After seeing stars including Katy Perry and Selena Gomez kick-starting the new season with a new hairdo, a few members of the HELLO! Online team were inspired to undergo a hair transformation of our own. And who better to give us a new look than the team at Edward James London, the eponymous salon for celebrity hairdresser Edward James, who counts Cara Delevingne among his former clients.
The team before our visit to Edward James London
We visited with the aim of our hair looking lighter, glossier and healthier in time for summer and were not left disappointed once Edward and his team had worked their magic. All three of us had similar colour applications with micro-lights applied through the top and soft balayage through the ends, however the results were remarkably different and tailored to suit our individual complexions and style. Even better, our hair was dyed with Aveda colour, which is 97% naturally derived and gentle on the hair. Olaplex was also added to ensure our hair wasn't left damaged or weakened by the colour.
After a brief and disastrous attempt to go brunette as a teenager, I had always kept my hair its natural auburn colour and was a little nervous to try out new things with it, particularly in regards to going lighter. Part of this was down to my own inexperience with hair dye (the brunette had come from a ill-advised box), and I assumed that going lighter would mean bleach, which would be potentially very damaging for my hair. I was also nervous that blonde wouldn't at all suit me, and I'd end up looking washed out. I was always amazed by how celebrities best known for their red hair – Emma Stone, Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain to name a few – could go back and forth from blonde to red with apparent ease – and how well they seemed to suit both looks.
So for my summer transformation I decided to take a plunge and to from ginger to blonde, and am so pleased that Edward James London took on the challenge. My hair stylist, Mide, knew exactly what she was doing, and explained that she would keep elements of my natural colour while giving me a full head of highlights – essentially turning my hair blonde but keeping the balance right for my skintone. Overall, she gave me a blonde head of hair full of different tones which include my natural colour. What makes this even better is that when I want to start growing my natural hair colour back again, the roots should blend seamlessly with the dyed hair, avoiding that awkward dark roots phase. That being said, I don't think I'll be changing it back any time soon!
With summer peeking through, I thought it was time to experiment with my look to match the mood. And as Nicole Scherzinger once told me, it's always great to go lighter for the summer days - she has always been a beauty inspiration since we both have dark hair, and hers always looks so pristine. Having naturally dark hair has always been an issue when it comes to colouring, because less than 24 hours later, the hair turns ginger! But thanks to Edward James, the hairdressing extraordinaire, he made sure every effort was put in place to make sure that didn't happen.
After removing the copper tones, Edward treated my hair to a British Blowdry which softened my hair and replenished moisture. It is a treatment designed to prevent frizz without weighing the hair down like a Brazilian blow-dry. Thankfully, the treatment was over in minutes – rather than hours, which usually happens when you go for a Brazilian blow-dry. Glossing oil was later added for extra shine and moisture. Just moments later, Edward began blow-drying, and the difference was incredible – my hair felt so smooth and extremely silky. I also wanted to go that one step further and decided to have the chop! Despite feeling a little apprehensive, Edward reassured me that he would lob it off in small stages – and the transformation was complete. My head felt so much lighter and the new lighter tones looked glowing, not to mention the cut shaped my face perfectly. I left the salon feeling like an A-list star from a glamorous hair commercial, there certainly was an extra spring in my step thanks to the confidence boost!
Inspired by celebrities like Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez who rock the balayage look to perfection, I decided to lighten my own naturally dark hair ahead of the summer. I've tried time and time again over the years to achieve this perfect sun-kissed look - both with salon highlights and ill-advised home dye jobs – and have never quite managed to achieve what I'm after. However after talking through what I wanted with my stylist Freddie, I was confident that I was in the best hands for my transformation.
Before reaching for the dye, Freddie gave an expert consultation where he assessed the natural colour and condition of my hair, leading him to decide to use two lighter shades of Aveda dye; one a silky caramel tone and the other a lighter blonde hue. By alternating the two shades throughout my hair with a 'halo' balayage technique the result was much more natural and ensured the colour blended seamlessly with my natural shade. With the addition of face framing highlights in what he dubbed a "bronzed bronde" shade, and my hair styled into loose waves to showcase the different colours, I left truly happy with my look and ready for summer!