Monday, 28 April 2014

Getting the right shade of blonde

Discovering the right shade of blonde is not an easy task. I asked Louise Galvin, one of the UK’s leading colourists and daughter of the legendary Daniel Galvin at whose London salon she is based, for her advice.

Not everybody can go blonde. How do you decide if blonde hair is for you?

“In general, the rule is to not go more than three or four shades lighter than your natural colour. Stay within that spectrum and you will find a flattering blonde for your skin tone.”

Choosing the right shade of blonde is not easy. How do you choose the right blonde for your skin tone?

“If you have high colour, i.e. pink or red skin tone, I would recommend avoiding anything too warm or golden tones. Never be afraid to go to a salon and ask for a professional consultation. All good salons offer this as a complimentary service. They will then look at your eye colour, skin tone and natural hair colour to advise you on the correct and most flattering colour for you. Where possible avoid over processing hair to protect the condition.”

Can you go from brunette to blonde?

“You can certainly go to a dark blonde. If you have dark, Middle Eastern colouring you will need to be careful that you don’t end up with anything too light as this would be damaging to your hair. Your natural colour will be an indicator on whether your colourist chooses highlights or a tint to achieve the blonde you want.”

Louise Galvin

 If you have dark eyebrows should you change them?

“No! If you are lucky enough to have dark eyebrows, enjoy them!! The eyebrows frame the face in the same way that your lashes frame your eyes.”

What shades of blonde suit more mature women?

“This is again dependent on your skin tone and your natural hair colour. If you look at some of the more mature actors they each have a blonde colour that suits them personally. Helen Mirren has highlighted blonde hair, Meryl Streep is a tinted blonde and Glenn Close is a creamy blonde which is a tinted blonde with highlights. 

“Also when looking to colour more mature hair remember the most youthful blonde is one without any brassy tones and well-conditioned locks. I would recommend a twice weekly Intensive Treatment Masque ( £26) to restore moisture and shine.  

Also have your hair cut regularly to keep dry ends away but don’t think you have to have your hair cut short as you get older. Hair can be worn longer if it is well conditioned.”

What are the trends and how do you adapt them?

I still believe there is no fashion or trend in hair colour other than the hair colour that suits you.

How do you stop blonde hair looking brassy?

“My Vitox Highlight Brightener ( £25) is a phenomenal vitamin infused natural detox for the hair. Vitox will lift out both environmental and product build- up leaving highlights refreshed and free from the khaki tones that can be a result of mineral deposits in our water supply or swimming in chlorine. Well-conditioned hair is so important to achieve shine and a more youthful glow.”

What’s the best way to prevent your colourist over highlighting?

“Ask your colourist to apply colour to the roots only (the Vitox Treatment mentioned above is perfect to refresh blonde highlights after your colour). Also make sure your colourist picks out the same highlights to avoid roots becoming over processed and too solid. This will help with maintenance too, If too solid the regrowth will show almost immediately.”

Examples of celebs that look great blonde and those that don’t

Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn, two very different generations who both have blonde hair and look fabulous with it!  Cate Blanchett is a great example of an Icelandic blonde, Jennifer Aniston a beautiful golden blonde and Alicia Silverstone a pretty cool blonde.

I much prefer Nicole Kidman with red hair and Julia Roberts is another actor more suited to being a brunette (Sleeping with the Enemy) or a redhead (Pretty Woman) than a blonde.

By Daralyn Danns

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The magic of Daniel Galvin

I have to thank colour queen Daisy Twyman at the highly-acclaimed Daniel Galvin salon for enhancing my life.

A friend who first  met me a few years ago when I had ash blonde highlights running through my hair remarked when she caught up with me the other day: “It looked great, but now I have seen you brunette, I feel this is the real you. It is dramatic. Absolutely amazing!”

For me too, it has opened up a whole new world re what colours I can now wear and also I feel that it suits my personality better.

It also didn’t fade as much this time. “We only need to do the roots and refresh it, this time,” said Daisy. “It hasn’t turned yellow at all.”

Colours will fade differently depending on the head of hair and on the underlying pigment,” Daisy explained.  “If your hair has a lot of warmth in it, then it will fade to a warmer tone. Going darker will stop it fading too light.”

But, before you decide to choose to go from blonde to dark brown or from black to blonde, Daisy advises you to stop and think who you are. It may not be just your character that may change with a new hair colour, you will also have to rethink your wardrobe and make-up.

