A couple of weeks ago I was found heading up to Liverpool to meet with the amazing Carl Brown of Russell and Brown Hair Stylists, located in Liverpool.
In all honesty it was a bit of a dream come true to go to the salon and see the man who makes the most amazing hairstyles and as a sideline offers vintage style wigs for those of us who are follicularly challenged!
Now my hair used to be thick, lustrous and curly. It used to take forever to dry and was a real pain. Then came along GHD straighteners and literally set the world alight with their amazing capabilities.
Since then I have rarely had my curly locks, instead straightening it constantly.
Add in the change to blonde a couple of years ago and the peroxide really did do its job. It made my hair white blonde and also I managed to ruin the condition too.
Saying that, with hair masques and treatments it has got better in recent months but it is just not growing. In fact, the ends are constantly snapping and it is starting to frustrate me. I miss my vintage hairstyles and this makes me an unhappy bunny.
I have put a lot of this down to my age and the fact that I am going through the menopause. Still, I hate it.
When I learnt about Carl and his Creations I was intrigued. I actually interviewed him for Vintage Life Magazine and it made me want to order one of his wigs even more.
Due to Twinwood Festival taking place in a few weeks time (August Bank Holiday) I wanted to try and get a wig that would be perfect for my weekend.
One problem though is that I have never put on a professional wig, only the silly fancy dress ones which it doesn’t really matter if it looks perfect or not. So I knew I needed to get the advice from the man himself.
Hopping on a train I made the 3 hour journey up to the salon. The plan was to get my hair cut by his partner, Amy Brown and then do the wig discussion and fitting afterwards.
I explained to Amy that my hair was a wreck and my fringe too long. I had wanted Betty Bangs for quite awhile but was worried about whether I trusted someone to do them.
She suggested giving it a go along with trimming a lot of the dead ends (and a few singed bits) and even up the whole style. I have to say I was thrilled with the eventual outcome and loved my new look.
Now it was on to the main event though. The wigs.
Carl spoke at length to me about the wigs he uses, how he styles them and the best way of looking after them. He went on to tell me the many different options that you can choose for your specific wig and what colour I was possibly thinking of.
Whilst I would love to have one of his grey or purple creations, I knew for practicalities that I needed it to be the same as my real hair colour ie black.
This is due to the wigs being quite expensive and I certainly couldn’t wear a purple wig to work without getting a bit of a telling off.
After discussing the different possibilities at great length, it was time for me to try on a wig. This one was a straight long purple unstyled wig and was just for the purpose of getting the fit right and making it comfortable.
To be honest once he explained how to start off, how to attach the lace front and position it perfectly, I was eager to give it a go.
I didn’t do it too well on my first attempt but definitely managed to adjust it so it looked better.
Although I am not allowed hair the colour that the wig was, I actually really loved it and would have happily worn it!
Now comes the hard part.
Choosing the exact style that I wish the wig to look like. For some, this doesn’t sound too difficult.
However, I am one of the people that can’t deal with too many options. I am like a magpie and I want them all. Give me two options only and I can quickly choose. Give me ten options and I can procrastinate like you have never seen.
Did I want vintage waves, a poodle, a pageboy, a Dita, Victory rolls or a combination of a couple of styles.
Well I was a little flummoxed.
Eventually after studying LOTS of his creations, I plumped on the one that I thought would suit me best and before I had chance to second guess myself and change my mind, I emailed Carl to tell him what I wanted.
He clarified what I was asking him to do and told me to leave it with him for a couple of weeks.
In the end I went for……………….. a Dita Von Teese inspired creation.
As he has a busy salon, he has to fit the wig creations into his evenings and spare time. This means that it can take two or three weeks for a design to be finished.
Once completed Carl photographs the images which are sent to the customer prior to postage for you to approve. The wig comes pinned to a Styrofoam head to keep the shape of the style.
If you are not happy with the style before posting, this can be altered.
Once you have the wig, with a spritz of spray and a hairnet to keep the shape when not being worn, it should last for several wears. However, if you want it re-doing or a different style putting on it, you can pop it in the post to Carl and he offers a re-styling service.
All in all, I think it is an amazing service. I know I can’t get the styles I love with the short amount of damaged hair I have, so this is a perfect option for me.
I was lucky that the wig arrived the day before a recent event, a murder mystery party. Of course, I couldn’t resist the urge to put it on, along with my Roman inspired toga and I loved the effect.
Since then I have worn it to the local pub for a meal with friends; pairing it up with my brand new ‘Fetish Print’ wiggle dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing. This dress is just divine and the print is made up of corsets, high heels, kinky boots, floggers, ball gags and bullet bras. All in a 50’s style. I simply adore it especially when paired up with its matching bolero.
I also wore it for a local charity cricket match that was for a family friend. I paired it up with a full floral dress and an original french provincial sun hat from the 40’s. I got many compliments that day and I don’t think anyone realised it wasn’t my own hair!
To say I am thrilled with his creation is an understatement. I loved wearing it and can’t wait to put it on with one of my vintage dresses and hat.
Twinwood cannot come soon enough!