Ten minutes with hairstylist Sophia Hilton from Not Another Salon
‘When is hair mascara going to come back?’
Sophia Hilton is the queen of all things hair. She’s the winner of the L’Oreal Colour Trophy 2013, was named “British Newcomer”at the British Hairdressing Awards 2013, and in 2011, she won the Creative Head “IT Girl” Award. She educates and works on shows in over seven countries.
She is also the owner of one of London’s coolest salon’s – Not Another Salon. Based on Brick Lane, it’s a “a hair salon for women bored of hair salons”, with kaleidoscopic decor and nostalgic sweets proffered as canapes. Walking into the salon is like stepping into a daydream saturated in colour: the stylists specialise in creating luxurious looks and high end colour bleeds, and clients include The Confetti Crowd and Sophie Hannah Richardson.
I spoke to Sophia about the salon, how often you should really wash your hair, and the hair trends you’ll see this summer.
What makes your salon so different from other ones?
When I went to west London to get my hair done I didn’t feel posh enough, and when I went to the east I didn’t feel cool enough. Not Another Salon, with its builders tea and Wagon Wheels, Game Boys and Play Doh removes the pressure and makes you feel like you’re in an adult Disneyland.
Five years ago, we loved bright colours and the DIY look. But now, those girls have grown up and they want hair with personality with a ‘high end’ professional edge.
Tell us about your ‘no judgement’ and ‘anti-factory’ ideology.
Salons can be a scary place. It’s intimidating to walk in anywhere new – especially a salon. I wanted to make it clear that we don’t care where you’re from or what your style is. My staff are beautiful, caring people who make everyone feel that the salon is for them; It’s a place for you to be you. Not Another Salon has an #AntiFactory ideology, we’re here for those bored of blow dries, disinterested in dip-dyes and sick of standard salons.
What are your customers like?
Our clients sit in the 25-35 bracket, or so Facebook says! They’re professionals, often in creative industries and generally people who enjoy being in creative environments. Our clients often see their hair as an artistic opportunity; we create looks that are “them” and not us.
Talk us through your day-to-day routine in the salon.
I usually do office work in the mornings and hair in the afternoon through to the evening. I like to being around during the day for consultations, I love meeting and chatting to people getting their hair done at my salon.
What is the most common style people go for?
We have a saying, “everyday’s a grey day”: we’re churning out a good few grey hair looks almost everyday. It’s hard in this day and age with things like Instagram because clients believe anything is possible. What they don’t see is the maintenance that goes into these colours. High maintenance hair popular in the fifties and sixties is definitely going to make a come back.
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Any hair trends you can see coming up this year?
High maintenance hair was huge in the fifties and sixties. We’ve been working with low maintenance hair for decades but we’ve seen a new wave of people ready to invest in their hair – high maintenance is coming back in a big way. Our high-end bleed looks in bold rainbow colours are so popular now, clients are really investing in their hair as a statement.
What hairstyle will people be wearing to festivals?
Braids were huge last festival season, they’re so practical when you’re away from your hair care and tools. This season they’re looking softer, not so severe. Symmetry throughout your look as a whole is really important when working with softer texture.
Any tips for festival hair?
This isn’t for everyone, but hey! If you usually have a full head of highlights and you swap for a scalp bleach you’ll only need to wash your hair once a week. It’s an option.
What about hair chalks?
Hair chalks are great for our clients who like to be a little wild at the weekend but have to keep paired back during the week.
Temporary products are also handy to try out the look you want before taking the plunge at the salon. I have to be honest, I’m all about hair mascara, when’s that going to make a comeback!?
What do you think about people dying or highlighting their hair at home?
It actually freaks me out. With 11 years of experience behind me, I check bleach development every 15 minutes as there’s such a high risk of damage. It makes me nervous when I think about people with no training applying those chemicals to their own hair.
How often should you wash your hair? Is it true that the longer you leave it the less greasy it will eventually become, day-to-day?
My opinion is that this doesn’t work in the modern world. In a natural world you wouldn’t need to wash your hair as oils on your scalp would find a balance and your hair would be in optimum condition.
With pollution, extreme temperature and product and chemical abuse, I don’t think it’s possible for your scalp to achieve this balance to the point where you wouldn’t have to wash your hair.