From the age of twenty two (so, some time ago) I have been sporting a messy, spiked hairstyle that back then replaced rather long curtains. It knocked years off me at the time (I actually started to look my age) but as time has gone on I’ve been yearning for a new look. "Well just get one" I hear you say - not that easy when you have a fear of hairdressers, stylists, salons and all things that involve the removal of hair. I’ve mentioned it on my blog before but in my youth I went for a short back and sides only for my father to discreetly tell the barber to remove the lot. So with a haircut (I’m loathe to call it a haircut or style) that wouldn’t look out of place at a far right rally and my head looked like a massive peanut. I hated it and so was born an intense distrust of anyone bearing clippers or scissors. Bear this back story in mind as I now talk you through my visit to the Jamie Stevens Hair Salon in Kensington.
So what made me now take the plunge, put my fears to one side and go for what is a completely new look? Well Jamie has released the MR. range, hair care products for men from shampoo and conditioner, to hairstyling and thickening products. There are my readers a lot of reviews to come of them (as well as an interview with the man himself - legend), but if I had to summarise the products so far it has to be - a revelation. The reason I opted now, well, if you read anything about Jamie you just get the impression he is a man who knows what he is doing - not only hairdresser in residence for the X Factor, he offered me the chance of a 1 on 1 cut and style. What I didn’t know at the time was that my visit would literally change everything I have ever done when styling my hair.
So what did I read about Jamie. These are his glowing credentials over at his salon website here:
‘British hairdresser of the year 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 nominee, Creative Head’s Hair Icon of the Year Nominee 2015, International Ambassador for Matrix hair care and winner of many accolades, Jamie Stevens has firmly established himself as a leading light in the hairdressing industry. As the go-to hair guru for numerous celebrities and TV programmes including The X Factor, This Morning and How to Look Good Naked. Jamie Stevens is regularly featured in the national and international media, whilst maintaining a loyal clientele.
Jamie and his team pride themselves in delivering award winning excellence in cutting, colouring, extensions, afro and styling for men and women, coupled with a personalised service to make you feel welcomed and at ease at our boutique style salon in the hands of our true experts.’
As soon as I walked into the salon I was immediately put at ease (it had nothing to do with the beer I eagerly accepted) and taken downstairs to get my breath, take a sip and talk generally about my hair. I explained my nervousness and Jamie immediately started to put me at ease. First of all he took a look at my hair - the assessment being that its really fine, but there is one hell of a lot of it.
With my hairline slightly receding, the option I was given would also disguise this and in turn make my forehead look smaller (result if possible). With my mind at ease I agreed with option one, the undercut with swept back longer hair on top. At this point I started to smile, I could picture how my hair was going to look and I had complete faith in the scissor king (Jamie).
After a relaxing wash and condition (the chairs massage your back) where I had to resist the temptation to sleep it was into the chair for the cut. A drum roll please……
Below are some of the pictures (kindly taken by Helen) taken while Jamie cut away and we chatted about his background, what brought him into hairdressing, why he decided to launch a men’s range and some hints and tips to make styling so much easier. One of the things I found particularly reassuring was that Jamie explained everything in such easy to understand terms, and why he calls a certain pair of scissors the texturisers rather than thinners!
As he cut, Jamie repeatedly told me not to make a judgement on the style. At one point I looked in the mirror and saw Kim Jong Un looking back which made me laugh to myself. After the cut I went back off to have my hair washed again - cue much more relaxation in the chairs and another battle to stay awake.
After patting my hair dry we moved onto the styling and his is where my eyes were truly opened. I’d never used a salt spray before but again, explaining how it adds texture to hair and makes it feel and look like it does after a week on the beach (and in the sea) I opted for it. We then moved onto cocktailing. No, we didn’t crack open the booze, instead (and this had never occurred to me in the twenty five years of using product) we talked about mixing styling products together. In my case, Jamie mixed together the wax and paste from the MR. range and blended into the hair starting from the back to the front (again, a revelation).
Within ten minutes my hair was styled to perfection and I was grinning wildly. I looked completely different in a very good way. Here is the before and after!
Now looking at this you might not really appreciate the gentle undercut, so I've been off to the park to get some shots (ignore the grey hair lol).
|Yes, styled myself and still loving the salt spray texture - also taken up cocktailing!|
Jamie is a perfectionist and this comes through as he talks, cuts and styles. He is a true gent and an expert in his field. I don’t think I will trust anyone else with my hair ever again after this experience. That’s not me overplaying how happy I am but as I left the salon I was walking taller with confidence and had a smile from ear to ear.
While it took around an hour to cut the time passed by so quickly - listening to Jamie talk about his work, his ethos for the salon and the reasons why he wanted to branch out into the hair care market was truly awe inspiring. I’ve heard people speak with passion, I’ve heard people repeat well practiced lines to camera that appear as though they are telling the gods honest truth but when listening to Jamie speak you know you are listening to a man who has and continues to put his heart and soul into his craft and vision. I kid you not, the whole experience left me walking away saying “wow” over and over again.
FORGET THE REST, TRY THE BEST
You can read more about the MR. range from Jamie Stevens here over the coming weeks, or if you can’t wait, I’d highly recommend that you visit the website here. Not only can you learn more about what the range can do for you but Jamie also has a series of excellent tutorial videos that may just change your own grooming routines.