How to take your Hairdresser the right photographs

Why it is important to take your hairdresser lots of photographs when you want a change.

Cellphones now make it easier than ever to take your hairdresser photographs of what you want. And contrary, to what seems to be popular belief ,we actually really appreciate it when our clients bring us lots of photographs. Here’s why:

Everyone and every Hairdresser has different perceptions
How to take your Hairdresser the right photographs

How a Hairdresser sees colour in photographs

As the picture next door perfectly illustrates violet  can mean very different things to different people. Several different photographs of more or less similar colours or cuts, help make sure you and your hairdresser are on the same page.

3 is better than 1

It is also important to make sure you have at least 2 preferbly 3 pictures. I you have just one it is almost certain you will be disapointed. The reason for this is every ones perception is slightly different. So you can be certain that if you show your hairdresser one photograph they will interperate it differently to you. However if you show them several then the chances you will both agree is much better.

The back might not be the same

Picture the scene, you show your haidresser 3 photographs, all from the front, showing a beautyful jaw length bob. Yet walk out of the salon with the front perfect, but the back’s shaved to the occipital bone. This really just comes down to communication. After years in the salonI have come to realose how bad people usually are at it. Having a few different pictures, from all angles, not just the front, would solve this.

When it comes to the cut, colour does not matter

Some times we get so fixated on perfection, we cant see the bob for the pixie. When you are trying to explain how you want your haircut, the colour in the photos does not matter at all. Black and white also works perfectly. Like wise when it comes to colour the cut does not matter. (Black and white won’t work here though!)

So in closing if you want perfect results first get a pile of photos showing variations on the cut from all angles, and another pile showing variations of the colour. Chances are, by giving your hairdresser lots of photos you will help them hit the bulls eye with your hair.

You can click on the photo to book your appointment at Simon Clark Hairdressing or phone 041 373 0787

Fashion Colours Simon Clark Hairdressing

Everything you need to know about Fashion Colours

Fashion colours are great and all the rage but here is what you need to know before you ask for one.

Its going to take time
Simon Clark Hairdressing presents rainbow fashion colours

Rainbow hair Fashion Colours by Simon Clark Hairdressing

Those wonderful pictures you see on Facebook don’t happen at the drop of a hat.

First off, before we can deliver your fashion colours of unicorn, mermaid or oil slick colour we need to get your hair light enough for it. On a rough scale, highlighted hair is easiest. Light virgin hair is next, followed by dark virgin hair. If you have EVER coloured your hair darker then we are looking at real time in the salon to get it light enough.

So how long will it take? Well first we need to bleach, yes if you want light hair, this needs to happen, multiple times. In during and in between which you will need multiple treatments to keep your hair looking good. So expect to spend a long time in the salon

For this reason it will not be cheap

Fashion colours are very product and labour intensive. As a general rule we will use a minimum of 4 processes to achieve 1 colour result. As a simple guesstimate take what your usual colour costs you and times by 4 to give you a price. It is always best to discuss what you want, with your hairdresser in advance, to make sure you don’t get a shock at the till

Lightened hair = damaged hairSimon Clark Hairdressing Grey Fashion Colours Balayage

As we said before, your hair needs to be very light before you can colour it with fashion colours. Very light hair usually means fragile hair. So be prepared to buy extra products and come for regular treatment to maintain your hairs condition. If you are going to invest in having  fashion colours, then you need to invest in maintaining your hairs condition too.

Fashion colours have very short life spans.
Fashion Colours Simon Clark Hairdressing

Simon Clark Hairdressing Purple and Pink Fashion Colours

Almost all of them are direct dyes which are temporary colours. Even in a best case scenario, they will only last 4-8 weeks. Pastel colours tend to have an even shorter life span of 1-2 weeks because they are sheer and light. So you need to be prepared to touch them up regularly. On the plus side a they fade quickly, you can have a new colour every few weeks.

You can click on any of the pictures to book your appointment online.

Simon Clark Hairdressing shows how to get Robin Wrights Haircut

Robin Wright’s new lob, and how to get the look.

Here at Simon Clark Hairdressing we love Robin Wright and her character Claire Underwood in House of Cards. That is her hair and glamorous outfits, her back stabbing, adultery and general wickedness, we  love to hate.  So it came as quite a surprise to us that she has grown out her, or rather Claire’s power pixie.

