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In the Chair - Real People Real Hair - Jessica

June 01, 2024

In the Chair - Real People Real Hair - Jessica

Car-crash haircuts and the lazy A-line.

When an industry gangs up on its customers to suit itself, it never ends well. Eventually the mis-selling and other scandals come to light, then the providers close ranks, obfuscate, and gaslight the customers into thinking they're in the wrong or they themselves are the problem. There is much in the news now, from the Post Office, to contaminated blood outrages.

In hairdressing, we don’t deal with life and death, but bad haircuts can be upsetting and alter the course of life. Remember, when the butterfly flaps its wings… And mostly, this generation of hairdressers don’t really understand the cutting errors they’re creating as it’s become the default method for 99% of the profession.

About 30 years ago a leading stylist excitedly told me of a new cutting method coming through the profession that reduced cutting times to fifteen minutes. No more of the painstaking crafting and sculpting that we’d learnt in our early years and developed much further since. I was not enticed. Efficiencies are good, but not if they reduce quality.

In hindsight, this was the starting gun for the destruction of the skilled craft of layering hair. A method for precise sculpting that the brightest stylists had been exploring and practising for the previous 40 years from the post war period. Hair salons were now moving into an era of industrialised bog-standard wet cutting on all hair types and styles.

So prevalent has this method become that hairdressers and clients now think a step in the shape is a layer. It isn’t, it’s a mistake. But nearly all long hairstyles have been reduced to two, three, or four stepped Bobs with the chunky steps shredded to try to disguise them, and then blowdried to hide the evidence. If not smoothed out, wavy or textured hair ends up looking like a triangle, pyramid or Christmas tree.

Jessica had this haircut when she arrived. It’s the most common corrective work I perform now. And because virtually all stylists outside our salon do this, most people don’t even realise it’s a mistake, and what they may think is their own bad hair is actually bad haircutting. 

1. The Haircut

The red lines show the three A-line Bobs stacked. The steps had been thinned out to disguise them leaving it wispy, brittle and frizzy looking. It had flattened and dulled the colour, draining the supple vibrant life-energy out of the hair. The weight distribution of the A-line also made the hair hang heavy and forward onto the face. But hey, it saved the last stylist time!

We wanted to keep the length, so the corrective work will take two to three haircuts while some of the gaps grow through, but we made a good start in giving Jessica a much more balanced shape which will style with much less effort. Using our signature Diamond Dry Cut™ method, I took a graduated outline and sculpted face-framing layers, then layered up from the base to shape the outline and provide connection to these long layers.  This balances the weight from front to back, so all the hair connects fluidly and moves as one.

2. Colour

Sculpting away the dull ends and balancing the layers revealed more tonal variation and improved Jessica’s colour enormously. Our talented colourist Bernadett then brought a brighter dimensional effect with high-lift tinted highlights.


3. Condition

Jessica is on a programme now to restore her natural hair quality that has suffered from poor cutting and colouring. Regular LifeSaver Prewash Treatments will protect and restore the natural quality of hair. These aren’t oil-based and you cannot overuse LifeSaver®. They feed, hydrate and strengthen hair without weighing it down and give vibrancy to all hair types.

4. Styling

Eureka Blowdry Balm is the best choice for styling Jessica’s hair. Just apply, comb and style, or not if you like the natural look. This award-winning product eliminates frizz and defines the waves whilst protecting the hair from UV and heat damage. The Cashmere Protein Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner also helps soften the hair and give shine. We used a little Thicker Quicker at the roots and a large round brush helped smooth the hair for an effortlessly groomed look. Once dried, we fed through a little Ten Second Transformation to define the layers, give texture and shine.

“Well – I was speechless - ✂️ 💎 ✨ hair transformation of my absolute dreams.”- Jessica


We used the LifeSaver ULTRA Pre-wash Treatment and washed with Cashmere Protein Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner.


We used the Eureka Blowdry Balm, Thicker Quicker Volumising Blowdry Spray, 10 Second Transformation and the Large Round Brush to style.

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 Michael Van Clarke

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