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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Salon Review

Last Friday, I was lucky enough to be invited in for a cut and blow dry at HOB Salons, Camden. I'd been to the salon once before a few years ago for a reader makeover shoot but forgot what an achingly trendy salon it is. Think high ceilings and chrome finishes - it actually used to be a mock-up tube station, employed for health & safety reasons to test whether advertisements proved distracting and ultimately dangerous.
Flat and limp
I saw the lovely Sean Dawson, who first sat me down for a consultation. Now, normally consultations consist of a brief welcome and an obligatory, 'so what are we doing today?' At HOB, Sean wanted to get a real understanding of my hair type and lifestyle and began with what I liked and disliked about my hair. For the record, I like the fact it's thick but hate that, when wavy, it's a tad bushy. Sean also added it was a bit shapeless (so true) and that it lacked height at the crown (also true).

As per most salons, I was then taken to the basins for a wash and condition by the lovely Tiffani. But this was no ordinary salon wash. For a start, the base of the chair lifted so you could literally put your feet up. The washing technique was interesting. A lot of time was spent shampooing (probably why my hair has felt squeaky-clean for days then) and while conditioning, the hair is brushed with a Tangle Teezer (probably why my hair was knot-free post-wash). It was as close to a spa treatment as you're ever going to get - the post-condition scalp massage was simply dreamy.
3 days after cut and still bouncy
Unlike a famous hairdressing chain, of which I have been a customer for many years, Sean didn't start trimming the ends, but first focussed on adding definition and volume through layering. He parted my hair on a diagonal - apparently, a straight parting will cause the hair to be thicker on one side. Makes sense. Instead of hacking into my hair (like my last stylist), Sean was precise and minimal in his cutting. As he cut in the layers on the side of my head, he pulled the hair back towards him, meaning less was actually trimmed. The reason? This will leave a little more hair around the sides where you don't have as much hair - if you think about the back of your head, your hair grows below your ears, while round the sides it doesn't. Ah, another technique that just makes sense. The blow-dry was quick and bouncy-looking, without being too 'done'. I only wanted a modest trim as I'm trying to grow my hair and actually it even looks a little longer post-cut - 'that's because there's now height at the crown,' says Sean. It still looks thick at the base but the layers have added much-needed volume at the roots. It's the hair equivalent of a bias-cut dress - super flattering, tailored to fit exactly. Sx

HOB Salons have 20 branches, nationwide. If you want to book an appointment, please visit

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