear’ philosophy meant women could do their hair themselves, at home, and just go to the salon for their six-weekly trim. They were no longer slaves to the salon, and their new looks were loose, free, and easy to look after. He freed up their time, allowing them to get on with more important things. Like his buddy Mary Quant, Sassoon gave women a new lease of independence, and let a whole new generation of young people look and feel radically different to anything that had gone before.

He is the most inspirational hairdresser in the world, hands down, and his vast knowledge and passion for the subject is incredible – even now in his 80s. He is so enormously intelligent, it humbles you – architecture, philosophy, literature, music, science… he is enormously well-read, and passionate about learning. He’s also hugely political – growing up as Jew in East London he had first hand experience fighting Oswald Moseley as part of the 43 Group, and later served with the Israeli Defence Forces to fight the Arab-Israeli war.

The film will be on general release in May 2011, and even if you aren’t a hairdressing fangirl like me who loves all things Sassoon, there’s still plenty to take from it. If you have any interest in 1960s culture, it’s a doozy – the imagery above is just a teeny trailer-sized snippet of the feel of the film, and there’s plenty of great swinging sixties London footage to enjoy.

Here are some of my Sassoon favourites…

The world-famous, still relevant, incredible, scientific, mathematically complex, Five Point Sassoon cut. As modelled by Grace Coddington. Yes, Grace Coddington.

The fabulous Peggy Moffittwho still has this cut.

The famous Nancy Kwan cut. Almost better than this are the shots of the cut in action – she started the day with nearly 3′ of hair.

Sassoon cutting Mia Farrow’s hair for Rosemary’s Baby – hundreds of photographers came to watch, and they added a line in to the film where she says it’s a Sassoon cut. Check out the older lady in the back with her ‘oh no he di’n’t‘ face.

Oh, and here’s the trailer for Vidal Sassoon The Movie! Go see!

Beauty and the Beast: Lisa Shepherd London

Perks of the job: I spent Monday getting a bit of pampering at the delightful Lisa Shepherd salon in London. You probably know Lisa ‘Queen of Colour’ Shepherd from 10 Years Younger, where she transforms people with her magical hair skills.

Although hairdressing is a pretty female-friendly industry, the majority of  top names and ‘celebrity’ stylists are men, so it’s great to have Lisa as such a celebrated public figure. Along with the other Clynol dream team ladies – the fantastic Sharon Peake and lovely Tracey Devine – Lisa brings a friendly and knowledgeable female face to the frontline of the hair industry.

The London salon is Lisa’s first venture outside of the Midlands, and although I’ve written about the business side of the place since it opened at work, this was my first appointment.

I don’t really ever write about work stuff on here, but after my UHMAZING visit on Monday I felt compelled. Here’s why!

Mmm nice back wash. But nope, that’s not it.

Hey a DIY makeup counter so you can play dress-up after you get your new hurr did! Neato! But that’s not it…



Yep, aside from the A+ service, amazing blow-dry, conditioning colour treatment, lovely staff, and all-round CHILL atmosphere, my favourite thing about Lisa Shepherd is the client lounge.

What do I love so much about this little cuboid space of joy? So many things I’m making a bullet-pointed list;

  • Fully stocked library of magazines. I like to read trash at the salon, but it’s also nice to see serious fashion magazines and – praise be – men’s magazines. I’m sure lots of men like to read Heat when they get their hair done, but I think they’d probably also like the choice to read GQ Style or Vogue Hommes.
  • Help-yoself Smeg fridge of wonder. There’s nothing more fun than drinking wine in the middle of the day while you get a blow-dry, but it can be embarrassing to admit to it. With a self-service fridge of free booze (oh, and soft drinks), there’s no shame attached. You can also make hot drinks with the very snazzy coffee machine thing – I had an uncharacteristic hot chocolate (it was early) and it was pretty special.
  • Laptops! And not just laptops, MAC BOOKS!
  • But my number one thing in the Lisa Shepherd client lounge has to be… Steady yourself… The wide selection of phone chargers. OMG. Why so few salons do this blows my mind. I spend a good deal of my life in hairdressers up and down the country and across the globe, and the lack of phone chargers is boggling. They should be as readily available as a cup of tea. So many times I’ve asked for one, only to see some junior go and rummage through their overnight bag because they stayed at their boyfriend’s and they think they packed their charger… It’s a stupidly simple, amazingly obvious thing that all salons should do. But don’t. A+ Lisa.
  • They also have wifi, which is another thing that drives me mad when it’s not available.

Seriously though, Lisa Shepherd is an amazing salon, and the woman herself is an utter genius. She’s been responsible for some of my favourite hair images, and her beautiful salons are a testament to that.

Go see Jason for a blow-dry, and charge the shit out of your phone while you’re at it.

Beauty and the Beast: Moroccanoil vanity case

As anyone who has the misfortune to follow me on Twitter will be aware, the past week has been spent in a sleep-deprived stupor at Salon International, the hair and beauty exhibition which my company is behind. I went a little stir crazy in the confines of ExCel at times, no doubt hindered further by the lack of food, big shoes, and copious champagne which is a vital part of any trade show. It’s an amazing place though, and if you have any interest in hair and beauty you really owe it to yourself to be there in 2011. The biggest hairdressing names in the industry, trade products at trade prices (I bought so many hair donuts and rolls I need my own kit), tans and nails… it’s like heaven on earth.

Anyway, I’ve just about recovered – although my feet are still covered in an inch thick layer of dead skin – and the whole point of this post is to thank my pals at Moroccanoil for fixing me up with this enormous train/vanity case of goodies. SWEET. If you haven’t tried Moroccanoil yet, you must. Kristina introduced it to me last year, and it has been a vital part of my life ever since. Without straying too far in to advertorial territory, it is the shit. If your hair is thick, curly, dry, colour processed, relaxed, permed, or in any way knackered; oil will sort you out. And much like facial oil, don’t freak out that it’ll make your hair feel gross. All it does is make your barnet soft, shiny, and altogether rejuvenated. Like the virgin hair they use in extensions, but better. And not from a suspect source.

TIGI does Louise Goldin

Been at a hair do tonight – although I’m working on a fashion feature about the return of straight, I was ECSTATIC to see the Louise Goldin look recreated before my very eyes (above). Regular readers will be aware of my obsession for the Louise Goldin hair from last season – sulky teenager hair, all over one eye and slightly greasy on top. TIGI were the guys behind it, and spent tonight explaining how to get it. I took about 300 photos of the model’s hair and have been studying the lookbook since I got home.

But back to straight – I’m excited for its return. It’s time! Let’s do something new! I love Chloe-style waves and huge curls and big beehives – this isn’t new information. But when it comes to fashion looks, things need to change up seasonally. We’ve had about ten years of lovely bedhead curls, let’s do something different… The poker straight look they demonstrated (up top) was stunning in its simplicity, and I really, really hope this is one trend that makes the transition off the catwalks to the high street.

PS Sorry for the gloomy pics. I have better ones but they need to go through the work machine first.