Getting Robin Wright’s cut

Simon Clark Hairdressing shows how to get Robin Wright's Haircut

Robin Wright as Claire Underwood looking amazing at 04.00

While Robin Wright’s current style is lob, her style on set is a short lob.  Like most classic looks, the foundation is simple.  Ask your hairdresser for a mid length bob, with a slight graduation and a few layers.  Next add expert baby lights and daily professional styling. I mean, no one wakes up at 04.00, looking this good!

The Colour

For the colour, ask your hairdresser for a full head of babylights. These super fine blended highlights will add extra texture to your cut.   If your hairdresser is nervous about trying babylights, they are a pain the ass to do! A normal full head of highlights should  do the trick too. Just make sure you ask for more than one colour. They could use a reverse babylights technique for the contrasting colour. This would involve just applying the darker colour to the roots and some times the mid-lengths.


For styling unless, like Ms Underwood, you have stylist on call 24/7, you better start learning to curl. Whether you use a wand or a hair straightener the principle is the same, practice! Claire’s curls are all styled away from her face. This should make it slightly easier to do yourself. Top tip practice doing the left side with your right hand. Then your right side with your left hand. It is easier than it sounds and a little practice should yield great results. If you still struggle you are more than welcome to book a blow dry with me. Bring your equipment and I will show you how to use it. Visit or phone 041 373 0787 to book your appointment.



Why Salma Hayek’s ombre Lob might not be such a good idea

Salma Hayek choose Cannes Film Festival to debut her new ombre lob. Now don’t get me wrong here at Simon Clark Hairdressing we love the current trend of ombres and lobs we are just not so sure the 2 go together.

Simon Clark Hairdressing ombre lob

Simon Clark Hairdressing reveals Salma Hayek’s ombre lob

As you will see from the attached pic, there is a fine line between a great ombre and a bad regrowth.  We think Miss Hayek is tending to the latter.


Why lobs and ombre don’t work

Ombres work by transitioning from the natural darker roots to light ends. This is very difficut to do with a Lob because the hair is much shorter.  Meaning there is much less hair to work with. With long hair it is easy to engineer the smooth transition but in shorter hair, like a lob, it is much trickier to do.

The other reason is lobs like Ms Hayek’s have a very strong shape. Blended hair colours can break this shape and dilute the effect of the cut.

For this reason we would advise our clients who want to go for a balayage effect on shorter hair to rather use baby lights.

Balayage vs Babylights

This could be a blog in its own right, but simply put balayage works with big chunks of hair. Baby lights use fine weaves in foils. Babylights  thus can provide a far more subtle blending of colour. To prevent your ombre from looking like a regrowth.

Because baby lights provide more seamless blending they can also be used to enhance the shape of a lob. So if you have longer hair we would definitely recommend and ombre. It’s also less work than babylights to do. If you have blunt lob then babylights are definitely the way to go.

If you want to see more pics of Salma’s Cannes hair you can find them here:[700053794]&ep=1/60/1&s=3

Though it would seem we were not the only ones who did not think it was her best look. A later search reveals she has already replaced it with long dark extensions.

Why Bond Fusion is a better than the rest

Bond Fusion, Olaplex and all the other “plex” bond builders have become big news.  However not all of them are created equal. After much research we settled Bond Fusion as the best of the bunch.

Simon Clark Hairdressing

Bond Fusion: Bond Builder, Bond Enhance and Bond Recharger

The Basic Chemistry

To make a choice you need to know how they work. To do this we need a bit of basic chemistry. Your hair is made of a protein called keratin. Keratin is special because it contains an amino acid called Cystine. Cystine in turn contains a free sulphur. These free sulphurs can bond to each other forming disulfide bonds. These disulpde bonds then link long chains of proteins. Rather like a stair case where the cysteine molecules are the rails and the disulphide bonds are the stairs.

Simon Clark Hairdressing

Hair showing normal disulphide bonds

The disulphide bonds  are responsible for giving hair is strength and its shape. When we straighten or perm our hair we break and reform them. Perms, straighteners and relaxers are not the only things that break them. Heat from styling, the sun and chemical processes like bleaching and colouring can also do it. Hence using your straightener to much is not such a good idea!

