Hair to the Throne

I love visiting the salon! I am a devoted wearer of hair extensions and I visit my wonderful stylist at least every 8 weeks!

Hair extensions (or ‘weave’ as it more commonly referred to by black women) have  increasingly becoming a staple beauty item for the woman of colour and weekend after weekend talented hairdressers perform their magic and transform the look of countless women  in a matter of hours.

I visited my hairdresser last week and she is a true inspiration.   She opened her small but busy salon in the East End of London 12 years ago and she has astutely managed and grown her business by providing an excellent service at a very fair price. She is an example of the type of enterprising entrepreneurs that this nation needs – entrepreneurs that not only provide an invaluable service to her customers but also vital employment for others.

Her passion is palpable as she tends to your tresses.

As she worked away on the afternoon of my visit, she told me about a program she had watched on the trusty British institution that is the BBC (which has produced some EXCELLENT programming this year – well worth the licence fee!).

Vidal Sassoon CBE - 83 years young! (Image: BBC)

It was a retrospective of the life of the British hairdresser, Vidal Sassoon, CBE – part 4 of the Imagine series on BBC1.

She was practically effervescing as she retold his story – how he ascended from poverty to styling the crème de la crème of the 60’s set – Sassoon is a visionary, an artisan and a connoisseur!  She found him to be a true inspiration.

Sassoon (born 17 January 1928) is credited with creating a simple geometric, “Bauhaus-inspired” hair style, also called the bob.

Nancy Kwan - the image that put Sasson on the world stage

Sassoon’s works include the geometric perm and the famous  “Nancy Kwan” hairstyles. They were all modern and low-maintenance.  In 1963, Sassoon created a short, angular hairstyle cut on a horizontal plane –  The 5 Point Cut  – which has been a key force in the commercial direction of hair styling.

His styling epitomised the revolution of the Britain in the 60s, framing the faces of influencial trend setters such as fashion designer Mary Quant and model Grace Coddington.

Model (and current Creative Director of American Vogue) Grace Coddington showcasing the 5 - point cut

Sassoon and Quant

I have to agree with my hairdresser – he is a true inspiration.

The ‘Twittershere’ was also awash with commendations for the great hairdresser – here are just a few tweets…

@EmmaR_Mac  Just watched BBC’s Imagine; Vidal Sassoon, A Cut Above. What a life. What a man. Amazing. Love him xxx #VidalSassoon

@speckyx  Catching up with the Imagine doc about #VidalSassoon it is bloody brilliant. What a top bloke. Defo getting my graduated bob cut back in!!

@elliesharpe ‘the only place where success come before work is a dictionary’ #VidalSassoon

What I enjoyed the most about the documentary was witnessing Sassoon’s zest for his profession and sheer dedication to being the best he could be. He radiated a contentment that is not often seen – despite a tumultuous personal life, he is genuinely thankful for all he has achieved and attained.

This short video (courtesy of the Telegraph.co.uk) sums up his sentiment to a tee.

Enjoy.

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Saturday Night Belles – Week 1

And we’re off!

12 weeks of fantastic TV are in store as season 9 of  Strictly Come Dancing kicked off at the weekend with the expected glitter and glamour and the thousands of hopefuls that applied, auditioned and sang their hearts out for the 2011 X-Factor judges have been whittled down to the final 16!

OK, OK… so we’ve seen it all before…but I have to admit that this is pure entertainment at its best and I am convinced that the next 3 months will not disappoint!!

As I mentioned in my previous Saturday Night Bells post, I will be commenting on the hair and make-up looks of Miss Rowland and Miss Dixon each week.

So, how did our leading ladies do in the style stakes this weekend? 

I really liked the pared down glamour that both Kelly and Alesha exhibited this week.

Kelly Rowland for the X-Factor

Kelly took the her final 8 contestants to her home in Miami, in the sunshine state of Florida (nice!!).

Her fun and flirty style epitomised the laid back vibe that Miami exudes.  I really like the tousled hair, funky beehive  and fresh faced make up  in the shot below.

However Kelly still worked the false eyelashes – a beauty accessory that is a staple in my daily armoury!

Bring me Sunshine! Kelly at home in Miami (Image: ITV1)


Kelly’s  black ensemble was classic, yet the relaxed feel was  still evident with her hair not to finished – an easy going, mussed up style was the look du jour.

Again, her makeup is natural yet visible, enhancing her pretty features. Her nude lip colour suits all skin tones  and you can get the look with the NARS Lip Lacquer in Babydoll.  I love this product – high shine and intense colour – the perfect combination!

NARS Lip Lacquer in Babydoll

Alesha Dixon for Strictly Come Dancing

Miss Dixon’s look for the inaugural weekend of SCD was delicate and demure.  Her pretty features were emphasised by her super straight locks…I  LIKE!

A classic centre parting never fails and coupled with a pop of colour on the lips, I give Alesha an 8 out of 10 for this premier look.

Strictly So Lovely! Alesha Dixon (Image: BBC)

Bonus Belle!! Jennifer Hudson!!

It was fabulous to see Jennifer Hudson on the X-Factor!  She looks incredible – her new figure is enviable – but is a testament to her hard work, focus  and dedication.

Her hair looked amazing – classy and sophisticated waves complimented her causal style.  She is a fan of the lace  wig – and hers was looking good!!

Jenny and Kelly...looking good ladies!! (Image: ITV1)

With the live shows of the X-Factor starting this weekend I await the style sensations that will be displayed with bated breath!!  Bring it on Kelly and Alesha!


Saturday Night Belles

2 TV Stations!

2 Prime Time  programmes!

2 Beautiful Black Women!

The launch of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing (SCD) last Saturday was a fabulous taster of  what we have in store for the next few weeks – glitz, glamour, sequins and sass ..and the ever so lovely Alesha Dixion!  The winner of SCD 2007 is back on our screens as a judge for SCD 2011!  (SDC ’07 was the BEST season in my opinion – Alesha’s Cha Cha Cha was HOT HOT HOT!)

With Miss Kelly Rowland over on ITV1 judging the mighty X-Factor, it is wonderful to see two exquisitely beautiful black women headlining prime time TV shows which are viewed by millions across the nation – and indeed the world (thanks to Youtube)!

And what about the weaves!!!  Kelly has been rocking the most gorgeous Remy hair in a variety of looks (kudos to the stylist!) – from tumbling, tousled curls to sleek, sexy locks – Kelly has been looking ON POINT!

Kelly Rowland X-Factor 2011 Judge

Alesha is also a lover of her hair adornments and her début style was a winner in my eyes – an on trend side ponytail emphasised her flawless features.

Alesha Dixion - SCD Launch Show

SDC will return to the BEEB in 3 weeks time, so watch this space for a week by week update on the hair and make-up creations of these two leading ladies!