It seems almost incredulous saying the words out loud, that for the first time I had my hair cut in five whole years. Think I am joking? Well think again, as someone who has had a series of traumatic incidents at the hairdressers ( a certain pageboy hair cut comes to mind) it is little wonder that the idea of having my hair cut again would fill me with anything but horror and fear. You see the last time I had got my hair cut was in Madeira, my parents home country, where I was coerced into getting my hair cut, despite the fact I was adamant I did not want my hair to ‘be short’ when my hair was almost down to my backside. Needless to say I was horrified to see one side of my hair was longer than the other, while my hair was now ‘bob’ length and far shorter than I would have liked. So over the years my fear of going back to the hairdressers was still firmly in place and when my aunty would ask me when I was ‘going to sort my split ends out’ I would keep telling her ‘it would be soon’ except of course the years rolled on and I still wasn’t open to getting my hair cut again. There were other incidents growing up, where I would have my hair cut short and people would ‘bully me for looking like a boy’ so naturally my fear of ‘short hair’ was rooted in incidents that had defined by childhood.
Learning to let go of that ‘fear’ was a tough obstacle to overcome but I was filled with adrenaline as finally I put my name down to have my haircut at Zoology Hair Wanstead, an ward winning salon in East London. Zoology not only put my mind at ease by reassuring me that they would not ‘cut my hair short’ but more importantly stated that all their ‘Kelvin Murphy’ hair products are cruelty free, do not test on animals and are even vegan, designed to deliver performance , longevity and sustainability. Knowing that Zoology is as committed to protecting animals and the environment as I am was enough to convince me that this ‘members salon’ would be the perfect choice to help me overcome my fear of haircuts but being told that Zoology was also part of the coveted ‘Good Salon Guide 2018′ list was the cherry on top of a very delicious imaginary cherry ‘sundae’. With a list of over 2,000 highly acclaimed salons in the UK, I was told that Zoology had ‘made the cut’ so to speak as they were awarded with Good Salon Guide’s ‘Colour Expert’ status in 2017, allowing them to open the ‘Zoology Colour Lab’ next door, an intimate salon that is dedicated to producing the best colour coverage results that you could possibly ask for.
Furthermore, unlike other salons that I had researched, the team’s ‘hands on’ approach to the ‘science of a haircut’ meant that no matter how trivial my questions might have been, there was always someone on board to answer my hair related inquiries and also kindly humored my request to see their ‘cruelty free certification’ so that I could be sure that the salon was as protective of animals as I was, which as a vegetarian and cruelty free blogger, is intrinsic to who I am as a person. To begin with, I was given a very quick ‘skin test’ to ensure that I would not have an allergic reaction to the products that would be used in my hair, while ‘C’ and ‘P’ took note of my ‘hair requirements’ where I specified I did not want my hair to be ‘dyed’ but that I did want treatment that could enable me to ‘tame my curls and frizz’ but also have more manageable, shiny, split-end free hair, which was duly noted. A week later, the big day had arrived and while a delicious Indian restaurant date with my friend awaited my greedy return in the evening, I was ready to put my prejudices aside and allow the hairdresser to work her magic through my wildbeast of a mane.
Despite my train having been delayed, the hairdressing team were very understanding and I did not have to wait for long before I was ushered to my seat, by trainee hairdresser ‘J’ who I ended up having a passionate discussion with about Ru Paul and my ‘hair stylist’ for the day, ‘A’ whose stories of her sweet young son, put a big smile on my face. Welcomed with hot chocolate and chocolate biscuits, I sank into the chair and closed my eyes, as ‘A’ combed through my hair and measured how much she would ‘need to cut’ in order to leave me with healthy, split end free hair, which actually turned out to be less than I had expected, a welcome relief as you can imagine . After removing the knots and washing my hair, ‘A’ coated my hair with ‘semi permanent gloss’ which brought out the natural highlights in my hair, without me needing to resort to ‘dying my hair’ because lets face it, no fuss-lazy hair care is what I am all about. The semi-permanent gloss brought out the rich copper and russet tones in my hair, while the gloss aspect of the treatment made my hair ‘less frizzy’ and also appeared to be more smoother than usual. Because I did not want ‘block coverage’ the semi-permanence would mean that it would ‘wash out in 4-5 washes’ which would be ideal if I was not happy with the gloss treatment I had received. But luckily I did so there were no qualms there!
