Monday, 27 February 2012

A visit to Daniel Galvin


Daniel Galvin has been colouring hair for years, so when he took one look at my tresses and said “too dull and brassy”, I took notice.  “There is too much orange in places and in others too much yellow,” he said. He also noticed that I had some – dare I mention – some patches of grey hair showing through. “We need to tone this down immediately. This is not working with your skin tone.” he added. 

Daniel advises against having highlights on tinted hair as they, eventually, make your hair look brassy. “The warmth will come through from your own natural shade,” he told me. “Your hair needs to be just tinted in a flat level 7, a dark blonde [the end result is light brown] that is neither warm or cool. The colour needs to be slightly lighter around the face, so it doesn’t look harsh and make you appear washed out. Leave it to us.”

How many times have I heard those words over the years? So, yes, I felt a little nervous. But, I soon found myself in the capable and reassuring hands of Liz Edmonds, colour director & colour floor director, who together with Daniel concocted the remedy to transform my poor tresses. Liz, too, has worked with colour for several years, most recently in New York.

Beautiful hair

My roots were sorted first and then it was over to the basin where Liz worked her magic on my hair. “You can wear any colour, it’s all about getting the tone right,” she said. As I well know, too light can be just as draining as too dark. One of the things that I was worried about was that my hair was going to be one solid colour, but Liz reassured me that this wasn’t going to be the case.

The result: a rich, glossy, light hazelnut brown with hints of gold. It looks incredibly natural and matches the colour of my eyes, which is what the right hair colour should do. What more can a girl ask for?  

By Daralyn Danns

Daniel Galvin (

Friday, 24 February 2012

Destination Western Cape, South Africa

Cederberg Mountains

The wild and rugged beauty of the Cederberg Mountains, north of Cape Town, is the perfect escape from city life. The amazing rock formations and the varieties of vegetation – predominantly fynbos (fine bush) – make this area special. The jewel in the crown is the rock art, created by the Bushmen who once inhabited these mountains. Many of the works are thousands of years old.

Rock art

It is also an area where wine is cultivated. I visited the Cederberg Private Cellar which claims to have the “highest altitude vineyards in the Cape.” The wines are delicious and fruity. We tasted a great sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc. You can buy Cederberg Waitrose Foundation Chenin Blanc 2010 South Africa (£7.59) from It’s delicious.

After two action-packed days in the Cederberg, I left Clanwilliam, one of the country’s oldest towns and my base in the Cederberg, for Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands. 


With its Cape Dutch-style buildings, surrounded by mountains covered in lush green vineyards, the Franschhoek valley is a striking setting. The Huguenots escaping religious persecution in France came to Franschhoek (French Corner) in the late 1680s and began making wine here.

Being the gourmet capital of South Africa, Franschhoek is bursting with award-winning restaurants including Reuben’s and Monneaux Restaurant, at the Franschhoek Country House & Villas where I stayed.

Franschhoek’s village is tiny. Everything can be found on the main street which is awash with boutiques, antique shops and art galleries. At the end is the Huguenot Memorial Museum. Skip the museum, but take a look at the impressive Huguenot Monument.

Huguenot Memorial Museum

On the journey back to Cape Town, I stopped at the Waterford Estate in the Blaauwklippen Valley, Stellenbosch for a chocolate and wine pairing. Set against a backdrop of mountains, vineyards and citrus groves, this was a most enjoyable way to unwind and recharge the batteries. 

Waterford Estate

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there
South African Airways (
Clanwilliam Lodge (
Franschhoek Country House & Villas (
South African Tourism (

Monday, 20 February 2012

A change of hair direction

Working with your hair texture always gives you a better result. So, with last season’s trend for big hair and plenty of waves, I decided to give it ago and grow out my bob and, as they say, go with the flow. And, I have to admit that I actually like wearing my hair slightly curly.
Now, I was back at Mayfair’s Nyumba waiting for the genius that is Michael Charalambous to give me his verdict on where I should be taking my hair this spring.

Michael said that we don’t need to take off any of the length – music to my ears. “Your hair is in good condition, so you can grow it,” he added.

It just shows that cutting down on using heated appliances and blow-dries (some hairdressers rip your hair) and not having so many highlights really does improve the health of your hair. 

