Readers, meet my new hair stylist, Carey Partridge from Carlton Hair

 Carey takes over from my beloved David Gillson, who recently relocated to London to work at the super swish hairsalon Issy’s in Belgravia (if you find yourself in London & need a cut or colour, GO VISIT HIM!)

I visited Carey last week for the first time for a cut & colour. I know that Carey is one of the country’s top colorists (especially when it comes to blonde), so I was excited to see what she was going to suggest. We decided to lighten my roots as well as the inside band of my hair that frames my face – this alone made such a difference.

Carey also applied an in-salon treatment by Davines (this is the haircare brand that Carlton stocks) called “On Protection” that works to strengthen the hair fiber while protecting it from oxidative damage that could weaken & break the hair during bleaching or coloring.

Whenever I have my hair chemically treated, I always do a Micro Mist treatment. This is another in-salon treatment that uses water in the form of steam to penetrate deep into the hair, enhancing any treatment you’ve had.

And this is currently what my colour & cut is looking like.

Q&A Carey Partridge

Can you briefly tell me what your job as a stylist / top colorist entails?

“As a hairstylist, you’re trusted by your clients to give them the best advice when it comes to which colour would be the most complimentary for their particular skin tone, eye colour, age and personality. As a colorist, it’s important to give professional advice on home haircare and to educate clients on the importance of investing in the correct products needed to maintain the colour, cut or style.”

How did you get into it?

“Hair was my childhood dream career. I come from a line of hairdressers that unfortunately did not have the opportunity to follow their dreams like I did. After school, I was told hairdressing is not a lucrative career, so I enrolled in Computer Engineering. But I was always daydreaming about being ‘behind the chair’. I then started my hair schooling with Carlton Hair in 2005 as a full-time studying student and began working on paying clients shorty after. In this career, education is the key to mastering your skill. I have not stopped learning, traveling overseas to master skills in cutting and coloring and enrolling in courses to better my knowledge – sometimes as frequent as every 3 months.”

What does a typical day involve?

“As a stylist and manager of a Carlton Hair salon, I feel it is very important to check-in with my staff daily, ensuring they’re in a good place to give their clients the best service they possibly can.

I mentally prepare myself for the clients booked in for the day and try workout (when I can) to fuel my body and calm my mind (in this career, lunch breaks are almost impossible).

Hairdressing is very much a physical, mental and emotional career; standing on your feet for 8-9 hours, juggling 2, sometimes 3 clients at once for colour services. You also need to pass on your knowledge to those assisting you, all while maintaining a conversation with your client. This can sometimes be a challenge, but when a happy client leaves the salon full of newfound confidence, it makes all the stress worth it.”

What do you love most about your job?

“Meeting new people and changing the way they feel about themselves and how they look – This is probably what I love most about my job.”

And least?

“There’s not much I dislike about being a hairstylist. However, when a client asks me to perform the unachievable, is when it gets hard to enjoy what I love.

Hair is a science that involves colour technicalities that sometimes are just not achievable. This can be due to natural melanin in the hair, the hairs history of chemical treatments, or even the amount of hair to work with.

With the onset of social media, some client’s expectations are unrealistic. For example, it’s near impossible to transform hair that’s naturally black to blonde in one sitting. Too many people think a single appointment is all that needed to radically change one’s appearance. Unfortunately, that’s just not realistic.”

What are the main skills you need to do your job?

“Time efficiency is very important & as a stylist – you HAVE to manage your time very effectively. You also need to be able to think on your feet and have a fair amount of emotional intelligence. A client consultation typically takes 10-15 minutes and during that time you need to assess their hair & its history, personality, and what their hair goal is. You need to make quick decisions regarding which services need to be done, colour you need to formulate, and what home care products will be needed.

You also REALLY need to manage your emotions – working with people all day and being exposed to so many different personalities can be triggering & controlling your energy & wellbeing is important in customer-client relationships.”

Click HERE for Carlton Hair’s PRICE LIST

Are you Cape Town based and keen to book an appointment with Carey?

Call Carlton Hair Constantia on (021) 794-4417 to book Carey on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday or call Carlton Hair Steenberg on (021)701-0574 for an appointment on a Thursday or Friday.

To view more of Carey’s work, follow her on Instagram HERE.

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