The hunt for a decent hairdresser
If you’ve seen any photos of me you’ll know that I’ve got curly hair. When I was a child I had thick, dark, wiry, dry, curly hair. My mum didn’t have a clue what to do with it (having straight/wavy hair herself) so she used to take me to a local “at home” hairdresser who would cut it short, and then my mum would brush it for me every day.
As you can see the results are stunning:
I got older, I discovered hair salons and things didn’t get much better, although I did discover hair mousse and not to brush curly hair:
And so began the hunt to find a decent hairdresser who would know what to do with my hair. Bear in mind the photo above was taken in 1990 so GHD and straighteners just weren’t around.
I tried hairdresser’s near where my parents lived, I tried hairdresser’s in my university city, but never really found anyone who got my hair or how to tame it. I found a local hairdresser’s, near my parents, who cut it without it looking crazy but it wasn’t practical once I’d left home.
I carried on the hunt when I moved to France. I used to go 6 months without haircuts as I just couldn’t face the trauma of having my hair cut badly. Again.
For some reason 99% of the hairdresser’s I’ve gone to don’t seem to understand that curly hair springs back up when you cut it. A lot.
I’ve had my hair cut ridiculously short. I’ve had my hair cut with clippers. I’ve had a comb dragged through my hair by a hairdresser who was clearly having a bad day.
But still I continued my hunt.
I finally found an incredible hair salon in Nice, called Identity, which a French husband and a English wife run. But then I left the country and it was a bit far to go for a hair cut and colour. (If you live in the area I totally recommend them.)
I thought I’d found a good salon in London when we first moved here. It was near Oxford Street, so easy to get to from work. They had free wine, and chairs that gave you a back massage when you were having your hair washed.
But the hairdresser never seemed to want me to have long hair: I spent 2 years going there (I know, my bad for not changing sooner) and my hair didn’t grow 1mm as the hairdresser used to cut it each time, instead of just trimming the split ends as I begged her.
So when I stopped work to go on maternity leave it seemed the right time to look for a new hairdresser. But it’s so depressing trying to find a decent one. Everyone promises you they’ll be different and then they’re exactly the same. It’s such a hard decision to make as there is always the fear of walking out with half your hair chopped off!
Until my cousin (who also has curly hair and lives near me) told me about this amazing hairdresser. Who just so happens to have curly hair. Who just so happens to have a daughter with curly hair. Who just so happens to be the manager of the Headmasters hair salon in Balham, London, near where I live. Woohoo! Could I have found the holy grail of hair?
My cousin gave me a friend recommendation card to get me 50% off my first visit, so I decided to give her a shot.
Her name was Kim. She was lovely. She made me laugh. She understood my fears about my hair. She understood that having kids had wrecked my hair and my curls. She understood my need to hide the ever-increasing grey hairs.
She cut and coloured my hair.
It was gorgeous. I could stop my quest to find a decent hairdresser.
That was over a year ago and I’ve not looked back since.
Let me give you an idea of the mastery Kim performs.
Here I am the morning of my last hair cut and roots touch-up with Kim at Headmasters, I think we can safely say she had her work cut out for her:
And here is the magic that Kim managed to work in less than 2 hours. I kept singing that song from the old advert “looks like she just stepped out of a salon”….
And a close up of my “After” picture:
The beauty of what Kim does is that it lasts, I know my before picture doesn’t look great, but it was nearly 3 months since my previous cut and colour, and so could have been so much worse.
So how did my hair fare once I’d slept on it? This photo is taken from the next day. I did nothing to my hair other than run my fingers through it, and put a tiny bit of serum on it for the flyaway post-baby hairs. I have to say I was, as always, very impressed.
Then the other key question is how about when I have to wash it and style it curly again? How does it look then? I had to have my photo taken for something to do with our Franglaise Cooking blog a week later, so this is my hair, curly again 6 days on from seeing Kim:
I really can recommend Kim, and Headmasters for anyone looking for a decent hairdresser, especially if you have curly hair.
The other thing I love is that Kim also cuts children’s hair, so for my curly-locks daughter, L, this is great too, and whenever we go there Kim makes a massive fuss out of her, so L LOVES it!
Headmasters is also baby-friendly, which is priceless when your hair is looking desperate and you’ve got no one to look after your little one. Kim even ended up multi-tasking one time – cutting my hair, whilst rocking/pushing C’s buggy with her foot when she started crying.
Now that I’ve gushed on and on about Kim and Headmasters, here are some facts for you:
- Headmasters have lots of branches, mostly in London and the southeast.
- They have various cheap deals:
Monday – Friday from 9am to 4pm it is 25% off any hair service.
On Mondays you can get a full head of foils, cut and blow dry for £99.
If you would like to try them out you can get 50% off when you mention this Franglaise Mummy blog post – contact details are below.
- Get your children’s hair done at the same time as yours – L comes with me and has hers done while I’m waiting for my colour to take, and we have a lovely mummy/daughter moment together. The rates for children are:
0-10 years old £11
11-15 years old girls £20
11-15 years old boys £15
There may not be free wine or back massage chairs, but the quality of service and hair-styling more than makes up for that. Also Kim tells me that Headmasters is getting back massage chairs very soon 🙂
Disclosure: I have been going to Kim at Headmasters in Balham for my hair cut and colour for over a year now, she kindly offered me a free haircut and colour in exchange for this honest review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.