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March 18, 2020
In this series of blogs, we look at the common mistakes hairdressers make, and how to get the best out of your hair. Like many people, Georgina thought she had bad hair. Flat and lifeless around her face. Frizzy and tangled at the ends. It snagged and pulled when brushing. Her hair always fell heavy and lank, swamping her features. She just couldn’t seem to do anything with it. Georgina changed hairdressers many times over the years. They each cut a bog-standard long Bob, and she always had the same problems.
So disappointedly, she spent most of the time with her hair scraped back in a ponytail. But Georgina never had bad hair. Just a succession of bad haircuts.
She actually has beautiful hair that most people would envy. Cut and treated properly it comes alive with movement shine and vibrancy.
Georgina’s hair before, was cut square at the back and longer at the front. It’s called the A-Line Bob in hairdressing parlance and the first haircut a student is taught because it’s so basic. Unfortunately, most hairdressers don’t evolve their cutting skills beyond this.
It’s a totally inappropriate base line for hairstyles much past the shoulders but hairdressers are addicted to it because it takes little skill and about ten minutes to do. They then disguise the finish with styling. In fact, I’ve taught curious adults to do this haircut with no previous hairdressing training in a few hours. This lazy A-Line haircut is sadly prevalent on long hair, and 99% of new clients coming to me have suffered this lame cutting effort. Read...The Lazy A-Line
The A-Line Bob on long textured hair makes it hang flat in a pyramid shape with too much hair around the shoulders and a wide squat effect. It encourages the hair to fall forward over the face, and to look dry and frizzy.
In fact, half the frizziness people battle with is the result of bad haircuts; poor choices of outline and poor layering. Much of the rest is caused by the majority of de-frizz serums and oils on the market which actually dry the hair out long term so you end up buying more of their de-frizzing products just to get you through today. Read...Why Silicone is Bad for your Hair?
Correcting Georgina’s hair didn’t mean taking any length from the back. It just needed a better choice of outline and properly balanced layers. Sadly, most hairdressers don’t know how to layer properly. If you have any texture in your hair and want a shape that works, you have to have precisely connected layers. Particularly with long hair, so it can move fluidly and give off the vibrancy, bounce and sexual energy that makes it so alluring.
As the foundation, the outline is so important and for long hair the longest part should be at the back, not the front. I graduated the outline to chin length at the front. Precise layering then balanced out the weight between the back, sides and front to give lift, interest and shape to the look. A little point cutting, to soften and blend, gave a more natural effect.
With the haircut now corrected, Georgina can wear it in so many styles: forward, back, sleek and neat, wavy and voluminous. The haircut quietly does its work and lets the beauty of the hair shine through. Home styling is easy for Georgina now.
I now see Georgina’s radiant smile and the hair plays a supporting role. Before, I struggled to see Georgina because the frizzy leaden hair jarred, distracted, and irritated. But maybe that’s just me.
At the end of a haircut I like to run my hands through and let it fall in different ways. I can then see how it behaves under pressure and how easily it wants to fall back into style. This test can highlight imperfections in the balance of weight, which helps me in fine-tuning the haircut.
“It’s fantastic. My hair certainly has a new lease of life. It’s lighter, easier to maintain and everyone is noticing.” - Georgina For Georgina’s hair we used LifeSaver Prewash Treatment to rehydrate, then Cashmere Protein Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner. A little Thicker Quicker blowdry spray and Volumising Mousse helped give body and control. We used the Large Round Brush to style. Then finally a little Ten Second Transformation to feed and smooth the hair giving a little shine and texture too.
Michael Van Clarke
April 16, 2021
This transformation was for a Daily Mail makeover article. It was published as part of a three page spread on the Monday 12th, our first open day after lockdown.
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