The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Cornwall Edition

Craig Chapman colours me happy

7 Feb 2016

The new year is no time for being pious and sober – it’s grey enough, thanks all the same. Kudos if you managed dry January (what evs), but in my experience self-denial only leads to face-stuffing, hangovers and self-loathing before the month is out (I’m soooo weak!). Much more mojo-sustaining in these grey months is a bit of self-indulgence – time for the first haircut of the year!

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Muddy Cornwall. Ok,ok, its not

With a plethora of hair services offered such as bridal, Afro hair styling, hair extensions, cutting, colouring, styling and men’s hair styling, Craig Chapman Hair Design is Launceston’s most sought after salon.

The muddy barnet grows with the consistency of woolly straw. On top of that, I’ve tortured it with home colouring experiments, and efforts to look edgy with heat styling.  Resigned to the fact that no amount of witchcraft would help, my irreverent lazyself hasn’t been to a salon since landing on these shores. But, new year new hair, time to throw myself at the mercy of fabulous creative director Kayleigh DeVries at the Launceston salon.

Kayleigh had her work cut out for her. This was an exercise in both mitigation and rectification. She suggested a (big) cut (no dusting of ends here), balayage, and an Olaplex repair treatment. WTF-a-plex? I eyed her with suspicion since I have an inbuilt bad science detector. Fear not though – Olaplex is a actual thing with an actual TM. Developed by non-hair boffins, it repairs even bleached-to-death (tick) and fried tresses (tick) and restores them to their salad days – yes doubters that’s a science FACT!

But be prepared to spend a lot of time at the basin. The first stage – the sciency sounding Bond Multiplier – is responsible for repairing the hair bonds. It’s mixed with water and applied it directly to dry hair. You are then left to read your glossy for five minutes, before stage two, the  equally sciency Bond Perfector, is combed in. This is a catch-all, repairing any remaining broken bonds missed stage one, another 10 mins and its washed out.

Half way!

Then get this, its added to the colouring process – they mix the Bond Multiplier to the hair dye solution. It doesn’t affect uptake and stays on until its rinsed it out with the colour. Bond Perfector is combed in again et voila! Baby soft hair! I am a total Olaplex convert.

Kayleigh is the cutest, managing friendly and uber-edgy at the same time (she even has a blue fringe). When she’s working her craft though she’s quiet and deadly serious. Secretly, I hoped that the Olaplex might help me absorb some of her coolness but sadly it just repairs hair bonds. With Craig she often assists on fashion shoots and London Fashion Week.

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Kayleigh, Muddy, Craig

Craig is a lovely guy too, very down to earth, smiley and up for a group selfie! Craig has won and beeen nominated for a plethora of awards – finalists in the 2015 British Hairdressing Awards Men’s Hairdresser of the Year and Wales and South West Hairdresser of the Year, finalists in three categories in 2014, and winning in previous years. Which isn’t too shabby a CV is it?

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The shop has had a make-over of its own recently, with one off finds and retro pieces from the second hand shop opposite. Evidence of up-cycling is everywhere: from the art deco washstands, to the 1930’s cinema seating. I just love his taste.

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Craig’s passion for photography is evident from the wall decorated in his and Kayleigh’s past collections.

craigchapman 3Prices are at the top end of the scale – more on a par with London, but yous-gets-what-yous-pays-for: a cut and style with the man himself from £70. Olaplex was £20 per treatment (I had two) In my book, the price is well worth my hair looking 10 years younger.

Two weeks later, and lordy, I’ve not had a bad hair day since – no oils or leave ins required, my hair is baby soft, shiny and in better condition than it was in my twenties. It feels natural again. Nothing to see here except great looking hair. No-one will ever know how bad I neglected it – oh wait..

Now, if only it worked on crows feet…

Craig Chapman Hair Design, 9 White Hart Arcade, Launceston, PL15 8AA

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Cornwall Edition