Neck contouring, thigh gap jewellery….there are plenty of recent beauty additions that seem a bit too out there or ridiculous, and that make you wonder if the world’s gone a bit doolally. Then there’s some that you obsess over on Instagram and Pinterest, but you think won’t work for a ‘normal’ person like you. Then there’s Denim hair. I know….at first sight it might sound like a scary move, particularly for those that stick to natural hair colour palettes, but I was to find out that it was actually a very flexible and risk-free option.
My friend Zoe London had recently had the denim hair treatment. Her bespoke denim was a rich and mainly block indigo, all blended into a Midnight ink root – it looked fabulous. The tones were incredible against her alabaster skin and really enhanced her steely blue eyes. Seeing her fantastic results, I knew that it was a trend that could really work for people. When L’Oréal
Professionnel got in touch asking if I’d like to try the look via the talents of it’s creater, hair genius Adam Reed, of the Percy & Reed Salons, I knew I had to go for it. I will admit that after sending my positive reply, there were a fair few moments of those ‘what have I done’ panics. I don’t really have any stand-out features, I’m one of those people that blends in to a crowd, but having long blonde hair has been fairly consistent throughout my life, and probably the visual part most synonymous with me. I have had my more daring moments, but they’ve been on the warmer end of the colour scale – pinks, peaches, tangerines – colours which fade fairly quickly and don’t tend to make me look more tired than I already do.
My traditional parents didn’t help with my slight trepidation, contorting their faces in horror when I informed them I was going to the blue side. However, I received a push at a event last week. The PR’s and bloggers I spoke to all told me to just go for it, one even offering to come and take pictures of the transformation for me – (thanks Emma)
All artistic disciplines are constantly influencing each-other, intertwining, combining and even combating. Adam told me how the fabrics and trends he sees on the catwalk inspire him when it comes to his colour creations. I’m not going to give the game away but he’s already got his next amazing catwalk inspired shades in the pipeline, currently in research and development stage, but my goodness it’s going to be stunning.
I didn’t know what Adam had in mind in terms of my bespoke denim transformation, but prior to visiting the salon I had been searching the hashtag and compiling a folder of the looks I felt would be best suited to me (what do I know?). Obviously denim is quite a broad spectrum…one of the campaign shots is a very dark navy (midnight ink) for instance, but it can go all the way to stonewash – a beautifully pale blue/grey. As a child of the 80’s I was definitely more drawn towards the lighter shades – particularly ones that looked like it had been placed over highlighted hair. I loved seeing the different shades of blue stripe and fleck against each-other.
My mood board of colours found on Instagram
When I sat down for our initial consultation within Adam’s Great Portland Street Salon, any worries were soon eradicated. Not only did he agree that Stonewash was the right way to go, he exuded confidence and even exhilaration at the prospect of making it happen. After a hair disaster a few years back I really look at a hairdresser to install trust. After a few minutes of hearing Adam talk with such pleasant authority and passion, I would have happily given him the pin to my bank card. Lovely Assistant Harry, who felt like a buddy I’d been meeting for a glorious gossip, was also sporting the denim trend. Adam also told me that he sported it briefly too. I feel their support of the trend boosted my confidence in making the change.
Harry had actually dyed his hair three time to get the desired shade and Adam had spoken about how the technique was inspired by Japanese Denim, building up colour till you reach the desired shade.
So they shampoo’d my hair (using L’OréalProfessionnel Vitamino Shampoo £10.00)
and worked in a bit of conditioner (L’Oréal Professionnel Vitamino Shampoo £13) before working the top secret recipe through. Then it was a ‘watching, waiting game’ to see how the colour deposited on to my hair.
As they were seeing the L’Oréal Professionnel Luo Colour Colour take to my hair in the in the sink I could hear Harry and Adam making the sort of noises I make when I see a successful chocolate fondant ooze.
I’m one of those people that hates being out the loop, so not being able to see it what they were ooh and ahhing at was torturous, but it certainly did amp up the suspense.
I used the camera on my phone so I could take a peek. I was so surprised at how quick it all happened, I had envisioned numerous time consuming steps in creating this hair revolution. Not the case.
In an event that could akin to Star Wars I’d gone to the blue side. Not brainwashed, but stonewashed into the benefits of blue. I couldn’t believe it when I heard my self encouraging Adam to go for another layer of the blue-making concoction.
