Tomoyuki and Co on Great Titchfield Street is the place where my life will change irrefutably. This isn’t a hospital, a registry office or a gym, Tomoyuki and Co is a hairdressers. Like many women, I’ve been obsessed with wearing my hair long for years – at the expense, perhaps, of what might actually suit me best. As the keeper of fine, extremely wavy tresses, my hair has always been unmanageable and it’s with some pride that I’ve tended to it with minimal effort. The words “mane” and “Beachy” have probably been rather unfairly employed on more than one occasion to describe a barnet that is simply, a mess. Not only that, but my hair is not of the persuasion to ever achieve length of high quality. More often than not, I wear it up, either in a bun or a ponytail. It’s fair to say change could not come sooner. But whom to trust with such a life-changing decision? My excellent friend and editor in chief at Nuit Magazine, Dena Tahmasebi, as ever had the answer. “Tomoyuki Ootsuka” – he’s he only man I’ll trust to go anywhere near my hair (and hers always looks the business). With a recommendation of this calibre, I feel only an undercurrent of trepidation as I enter the salon. I’ve made my decision; I’m going for the chop.
Japanese- born Tomo is a delight. Despite living in London for the past 10 years, he’s not lost that gentle Japanese charm – or his accent – and I’m reminded I’m in safe hands in an instant. Having recently changed locations, there’s still some personalisation of the new salon to implement, but the space is still intimate and the atmosphere cheery. Instead of prescribing my own thoughts (probably anxiety-riddled and ill educated) on the restyle, I leave everything to him. The only prerequisite for me is an open mind and a deep breath. Guess what? As his first snip slices through hair that first saw sunlight in 2010, I’m at once relieved. Gone is the cashmere blanket that was more suffocating than a support – and with it old memories, habits and ideals.
Tomo makes his rough cut look better than many finished ones I’ve seen, but in a beautifully precise manner, he first blow-dries and then straightens my hair before embarking on his final ‘edit’. I’m loving the freedom and feeling of this cut already – and the blunt weight of a thick bob around my neck is a beautiful novelty. After tonging some texture back into the style, Tomo’s work is done. My new hair is a perfect length for my face; classic but not boring this cut has direction, personality and style. I can even still get it up and off my face for the gym. It looks fabulous – and the cliché is true: I feel like a new woman. My hair hasn’t been this short for 20 years, and in under two peaceful hours I feel I’ve found the right style ready to see me at least into the next ten.