Q. Can I show a photo to a hairstylist – or will they freak?
A. Absolutely do show a photo, says Nicky Clarke. ‘It makes life easier and ensures you’re speaking the same language; what’s short to me might not be short to you. But photos should be a starting point for discussion. The stylist can look at a picture and tell whether it will work for your hair, but you need to communicate about your lifestyle and how much time (and money) you’re prepared to spend on upkeep. Or pictures can be good to show what you don’t want. Personally,’ adds Nicky, ‘I keep a sketchbook handy so I can draw what I have in mind for clients.’ When it comes to colour meanwhile, Hollywood colourist-to-the-stars Art Luna says that a photo can show the colourist how realistic you are (or not) about the shade you’re seeking…


Q. I always refer to your books, and am hoping you can help me with a personal challenge! I live in west Dorset (near Dorchester) and am trying to find a really good hair colourist. I have dark blonde hair that really needs good highlights to cheer it up otherwise it looks grim. Trouble is I am really fussy and terrified of bad highlights! I used to get them done in London from time to time, but it’s difficult to get up there now I have a baby and I’d love to find someone nearer to home. I’d be happy to travel to say Bristol or Southampton, Bournemouth, Weymouth or anywhere fairly nearby. I’d be so grateful if you could recommend someone in my area (more or less!) who specialises in colour and is really, really good!

A. We know and rate many London hairdressers, but out of town…?  Always more of a challenge, because so many good ones ‘migrate’ to the big cities – and we have very little first-hand knowledge.  However, in a situation like this we turn to The Good Salon Guide, which has done a lot of ground-work locating and rating the best salons. In Bristol, a salon called Samuel David gets five-star reviews (Samuel David also offers the Bumble & bumble range, and that in itself is a good advertisement).  In Southampton, a five-star ranking goes to Lisa Edwards Hairdressing & Skincare, and we have personally heard good reports of her four salons.

Using The Good Salon Guide’s on-line guide, you can enter locations and it gives you a run-down of salons.  Personal recommendation is always preferable, and we’re sorry for this gap in our knowledge – but to be frank, we live out of London ourselves and our own hair is so important that we plan our London visits around our haircolouring/cutting sessions.  And so do many, many women we know.  Worth thinking about, if you can get a babysitter:  hair is so important, as you rightly point out..

  Samuel David Professional Hairdressingwww.sdhair.co.uk/0117-924 0168

•  Lisa Edwards Hairdressing & Skincare – 02380-238080

•  The Good Salon Guide www.goodsalonguide.co.uk