When Harry took off my fetching towel turban it looked fairly dark, but you could see on the lighter ends of my hair that I now had a stunning shade of blue. Adam was giddy with the colour result, his elation completely infectious. Soon I too become overwhelmed with the thrill of change.
I said to Adam that the drying process was almost like the drumroll…the reveal of the dry finished looked would hopefully be a triumphant end to our hit song. As it dried we tried to come up with a way to describe the look. Disney Princess, not quite. Mermaid…not pastel enough. We settled on Goth mermaid. The tone wasn’t pastel, it had far more oomph. It appeared richer, more luxurious, but teamed with my 90’s choker and nose ring it also veered in to the edgy and alternative world.
I think that’s one of the biggest revelations about this colour trend actually. It’s extremely flexible and versatile, and how you combine it with fashion has an incredible effect on how it is perceived and what it connotes. When I got home I took off my nose ring and choker and put on a simple evening dress. Suddenly it went from 90’s grunge to chic and high end. Decadent denim if you will. The two standout thumbs ups for this trend is that there really is a shade that will work for you, and Adam knows what that shade it is almost instantly on meeting you. His knowledge and incredible eye for colour means that any question regarding suitability to you will be replied almost like an involuntary reaction..…he just knows. So go with an open mind and listen to his advice, and I guarantee you’ll be pleased with the results. The second great aspect is, that depending on your calendar and your level of guts, you can decide how permanent you want the results to be. For my first go I’ve gone for a look that will wash out fairly quickly, but if you know you’ll want to maintain the look then that’s something he can deliver.
In terms of styling the look Adam spoke of creating a cushioned look. We weren’t going for beachy waves – after-all weve all tainted that aesthetic by pretending our unwashed greasy locks are intentionally beachy. This look had volume, but was soft and textured, and had that effortless look that the french pull off so well. Using one of his tongs and a combination of Tecni ART Hollywood Waves styling cream (£4.99), Tecni ART Pli, (£14.99) , L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium Hairspray, £11.95 – ensuring he applied products with fingers where possible.
That’s one of the big things I love about Adam’s work – you can see it in the styles he’s created for the likes of Diane Kruger and Laura Bailey in particular. Nothing looks too formed or set. It has a freedom and looseness about it, which in turn adds youth and modernity. On that theme, later on he showed me a Brigitte inspired pony tail which, in a flash he then turned into up do. Then in a few swift moves he had created a cool braided up do which showed off the different shades of my hair beautifully. The amount of tips I came away with, well….let’s just say that you should expect some new hair tutorials on my YouTube channel soon.
I feel like this change has injected a new fire for experimentation and renewal. I’m finding myself looking through my make up drawers and wardrobes and seeking out products and garments that have, till this point, been neglected or sidelined. It’s pushing me to be more creative with my fashion and make up, and I’m relishing the quest for colours that enhance or work alongside my new shade. I will never be cool as a being,….but on a visual level I definitely feel I nudged a bit closer . Cool by shade, cool by nature?
Although this colour range has proven to be far more ‘suitable for all’ than I ever imagined it is important that you go to a salon to achieve it. Having been lucky enough to be in the hot seat with Adam I would advise you all go to Percy and Reed to find your perfect fit denim. Why would you opt for second best?
I feel like Adam’s handy work is responsible for a new addiction. Right now, whilst on this new hair hype, I don’t feel like I want to go back to blonde. I feel there’s so many more washes of denim I need to try on. Adam even suggested going back and adding some strips of bleach which would lead to some more distinct and punchy flashes of blue. Adam, if you’re reading this, I’m game.
I was actually going to title this blog ‘dare to denim’ but seeing how it can be tailor made to suit you particular colourings and lifestyle, dare no longer feels fitting. Denim…Do it, perhaps?
Our favourite jeans are a reliable go to. If you find the right pair, they always look good. Dependable Denim.
The Finished Results:
I love how it is almost irridescant – it really dos change according to the light
I love how Adam created a look that blended with my existing colour.
A big thank you to Adam Reed and Harry, and also Chantel and Jess from L’Oréal Professionnel.
Salon Photos by Emma Parlons.
Percy & Reed, offer a Denim for Hair Service in their salons.
This is not a sponsored post but the hair was created for blog review.
Find Adam on Twitter
L’Oréal Pro can be found here