If you’re a colourist, surely you have a duty to wear enjoy colour yourself, too. Sophie Webster – life and work partner at Simon Webster salon – is a great advocate of wear as much as you dare! We asked here where she gets her colour mojo!
“My aunt was a hairdresser. She had a salon with my nan. And my cousin followed in their footsteps. I was their Saturday girl for a while, but my skills never made it beyond sweeping and working the till. I wanted to go to art school and become a painter. Like all art students, I experimented with my style and chameleon-ed my way through my late teens and 20s. I never understood why people spent money on salon colour. Why, when a DIY box-job costs under a tenner? And I never had a regular hairdresser. Whoever, wherever, was fine – I’d tweak it with my own additions once I got home.
“Until one New Year’s Eve, when I met Simon Webster. He’d just had a cancellation in the salon I had stumbled into in the hope of some instant magic. And that’s exactly what I got. So many people loved the cut, I went back again. And again. Within a few months I was in love. Not just with the cut, but with my hairdresser, too. We were engaged by August, had the lease for a salon by October, were married in February and opened Simon Webster Hair April. It was a quick lesson in how swiftly life can change direction (or come full circle). And an even bigger lesson in the art (and perils) of hair colour.
“I’d always been addicted to colour and had dyed my hair just about every shade imaginable, but had no understanding of the process. Marrying a professional was my hair’s saving grace. With the right products and knowledge, I was armed to exploit hair colour in a way I’d only dreamed of and my hair got a much-needed rescue from my colour abuse. Not to say I gave it a break – if anything, I experimented with colour even more, but this time it was skilled colourists treating my hair with the care and respect that I had been lacking.
“I still like to change my colour on a whim, so it’s not uncommon for whichever colourist is available to be challenged with the ‘fancy changing my colour?’ question over a coffee break. I leave it to them to choose what to do.
“My colour changes so frequently that, to be honest, I don’t really remember I’ve changed it until a client or friend comments on the new shade. Recently we were meeting a friend on a packed Brighton beach and I started describing in exact detail where we were sitting. “I’ll just look for the hair”, she said. “What colour are you at the moment?” And I had to think for a second, because I wasn’t sure. “Denim.” This got me made me thinking and over a few gin fizzes on the beach, we worked out that I’ve had 17 different colour-dos since meeting Simon. And that was only six years ago.
Here’s my top five favourite looks:
• Dirty Denims – lifts my skin tone (which can look a bit sallow) and makes my hazel eyes appear greener. And whatever colour I pull out of the wardrobe it never clashes.
• Frenchie Pink – I wanted pink hair ever since I watched Grease. It felt cool and feminine. And a childhood dream was accomplished. The best of the pink variations had panels of peach interwoven and had incredible shine.
• Cherry Red – Suited my pale complexion, but required a lot of blusher and brow pencil! I loved this, until we cut it short and a kid in the street said. “Look dad. It’s Sharon Osborne!” I changed it the next day.
• Rainbow Bright(on) – Flashes of different hues of turquoise, blue, orange and gold through a red base. Whyhave one colour when you can have them all? And as the colours faded, the blue turned to After-Eight mint as another friend pointed out, which just happens to be my favourite chocolate.
• Platinum Blonde – Marilyn had it right. I loved this, especially paired with the undercut. But it does require a lot of upkeep to tone and condition the hair regularly enough to maintain shine and softness.