Layered Online reader Wanji has been cautious about colour on her coils but was keen to take the plunge. Could a new curl-specific colour service make all the difference?
I’ve been wanting to change my hair for a while and during lockdown considered doing it myself (I usually do most of my haircare myself and watch YouTube videos to learn new techniques), but I thought it would a bit risky to try and do a full colour job on my own textured hair and without the right guidance. Instead I gradually gathered a selection of photos in my phone for future inspiration, knowing that one day I’d be ready to make the change.
When the opportunity came up to try a new colour service with Headmasters I was initially a bit sceptical; I haven’t found many hairdressers in London that can do Afro hair without it having to be straight in order to style and colour it. Because of previous bad experiences, it was only natural that I had questions around the hairstylist’s experience, and what sort of work they have done previously. It turns out that Headmasters has rolled out a whole series of texture education across its salon group, ensuring there is at least one textured hair specialist in each salon now.
This has been followed up by two new Colour Your Curls services, launching this month. The Headmasters team shared information on these new processes for colouring curly and coily hair, and also the Instagram accounts of the hair stylists who would be looking after me. This all made me more comfortable, and I thought: ‘why not?’ I’d been wanting the change for a while, and this felt like a good way of doing it.
Before my hair appointment I shared some pictures of my hair as it was along with some pictures of colour looks that I liked and a list of the products that I usually use. On the day of my appointment, I went to the Headmasters in Soho to meet Grace Okello and chat about what look I was hoping to achieve. We also went through how I currently style and manage my hair, how I tend to wear it day to day, as well as my moodboard for the colour look I was looking for. Grace then explained the colouring process and offered three different ways to colour curly and kinky hair.
Could Grace assuage my fears of stylists making colour mistakes on my textured hair?
We decided on the Curl Clouding method, which is created freehand and enhances shape. I’ve only had my hair coloured twice before, and both times it was done in the standard way of the lightener being applied using a brush, but with this method Grace went through my hair applying the bleach around each of my curls and then changing the method at the back and scrunching the colour in.
Once the lightening was done, Grace put in an Olaplex treatment to help condition my hair and then styled it into a twist-out using Kérastase Curl Manifesto products. I’ve not used Kérastase products before but I loved the smell of them.
I really liked the outcome of the colour, and it looks great whether I have my hair out in my Afro or if I’ve got it up in a bun. The whole experience was great, I’m so glad I chose to wait a bit and get my hair coloured by a professional. The final result was definitely much better than anything I could have achieved at home!