Multiple lockdowns had left Layered Online reader Jade’s hair longer than usual… as in SUPER long. So when she got in touch about donating the lengths to The Little Princess Trust, we knew just who to call: Headmasters, the charity’s official partner salon.
Like a lot of people, over the last year I’ve put little effort into my appearance – hiding behind a mask and finding solidarity with fellow shoppers who’ve also chosen comfy clothes for their weekly shop or outing; a ‘business on top, PJs down below’ approach to Zoom calls. My main lockdown hairstyle was to shove it all up in a bun and forget about it until I realised that, at some point during the depths of lockdown, it had reached its longest ever length. By the start of 2021 it was long enough to start being unruly; I couldn’t count the amount of times I accidentally leant on it or zipped it into a coat.
Inspired by a friend who had previously donated her hair to The Little Princess Trust, a charity that creates wigs for children who lose their hair due to cancer treatment and other illnesses, I decided to put my lack of grooming to good use! Thankfully Andrew Barton, creative and communications director at Headmasters and an ambassador for The Little Princess Trust, came to my rescue.
I arrived at the Headmasters Mayfair salon with clean, dry hair, following the Trust’s instructions. I also made sure not to use any conditioning products to ensure it wasn’t slippery, and in the best condition to be turned into a wig. My brief to Andrew was a shoulder-length cut, something low maintenance that could help tackle flat hair days as my hair is very heavy.
Could Andrew give me the cut I was after, while still preserving as much hair as possible to donate?
To get started, Andrew sectioned my hair into ponytails secured with hairbands down the length of my hair. Then came the chop, with cuts made just above the top band. I was very pleased that my longest lock was a whopping 40cm which can be used to make one of the Little Princess Trust’s longer wigs.
Something that I hadn’t fully anticipated was the care and attention the whole salon gave me. After a relaxing wash and head massage I was back at Andrew’s chair, ready for him to freshen up my look. Choosing a razor over scissors, to give the cut soft edges, Andrew added light layers to give it shape and frame my face. He then applied a foam mousse to protect my hair from the heat and help hold its shape when dry.
Using a 33mm round brush, Andrew taught me the best way to dry my hair to add volume: “Turn and pull the brush out, not down, to add guts!” And he even prepared me for those low maintenance cheat days, explaining that if I dry my hair with my head tipped upside down I can also quickly add volume. Not to mention that the shape of my new hairstyle, and the loss of 40cm of weight, have really helped! I left feeling completely pampered with a beautiful cut, ready to shake off lockdown and get back to feeling like me again.
I want to encourage anyone with long lockdown locks to think before you chop. If you are having a significant portion off, anything from seven inches or more, you could do something wonderful with your hair.
Visit The Little Princess Trust’s website to find out how you can donate your hair – they do an amazing job for young girls and boys (also running The Little Princes Trust) and last year made its 10,000th wig! Something I hadn’t considered was that each wig is hand-made and costs more than £500 to create, so if you are donating your hair it can be a great initiative to raise some money too.
I’d also like to say a big thank you to Andrew for the care and support he gave me at the salon, and everything he does for The Little Princess Trust and other charities close to his heart.