ELLE’s Senior Commissioning Editor, Katie Mulloy, wants Cheryl Cole hair but ends up settling

I have the least bespoke hair in the entire world.


I think it’s always had the feeling it could be so much more, that with a little tweaking it could be face-and-life-enhancingly great. As it is, it could be hanging off any born-brunette with a questionable commitment to hair care. The only action it sees is seven minutes upside down under a hairdryer each morning. And that’s it. That’s all I give it. Really it deserves more.

So to make amends I dragged it in all its unkempt shame to Charles Worthington’s Percy Street salon. More specifically, to The Atelier – a new pop-up consultancy suite above the main salon.


Here, top stylist Mathew Soobroy is waiting to teach me – in just one hour – all I will ever need to know about my hair, so that I can end up with a cut and colour that is perfect for my particular hair, face and personality type. It’s the coiffure-equivalent of having Tom Ford sew you into your own custom-made suit.  Which is unlikely to ever happen to me, given that a) I do not, generally, operate on a bespoke budget and b) am a girl. But joy, I can have tailor-made hair.


It begins with a personality questionnaire – which reveals, unsurprisingly, I am a ‘natural’ beauty (code for ‘can’t be arsed’, one suspects). Matthew starts using the term low-maintenance a lot – as much as I would love silky, straight tresses there is little point going down that road when in reality I can be estranged from my hairbrush for days at a time. He then puts my hair under the microscope to reveal the condition of it, and my scalp. It’s delightfully gross. I could benefit from some scalp exfoliation and some conditioning on the ends.

Next we establish what cut would work well for me by analysing the shape of my face. After much deliberation it is decided I am heart-shaped. Honestly, I’m disappointed. Okay, I’m in the Liz Hurley/Victoria Beckham camp, but really, I wanted to be oval. Partly because this is the most desirable face-shape to be but mainly because it’s what Cheryl Cole is. And hair-wise – anything-wise, really – I would like to resemble Cheryl Cole as close as is humanly possible. Which colour-wise I sort of do.

And yet, Matthew is suggesting a change. He thinks I could go darker. To prove his point he pops me in a dark brown wig – a slightly darker, altogether glossier dark brown than my natural dark brown. The effect is instant. My skin miraculously becomes flawless, my eyes are all sparkly and striking.

He finishes off by taking me down to the salon for a blow-dry master class with stylist Dominico (who incidentally has a torso you could hammer meat on). He does stuff with brushes that gives me massive red-carpet hair, and finally Mathew sends me away with all the information I have gained from the consultation, as well as a recommendation of which stylist would be good for me, should I chose to follow up on his advice. And of course, I do. I am already booked in for my couture cut and colour – my hair has never felt so special.

As a special offer to elleuk.com readers you can book an appointment with Mathew for £60 (normal price £75). To make an appointment email marketing@charlesworthingtonsalons.com or call 020 7631 1370 and take along a print out of this page to your appointment. Appointments are limited and subject to availability. The service will pop-up at different salons throughout the year – for more info, visit charlesworthington.com.

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