My vegan & organic haircut
As 2019 rolls along, we are seeing more and more vegan options becoming available. From food to beauty it seems like more doors are opening on veganism and we are slowly moving away from our archaic ways of using animals in our products. While there are concerns that veganism going mainstream will attract problems of it’s own (people turning vegan for popularity, greenwashing, lack of transparency, etc.) it certainly is an exciting time to witness and I hope this will mean more people than ever before are able to access veganism.
One thing I’ve struggled with since turning vegan, is finding hair products that are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as hairdressers that use them. I recently asked the Bristol Vegan Facebook group for a recommendation for a hairdresser in Bristol that uses vegan products but that could provide a high quality haircut (I’ve had bad experience of ‘high street’ hairdressers and I’m pretty particular with my hair). I was pleased to get over 10 different recommendations and was spoilt for choice! I took some time to read reviews, look at client photos and see which one looked like my type of place.
I was over the moon to find Clair Swinscoe Studio Couture in Clifton, it looked like the perfect place for me and had been recommended as a truly luxurious hairdressers. I loved the sound of their hair products called Oway, organic and nearly all vegan (I checked ahead of time that the products needed for my colour + cut would be vegan and was reassured) Oway uses not only organic ingredients in their products, but they are also sourced from their biodynamic farm called Ortofficina in Bologna, Italy. I could try and explain how great biodynamic farming is, but I’m better off explaining why a square-toed sling back is this season’s must-have shoe, so I’ll leave this link to Wikipedia right here.
My hair had been in serious need of a complete makeover for far too long and I was at the point where I wanted a totally different look to really shake things up. I took a photo of what I wanted in and met with Clair the day before my appointment to go over the plan – something hairdressers really appreciate if you have long, thick hair like I do (or did!) I immediately knew I’d made the right choice as Clair knew exactly what I was talking about and explained how she was going to achieve this look.
The next day I arrived early and grabbed a coffee from the East Village Café (one of the best vegan cafes in Bristol) and wondered around the area for a bit, it’s such a lovely spot!
The appointment started with getting my hair washed by the lovely Lia, with the Oway products in the downstairs section of the salon, it was incredible! Usually hairdressers are loud, rowdy and you’re forced to listen to terrible music, so this was like a whole new world to me. It was so calm and serene, with soft lighting and gentle background music, and the smells of the Oway products made it feel like a spa retreat. We then began the cut and took off roughly 10 inches – it felt great to get rid of all that old hair!
Clair then styled my hair to the length I wanted and moved on to the colour. She used the Balayage method as well as ‘baby lights’ (similar to highlights) to achieve the natural look I wanted. It was so great to know that all the products being used were vegan, cruelty-free and organic – I was in love with how great they smelt too! Clair explained to me why using products with silicone in them give the illusion of ‘softness’ but are actually just coating your hair with plastic, which she then proved by running a blade over my hair and revealing white cotton-like plastic that came off! Right there and then, I decided to stop using hair products with silicone in it.
It took roughly seven hours from start to finish and I was so grateful for how hard Clair worked to achieve the look I wanted, she didn’t cut any corners and made sure to check I was happy as we went along. I can’t recommend Clair Swinscoe Studio enough; it’s now my all-time favourite place to go for my haircuts and colouring. I am so thrilled with the results and I couldn’t wait to share my new look with you guys :) If you ever get the chance to visit Bristol and need your hair treated to a day of pure luxury, head over to Clair and thank me later! Above is the before and after photos - let me know what you think!