Simon Clark Hairdressing

Hair showing broken disulphide bonds

Normally once broken they take a while to reform which is why you can’t wash your hair  washing your hair straight after a perm.  Interestingly hydrogen peroxide which is used to reform them in a perm can also prevent them from reforming by capping the loose sulphur to form a sulphate that can’t bond with anything.

Bond builders basics

This is where the bond builders come in. These claim to be able to repair the disulphide bonds (stairs) broken in colouring, faster than the peroxide can cap them as sulphates. Most, like Olaplex  claim to be longer version of the disulphide bond stair that we spoke about earlier.  This creates a problem as longer stair is by virtue of its increased length weaker than a shorter one.

Simon Clark Hairdressing

Hair showing bonds formed when ordinary bond builder is used

Which causes a further problem as once the stair is broken it can not be repaired again as the 2 ends of the stair are still very firmly attached to the rails. While the broken end will not bond with anything. This may be why they seem to loose its effectiveness after a while.

Simon Clark hairdressing

broken bonds from continuous bond builder use

Why Bond Fusion is Better

Bond Fusion is different in that it has split the “stair” used in bond builders down into 2 separate parts. First you have a mounting molecule, Bond Builder  that seeks out and bonds to the broken stair ends.

Simon Clark Hairdressing Kuene Bond Fusion

Hair showing Kuene Bond Fusion Bond Builder

Then you have the stair molecule, Bond Enhancer, that joins the joining the bond builder molecules together.

Simon Clark Hairdressing - Kuene Bond Fusion

Hair showing Bond Fusion Bond Enhancer bridging the gap


Now with other bond builders the home use treatment is just more of the replacement stairs. So while you are able to keep repairing new broken bonds you can’t re-repair broken repaired ones, for reasons explained. But with Bond Fusion when the stair molecule breaks using your Phase 3, you can recharge and replace any of the broken stairs. Keeping your hair in constant good condition

first time client voucher (400 x 288)

Get R100.00 off your first Bond Fusion Appointment

simon Clark hairdressing book online tab (400 x 288)

Prada Bob Haircut the latest hair trend?

bobs cut for prada new summer trend

Models left and right show Prada bob haircuts cut for the Prada Milan show

So Prada bob  has got the worlds fashion press buzzing. By having celebrity stylist Guido Palua, cut it on seven models, back stage before their Milan show. Am I surprised? No! Was this a sudden spontenious event? Almost certainly not! Do I think the trend will catch on? Maybe!

The Prada bob cut
Andrognous feiminity, prada bob

Side view of the Prada bob styled with a bit of mouse

First off lets look at the cut. It is a standard lip length bob that due to its straight line is closer to a page boy. It is in theory could be cut to suit almost anyone. Though as Palua points out, it does have an androgenous feel to it. So it is probably best avoided if you are not buildt like a Prada model or don’t like wearing make up and earings. It is probably the most difficult style to cut well. It requires precision and there is no where to hide if you make a mistake. That said it is also easy to style, easy to wear and easy to grow out.

Was it planned?

Lets however spare a though for the models. I can just see it, “here’s your chance to be part of the Prada line up but you need to have your haircut short.” Well now lets see, thats a really hard choice…. Also I can not see any model no matter how desperate, agreeing to have her hair chopped at no notice with out throwing a temper tantrum. So this was definitely planned in advance. Still, as has also been pointed out it also gave them a chance to do something different in an industry that is obcessed with long hair.

Will it catch on?
Prada Bob

Model on Prada ramp in Milan with the trade mark bob haircut

With Vogue, Elle and Alure all jumping on the band wagon and pitching the cut, it might. We have been in Lob country for while now and fashion depends on change…. It is the perfect style for matrics who have just finished writing and want a change and will be nice and cool for summer. So while  one swallow does not make a summer will 7 bobs  make a summer trend?

Lets wait and see. if you are feeling dareing you can book you appointment at

Olaplex explained

Hi have been getting quite a few enquiries about Olaplex, what it is and what it does. So in the interests of happy, educated clients I thought it would be a good idea to explain:

What is It?
simon clark hairdressing uses olaplex

olaplex at simon clark hairdressing

Well technically olaplex is, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Which is the single active ingredient mixed with water and a few other goodies to make it stable and easy to use. Forget about the big words I’ll explain it more simply in a second

Some back ground basics

Simpy put your hair is made up of Keratin, which intern contains a lot of the amino acid cystine. Cystine inturn contains a sulpher atom. When you put 2 of these amino acids side by side the sulpher atoms are able to join the 2 cystine molecules together by forming a disulpide bond.

