An unexpected thing happens on my first visit to Trevor Sorbie. I stroll back from the slick salon in the city centre thinking pretty much solely about my next hair appointment. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it, but the perceptive among you will recognise that I have found my new hairdresser – yee-har!

I arrive at the salon at around lunchtime. There are beats on the stereo and a cool, friendly vibe. Chic girls and women wait in the lobby. Mai Hai, Director is my hairdresser, which I’m pretty happy about as she oozes a sense of quiet authority. She points out a hairdresser, (Ben) walking by who looks like a dancer in a Beyonce video and who no doubt is very popular with the ladies. I get introduced to the lovely Vince too who services the locks of many of the Coronation Street cast. “His clients follow him around”, she says. “He’s friends with most of the people’s hair he cuts.”

BeforeBeforeChatting in the soft light (I liked that it wasn’t dazzlingly bright in the salon) we decide I’m going to stick with what I’ve got, rather than going for a big change of style. She thinks a “soft” or slightly feathered fringe is a good idea rather than the straight-edge option I sometimes go for. “More flattering” she says, ushering me towards the hairwash.

After conditioning with Kérastase products and a confident and totally relaxing head massage, the cut itself is executed by Mai perfectly.  As a member of the highly-respected Trevor Sorbie Art Team, Mai gets to work on catwalk shows all over the world.  Her skill can only be described as masterful – marrying creativity, cutting prowess and a genuine personal interest in making the very best of your locks.   

Her inspiration includes really ‘out there’ people like sci-fi-inspired Dutch designer, Iris ven Herpen but as she talks about her role models and touchstones, you can tell she’s genuinely into making people look good.

“Fashion models are great,” she says, as she pins my hair up. “But the ones who do it as a hobby rather than full time can be hard work.” So, with hair scrunched lightly with mousse, we move seamlessly onto trying out a series of “dos” so I can really max out my fantastic new hair cut.

Mai’s Top Styling Tips:

Look 1: Big Bouncy Hair
This is exactly what it says on the tin: big hair, for any occasion, full of volume life, body and vibrancy.

  1. Look1_2Spray hair with a little hairspray and then blow dry in big sections.
  2. Starting at the area on the top of the head, divide the hair into around seven sections, twisting each around your finger and loosely pinning to the head. An expert tip here: the smaller and tighter you make each loop of hair, the wavier it will be in the end.
  3. Straighten fringe and apply more hairspray all over.
  4. Unpin hair, brush through and style as you like.

Look 2. Half and half.
I like this look, it’s like cute office girl, almost mumsy librarian and vixen rolled into one.

  1. Look 2_5Start with big, bouncy hair, as above, and separate out a round section as the top and back of the head.  
  2. Spray with hairspray and backcomb the section immediately below the lifted section to provide grasp for the hairpins.
  3. Take the two side sections back from the front, and pin behind, just under the lifted section. Use two pins, crossed over each other to hold hair firmly in place.
  4. Drop the upper section down, and, if you like, gather at the sides with pins. Spray hair again with hairspray.

Look 3. Side ponytail or bun
This is a look I’m going to use a lot. May showed me how to create the side ponytail in two sections, making for a less ‘flat’ and more full bodied look. If you don’t feel you hair is thick enough for this look, buy an additional extension section, pin in place, and style as above.

  1. Look 3_3Start with big, bouncy hair as described in Look 1 and create a diagonal section across the back of the head.
  2. Tie hair tightly with an elastic band at the base of the neck to the side.
  3. Applying hairspray each time, backcomb the underside of the top section softly to create as much body as you desire.
  4. Pull across the back of the head and pin at the side for a sleek finish. This can easily be converted into a side bun by plaiting the hair, back coming the bottom of the plait and twisting it roughly around on itself in a clockwise direction.

Look 4. Adele beehive style.
I love a diva and I love this look. It’s powerful, smart and sassy. Stand back!

  1. Look 4_3Start with big, bouncy hair as described in Look 1. Imagine the head was divided into three down ward segments: back, side and side.
  2. Beginning at the top of the head, backcomb sections of hair (underside only) moving down the head to the hairline. Repeat on both sides. Hair should now be BIG.
  3. If you have a lot of hair (like I do) roll the undersection up to around half way up the back of the head, and pin tightly.
  4. Pull hair gently into position, pinning at the back each time, and applying plenty of hair spray.

A cut and style with Mai is £70.  An updo is charged at £70 per hour.
Stylists are Trevor Sorbie Manchester are priced according to their level with prices starting at £38 for a standby appointment.