Elizabeth Bennett trials ‘Ice Blonde’, a new colour service from celebrity hair guru, Nicola Clarke
Dubbed winter 2019’s ‘biggest colour trend’, ‘Ice Blonde’ is the latest look designed by the Queen of Blonde herself, Nicola Clarke. Responsible for a whole host of celebrity blonde ‘dos including the three Kates – that’s Moss, Winslet and Blanchett – what she doesn’t know about this shade isn’t worth knowing.
Scandi-inspired and cool-toned, ‘Ice Blonde’ is a flattering and grown-up upgrade on your classic blonde ‘do. Available via Nicola’s world-class colouring team at John Frieda Margaret Street, the look is created by expertly layering blonde shades to ensure they are the perfect complement to your skin tone.
I arrive at John Frieda Margaret Street on a drizzly Friday afternoon and I’m immediately grateful to be whisked downstairs and seated in the buzzy salon with a steaming cup of tea and a large stack of magazines. The hairdresser’s chair is my happy place.
I naturally have mousy hair which I’ve been religiously brightening for the last fifteen years. In fact, my relationship with my hair dye is longer lasting than any romantic endeavour. Except for one minor blip at university, when I dabbled with chestnut brown and instantly regretted it (turns out blondes do have more fun), I’ve never veered away from the standard half head of beachy highlights.
Ice Blonde is my version of ‘experimental’ so luckily my stylist Natasha instantly puts me at ease. After all, if you want to go blonder this is the salon to do it. The Ice Blonde look is defined by cool shades but this doesn’t necessarily equate to a white blonde look, something Natasha explains while talking me through the best-suited tones for my hair and skin. She suggests a mix of highlights to cover my roots and brighten up overall and some additional balayage (free painted dye) to lift the colour further. I’m sold.
As I sit back and let Natasha work her colour magic I take in the people watching (it’s mainly well-to-do regulars and everyone knows everyone), admire the interiors (it’s luxe and Instagrammable to say the least) and plough through my magazines.
When my colour has developed and washed off I’m taken upstairs for a blowdry with Mark. Clarke’s expert team of stylists are either colour or styling experts, not both. As someone with a non-existent blowdry routine (I’m a wash-and-go girl), Mark understood my need for a blowdry that wasn’t too ‘done’. By blow drying in layers and using a root lift product, Mark created volume and shape without it looking dated and left the ends sleek not poker straight. He also introduced me to my new favourite haircare range, Virtue (a saviour for bleached blondes).
I think it’s the best blowdry I’ve ever had. It’s my hair but on a really good day. Think more voluminous, bouncy and gloss without a hint of prom queen.
And the colour is spot on too. Brighter and blonder than my usual but the mix of highlights and balayage make it appear totally natural. I feel one step closer to being that cool Scandi girl I dream of. By the time I leave the salon the rain has stopped and I almost wished I’d made bigger plans for Friday night.
Nicola Clarke at John Frieda Salons, 58-59 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 8FN; 020 7636 1401; nicolaclarkeatjohnfrieda.com
Colour from £60 and cut from £60