It is this bond that gives hair its strength and shape. (This is the bond you break and reform when you perm or straighen hair.) Now when you are colouring hair, more particularily bleaching it the bleaching process also breaks these disuphide bonds. Interstingly, for reasons we won’t go into here, the peroxide used in the bleaching process can prevent these bonds from reforming. This is usually what leads to the damage to hair.

How does Olaplex work?

Now if you imagine these disulfide bonds as the stairs in a spiral stair case, then a stair case with broken stairs will not be any good. Olaplex is essenially a replacement stair and when mixxed with hair colour will seek out and repair broken disulfide bonds before the peroxide can prevent them from being repaired.

How long does it take?

Your Olaplex in coloring treatment consists of adding Olaplex to your bleach mixture. This can cause the mixture to develop about 30% slower. Most salons, us included over come this by bumping up the strength of the peroxide mixed. So it should add much if any time to your colour processing time. Interestingly this also seems to improve the effects of the Olaplex in preventing damage.

When should I use Olaplex?

At Simon Clark Hairdressing we recommend that you use Olaplex when ever you bleach or perm your hair. It is absolutely essential to prevent damage when making dramatic color changes. Beyond that if you are just doing your normal month to month hair colouring, then your normal in salon and at home after care like, Wella’s oil refections should be more than suffient.

Remember you can book your next hair appointment online at

Everything you want to know about the Sweet First Shampoo to straighten hair

So the Sweet First Shampoo to straighten hair, is taking the market by storm and almost everyone is rushing to offer a better price, on

Before and after showing the Sweet First shampoo straighten hair

Before and after showing the Sweet First shampoo straighten hair

the newest kid on the block. So, having trained on the product with trainers from Sweet, what do you need to know?


Is The Sweet first shampoo faster ?

Well yes and no. I was once taught by a wise engineer, you can have fast, good or cheap, now pick two! If it is fast and good it won’t be cheap! Likewise if it is cheap and fast it won’t be good! So which is it? As above, the truth is somewhere in the middle. It is definitely faster to do than a traditional Brazilian (this is what I can tell from reading) However you need to follow certain processes properly and this takes time. It is definitely not something you can whack off in an hour and half!

So how long will it take? simon Clark hairdressing book online tab (400 x 288)

Work on 2-3 hours unless you have a real mop in which case it might take a bit longer.  You can get an idea of how long you should allow and book your appointment here:

Do I need to use special shampoo?

No not really, your cheap and nasty supermarket shampoos won’t damage it, but a good shampoo will definitely get your hair looking better!

Can I colour my hair?

Yes immediately after your treatment? You can even swim in salt water. You can also colour and then straighten, but it does strip colour from hair so this is perhaps not the best idea. (unless you had a home job boo boo in which case…. ) You can even do it on top of a relaxer or use it to fix that perm you are now regretting.

Will it irritate my scalp?

The shampoo has the same ingredients as most facial peels so some tingling is to be expected, but nothing serious. If it goes beyond this shout for help!

How long will it last?

Depending on who you talk to, but 3-4 months seem to be the numbers being quoted. Truth is we don’t really know yet. If you want the real answer come back in January. In the meantime, it seems to work and our clients have yet to complain…

Does it have any Formaldehyde? Not it does not contain any.

Is it safe?

Well I would not drink it, I would not drink shower gel either, as a number of the ingredients, are toxic if drunk, but that aside and the note below I am completely confident in it’s safety

Is there anything else I need to know?

The product contains Aspirin, so if you are allergic to aspirin I would have a sensitivity test before doing it. (I might even think twice about even trying the sensitivity test in this instance. So talk to your doctor first… !!) Likewise I would take care during pregnancy. Yes I know they, the manufacturers say it is safe, but lets be sensible about it. I, and I admit this is my personal opinion, think we need a little more info here. Aspirin is contra indicated in pregnancy and I for one do not want to cause any complications.

So all in all should you use the Sweet First Shampoo ? If you are not allergic to aspirin or pregnant I can’t see why not. Based on the results we are producing it really seems to do what it says it will on the bottle. Just don’t go to a salon that claims they can do it in under 2 hours as all you are likely to get is fast and cheap!