As part of our good black hairdressers in London guide and after admiring ombre afro hair from afar for longer than I care to remember, I finally took the plunge at the new Darren Scott Salon in Maida Vale.
Armed with images of what I did (and didn’t) want, I nervously took my seat in the waiting area. Let’s start with a review of the salon. Despite being in yummy mummy-ville, the salon is completely unpretentious and friendly and we were instantly made to feel welcome.
The place has a rather informal, even community vibe about it – people were popping in simply to say hi to the staff, to wish a fellow customer happy birthday and they even let a rather frightened looking school girl use the loo! There are six stylist stations and the staff are experienced in working with Afro, European and Asian hair.
Celebrity MUA and Hair Stylist Darren (Katy Perry, SWV, Faith Evans) sat me down and we looked through the L’Oreal Colour System book trying to decide which colours would work best on me. I was under the impression that blonde was out of the question but he told me that really, any shade can work (even on a chocolate coloured complexion like mine) but I erred on the side of caution and went for a red/brown hybrid with a few highlights to frame my face.
The L’Oreal Majirel Colour System was used – apparently it was 7.3 mixed with green magimix as green cancels red to stop the colour looking brassy. He prefers not to use bleach on afro hair and I was doubtful that my very black hair could be made lighter without its use but he assured me it was possible. Bleach on any hair is bad news but while European hair can more often than not handle it, putting bleach on afro hair – especially relaxed hair – usually ends in tears. Yours; as your precious strands deteriorate before your eyes.
As we weren’t using bleach, it took ages for the colour to take on my hair. I’m talking over an hour. I’d rather spend my time reading trashy mags in the salon than have my hair turn to trash so I was quite prepared for the long wait.
When it was washed out (after a divine shiatsu head massage) Darren and I commented that the colour wasn’t as bright as we liked. He said to wait until it was dry which made all the difference. Look:
In actual fact, the flash and the salon lighting make the black of my hair and the new colour look lighter than they are.
Darren used two pumps of Label M Relaxing Balm on my towel dried hair before adding a 5p size of argan oil. He blow dried with a round brush which added body and cute flips on the ends.
To maintain the colour, he recommended using a colour protecting moisturising shampoo and conditioner and regular use of argan oil.
I loved the vibe of the salon and my new ombre colour. I’ve received many compliments on it and it really does brighten my face. I’ve had long black hair forever and find that ombre is a gentle way to add colour to my look.
Darren is a gem; he knows everything there is to know about hair, especially afro hair and he makes you feel like a celebrity – he listens to your wants and needs and finds a look that can work in your everyday life. He has priced his services to fit the market – no £200 blow drys here (we mean you Errol Douglas).
If you’re looking for a good black hairdresser in London, go and visit, you won’t be disappointed. It’s worth liking them on Facebook too as special offers and promotions are available to fans there.
Darren Scott Salon
117 Shirland Rd
London W9 2EW
T: 020 7286 9395