Or at least Jack meets Toni & Guy, anyway. Actually, though, that headline is not quite true: I've been a fan of the Toni & Guy (WARNING: Terribly user unfriendly Flash site) chain of salons here in Britain for several years. This was based not on a wide range of experience at several different Toni & Guy locations, but on word of mouth and my own positive results after multiple visits to the Toni & Guy branch in Sevenoaks, Kent. That outlet is consistently good, with the time they gave me brick red streaks through chocolate brown hair being a particularly happy memory.
It had been seven weeks since my last cut, at U/Umberto in Los Angeles, and - as you can see at left - things were getting a little out of control. So last week I paid a visit to the Kensington branch of Toni & Guy, for a cut and style by Gary France, who co-owns the salon with his wife Kirsten. Gary has won loads of awards for his work, and is known for working successfully in the mainstream while creating cutting-edge looks for runway shows and fashion shoots. I wasn't inspired by any of the brave styles in the Toni & Guy book that Gary had me peruse for ideas, so he agreed to work to my comparatively rather boring request - "Keep most of the length, but please do thin it out so that I can hold my head up without neck strain".
After a glorious head massage (which I am tempted to say is always the best part of any hair appointment), Gary got to work. Ninety minutes after I'd arrived, this was the result:
As you can see, he did a brilliant job. I find that the test of a really good cut, though, is what you can do with it once you get home and have to style it yourself. Gary spent a good 20+ minutes just blow-drying my hair, which has a lot to do with why it looks so fantastic. Not being an octopus, it's difficult to recreate this look myself - and I don't think my scalp or hair could take it anyway, as the blow out involved tons of product and a lot of tugging and holding the nozzle of the drier directly against my fine but thick hair. How celebrities go through this on a regular basis without going bald is beyond me.
I went to a party as soon as I left the salon, and directed my boyfriend not to tell anyone I'd just had my hair cut. "I don't want people to feel they have to offer a positive comment," I said...which was true. But I also wanted them to think I hadn't needed the help of a professional to have such nice hair. As soon as I walked in, my friend Amanda exclaimed, "Wow, you look great!" My boyfriend and I exchanged looks. "Oh, thanks," I replied. "Looks like my hair hasn't suffered too much in the rain..." (Yes, it started raining as soon as I left the salon. Of course I had no umbrella with me - that would have made far too much sense.)
Several days later, my hair is holding up nicely. Someday soon, I'll venture beyond the updated Rachel look, but for now, functional and easy suits me fine.
A cut and style with Gary France costs from £62. Toni & Guy Kensington is located at 28 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4EP (tel: 020 7937 0033).