Having black hair is both a blessing and a curse.
Advantage: minimal maintenance. I go to the living room maybe twice a year…and by living room I mean my living room where my mom sits me down, puts a towel around my shoulders and does her best Edward Scissorhands impression.
Con: you’re basically doomed to a life of sameness. Some people like consistency, but every summer the urge to do something *drastic* hits and I lament my dark hair again.
As a brunette with very dark hair (my hair is closer to black than chocolate brown), there’s not much to do with my mop. I can experiment with length and layers or maybe get bangs if I’m brave enough, but in terms of color? Yeah, I’ll probably look that way forever. Which can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow.
I dyed my hair for a year but a combination of chlorine, too much sun and very little TLC meant the bright blue I started with only lasted five minutes and I spent the rest from my vacation with gray, tousled locks. coming out of my ponytail. Not a good look.
But I digress – the point of this article is not to complain but to celebrate, because I recently tried a new hair treatment and I’m a complete convert.
Invited to the new Italian organic hair salon in Dun Laoghaire, I had an idea of what to expect, but the result was far more impressive than I expected.
Led by husband and wife duo, Francesco Piccolo and Ivana Margarini, the couple moved to Ireland with their family around six years ago. Both hairdressers with nearly two decades of experience under their belts, they first settled in Dalkey where they ran a successful salon until November last year.
Keen to expand the business to other areas, they decided to close this branch and relocate to Upper George’s Street in Dun Laoghaire. This is how Organic Italian Hairdressing, the salon-apothecary/concept store was born.
So what’s the hook?
Organic Italian Hairdressing has a pretty unique business model in that it’s 100% plant-based, organic, and chemical-free. All colors, conditioners, and scalp treatments are made from pure organic ingredients that are vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly…in fact, most of them you can eat.
Trained in the “Con Le Mani” (roughly translated as “using your hands”) method, the entire process is personalized for each client, meaning your stylist can create something specifically for you/your scalp. One size does not fit all when it comes to hair care, apparently.
Going to a real salon to get my hair cut by a professional is a luxury, simply because it’s not something I do often. Organic Italian Hairdressing takes the experience a step further with their offering. More hair spa than hair salon, they are firmly in the wellness category and I understand why.
A beautifully furnished concept store greets you as you enter, stocked with an array of vegan treats, various crafts, and the couple’s line of personalized hair products. The hairdresser’s headquarters is further inside, where soothing music and the sound of trickling water provide the soundtrack. Everything is very “no rush, no worries”.
Pulling on a protective silk robe over my clothes, Ivana sits me down in front of the mirror where she begins to assess my hair. Dry and frizzy. Both true. Moving to the back of the room, she selects a few of the powder-filled glass jars and begins mixing a concoction of red clay and spirulina.
Holding the now liquid paste under my nose to smell it, I’m a bit skeptical – especially as it starts to lather it up on my scalp. Next is another mixture of spirulina, banana, chocolate and amla (an Indian fruit rich in vitamin C) which she applies to the lengths of my hair, winding it into a neat coil in the shape of a bun before sprinkle turmeric powder on top.
The whole thing is very intriguing, but also very funny – hard not to laugh at my reflection with green-tinted sideburns.
Does it work?
In a word, yes. The halfway point would suggest otherwise, but trust the process (and Ivana!) because the results speak for themselves. Half an hour under a steamer infused with rosewater and lavender, followed by a hair wash, head massage and blow-dry and I’m a whole new woman.
My scalp is clean, my hair is shinier than it has been in years and somehow even my usually dark lifeless hair looks lighter and more chocolaty . Go for the scalp treatment, stay for the spelled cookies and herbal tea.
Scalp care at Organic Italian Hairdressing starts at €45 and you can find more information on their website bioitalianhair.bio/.