As a hair and beauty journalist with more than 10 years in the industry, I’ve been lucky enough to cater to pretty much every hair whim there is. I've tried several of Rihanna's hairdos , including the bob, the shaved sides and blonde quiff, and my most recent experiment was Beyonce's honey blonde bob. That last colour job was probably the one that truly knackered my mixed heritage, wavy hair, so I knew that the time was coming to give all the chemicals a break, and possibly even consider cutting it all off.
Now whenever I want a colour change, I only ever go to the amazing Alliah Baterip at Sassoon, South Molton St, London. Over the years the conversations I have had - and the colour results I have seen - have convinced me that Alliah is the best in the business. She just gets it. So I knew that she would be the perfect person to approach for my final fling with colour, grey to be exact. While some call it the 'granny trend' - which I personally think is naff and actually quite rude - I have always loved the silver grey tones that have gradually crept into the mainstream, i.e. celeb land. Given my time in the colourist's chair, I knew that going grey would be going as pale as possible first; something that my naturally very dark brown hair was very resistant to. Many a time, at home and in the salon, I have pushed my hair to its limits, only to wind up coppery yellow or orange. This changed when I first met Alliah, who talked to me about biscuit tones (and I do like biscuits) and gave me my first almost-kinda-platinum streak, nestled amongst my otherwise caramel/ecaille-ish waves. The fact that Alliah had made the most progress with making me blonde meant that she was possibly the only person that could make me grey. She's also someone who tells the truth, so when I first asked for grey, her first question was: 'are you prepared to cut your hair short?'
Because I desperately wanted to go grey, and I secretly harboured a desire to cut it off in favour of a sexy, boyish short style, I said 'yes', and we set to work.
I was told to expect a full day in the salon; I arrived at 9am and left around 4pm. Usually, the colour work would have been done first, allowing the stylist who's cutting the hair to see what they are working with, but because Alliah could pretty much foresee a lot of damage (on my already unhappy hair) she called in the amazing Gabin Ahmed to just chop it off. I showed him images of Scarlett Johansson's mohawk and watched the hair fall to the ground.
Seven hours later, I was completely transformed. For the first time in forever I could feel the (cold) air on my neck. I felt good. You can see the grey effect that Alliah achieved in the images, but as with all toners - when it comes to my hair at least - the effect did not last long. But at least I achieved my dream, and that's what playing with colour is all about.
60 South Molton St, W1k 5SW