Oh, women were always welcome at the original city centre location – lord knows, I was one of them for long enough – but that big barber pole outside the shop, and their “pioneers of barbering” slogan? If you’re a woman – yes, even if you’re a woman who clams up with the anxiety at the thought of a traditional “hair salon” – it doesn’t exactly signal gender neutral. Rather, we femme-presenting Rebels found our way there through word of mouth: an online recommendation in my case, and a favour I have tried to return every time a female friend has sought a recommendation.
The Finnieston shop doesn’t have that problem. It’s trendy as hell, sure, but if you’re walking past on a Saturday you’re just as likely to see somebody like me in master barber Gemma’s chair in the front window. As for the playlist this last couple of visits, while retail manager Fran has been on front of house duties? Bangin’.
This year, I’ve made a commitment to properly looking after my hair. This means regular trims and as few chemicals as possible – a tough, and expensive, job when you’re as equally cursed and blessed with thick hair that grows in as quickly as mine does and these days mostly grows in grey. I can see the difference already, though: in the health of my hair, and also in my confidence more generally. As much as I say to myself I don’t give a fuck, a headful of straggly silver strands at the age of 34 doesn’t make for happy mirror time.
So an invitation to enjoy a luxurious pampering session using all-natural Kevin Murphy hair products was excellently timed, and one that I happily accepted.
Settling into the Rebels’ fireside sofa with a can of Coke, I perused the Kevin Murphy treatment “menu” – while knowing fine well I’d be trusting Gemma’s judgement on my hair, something which has been a touchstone of our relationship since we first met back in 2013. The treatments on offer promise “strengthening”, “thickening”, “anti-aging” and “moisturising” properties – although if you happen to know a trained Kevin Murphy educator, you can expect her to pick and choose to create a bespoke regime for your hair…
Moving over to the basin, Gemma proceeded to give me the most thorough shampooin’ of my LIFE using Kevin Murphy “Maxi Wash” shampoo. Going out of her way to coat every strand, Gemma explained that she was smoothing down the cuticles that make up the outer layer of the hair and provide protection to the core. This deep cleansing shampoo contains tropical fruit acids and anti-pollution agents to remove impurities and dissolve excess oils – plus it leaves you smelling of grapefruit which is one of my faves.
The shampoo was followed by a cocktail of moisturising and strengthening treatments, a leave-on “angel” mask (plus not one, but two glorious head massages) and a moisturising conditioner. By the end, I felt so gloriously relaxed that getting out of the chair was a chore.
Treatment over, it was time to dry off – but Gemma wouldn’t have been Gemma if she just gave me a blow dry and sent me on my way. No, she had something decidedly more glamorous in mind – and, as if in tribute to our first meeting, it just had to involve victory rolls.
Throw in the Vintage Style Me glitter smock dress I finally treated myself to with the post-Christmas discount (it’s pretty much made from wearable tinsel, so I was worried it was going to have to sit in my wardrobe until the party season rolled around again) and the result is the retro space-age princess I always knew that I was inside.
Now, I’m a daily hair-washer – but, writing this four days and three shampoos on from my treatment, the difference in the texture and feel of my hair is palpable and I have rediscovered my love for the swishy ponytail. I suppose it makes sense when we cover our skin in products and treat it with masks that the same would have benefits for our hair too – plus, a couple of hours spent hanging out with one of my favourite people and getting thoroughly pampered can only be a good thing!
Have you ever had a professional hair treatment? What do you think of this look?
I was treated to this hair treatment and style for review purposes, but all views are my own and unbiased.