A relationship is built on love and respect. It should be one of give and take, of compromise and most importantly on truth. It will be one of the most significant partnerships of your life and he/she can be the common denominator in whether you laugh or cry through the day, month, heck even the year. Rave Review isn't talking about your significant other, mother, father, sister or brother. No ladies, in actual fact this relationship extraordinaire is between you and your hairdresser. In Sam Cowen's latest offering she's giving it straight to you about her hair mishaps and the knight in shining armour who slayed the hair dragon and gave her locks the confidence, shine and va va voom it was always meant to have. Read on, we've also got a faaaa-bulous giveaway exclusive to Rave Review readers from Jeauval Hair Salons. So, read on gorgeous people, you're going to love this!





Since I was a little girl I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my hair.  For starters there is an awful lot of it but it is very fine. The rest of my body is much more yielding. Over the years I have gained and lost over thirty kilograms. I have transformed my body, my face and my brows, the latter courtesy of botox. But my hair, much like gravity, is not a team-player.


My mother was of the generation that the more you cut a child’s hair, the thicker it would grow. She couldn’t test this theory until I was almost two years old as, until I was nine months old, I had no hair at all. I had everything else, arms, legs ten fingers and toes….but no hair.  In all the pictures of me as a baby and then as a toddler, I am wearing little hats; sometimes a cotton bonnet, sometimes a woolly beanie, in one I am even wearing some tinsel, styled rakishly over one eye. But only from eighteen months does fine blonde fluff make its appearance in the family album.


Thereafter followed twelve years of hairdresser hell. My mother was determined that I too should have swathes of hair like Raquel Welch and Jane Fonda (yes I am THAT old) and so a trip to the hairdresser would always end in floods of tears as my meagre locks would be shorn to my ears and the hairdresser would try to comfort me while I either sobbed pathetically or informed him/her of my utter hatred and disgust for them and their profession. At least one of us would be crying as I left. Often it was both of us. And my hair remained stubbornly fine. 


The years went by with me looking like my parent’s eldest son. A short haircut coupled with a strong jawline and a stern nerdy look doesn’t exactly scream girliness. It was only when I grew breasts that I finally rebelled and refused on any grounds to visit the hairdresser. Breasts are very empowering things. I was now officially a woman. And I was NOT going to have short hair. Ever Again. My mother agreed suspiciously quickly. I think the years of her only daughter wrapped up in a gown screaming “I hate you! I hate you!” every three months in a public place had told on her as well.


For many years I styled my own hair. I cut it, I dyed it, I permed it, I hated it. I dreamt of a day it would grow long enough to cover my breasts in a Lady Godiva-ish kind of way. But my hair had other ideas. It refused to grow further than 10cm above my nipples. Either that or gravity was working harder on my breasts than it was on my hair. I resigned myself to big clips and pony tails forever.


Then I met The Man. Clinton saw me from across a crowded tv studio. He was doing a makeover on a heavily pregnant guest on the program I used to front, Great Expectations, and he strode over to meet me.With his manly hands  he swept up my hair(what there is of it), gave it a ruffle and me his card. “Call me anytime,” he said. “This could be beautiful.” I waited a week and then I called. I like a man who’s up for a challenge. And a challenge it was. Having waited years to be allowed to vote, procreate and grow my hair, I wasn’t about to give back the power. “You can’t cut it short,” I announced the first time I sat in the chair. “Or I’ll kill you.” I was very pregnant at the time. It was no idle threat.



Clinton did not cut it short. Clinton listened while I told him in great detail what I have précised for you here. He nodded sympathetically while snipping away miniscule amounts of hair. He patted my shoulder while ordering minions to mix dye and make me coffee. He told me that he would do anything I wanted.  He was the first man ever to say that to me who wasn’t contractually bound to do so.


That day I left the salon on air. My hair was still long albeit neater with a fringe and a fresh coat of paint. He called a few days later to see if I was still happy. I couldn’t have been happier if a rainbow had poured out of the phone. He told me to come back in six weeks. And I did.


That was seven years ago. For seven years, going to see Clinton has been my bi-monthly highlight(see what I did there?).He patiently waited me out until I didn’t start every consultation with “You’re NOT cutting it short.” That took two years. Now I ask him what we should do. And then we do it. And for three hours I feel like  a princess. I walk in feeling like a rundown thatched roof and I leave ready to kick a hole in the weekend with disco shoes. 


He was there when I was pregnant(“let’s give you an easy to manage cut so you don’t have to think too much about it over maternity leave”), and for television appearances (“Let’s blow-dry it straight with a bit of silicon to give it a sheen.)” He was there when I had a midlife crisis about getting older (“if we give it a shaggier feel, it will look more youthful”) and when I was going to ask for a raise (“let’s take it a shade or two darker, it gives it more depth.”).


Clinton has in fact, styled almost every defining moment of my life since the birth of my daughter. And he’s done it with kindness, understanding and breath-taking talent. Outside my immediate family and my GBF, I probably love him more than any other man. Because he shares with those closest to me a very rare talent. For a few moments every few weeks he makes me feel truly beautiful. 


He’s recently opened a new salon in the Nicolway Shopping Centre. And you should go. Partly because it’s gorgeous, and like all the Jeauval salons, it’s got flattering mirrors, comfortable chairs and cutting edge(see what I did there?) stylists. And partly because it embodies the spirit of Clinton Valjeaux.  But mainly because of how having your hair done makes you feel.  There’s really nothing to touch it y’know. When I walk out of the salon I’m the blonde from Raymond Chandler’s Farewell my Lovely who could “make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.” Untouchable. Invincible. Irresistable. At least from the ears up.


Until next time,



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