A-LIST BARBERING AT REALHAIR
REALHAIR on Cale Street is as institutional as a London hairdresser can be. Celebrities, bohemians and Sloane Rangers waft in and out all day, and it has its own range of products. Many patrons are there to see the super-talented creative director John Vial, highlighter and women’s hair sculptor to the gods. The men, though, are there to see Sarah Astley, who loves cutting men’s hair because of the formality and symmetry of it. Her close-cutting is so relaxing and regular in rhythm that many men simply drift off while she’s shearing the back of their heads.
I, however, took my difficult curly hair to John. He is only the second hairdresser I’ve ever encountered who knows the secret to cutting curly hair: do it dry. That way you can see what you’re cutting and you won’t leave the person with a ridiculous triangle of hair after you’ve sheared off too much (“but I only took off an inch!” won’t help – curly hair is weird like that and springs back over-enthusiastically). So John cut my hair as though snipping or trimming a hedge – a bit here, there, everywhere. Just taking the edges off. The result was healthier, shapelier and just what I wanted. Better yet, he is a great multi-tasker, and didn’t stop amusing me with outrageous gossip the whole way through. Cut and style with John from £225; barbering session with Sarah £85. 6-8 Cale Street, SW3 3QU. Tel: 020 7589 0877
A PERFECT SPRAY TAN FOR THE PALE
JAMES Read is spray-tanner to the stars. Even so, taking my pale, red-haired self along to his tanning chamber at the Sanderson seemed foolish, since the concept of tan and me just seems so odd. I needn’t have feared: celebrities demand his tans for the red carpet for good reason. I stood on a pedestal, in paper pants, while Read blasted me (very, very evenly) with a special potion that contains several spray tans, including Xen Tan. He knows just where to dab with a towel to prevent odd blotches on, say, your wrists. I stepped off the stand, turned in front of a fan for five minutes and headed back into the world looking like I’d just returned from a summer in Miami. Better still, you’re in and out in half an hour, tops. Tans from £20. James is at the Agua Spa at The Sanderson Hotel, tel: 0207 300 1414 or for more on Read, go to www.thetantalist.com