Six years ago, I tried the Yuko Hair Straightening system. Four hours sat in a fug of ammonium led to hair that was poker straight and glossy, till four months later when regrowth brought back my natural frizz.
In lots of respects, it was wonderful. There’s something peculiarly satisfying about looking groomed 24/7 but there’s also something about breaking down follicles so drastically that made me wary. I never went back.
At first glance, Jo Hansford’s Split End Treatment, which promises to smooth and soothe damaged hair, sounds similar. It’s not. Wheras Yuko is about restructuring, Jo Hansford’s treatment is about deep conditioning, focusing on the ends but benefiting the rest of your barnet.
Once described by American Vogue as ‘the best tinter on the planet,’ Jo Hansford (MBE, no less) is an icon of hair colouring, probably more responsible than anyone for bringing colour to the front of the salon.
Today, 20 years this year after she first opened her Mount Street salon, Jo has a team of over 50 skilled colourists and stylists working for her and a roster of celebrity clients that include Elizabeth Hurley (pictured, celebrating the salon’s 20th birthday), Sienna Miller, Yasmin Le Bon and Georgia Jagger. Who wouldn’t want hair like them?
But you can’t look at colour without looking at condition and the Split End Treatment is one of a number of therapies Hansford’s team has developed to promote hair health.
What happens? After a thorough wash, hair ends are painted with a keratin-rich cream designed for dry, frizzy and chemically treated locks before heat application allows follicles to open and the cream to penetrate more deeply. This ‘seals’ in split ends for up to three to four months, leaving hair looking smoothed and nourished but without an all-over straightened look.
‘This treatment is best for people who want to grow their hair but can’t [because of damage] because it actually repairs it,’ says artistic director Dino Georgiou. ‘If they came back every three to four months for a year, we could take their hair back to its pre-coloured, pre-treated state.’
There’s loads of other advantages. Firstly, because it’s heat-activated, the next time you put a brush and blow dry to it, your hair smooths out again. Secondly, it reduces the number of other products you need to use on your hair. During washes over the next few weeks, my newly revitalized locks to one natural shampoo, no conditioner (‘Always use sodium and sulphate-free shampoos, as they can strip product out quicker,’ advises Dino).
My hair, already healthy but dry, is super happy – not ‘ironed’ but longer, straighter, glossier. The test of any treatment: would I go back? Unlike with Yuko, yes, actually, I would.
From £120. Visit Jo Hansford, 48 South Audley Street, London W1K. To make an appointment, please call: (+44) 020 7495 7774 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.johansfordsalon.com