I have a secret to tell you. I haven’t been to a hairdresser in about 7 years and what most people would be too embarrassed to add is, that I haven’t had a trim in all that time either! Basically, I have never really been convinced that trimming made your hair grow, or made it healthier, except if you are rolling with a spray of dead ends that look like the end of a toilet brush. But I have been starting to feel a little guilty about it. Maybe I was depriving my hair, and the magical touch of an experts hands would do it some good. And I'm gonna be honest, I needed that good-good scalp massage!
Anyway, I finally said "yes" and find myself booked in at Shoreditch based hair and beauty salon 3thirty with Tiff. I've heard good reviews about her from other Naturalistas, so I felt a bit more at ease.
When I arrived at the hairdressers the atmosphere was calm with a cool playlist on and a woman getting some magnificent braids done in one of the chairs. Tiff, settled me in and sat me down and then we talked through what we would do and the products she would use. I chose to go for the deep moisture treatment, and from the off was pretty adamant I wouldn't be having a trim. I hadn't spent this many years avoiding scissor happy stylists that when you say a trim it equates to, "let me just cut off what I want", to have my 'fro messed with.
The fact that I'm natural and took myself through that process, means that I haven't built a new relationship up with a stylist yet and my experience with hairdressers tells me that this is something to be done cautiously. I know I'm not alone when I say that I was with my last hair dresser for over 10 years! I like to know my hair is in safe hands and after getting to know my hair in its natural state all over again, it feels even more important.
We got chatting the way a stylist and client do and I felt like I'd been going to her for ages. There was something about Tiff that made me feel comfortable and trust her and in the relatively short time we had been speaking, she had played with my hair, felt the thickness, the depth, the length and didn't once push the idea of a trim on me and I guess I liked that. Little did I know that after spending a small amount of time with her, that I would be letting her whip out the scissors and take a couple of millimetres off. She explained how the trim would affect and help my hair and massively change the shape of it too. My hair is longer and curlier towards the middle and back of my head, but as I've never really known any different I was intrigued to see what this trim would do to the "shape" of my afro.
After my wash, condition and treatment Tiff applied a curl defining cream and gently diffused my hair. It was so good to see her technique as I'd pretty much avoided them before. Together the products she used made my hair feel super moisturised and my curls had a weighty bounce to them. I rarely get to wear my hair with all of it's curls on show, because I've never known how to make that happen with all my different curl patterns, or had a product actually work.
I loved my super defined curly look but I couldn't wait to see how it would change over the course of a few days too. A few days later and my hair was a banging mix of my usual curls but more pronounced, and silky to touch, with the fullness and volume of my afro. I literally couldn't stop touching my hair!
The shapely afro that followed towards the end of the week was nothing short of beautiful! Basically, I think I have found a new hairdresser! Woah. Even I'm in shock at typing that.
Tiff is a super experienced stylist. Her Moroccan background means she has always been around a variety of awesome and varied hair types and now has a big client base that are natural. She's a seasoned pro at helping women transition from chemically straightened hair to natural, which is generally a tricky time for people, and most importantly for me, she worked with what my hair needed and what I wanted.
For what I had done (treatment, trim, styling), a top stylist will cost you in the region of £100 and a stylist £80, which I think is an expected and reasonable price range. The salon is currently undergoing a refurb and from the little touches I was seeing (awesome, giant filament lightbulbs hanging from ropes), I can't wait to go back and see the finished look.
I'm new to the products that Tiff used on my hair, so of course I had to take make a note of them all. Here's a list of everything she used.
Ps. If you've got any recommendations on a good hair dryer and diffuser attachment, holla at your girl, I think I'm gonna be recreating this look a lot more in between my visits to 3thirty.