what’s the most you’ve ever needed a hair cut? the last month or so has to got to be the most for me. if i hung around outside a tube station for too long, i was worried people would start throwing small change at me. friends and flatmates had taken to politely sidestepping any questions relating to anything to do with me from the neck up. when i said “i SO need a haircut” in social situations, a silence would fall. i was tutting at myself in the mirror. how did it get like this? quite simply, i’m a hair monogamist. i’d been seeing the same hairdresser back in my hometown for going on six or seven years (she even invited me to her wedding. we’re tight.) then two things derailed my seemingly unshakeable loyalty to her. namely, i moved out of my home, and she decided to get pregnant. i took it as a sign; it was time to mix things up. where i wanted to go next, however, was a mystery. a chain? an independent? how much was too much? and how little means i’m likely to get a mullet? in the end, after speaking to some life long londoners, HOB salons were recommended to me. HOB is an academy as well as a salon, and they train a lot of their staff right from the ground up. i popped into their camden branch to get SOMETHING done about my mop (“at least an inch. we will have to take an inch off. when did you last get this cut?” - Luca, my new long-suffering hairdresser). just being somewhere new was difficult - i didn’t realise just how ingrained the practices of my old hairdresser were in my mind, and so when even the slightest thing was done differently - something as minor as sections up so the rest could be coloured - made me want to object. FYI, their method of hair tying up? i looked like a McQueen model circa the atlantis collection. but, the team were so warm and professional i soon relaxed, and began to enjoy what became a somewhat lengthly process. i spent the next two or so hours becoming progressively blonder until we reached the pre-agreed buttery shade (my colourist showed me a bunch of editorials, which we discussed - i’m rocking diane kruger, y’all). i really felt like i was being consulted - even when i said something that must have been blindingly obvious, they listened. when i requested weird things - and believe me, the way my fringe works is weird - they did everything they could to make sure i was happy with it. i’m kinda bias towards my stylist, as he comes from the neighbouring italian village to my family (us italians gotta stick together), but he did a really good job. i described, he listened. he suggested, i modified, and we soon began to agree. he asked a lot of questions about my hair and how i normally style it, so he could make an informed decision. they know their stuff! i loved the consultation with the magazines - it showed how fashion forward they were, and that they were clued up on hair trends. the fact that she weeded out certain looks from the magazine showed that she wouldn't sacrifice what actually suited me for a trend-let style. the salon is totally beautiful, too - big, airy and full of happy noise, like laughing and friendly chatter.
photo courtesy of reena rai. halo courtesy of my inner child.
my colourist, Chloe, and stylist, Luca both work in the Camden branch.