To ‘cleanse and rinse’ the scalp once the semi gloss treatment had been combed through the hair, a ‘balancing shampoo’ was massaged into my scalp and roots, which was meant to be specifically tailored to ‘oily yet dry hair’ like mine which needed to hydrate and replenish moisture in the roots but on the other hand, reduce the oils in the scalp, so that my hair would become less greasy and I wouldn’t have to wash my hair as often as I did. Once the shampoo was rinsed out of my hair, ‘Angel Rinse’ was applied liberally throughout my wet hair, used as a colour protection treatment would ‘lock in’ the semi permanent gloss that had been used in my hair and ensure that even after the gloss had faded, I would still have more manageable and lustrous hair. Furthermore the ‘Angel Rinse’, despite being tailored to ‘fine and dry hair’ when mine was most definitely ‘thick, dry and oily’ did make my hair feel softer and less harsh and brittle, which might have been due to the Angelica Root which controls stressed out hair like mine. ‘A’ then used ‘Untangled’ to comb through my hair, a strengthening and de-tangling leave in conditioner designed to help re-hydrate and soften the hair.
Untangled smelled glorious, a wonderful blend of Australian fruit extracts, smoothing the follicles, making it ideal for thick, curly and unruly hair types like my own. Plus the Kevin Murphy classic, also has added heat protection, which is perfect for those who chemically straighten their hair or use a lot of ‘heat products’ and has no parabens, making it a chemical free detangler that has no nasties for your hair. But it was the next stage in my ‘hair care’ package at Zoology that filled me with tredeptation, as ‘A’ cut through my hair with precision and speed, vowing not to look at the floor where my old hair that lain. Truthfully though, while it was shorter than it had been pre-haircut, there was barely a visible difference made clear by my aunty who asked me ‘if I had actually got my hair cut’, although when she inspected my hair for split ends, she agreed it was definitely healthier than before! Once my split ends had been removed, ‘Full Again’ and Anti-Gravity was applied to my hair, before styling for thickness and volume in a much needed blowdry session. Full Again helped to make my hair feel smoother and stronger with tiny water-soluble rayon fibres, while the essential oil blend of essential oils of elemi, amyris and sandalwood intermixed with beeswax sealed in moisture and protected the hair from heat damage.
Knowing that my hair was also prone to ‘fly-aways’ and ‘greasiness’, Anti-Gravity (an oil free volumizer and texturizer) added control to my ‘fly aways’ with an oil free shine, while the balancing action of the Lavandula Angustifolia helped regulate the the production of oil from the sebaceous gland situated at the side of each follicle, which is helpful in cases of dry or oily hair like my own. Once the treatments had been applied and my blowdry had commenced, to finish ‘A’ used ‘Doo Over’ which is a dry powder finishing spray with holding power from Kevin Murphy, designed to give ‘body and volume to hair ‘ while still allowing the freedom of movement. You might be wondering how a ‘hair product’ can provide volume without allowing your curls to drop, which is in thanks to a miracle ingredient called ‘Tapioca starch’ giving body and form to hair for effortless styles that last whilst also absorbing excess oil. The ‘hair makeover’ was now over and as I looked into the mirror I was quite satisfied. It took me a while to get used to the ‘shorter hair length’ and my hair was still a ‘little wonky’ with one side of hair longer than the other, but the hair stylist explained this was so I could have ‘regular trims’ until eventually both sides of hair would be the same length. My hair was definitely softer, less frizzier than usual and I could see the semi-gloss treatment had made my hair shinier too, which lasted at least two weeks, which was longer than expected.
Overall I had a pleasurable experience at Zoology hair salon and thought that not only were the staff kind, informative and willing to answer any questions that I had but also provided a high quality treatment that made me feel like I was worth a million dollars. The aftercare treatment was superb and the team were quick to send over any information about hair care products and their benefits my way, so that I knew exactly what each product that they had used on my hair was for and why it was specifically tailored to my thick, curly and frizzy hair. And you will be pleased to note that for a few days after my treatment, I wore my hair down for once, and was surprised at how many compliments I had received, which told me that I should wear my hair down more often. Plus the fact that the salon was one stop away from my house in East London meant that the salon was conveniently located to attend to my every ‘hair related needs’. Now I know where I will be going next time I need my ‘hair cut’ or need my hair styled for an important function, and even better they have even convinced me into using Kevin Murphy products on my hair at home, because I was so pleased with the results I had in the salon!
When Was The Last Time That You Went To The Hairdressers?
Please note I was given a complimentary haircut and blowdry in exchange for this post but all thoughts are my own. Please note that these images have been taken a while after my treatment, but those who follow me on Instagram would have seen my hair as it was styled on the day. This post is in conjunction with Good Salon Guide and Zoology Wanstead.