Hairstory

 

- Edition 9, Chapter 7 -


Nabila

as told to Alexander Brebner

 

I was introduced to New Wash by Michael a couple of months ago, and that morning I had already washed my hair. I had to be picked up for the airport because I had a flight that afternoon, and I was so excited that I went back to my hotel and took a bath and washed my hair… again. As I left the shower I went back and washed it yet again because I loved it so much. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t need a conditioner; I didn’t need a masque; I didn’t need a serum like I usually do because my hair is over-processed with color. And for more than two months it’s all I’ve used. I shared it with my son, and it’s all he uses, and he shared it with his wife and that’s all she uses. I don’t plan to use anything else. It travels well with me. In fact, I’m carrying it with me because I have a meeting this afternoon and I would like more people to experience it. This is a revolution for me.

I have been meaning to get my roots done and have a slight trim; today I came in and Wes did my haircut. It’s a beautiful loft, first of all – beautiful decor, beautiful people, very stylish and edgy – how come I’ve never been to a place like this? I go to regular salons, Frederic Fekkai, Vidal Sassoon, and it’s like a factory; you’re just another head. But this was so personalized, and Wes was waiting for me and he sat with me and had a long chat about my hair, and he was guiding me, although I am a trained stylist, and I can be quite difficult. But he handled me very smartly, and he influenced me, and I had a great experience, and I’m looking forward to the color.

This is like a dream come true for a stylist and for a client; this is a luxury. No one does hair like this. This is feeling like a commune for hairstylists, which I have never seen. I’ve seen communes for artists, but I’ve never seen a commune for hairstylists. Hair is such a specialized field; it’s so special for clients and there’s so much attachment to it if it goes wrong. A lot can go wrong. But to feel so special and unique about your hair experience is fantastic. Genius.

What I am loving is the fact that you’re interviewing people so it comes out as a story. Hairstory. I don’t have the luxury of space in my salon, and although beautiful, it is a bit of a factory, a lot of stylists working, clients back to back. But this is something I will take back; I think we will invest in lights and a camera and have a little setup, and it would be great to have endorsements and testimonials from happy clients, hopefully, morning to evening.

I have been a hairstylist for 30 years and I’ve endorsed Sunsilk for 14 years and L’Oreal for five years. With L’Oreal, you do Vitamino, then the professional range, then you do Kérastase, and you don’t know where to stop. I personally buy from Kérastase a shampoo, a conditioner, a masque, and a serum, or some kind of oil. I didn’t think there was another option for women with colored hair to do any less until I was introduced to New Wash. It’s quicker; it feels cleaner; it’s lighter; my hair has more volume; it moves more naturally. I couldn’t ask for better.

I think a lot of people must try it on their heads to know how it feels. No matter what I say, unless you use it you won’t know. I’m very excited about it.

I love the way Wes used his razor to cut with; usually, people shatter hair with the razor, but he didn’t do that and used it very skillfully. There was a method to the madness; he cut very precisely, but the finish was soft. I like that. He dried it with a Mason Pearson brush, and he had a twisting technique that made it more natural, very special; I haven’t seen that before. He cut a little bit after finishing exactly where it was needed, another personalizing technique. Simple and effective; it’s always the best.

I trained as a colorist at Vidal Sassoon, but in Pakistan we only have one color: Dark brown. We don’t have the beige blondes, the strawberry blondes, and the copperheads, and the gingers. I work between Dubai and Pakistan; we don’t have many foreigners, and everyone is born with a level 3 to 6. The clients all come with a similar sensibility, so they may get shades of brown, or gold, or copper, caramel, hazel, but it’s very limited. We’ve done some lilacs and pinks, but we have to personalize it to our taste, very toned-down versions. We try to take what’s trendy and make it very simple because the sensibility is conservative. Plain vanilla. I would be an outcast with this bob. Everyone I know, especially in my age group would have long, round layered, blow-dried, 6.7 hair color with 7.1 and 8.1 highlights. That’s it. That’s the mentality. Most women who are plain vanilla don’t want to change; they love long hair, men love long hair, they all want to look like Jennifer Lopez or something big and sexy. Long layered, Victoria’s Secret.

I would hate to blend in.