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When it’s time to find a grownup not groundbreaking haircut

— by Alyson Walsh

Photo: Claire Pepper

I used to be a haircut junkie – happy to spend hours in the chair at the Vidal Sassoon Academy being given crazy haircuts and colours every six weeks, says Harriet (Hat) Margolies. That morphed into a long standing (10-year plus) relationship with the first hairdresser I’d met who understood my hair and what made it look great. Who didn’t expect me to brush my curly hair (no thanks, too frizzy) and dry it (too fluffy); show me a volumising shampoo and I’ll run in the opposite direction. But times have changed – with one child and a job I could still trek across London to my trusted hair stylist, but by the time I was in my forties with two daughters, it was as much as I could manage to skulk to the local hairdresser and get my ‘bottle brush’ hair trimmed once a year.

The thing is – I have tricky hair – fine, wavy, frizzy and lots of it.  And a creative job, which means I have to meet people and impress them with my visual sense on a regular basis, but I don’t feel cool enough for trendy salons anymore.  And I have children who are rude about my hair when it looks shit.  When I looked in the mirror and saw Ross Noble staring back, it was the last straw. Something had to be done.

Photo: Ena Salon

When Alyson suggests accompanying her to Ena Salon for a haircut, I pretty much bite her hand off. The salon itself is relaxing and grown-up – no banging music, instead I’m offered good coffee and homemade biscuits. My stylist Gianna Poullou looks at my hair, listens to what I say about how I usually dry and style it (ie no hairdryer) and what’s frustrating me about it now (everything) and then after a lovely wash and head massage she cuts it. It’s a beautiful simple cut, designed to suit my hair and my low/no-maintenance regime and then she shows me how to style it myself. Turns out I’ve not been using enough product. What’s required is a two pence coin-sized amount per each side of the head – and to apply, gently scrunch the hair (I know, it’s not tacky and 1980s, it works) and then, LEAVE it alone. The products she uses are all from Davines, natural and with a light but very pleasing smell.

Haircut happiness. Photo: Claire Pepper

I leave the salon with a lovely wavy, shoulder length cut that makes the most of my natural hair texture. Even better, after a few days, when I wash and style it myself following Gianna’s instructions – it looks nearly as good as when I left the salon. After a few days, the curl drops into a more manageable wave. This haircut may not be as groundbreaking and edgy as some I‘ve had in the past but I can make it look good and it makes me feel good. I think I have found the holy grail of haircuts.

What to do with wavy hair in summer:

A good cut in summer helps the most. Gianna added a few shorter strands around my face that soften the look when my hair’s tied back. I tend to opt for a loose plait in summer – this means I can tie my hair up in the day and let it loose at night, when it’s cooler.

And here are some curly hair products I’ve tried:

 

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Hat was a guest of Ena Salon, 5 Great Queen Street, London WC2 (020 3 301 5451) or [email protected] Style note: wrap dress from a selection at Boden, sandals from Menage Modern Vintage. Hair & makeup by Louise Heywood. Louise does one-to-one makeup lessons in her south London studio for ‘women who like to keep it subtle’.

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I used to be a haircut junkie – happy to spend hours in the chair at the Vidal Sassoon Academy being given crazy haircuts and colours every six weeks, says Harriet (Hat) Margolies. That morphed …