London Tales, Part II – LondonHair
Young Jenine was already showing my next client to the chair as I finished filling in the client’s payment chitty. I turned and walked towards my chair. By now the salon was buzzing as the volume had been turned up from one of the CDs which were playing. All my stylists were busy in their work. I stood behind my new client and made eye contact via the large mirror.
She was very attractive, at a guess I would have said late thirties, maybe early forties. Slim, big brown eyes. Her hair was a dark brown, mid-length bob, which at some point had been cut into the back and had been tucked on one side behind her ear. The usual pleasantries aside, I asked what she was looking to have done. She spoke with a slight accent (which turned out to be Dutch). She explained that she was about to take on a new posting in America and not only was she looking for a style that would suit her and bring her up to date – she really wanted a new image although, she was a “bob” person – her words.
I picked up my comb and brushed the hair off her face. She had great quality hair, very strong and healthy considering it had been some time since she had had it cut. She also had great features and beautiful, small, well-shaped ears. When I asked how she wore her hair she tucked both lengths behind her ears with her fingers and suggested that maybe she should have the sides – sideburns, she demonstrated with her fingers, cut into Vs and the sides short. She marked out a line with both hands from her nape to her ears to show me the length that the back should maybe take. She then continued by saying and demonstrating with one hand as she ran it up her neck, “Yes, with the back cut short.”
I asked if style or length would be a problem in her line of work, to which she replied, “No, not particularly – I’m in media.” I combed some more waiting for inspiration – then it came.
I started combing a long length of hair from the side of her head and combed it in front of her ear. “This is just a suggestion,” I said, whilst gripping the length of hair between my fore and middle fingers and holding the hair down at cheek length. “If we keep these lengths forward of your ears, cut to this length, cheek length, I think we should show your ears off, so I think with the back cut short, we’ll cut it short over the ears. This way you’ve got the bob just forward of your ears, although the length of the bob will be short. If you still want the lengths can be tucked behind the ears – I suppose the sideburns could be V’d but we don’t want to overdo it.”
“It sounds marvellous,” she replied.
I had just recently cut a similar style at one of our modelling nights and I thought that particular style was very sexy and attractive. Although, the model that had sported the style had probably been a few years younger. However, our model had been given a severe version – a blunt stepped back carrying round and over the ears. A severe shaved nape with a grade 1 fade. The bobbed sides barely long in length to maintain any integrity behind the model’s ears. In addition a blunt straight at the hairline fringe, well… she liked it.
I led my attractive client to the basin and went to make myself a drink.
Upon my return, she was already seated back at the chair – her hair moist. I reached for my comb and scissors and I began to comb her hair completely back although I left a large section of hair either side in front of the ears. I asked where she was originally from and she told me. Her name was Marjon, single and very much looking forward to returning to the U.S. where she had already spent a lot of time. She was glad to being going back as London reminded her too much of Holland. We talked about New York and where she would be living and working. I told her a female friend of mine has a salon in Manhattan and I often visit.
I could see she was relaxed as my comb ran through the last strands of her hair. I lifted one long section of hair with my comb and gently squeezed the damp strands as I delivered the first decisive slice. As I had brushed all her hair away from the front – to the back and behind the ears – the next strokes would be the basis for the style. I took another section and with a slight hacking motion cut the hair in line with the last length. I could sense that Marjon was completely at ease, no eye movement to check the mirror in order to catch the lengths of fallen hair. I gently tilted her head a little more as I undertook the third and fourth strokes. I worked my way round from the back of her hair to the ear section of hair, which I cut. I completed the other side and stepped back to check that the basic line was level. Looking at her hair from the back I had cut a step/bowl from the front of one ear, around the high of the nape to the front of the other ear. As I stepped closer to the chair I looked at her through the mirror, she smiled and I asked if she was OK. Looking at her from the front she still had a limp-looking bob. I now worked on one side, slicing an almost horizontal stroke close to her cheek. I had cut the hair from just beneath the cheekbone, until reaching her earlobe. I did the same on the other side and checked that they were both level. She began to motion her head from side to side, looking into the mirror.
“Still OK?” I asked.
“I’m impressed,” she said softly.
Tilting her head forward I began to crop the nape scissors over comb. This was more for effect leaving the finished cut softer though; the length would be as short had I used the clippers. I cut the hair as close as possible at the base, keeping the scissor blades tight to the comb. I worked my way up her nape, running and keeping the comb pressed against her skin. The finished result was a super-short nape, which continued behind and to the top of each ear. I snipped the hair around the ears and stopped at the bob. I gathered small sections of hair from the back which now met the cropped nape and sliced them in a downward motion with the scissors in order to blend and fade the blunt line. The harsh line disappeared – a natural look from cropped to long could be seen from the back. I broke the fringe up by feathering the cut and I then opened the scissors and ran both blades down her still-damp hair. The blades acting like a razor took random strands as I ran them down the length of her hair. I worked on getting the volume down over her crown by razoring the hair with the scissors.
I was satisfied with the cut and I asked Marjon how the style felt. She shook her head as if she had got out of the shower, she tucked one side behind her ear, turned her head to see.
“You made me look younger.”
“I think it really suits you.”
I worked some mousse into her hair by brushing it through and blow-drying her hair straight. This lady looked fantastic. As she walked out to leave she turned, kissed me on the cheek and said, “I hope to see you soon, thank you.”
As I watched her leave the salon I saw that Jenine was leading the overgrown cropped hair girl to my chair.
TO BE CONTINUED (c) MIGKIL 1999