Jessica Hope overcomes her tonsurephobia at David Sinclair Hairdressing…
Reader, I will admit that I have a slight fear of hairdressers. It might be the reason why I have such long hair – it takes me months to pluck up the courage to even book in a trim. But after years of having my locks pulled at and de-knotted, having my hair cut isn’t usually the therapeutic process others might find it. So when asked to write a review of the hair services at David Sinclair salon in Clifton, I took this as an opportunity for my trepidation to be cured. And, oh, wasn’t I pleasantly surprised…
Set in the heart of Clifton Village, David Sinclair is an elegant salon for both women and men, with an impressive window display that passersby stop to admire. On the occasion of my visit, the window was filled with large hanging spheres covered in beautifully bright daffodils, perfect for spring.
After being greeted by the team – all of whom are senior stylists – I’m taken through a detailed consultation about what types of cut and finish I would like by Tracey, who makes the time to discuss how I usually wear my hair and what I would like to have done. After suggesting how she could change the cut of my hair to help how I style it on a daily basis, she recommends I first have a deep conditioning treatment.
She uses the All Soft product range of American professional haircare brand Redken as this treatment moisturises and gives hair a deep condition. Stylist Patrick takes me through this treatment – washing my hair before applying the first round of moisturising cream. After covering my hair with a bag for five minutes in order to retain the moisture, Patrick rinses my hair and applies the Redken Diamond Oil Deep Facets Mask – an oil-enriched intensive treatment to nourish my dry ends and roots. After another rinse, my hair is conditioned, and Patrick gives me a deep scalp massage which I can only describe as having the ability to send me to sleep in minutes.
My hair is then sprayed with a Pureology Strength Cure Fabulous Lengths serum which detangles and strengthens long, damaged hair, and uses 100% vegan ingredients. Nearly all the products that are used on clients in the salon are on sale, so you can take some home with you to ensure your silky, smooth hair can continue in day-to-day life.
With my hair protected and deeply conditioned, it’s ready to cut. I decide to have a couple of inches cut in order to take the dry ends off and ask to have some layers put in to thin my rather thick locks.
Aware that I like to keep my natural wave instead of straightening my hair, Tracey says that rather than bluntly cutting the ends in a straight line she thinks giving me more of a choppy cut will give a feathery, lighter feel and accentuate my waves. Whereas previous stylists have been almost intimidated by cutting my hair in the past (it is quite long, usually sitting at waist level, and is very thick), Tracey seems excited to get stuck in and take on the challenge. She admits that hairdressing is a very physical job, especially when cutting hair as long as mine, but says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s apparent from the outset that the stylists in David Sinclair’s salon are experienced and dedicated. Tracey has worked at the salon for 20 years, whereas Patrick has been there for the least amount of time out of the whole team – that being all of 11 years. It’s impressive that the staff have stayed in the same salon for such a long period of time, which is a testament to the great relationships between all of the stylists and their clients, both old and new. They have clearly built up a reputation over the years – David opened the salon nearly 30 years ago, while the building itself has been a centre for hairdressing in Clifton since 1873.
As Tracey carefully cuts my hair, she tells me about how she has loved seeing her regular clients grow up over the years. She explains how one client began coming to the salon when he was just four years old with his mother, adamant that he didn’t want his hair cut and scowling while Tracey cut his hair. That little boy is now 19 and still comes into the salon on a regular basis – nowadays without his mum – and gladly chats away to Tracey during his appointments. And the salon’s clients don’t just come from the Clifton area – they travel from all across Bristol and some clients even visit from across the country – the likes of London and Wales – to have their hair cut, coloured and blow-dried, which is a testament to their service and high standards of styling.
With my hair neatly cut, Tracey then sprays my damp hair with TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray before it is blow-dried with a barrel brush, curled at the ends in order to emphasise my natural wave. It is then finished with a light Pureology Smooth Perfection Smoothing Serum, making it smell delightful and adding a little frizz control.
The outcome? My hair feels softer and more lightweight, the cut certainly shapes my face better, and my waves feel bouncier. And that fear of visiting the hairdressers a distant memory; I left feeling ultra-relaxed, having thoroughly enjoyed my visit.