Erica Baddu once sang, “I am not my hair” and she’s quite right I’m not. It isn’t my voice or my ever stubborn personality traits. But much like the clothes I wear, it says something about me to those who don’t get to experience my killer wit and personality. *Ahem*
It communicates my inspiration, my style, what I believe in and a lot about the kind of person I am, without having to say a word. For around two years now I have been painfully unhappy with how it looks. When I started blogging my hair was a beautiful natural colour but I swiftly went to a fairly harsh ombre which I loved but soon grew out of wanting something more grown up for my impending graduation. I frantically booked in to whichever salon would take me which was Rush in Watford.
I was so excited to go back to a natural colour but unfortunately that wasn’t what I left with, instead I left with a burnt scalp, hair three different colours and a mouthful from a very rude “Head of The Rush Academy” needless to say I’ve never forgotten that awful experience. I wasn’t a hair dresser but I had to put this right, so I went to my nearest health food store and picked up some Natural Henna hair dye and my hair went black. After a year or so I started to notice the colour wasn’t fading and instead my hair had become clogged with deep purply red dye. Every time I attempted to have the colour lifted it just went bright red so ended up dying it back to black each time.
This went on for two years and I didn’t realise quite how badly it had effected my confidence.
Then a few weeks ago I received an invite to have my hair done at Neville Hair & beauty Salon in Belgravia, I got a huge rush of excitement and bombarded the PR Girl Naomi with a million questions
“Can they fix my hair?”
“How soon can they do it?”
I was a woman on the edge.
She was so helpful and I was booked in straight away. A week later I was on the train to London, I hadn’t eaten I was so nervous but I arrived on time for my 11am appointment. Upon arrival I sat in the chair and my hopes were squashed.
Who knew that henna is basically the worst and hardest dye to correct but Despina, the top colourist at Neville would do her best, promising I wouldn’t be left with red hair. She cleared her clients for the day and got to work on my hair with artistically painted balayage highlights followed by a gloss to correct my miss/matched roots and to tone the harsh bleach into a gorgeous toffee colour. As she washed off the colour, I think due to all of the nerves, excitement and lack of food I started to feel terribly unwell but I didn’t want to cause a scene, I felt so lucky to have them doing my hair that I tried to ride it out but as Naomi and I chatted I suddenly felt awful. Despina picked me up herself, not making a scene at all and discreetly walked me outside to the quaint cafe next door.
As I sipped on a full fat coke that Despina had grabbed for me I started to feel better and we went back inside. Nobody knew what happened and my embarrassment was kept to an absolute minimum I couldn’t have been more thankful for that. I’ve only ever had one panic attack in public, I was all alone in a Tesco petrol station and it was scary and horrible. But this was handled completely professionally, I was so grateful.
As I sat back in the chair Despina told me she wanted to do the entire process again and I trusted her completely, seeing how she painted on the highlights and gloss so intricately it made me feel at complete ease. She knew exactly what she was doing! Around 7 hours after I first walked in to the salon I was sat in Stephen’s chair, the top stylist at Neville. We agreed to let around 3 or 4 inches of my hair go with some layers through the front to hopefully pull my signature long hair into a more grown up style.
As he chopped away I listened to the way he spoke with such passion about what he does and it really was lovely. Maintaining passion for something that you do, day in day out is not easy but the entire salon, not just Despina and Stephen but the girls who washed my hair, the smiling receptionist and the PR company they all worked along side had this passion which you don’t come across often, if ever!
As my hair was blow dried to perfection, I genuinely started to cry. If I hadn’t embarrassed myself enough earlier, I certainly plopped the cherry on the cake here. I couldn’t believe what they had achieved, creating gorgeous golden balayage highlights throughout and eradicating all of the unnatural tones my hair was riddled with. It took a whopping 9 hours so I might put the tears down to tiredness but in reality I know it wasn’t. I was elated and so thankful.
Being truly thankful is something I always struggle to communicate but as I walked out of the salon I saw both Despina and Stephen high five each other and I knew that they understood exactly how happy they had made me.
Now I appreciate that in blogging we sometimes are given experiences and gifts from brands, and whilst some people think that means our opinion can be swayed or bought for a fee. I pride myself on the fact that my opinion is always my opinion and I can honestly say that if they had turned around to me and said that I had to pay £1000 for the service I’d received on Saturday I would have happily paid it. As far as I am concerned they achieved the unachievable, devoted their entire Saturday to me and didn’t moan about it once (even Naomi the PR girl, stayed the entire 9 hours with me).
I am going to be returning to see Despina for the final stage to my hair colour in about 4 weeks which I’m sure I will document also but for now I just want to say, just in case they didn’t get it from the thousands of times I said it that evening, the BIGGEST thank you to Despina, Naomi, Stephen, everyone at Neville and the lovely StevensPR team who aided in fixing my hair.
You simply cannot put a price on getting your confidence back.