It’s easy to lose a good hour (or three) when you find an amazing hair colourist on instagram. Endless transformation pics are enough to give us hope that maybe it is possible for our mediocre tresses to be revamped into mermaid-esque, sunkissed waves – you know, the kind that make you drool all over pinterest.
This is exactly what happened to me when I stumbled across Samantha Cusick’s insta-feed. As someone who is obsessed with trawling social media for pretty hair-spiration, in just 10 minutes of discovering Sam I was 58 weeks into her feed and quickly filling up my phone memory with countless screenshots of uh-mazing hair colours.
> Meet the woman herself, Samantha Cusick…
It was then I realized that not only is Samantha a hair colour goddess, but she is also the colourist responsible for the dreamy tresses of superstar bloggers Zoella and Tanya Burr. It’s no wonder the woman knows a thing or two about getting your locks Insta-worthy.
Just look at the gorgeous balayage Zoella is now rocking! She revealed her makeover on Instagram, telling fans: ‘The queen of balayage has worked her magic on my barnet once again. A smidge more blonde for the sunny days. Thanks so much @samantha.cusick.’
Unlike all the other hair instagram accounts I’ve fan-girled over – yes I’m looking at you Guy Tang and Johnny Ramirez, Samantha is based right here in the UK (and just a 20minute tube journey from my flat, how convenient!?).
Yep, Samantha Cusick, is London’s answer to an instagram hair colour goddess and she’s based at the Taylor Taylor salon on Portabello Road in London.
After the endless insta-stalking, I HAD to book in an appointment with her. I rocked up at the salon to be greeted by Sam’s oh-so cute British bulldog, Sidney, who, btw is also famous on social media (@Sidneythebulldog
Once I’d been gowned up and taken a seat, Samantha helped me decide what I wanted to do with my grown-out beachy highlights, we settled on a bold new hue, platinum blonde with a cool, ashy toner to give my locks an edgy finish.
It’s a hair colour I’ve always wanted to try, but in the past have shied away from out the fear that it might not suit me or I might not be able to pull it off.
“Anyone can suit being a blonde.” Says Sam. “I tailor the colour to suit every client by putting a toner on it, whether it’s milky, creamy, silver, grey… Being a blonde is a right of passage you have to do it at some point in your life, its just about picking the right tone for you.”
So that was it, I was sold. And in just four hours, two diet cokes and plenty of ‘awwwhs’ over Sidney the bulldog, Samantha had transformed my dulling, grown-out highlights into an cool, ashy blonde ‘do. During my makeover I had plenty of time to quiz her on the secrets to rocking platinum like a pro and how to maintain my new insta-worthy locks…
Sam, I LOVE my new colour, but is the maintenance going to be a killer?
Not at all! Everyone thinks being a platinum blonde is high maintenance, but that’s a myth, it takes the same amount of maintenance as a full head of highlights. Say you go and get your highlights redone every two months, the roots will be the same with platinum, except it’s actually a quicker process to refresh your hair when you are just bleaching the roots, rather than doing traditional highlights. Plus with olaplex you don’t have to worry about hair damage.
SEE: Olaplex, everything you need to know…
You’re my new hair hero, but which colourists do you love?
What’s your ‘most-requested’ hair colour?
Balayage is huge. People know exactly what to ask for now, they do their research. I think instagram and social media has played a huge part in that, it’s made the whole idea of hair colouring more accessible and open to everyone.
What are your hair colour no-no’s?
The one thing I won’t do is a colour that would damage someone’s hair, it takes so long to build up your reputation and your Instagram following, it only takes one bad review to ruin it.
You’re responsible for some of the best hair on instagram, including Zoella and Tanya Burr, how did you start doing their colours?
A few years ago I got a call to see if I could go and do Tanya Burr’s hair before an event. Of course I said yes and since then we’ve been good friends. Through her I began to do the hair for some of the girls in her management team (Gleam), and before you know it I was doing Zoella’s hair and now all of Alfie Deyes’ [Zoella’s boyfriend] family as well!
I could spend hours on your instagram feed, what’s your secret to creating those amazing beachy waves?
When it comes to styling hair, prefer for hair to be flatter at the roots and wider, fluffed out towards the ends. I use the Ego Professional Hair Straightener, £90, to give the lengths a wave, but tend to leave the ends straight for a relaxed finish. Gone are the days of the big, Dallas blow-dry, grown-up, grungy curls are way more modern.
Are there any amazing styling products I should invest in?
I don’t like to over complicate hair with so many products, but Davines Oi Shampoo, £15.20 and Conditioner, £16.40, is so nourishing, great for colour-treated hair. I also love the Sachajuan Ocean Mist, £18, for giving beachy texture.
I have fine hair, how can I make it look thicker?
A good cut can help, I like to give my clients disconnected layers through the ends as it’ll instantly make your hair look thicker. Everyone thinks that having hair all one length is the secret to thickness, but if the layers are done properly and kept long, they can make a huge difference.
Now you’ve transformed my hair into a silvery blonde, how can I keep the colour from turning yellow or brassy?
A purple shampoo makes all the difference. I recommend using the Davines Silver Fox Shampoo, £14.35, around once a week. When your roots start to come through the best trick for hiding them is to spray with Batiste’s Dry Shampoo, £2.99, then give your hair a blast with the hair dryer, it’s easy!