Every time I wash my hair I like to use a deep conditioning treatment rather than a normal conditioner as it helps to weigh the hair down and prevent frizz. I like Wella Brilliance Mask for coarse, coloured hair (£10.49). Although my hair is fine, there is a lot of it, and I find this does the trick. Another good one, especially when you are in a hurry, is Pantene Coloured Hair 2 Minutes Colour Damage Rescue Masque (£4.49). 

“I am going to add some inverted layering to give the hair lots of movement and create that lived-in texture, so your hair will fall in soft waves, a key trend for spring,” said Michael. He styled my hair reasonably straight in order to check the cut. When I am drying it myself, I tend to dry it with movement as it is easier. I’ve just tried Bumble and bumble’s new straight line. I find the Straight Shampoo (£23) and Straight Conditioner (£25) help to calm frizz.

The quicker you dry your hair, the faster the cuticle is flattened and, therefore, the hair is less likely to frizz. I use my head like a giant roller, pushing the right side over my head to the left and back again until almost dry. Then I do the other side. The back, I brush forwards and backwards until dry. I use a Philip Kingsley Vented Paddle Brush (£23.20) which has been designed to reduce hair breakage and limit heat damage. If I need some lift or to smooth any pieces, I use a round bristle brush such as ghd Ceramic Vented Radial Brush (size 4, £17.50).

Hair is all about the cut. Michael’s always falls into place when I wash it, which makes my life so much easier. As for colour, which should always work with your cut, he is predicating russet browns, golden chestnuts and coffee blonds blondes. Could I be tempted?

By Daralyn Danns

Nyumba (

Friday, 17 February 2012

Destination Cape Town

The V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain

I’ll never forget seeing the legendary Table Mountain for the first time. Flanked by Devil's Peak to its left and Lion’s Head and Signal Hill to its right, it looms over the beautiful, green city of Cape Town.

For spectacular views of the Mother City as it is also know, I took a cable car to the top of the mountain. The table cloth, as the locals call the white cloud that frequently covers Table Mountain, makes visits weather dependent.

Take a stroll around the city. The Company Gardens and the Greenmarket Square are well worth seeing. For quirky boutiques, cool bars and restaurants head to Long Street.  

There are also plenty of museums. A must is a visit to the Gold of Africa Museum, not only to see the collections which include objects from the ancient gold civilisations of Southern Africa, but to try out the Gold Restaurant where you can take part in an interactive Djembe drumming session. Then listen to African singers as you enjoy your meal. 

My favourite place is The V&A Waterfront – watch out for seals playing in the water – home to the city’s smartest shops and countless eateries and Cape Grace, one of Cape Town’s chicest hotels. It’s old South Africa meets new. I couldn’t find one fault with this hotel. The service is out of this world and its setting spectacular.

The colony of African penguins, Simon's Town

A trip to Cape Point, in the southern section of Table Mountain National Park, about an hour away from the city, whisked me past sandy bays, quaint villages and towns. I did a whistle-stop tour of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and Boulders, Simon’s Town, to see the colony of African penguins. They are such fun to watch. Cape Point is often said to be where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, but they actually meet at the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas.

Looking down at the craggy cliffs and the ocean from the renowned Cape of Good Hope (also within the same section of Table Mountain National Park), I imagined what the Portuguese navigator, Bartolomeu Dias experienced when he discovered it in 1488.
Cape of Good Hope

I came back via the Chapman's Peak Drive, a 9km road blasted into the mountain rock, which runs along the coastline between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. I reached Camps Bay, a trendy suburban beach area of Cape Town, at the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, in time for a sundowner.

The next day took me to Constantia Valley, peppered with forests and vineyards.  Approximately 20 minutes from Cape Town, this is the country’s oldest wine-growing region. One of the best vineyards is Klein Constantia Estate, which started producing wine in 1689. If you can’t get there, you can buy in the UK its Klein Constantia Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (£11.99,, a refreshing, fruity wine.

Robben Island

South Africa has its challenges as does every country. You will see townships – a visit is a humbling experience – and there is poverty. But, standing on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent many years as a prisoner, listening to a former inmate’s account of life there, I realised how far this country has come.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

South African Airways (
Cape Grace (
South African Tourism (