Friday, 29 April 2011

My Vintage Hair Diary - Part 1: The Cut

It seems that recently all that's been popping up on my feed reader is stories of people getting their hair cut! Tasha's had a great cut, so has Land Girl 1980, and Gertie's now sporting a fabulous Bettie Page inspired fringe. Well my dear readers, I have to say I just got too jealous and decided to give myself a treat and go for the chop myself! You may remember in a previous post I mentioned my longing for vintage hair styling skills, so this post is going to be the first in a series as I try to teach myself how to achieve the perfect vintage 'do! What hair horrors may yet occur... Let's find out together!

To start, let's take a good look at my hair now. Now, when I was touring I wasn't allowed to cut my hair - I even had to sign a contract saying I wouldn't! - so my hair has just been growing and growing and growing for too long. To be honest it's so curly and thick and long that doing anything with it is physically exhausting, and that's just regular styling let alone trying to get a vintage look! Just look:

Hair, pre-cut - Front

Hair, pre-cut - Back

Now I love having curling hair, but it is difficult to tame, particular when it's this long! So off to the salon I must go. And I decided to really treat myself and pay a trip to The Painted Lady Salon in Shoreditch, home of Belinda Hay, the author of Style Me Vintage!

The Painted Lady, small and snazzy!

"The Painted Lady" is in a particularly fabulous part of London, just down the road from Brick Lane, tucked away between heaps of lovely vintage shops (which I must admit I did browse through on my way to the salon!). It is a very snug set up, the main salon floor has just enough room for three seats plus a seating area and reception desk, but it doesn't feel at all cramped, just cosy. Plus there is a lot more room towards the back of the salon - where you get your hair washed :) - and I'm pretty sure they have a nail salon in their basement, complete with the little fish that nibble your feet into pristine condition (does anyone else really want to try this but also have a fear of the fish chewing off their toes? No? Only me? Ok then...). All in all it's a great place, full of character and kitsch charm. And when I got there I was offered a glass of wine or a bottle of beer so I knew we were off to a good start :)

The salon's foxy friend :)

Now, I always get a little nervous before going to a new hair salon, because in most salon chains - don't get me started on my Tony and Guy experiences! - have no idea how to cut curly hair. I can't even tell you the amount of times I've left a salon with a less than perfect hair cut, having paid an extortionate amount of money to have someone style my hair in a way that would be perfect for straight locks, but looks awful with curls! So I must admit I was tentative when I walked into "The Painted Lady", but the minute I met my stylist I felt so much better!

My stylist, Izumi. She's a genius!

Izumi is amazing. You may have seen her featured as the model in some of the shots in "Style Me Vintage", and believe me in real life her style is just as awesome :) I would have to say that she's probably the best hair dresser I have ever visited. Firstly, she actually listened to me when I told her what I wanted. She understood how curly hair changes length not just by how short it is, but how heavy it is and the ways in which you style it. Secondly she checked things with me throughout the cut to make sure that I was getting what I wanted, a luxury that I've never experienced at any other salon! She cut my hair beautifully, and we had a lovely chat about Belinda's book and hair setting techniques, punctuated by other hair stylists and customers. Other conversation topics included Mad Men, swing music and vintage fashion - I was in heaven! Finally, after all our chatting, Izumi apologised that she didn't have time to properly set my hair - something that I hadn't even thought of asking for - and instead she blow dried my hair into pin up curls, painstakingly moulding each curl into the perfect place. My hair has literally never been so coifed in all my life! And she didn't even charge me extra for all the time she spent finishing my hair, just the price of a standard cut and finish. I literally left the salon walking on air, I felt so pampered and fancy, and I have never felt that way after visiting the hair dressers before. Usually I can't wait to get home and hop in the shower so I can restyle my hair the way I want to, but this time I was more than happy to leave it the way it was :) Just take a look:

Hair, post-cut - Front

Hair, post-cut - Back

I couldn't have been more thrilled with my vintage salon experience, I was made to feel like a princess and I spent the rest of my day on a high! You really can't go wrong if you visit "The Painted Lady" I can guarantee you'll leave with a spring in your step :)

I feel very Betty Draper-esque!

Or maybe I'm channeling Joan!

And there you have it, my first entry in my Vintage Hair Diary, and my first step towards perfect vintage hair! I'm hoping to try out some styles ASAP so stay tuned for more hair-themed posts very soon. Bye for now!


Kate said...

Love the haircut! It looks really good :)

Tilly said...

You look beautiful! Sounds like a lovely experience. I'm tempted to visit...

alexandra grecco said...

so so lovely, miss ; )


LandGirl1980 said...

LOVE IT!!! :)

Miss Katie said...

Thank you all so much! I must admit I'm loving the cut, and the sort-of-set has stayed in for nearly three days now :)

Hannah said...

Your hair looks gorgeous, much more manageable for pin curling!

Foodycat said...

Izumi cut my hair a few months ago too - she is awesome!

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