Aldo Coppola opened its first London branch in December 2009. The two-floor salon was designed by Brodie Niell and kitted out in Philippe Starck and it felt contemporary yet elegant. They pioneer free-hand colouring techniques such as Shatush; hair is back-combed in sections and colour is applied with no need for foils. Their aim is to create a natural finish with minimal damage and less obvious re-growth.
I was introduced to Oscar Mercaldi, the curly-haired art director, who had assured me that the Shatush technique could be used to achieve the same uniform blonde on my roots as the rest of my hair during a previous consultation. However, this time he said that Shatush completely leaves parts of your natural colour while lightening other parts, giving a less even but more natural multi-tonal effect. This is not actually suitable for my hair, as to get it back to a uniform blonde the whole area would have to be re-bleached, damaged further, and would remain uneven where the Shatush had lifted some parts and not others.
So, Oscar reluctantly conceded to lift my roots evenly. He said this could, ‘definitely be achieved with a tint’ and there was no need for the mild peroxide a colourist would usually use. I politely explained to Oscar that two colourists before him had tried to lift my roots with only a tint, and that it would go brassy, yellow or orange but he insisted that he was ‘the expert’ and implied that I was being difficult. The result: neon orange roots to rival a Sainsbury’s carrier bag.
I’m the first to admit I have difficult hair. It is fine, dry, damaged and fragile, but when the senior colourist at one of London’s most expensive salons expects me to walk out with orange hair, I take issue. Especially when their response is, ‘It’s not perfect, because your hair is difficult’. When faced with my horror, he just said, ‘Well why did you come to me then?’ Er..? Because I’d come for a consultation a week previously and been assured that Aldo Coppola’s Shatush technique would achieve the results that I wanted.
My roots were such a bright, garish, hideous tone that I couldn’t leave the salon. Enter Daisy: she took one look at my electric-orange roots and gibbering, tearful face and promised that I wouldn’t leave until it looked OK.
The extent of the damage was confirmed when my boyfriend arrived to collect me. One look at my hair and he promptly ran out to return with flowers and a bottle of claret. One glass down and things were looking slightly less bleak.
Amazingly, I left an hour later with a pretty decent colour job. Yes, the roots are still slightly brassy where Daisy couldn’t kill the orange, but overall my hair looked better than when I’d walked in. Something you’d usually expect when you visit a high-end salon but having experienced the archetypal hair nightmare just an hour earlier, I was gushing with gratitude.