We all know that a professional blow-dry makes us look and feel better. Another plus is that somebody else does the work. No cleaning out messy showers, no aching arms, but you need to be careful where you go.
According to hair guru Michael Charalambous, blow-dry bars are one of the biggest causes of damaged hair. His Chelsea salon, Michael Charalambous at Nyumba, attracts the rich and famous. It is also a favourite haunt of journalists because he is regarded as the best crimper in town. He despairs of the condition he finds women’s hair in after frequenting some of these places.
|Beautifully styled by Michael|
“We have so many new clients who come to us with hair that has been ruined from visits to blow-dry bars,” says Michael. “These places have a business model which relies on them getting through as many blow-dries in as short a time as possible. It maybe fine if you have short hair but if you have a thick mane will the time they allocate you be enough to do a proper job?
“You have to look beyond the price. Will they have the time to have a proper consultation with you about the style you want?
You have to ask yourself if you are getting somebody who knows how to work a dryer and brush properly? An inexperienced person can easily damage your hair using heated appliances incorrectly or using the wrong brush.”
How they detangle your locks is important. Are they using a wide-tooth comb or a brush suitable for use on wet hair? If they are not doing this correctly they can tear your precious strands.
“You cannot just blow-dry every head of hair using the same type of brush,” says Michael. “Metal brushes may be quicker but they get hot and can burn your hair. You may not notice the damage until you have left the salon. Holding the dryer too near the hair will create havoc leaving you with breakage and a frizz mess.”
Another problem with small places, Michael points out, is that they can only stock a limited amount of products so they might not have the right shampoo or conditioner for your hair type or know what styling products to use.
“Some stylists rough dry the hair too much then go over it with a brush to smooth it out. Ideally, it should be slightly damp when they style it otherwise they are applying more heat than is necessary and we know what that equates to."
A lot of these stylists will hide a bad blow-dry by using straighteners or tongs when there really is no need for them. So hair will look flat and dull rather than having a healthy sheen.
“Don’t let your hairdresser cut corners,” stresses Michael. “For a trim you should be given an hour-long appointment. For a cut it should be at least one and a half hours.”
Michael will not cut back when something needs to be bought for the salon or altered. He nips and tucks to keep on top of things. No filling empty bottles with cheap shampoos as he tells me some places have been known to do.
He is always asking his clients what they want and if there is anything he can do to enhance what is already an amazing experience.
As a result he has recently introduced special packages so you can get a blow-dry, a mini make-up and manicure for just £100. There are other great offers too (see picture).
Michael told me that his friend, Johathan Phang, TV chef and former model agent says: “You pay cheap, you pay twice.” That is food for thought for all of us.
By Daralyn Danns
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