The closest I’ve come to virgin hair since my teen years was the time I had extensions. Which, for my own hair, meant even more processing heartache. The chemicals have been bothering me of late – I’ve had an insanely itchy scalp – but I refuse to go grey gracefully, so I’m opting for a gentler approach: organic colour, which is surprisingly hard to find. One convert is Karine Jackson – newly appointed president of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing – whose Covent Garden salon uses Organic Colour Systems. Their products contain the lowest possible amount of PPD (which makes hair colour permanent – it is necessary to cover greys, but also most associated with allergic reactions) and are free from ammonia. What started as a favour to a client who had been diagnosed with cancer has become a way of life for the hairdresser, who also tells me that since switching to the dyes, a hacking cough which had plagued her for years has disappeared completely. She’s so reassuring that I tell her she can have free rein with my hair. It’s almost disappointing that she likes the current colour (grey roots aside) and thinks that longer hair suits me. Rather than anything dramatic, she plans to brighten up the tone, lighten up the ends and chop into the body. Organic colour works slightly differently, in that the hair is washed first to open the cuticles. The other difference is the smell, or lack of, which makes for an altogether more pleasant experience, especially when sat under the heat of the processor. The results are fantastic. The colour shines and I can already feel the difference on my scalp. And with Karine’s cut and clever blow dry, it’s happy hair days all around. Au revoir ammonia, I’m converted to kinder colours.
Cut and colour from £90-257. 24 Litchfield Street, WC2H (020 7836 0300; karinejackson.co.uk)