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Wednesday 21 March 2012

Happy Birthday Red Hair and How To Get A Cheap & Chic Hairdo in London

This month I'm celebrating 4 years of being a Redhead. During that time, and infact every week, I still get asked the same questions:
1. Why do you have red hair?
2. How do you do it?
3. Doesn't it cost lots of money?
Well I'm about to answer all three questions. Starting in reverse order:
A cut and colour at a regular hairdressing salon in London will set you back £70+ - if you're heading to a 5 star salon like Toni&Guy, you're looking at £100+.....BUT there are ways to avoid these fees, by giving up 3-4 hours of your time and becoming a hairdressing model - which is what I've been doing for the last decade.
If you're a Londoner, or passing through, you may have stumbled cross this sign on New Oxford Street. Well I can confirm, it's completely genuine, is a very friendly service and worth a try. You normally need to book a week or two in advance but no more, so it's perfect for people who are holidaying in London, as much as it is for locals like myself.
You can have a cut, colour or both and prices range from £5-20 but sometimes they do promotions or check out Gumtree as some of the students often place adverts up there.
So what actually happens? There are two categories : firstly you may be the model for one of the students completing a course at the academy or secondly you will be a demo model where you get your hair done by one of the tutors who teach at the academy who are all Creative Directors - if you model for them, it's free and that's what I do!
Lovely Fabrice who works at the Covent Garden branch has been cutting my hair for about three years while the colour until the end of last year was done by Lindsay Ashton, but she recently moved to the Manchester Academy so I've had some different colour experts dyeing my hair since then - all have been fab! If you demo model you get your hair done on a stage with a small audience, otherwise you'll have a more regular experience of just you and your stylist, but don't worry their work is assessed and over seen by a tutor so you will get the same professional level of service. And you do get a say in the final look.
Demo models get prepped 'backstage. These are the sinks; usually there are three or four demo models at a time.
Here's a sneaky peak at the colour cupboard...so many dyes, not enough time to try them all!
And here's the shoe rack, mainly made up of super high Kurt Geiger heels - if you're a demo modelling you get a full T&G makeover with clothes and shoes to wear!
And here's the stage, see it's not so scary....though I admit I have completely forgotten what a traditional hairdressing experience is like. I'm used to there being people watching me rather than looking in a mirror, infact I can't see the progress at all. I tend to on stage with one look and leave with a whole new style.
The lovely pots of red dye about to go in my hair. Although I tend to keep a whole red head, there are details within it - different shades, often hints of purple or pink.
After the colour it's time to leave the stage and get the heat on for the colour to speed up. It's then washed before returning to the stage to get it cut.
And yes it's one of the rare times I wear black...it's the T&G way, but it's only for a few hours and in exchange I get an amazing brand new hairdo every 8 weeks ....so now you know my secret and why my hair always seems to look different....and it doesn't cost me a penny - yay! But I should admit, although I've mainly been a red head, there have been couple of experimental phases:

There was my brief lilac fling...
and the time I got the Blues.....which I regret not keeping for longer, I loved it!
But alas, I was born to be a redhead (answer to question 1) and that's how I intend to stay for a long time yet!! (There is also the fact my heroine and the girl I aspire to be: Bat Girl has red hair too........)
If anyone out there is contemplating going red or has any questions about getting a cut and/or colour at the T&G Academy then get in touch and I'll do my best to answer. It really is quite an experience and I highly recommend it to someone who wants a good quality haircut, doesn't have the money but can spare the time (you're looking at least 1/2 a day off work.) If you make an appointment it will be with a student, you may become a demo model on the day if the tutor needs one at the last minute, otherwise, most use the same models. When I started, I had my hair cut by students until one day a tutor cut my hair and I stuck with him, mainly because just like your regular hairdresser, he now totally understands my look, face shape etc which means I never have bad hairs days (touch wood.)

The Toni&Guy London Academy needs models Monday-Friday, appointments are normally 10am and 2pm and take about 3 hours. To book, call 0207 836 0606 or visit the branch in person at 71-75 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1DG. There is also a Manchester branch and others around the world.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty good post. I found your website perfect for my needs. Thanks for sharing the great ideas. Wow, that was pretty interesting. Inspiring, as well. Thanks for sharing such inspiring experience with us. Great blog, congrats!