The last time I had a haircut I came out looking like a sheep/poodle cross breed. My familiar curl had somehow mutated into a tenacious frizz that seemed to agree with vertical gravity but alas, in the opposite direction. Which made my head look like one of those caricatures you see street artists draw of gullible tourists. Or as my Belgian friends might appreciate, Jommeke. I was still in high school then, and I cried for days. I remember sitting next to my mom in the car outside the salon, weeping inconsolable, petrified of the teenage aftermath. I wouldn’t feel like a normal girl again for at least six months.
So, to avoid such catastrophes in the future, I’ve never let any hair dresser touch my hair again, except Maria at Self Salon who’s been trimming the edges with the utmost care and precision for more than a decade. But, in the spirit of boredom, rebirth and the natural movement on the Spring/Summer runways, I decided to grow a pair and get chopped. It became a 3-step process, with a lot of back-and-forth texts and e-mails, screenshots, consulting, coaxing, and the help of this city’s most skilled and reputable hair magicians.
1. First I touched up my color. Lena Ott has been doing it for years, first at Ion Studio, then at her home in Brooklyn, and now at her own salon Suite Caroline. We usually do a full head of highlights. What I love about Lena is that she mixes three different tones of blonde, and uses the balayage technique, rather than foil. It’s more subtle and looks natural.
2. Then I cut the bangs. My friend Marki Shkreli was recently appointed Creative Director at John Barrett so I took up his offer to visit the new Bond Street location. I showed my designated stylist Francis a few reference pictures and made him aware of my childhood trauma. He got the message and was very gentle. He even scheduled a free follow-up consultation a couple of days later.
3. We finished with a Keratin Complex treatment. That was the part that scared me the most, because I wanted to keep some of my curl. Keratin is a protein naturally found in your hair, which depletes from physical or chemical damage. As your hair gets more porous, it becomes more brittle and frizzy and takes longer to dry. Keratin will eliminate all these issues by filling up the “potholes” in your hair. Most of the smoothing treatments will make your hair super soft and straight. And that’s where we had to be careful. Abraham came to my house and used Express Blowout. To keep my hair wavy, he kept the temperature of the iron on low heat (400 degrees). The treatment took about one hour. And I washed it out 24 hours later.
The result: I’ll let you be the judge.
Photography: Nabile Quenum / Edit + color: Natalie Joos
All vintage clothing available now at Tales of Vintage / Burgundy, checkered coat by N-Duo of Georgia.
Location: Monastery of the Cross in Mtskheta, Georgia, one hour outside of Tbilisi.