I've always wanted to have my hair done by Francesco Group's Creative Director Michelle Thompson. There is no doubt that she is an icon in the hair world and with 20+ years in the business, I trust her 100 percent to make the right decisions for my hair. I was booked in for a press appointment* on the basis that I purely wanted Michelle's expert diagnosis on the state of my hair, and what I could do with it. After years of working in hair and beauty journalism, there's really nothing I haven't done to my hair - bar trying dreadlocks - but over the past year I haven't done a single thing to it - no colour, nothing. I'd like to keep things that way, so, on the day when I meet Michelle, I certainly wasn't looking to have any chemicals put onto my hair.
One thing that blew my mind was when Michelle told me my hair has multiple textures in it. It's bad enough assuming you have one texture and finding the right products to deal with it, but to find out I have at least two textures was kind of alarming! If you think about it though, this makes total sense, after all, it's rare that our face or body is the same type throughout; you can have dry cheeks and an oily t-zone, so it only makes sense that our hair can be just as confused. After assuring me that it's chemical-free, Michelle tells me that she really wants me to try Avlon's Texture Release.
She explains why: "You won't see a physical change but you will feel it. When it comes down to shampooing your hair, you will notice how much easier it is to detangle, especially in the more coarse areas. How long the effects last will depend on how often you wash your hair (Michelle advised that it would last around eight washes and that's turned out to be pretty accurate). You must use sulphate-free shampoo so you don't wash the treatment out. It doesn't change the structure of the hair; what it does is pack the hair with protein and amino acids - it just makes your hair feel beautiful," Michelle says.
Before shampooing, Michelle assesses the shape of my hair and tries to decide between styling it straight or curly. Due to a previous DIY haircut I have a fair amount of wispy bits, so Michelle's main aim with the cut was to give it a real shape, similar to Solange where it's quite angular with a curly fringe and is cut into the nape of the neck for maximum impact.
Weeks later I can tell that the product is wearing off, but I've loved the results. Michelle was spot on when she talked about how my hair would feel. It's a weird combination in the sense that it feels both softer and stronger. To put it simply, it does feel healthier and I would absolutely consider getting this done ahead of a holiday or special event (i.e. my wedding in August.) I've also worn my hair down a lot more often, and am currently missing my curly fringe because it's grown too long!
More interestingly, I think this treatment is a total game-changer for women with afro hair who want to escape that dreaded on-going cycle of relaxing their hair. Trust me, this is the way to phase out those harmful chemicals without that awful in-between stage. Book yourself in today and change your life.
*The cost of the treatment plus a cut with Michelle is around £240. For more information, visit francescogroup.co.uk