If you are over 35, you should reassess your hair colour on a regular basis as your skin tone will change as you age and also the quality of your hair can alter, becoming weaker and finer. Even the most oily locks tend to become drier. Go too dark and you can look like you are going for an interview for the role of Morticia from the Addams Family, go too light and you could end up looking like a ghost searching for a house to haunt.

Daisy suggests not going for an all-over solid block colour. Instead she advocates having a lighter shade round the hairline and not taking the colour through every time you visit the salon. “Just refresh the ends, so you get a multi-tonal effect,” she says. 

Also make sure your colourist is honest with you. Daniel Galvin, himself, told me that my hair is now not suitable for highlights. “On some hair types, it is better to avoid them,” added Daisy.

To help colour from fading, try to shampoo less often. The more you wash your hair, the quicker the colour will come out. Also protect your hair before using heated appliances.

During the winter it is easier to go longer between shampoos. “It will be interesting to see what happens to your hair between now and the next visit,” says Daisy.

So, watch this space!

By Daralyn Danns

Daniel Galvin (

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Ena, the eco-friendly salon

Having enjoyed using Davines, an Italian range of hair products that prides itself on “creating beauty sustainably”, I thought I would try out Ena, the eco-friendly salon that is its flagship distributor in Covent Garden.

As soon as you walk through the door of this townhouse you feel as if you have entered a friend’s living room. Furnished in keeping with the heritage of the building, so warm and welcoming, it is the perfect escape from the frenetic streets of London. 

The backwash and he vivid wall-paper designed ceiling,

I met Sam, my stylist who offered me a choice of drinks before beginning the consultation. He told me that he was going to “wrap dry” my hair. This is the method that they always use after cutting a client’s hair. I am a great fan of this technique as it is quick and easy and  manages to build enough volume into the hair while leaving it reasonably sleek without looking too done. 

Sam said that they also teach the technique to clients, who really like it once they have mastered it. “Basically, what you are doing is stretching the hair by wrapping it around the head,” Sam explained. “Keep the nozzle of your hairdryer pointing downwards to stop hair going frizzy and seal the cuticle.”

He began at the back, tilting my head and brushing the hair to one side, then the other. "Wrap the hair over to the right and then push it back to the left, alternating every couple of seconds," instructed Sam. The brush that he used an Allilon (the name of the educational arm of the salon)  has just the right amount of plastic bristles to create tension and smooth the hair. I have since got one (£20) and use it regularly. 

The finished result

If your hair is fluffy or coarse, you may find when you do it at home you need to go over the hair with a round brush to smooth it out. 

My hair was washed with Davines Momo Moisturizing Shampoo and conditioned with Momo Moisturizing Revitalizing Crème which smelt divine. After the superb scalp massage, while staring at the vivid wall-paper designed ceiling, I felt completely relaxed.   

Sam set to work and in no time at all my hair was sleek and shiny. It looked great. Unfortunately, the day I visited, it was damp and rainy. Next morning my locks had reverted to their normal wavy look. It looked very pretty. I’m not complaining, I got two looks for one.

By Daralyn Danns

For more information about the salon visit

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Discovering Davines

Davines is a hair care brand that has recently fallen once again into my radar. I first came across this range a few years ago in the US and so was happy to see it pop up at the Daniel Galvin salon in London.

Founded in 1983 in Parma, Italy by the Bollati Family, Davines started out life as a research laboratory, formulating high-end hair care products for cosmetic companies worldwide. With so much knowledge at their fingertips, the family decided to create their own professional ethical and sustainable hair care brand, Davines. The brand now has a cult following, and deservedly so. 

Here are four of my hero products.

Davines Nounou Nourishing IlluminatingShampoo PH 5.0, £13.35
A gentle sodium-chloride free shampoo with a fresh scent that helps to prolong the life of coloured hair. Lovely and creamy, it contains chestnut milk, glycerine and rice proteins which condition the hair and amodimethicone to make the hair smooth and shiny. A pleasure to use.

Davines Nounou Conditioner Nourishing Illuminating Cream PH 4.2, £14.80 
Helps to stop your colour from fading while leaving locks with volume and feeling well- moisturised  This rich conditioner with sweet almond butter revitalises dyed hair.

