Hayley Matthews: Cutting to the chase, my hair was a colour disaster

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands
Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands
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I’m not ashamed to admit that recently I have been struggling with a midlife hair crisis, but all the experimenting has left some damage.

So far, over the last 12 months I’ve had, black hair, purple hair, blonde hair, orange hair (not intentionally), pink and purple (that was intentional) and back to a copper blonde. I naturally look like Wednesday from the Addams family so, I’m surprised my hair hasn’t fallen out

When I heard about stylist Austen Thomson (the only Scottish finalist for Salon of the Year Award) who has cut the likes of Christian Slater and Pixie Lott’s hair, I thought that if I’m going to get fixed, then this is the man for the job.

I felt a little embarrassed before going in as I’d also taken the scissors to my hair (after a glass of wine one night) when I decided I wanted to have a fringe. Not a good idea. Do not try that at home.

However, I was soon put to ease when Austen told me that he’s anticipating a return of the fringe in the next few months as hair trends often swing from one extreme to the other.

My DIY fringe needed a bit of tidying up but as for the colour, well, with so many hair colours out at the moment it can be hard to know what to go for and also what will suit you.

The girl next to me was going ice pink and it was beautiful! I couldn’t pull it off but would if I could! I was just happy to be having a colour on my hair that would change it from a manky sweetcorn yellow to a baby blonde.

The man has fingers like little magic wands and would put Edward Scissorhands to shame.

I asked every question possible as this guy is kind of a big deal and has some serious skills. He has a client who actually flies from Hong Kong to Edinburgh to specifically get his hair done, and after stepping into the salon I could understand why.

Austen was full of excellent advice and tips and insists a good hair cut is all about balancing out the face. I know I have a wee baw face (that’s a technical term) so some volume is always good. So, what are the no-nos, secrets and tricks of the trade?

Well, bonded extensions will wreck your hair, advises Austen, so always try to opt for a clip in or temporary extension. There are even extensions with invisible hair bands. They are on my Xmas wish list!

Dry shampoo is a must. Not only does it give you a bit of volume but if you have brown hair (or the odd grey sprouting out the top of your head like myself) the coloured shampoo will give you a shine and a root cover. Genius!

After a few hours of precision colour melting, feathered strokes of the blending brush, some balayage techniques and two head massages with a fibreplex treatment, I exited Great Junction Street with a new hair swagger that would put Rita Ora to shame.

I hope Austen and his team win the Salon of the Year award. However, if they don’t, the ladies and gentlemen of Leith and Hong Kong, I’m sure will still be visiting for their hair fix.