Davines Nounou Pak Nourishing Repairing Mask, £16.95
A real treat for hair that resembles straw rather than silk. It is thick, but it did not weigh my tresses down. They felt soft and smooth after use and were easy to comb through. Contains nourishing goodies such as cherry and jojoba oils and olive butter.

Davines Oil Non Oil, £14.50
This light paraben-free fluid works as if it were a hair gel. It tackles frizz and flyaways even on the most unruly mop, yet works well on fine hair. I have to admit it feels rather sticky to begin with, but once dry it softly holds the hair and gives it definition. 

For more info and stockists visit or call 020 3301 5449 to order or more info

By Daralyn Danns

Monday, 7 April 2014

Destination Chicago, USA

Chicago is a city with soul. It is one of those rare places that makes you feel as if you belong from the moment you arrive.

In the 1770s, a black Haitian trader, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable founded a settlement at the mouth of what is now known as the Chicago River. The area called by the Indians, Eschikagou, which roughly translates as “smells like stinking onions” – due to the foul odours from the swamps – metamorphosed into one of the greatest cities in the USA and a world-class destination. 

It is hard not to admire the Windy City, as it is nicknamed. It has had its trials and tribulations. It was devastated by the Great Fire of 1871 and had the likes of Al Capone and John Dillinger winning it a reputation as a lawless city during the 1920s and 30s. But, the home of Barrack Obama has, as I discovered, the amazing ability to reinvent itself continually.  

My idea of a holiday is arriving in a city, walking round and getting under its skin and delving into its psyche. From the moment I took my first stroll along Michigan Avenue – dubbed the Magnificent Mile – renowned for its excellent shopping, I was hooked. 

Much more laid-back and charming than New York, Chicago has a rather American mid-western feel about it. This unpretentious city not only fizzes with excitement, it oozes romance. 

Chicago skyline from the south
© City of Chicago

From a boat cruising along the Chicago River, I gazed in awe at the buildings which could only be described as works of wonder. Standing out from the crowd of skyscrapers punctuating the clouds is the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), said to be the tallest building in America.

As evening was approaching, I headed to the John Hannock Center and zoomed up in the lift to the Observatory (recently renamed as 360 Chicago) where I stood mesmerised watching the last rays of the sun disappear over Lake Michigan. It was pretty spectacular.

I was too early for this spring’s opening of the TILT, but I am not sure that I would have been brave enough to enter the enclosed glass and steel platform which, as its name suggests, tilts outward from the building’s 94th floor 1,000 ft above the city’s spectacular skyline.

The next day I took the Frank Lloyd Wright Tour of Oak Park. You don’t have to be a design buff to appreciate the work of the man regarded as one of America’s finest and most influential architects of the 20th century.   

The bridge opens over the Chicago River
© Cesar Russ Photography

Afterwards I sauntered by Lake Michigan. In the sunlight, the aqua- blue water sparkled like a jewel and it seemed to go on forever. It felt as if I was by the sea rather than a lake. I stumbled on a great beach where I whiled away an hour or two.

Also on my agenda was the highly-acclaimed Millennium Park brimming with 21-century architectural gems and arguably one of the city’s star attractions. Try to catch a performance of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Frank-Gehry designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion. For a Ferris Wheel ride, the iconic Navy Pier is the place to go.

I couldn’t resist delving into Chicago’s murky past, so I hopped on the “Untouchables Tour Bus” to get a taster of its notorious gangsters and learn a little history. It is touristy, but is a lot of fun.

Back in the present and it was time to take advantage of Chicago’s superb cutting-edge restaurants. It’s a foodie’s paradise catering for all tastes and budgets – well it is famed for its hotdogs. It is virtually impossible to resist the temptation.

Proclaimed the birthplace of the skyscraper and famed for baseball and jazz, I discovered Chicago has so much more to offer. My only disappointment was I wasn’t there for longer. Four days is just not enough to track down all the delights of what has now become one of my top favourite American cities.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

British Airways offers a daily service from London Heathrow to Chicago fourteen times a week. Prices from £574.65 return including taxes/fees/carrier charges. To book or for more information including regional departures visit or call 0844 493 0787 

Efficient and friendly staff always make it a pleasure to fly with this airline

Hotel Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
 ©Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

Stay at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, rates start from $157.50 USD (approx £95) including VAT. For more information visit 

A superb chic hotel within minutes of the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and Lake Michigan