Mane attraction: Francesco Group Bramhall

24 Jan 2018

We were invited to check out the latest addition to the village’s salon scene, Francesco Group Bramhall, and who better to send than I Love Bramhall’s namesake writer, Francesca?! Find out what happened when Francesca met the team at Francesco and had her tresses transformed.

As a busy mum and self-employed writer, finding the time to make a trip to the salon isn’t always easy. In fact, I’d taken to colouring my hair at home and having a quick dry cut a couple of times a year when the opportunity arose, so when Francesco Group Bramhall’s owner Mark offered to give my hair a bit of much-needed TLC I all but snapped his hand off.


I’d been into the salon just a week or so earlier to interview the team for their I Love Bramhall feature and when I arrived for the second time, I was met with the same warm welcome from Amy and Sal on reception. My coat was hung up out of sight, I was presented with a latte and some very yummy biscuits and invited to take a seat.


Within minutes, a smiling Mark appeared to discuss what I was hoping to achieve with my hair. I have a thick, unruly mane with a natural curl that I sometimes wear wavy and sometimes straighten; Mark covered the topics of maintenance, budget and versatility to be sure that we were going for a style I could maintain in minutes or dress up if I wanted a more glamorous look.


I’m trying to grow my hair so we decided to keep the length but add layers, breaking up the bulk and framing my face. I was impressed by how much detail went into the consultation and how Mark made an effort to build up a rapport with me – he’s softly-spoken with a gentle yet dynamic nature that made me feel instantly at ease.

Next, we moved on to colour. Months of home-dying had left me with a golden, almost orange shade underneath the leftovers of a historical balayage, which was very light on top. As luck would have it, Francesco Group’s top creative colour director Claire Chell was on hand in the salon to give me a full skin tone analysis – a unique system she developed personally and that is now used in all the Group’s salons around the country.

The system uses coloured pieces of material, which are placed around the face like scarves to determine whether a customer has a warm or cool skin tone, which shades bring out the colour of their eyes and complexion, which tones are draining or ageing and so on. The difference was remarkable and Claire quickly identified my skin tone as cool and that I’m a natural blonde. Pink was the colour that did the most for me; we then tried different shades of pink and found that the pastel colour was perfect, although the funky bright pink could also work if I wore heavier makeup and a popping lip colour.


Because the pale shade worked best with my skin tone, we decided to lighten up my hair all over, reducing the brassiness and lifting my entire complexion in the process. Claire worked for over an hour to give me a full head of very fine pale blonde highlights using the top-of-the-range Illumina colours, which were gentle on my scalp with absolutely no tingling, even under heat – a relief as colours tend to irritate my eczema-prone scalp.

During this time and in between more coffee and biscuits I learned that Claire had worked on TV and film sets – her vast experience includes taking charge of the contestants’ hair transformations on the previous series of Britain’s Next Top Model. She regularly travels around the Group’s salons delivering training in the latest colouring and specialist techniques to ensure that all the salon staff keep their skills fresh.

When it was time to wash off the colour I was taken to the secluded and relaxing backwash area, which is separate from the main part of the salon to enhance the customer experience. Here I was treated to an amazing scalp massage that seemed to go on forever and cured a nagging headache that I’d arrived with.

Sitting in front of the mirror moments later, the colour difference was visible straightaway – and I loved what I saw. Mark took over at this point, removing the dead ends from the length of my hair and cutting shape in around the front. He worked quickly and expertly, offering up words of wisdom about how to maintain and style the cut afterwards. After what seemed like no time at all, my cut was complete; Mark works with an effortless flair, perfected over almost two decades in the industry.


My natural curl was instantly more defined, so we decided to keep it that way. Mark used a couple of styling products to nourish my hair and prevent dryness before bringing out a diffuser to dry and set the curls – the 80s classic is making a comeback! Teasing a select few strands of hair around a curling wand, Mark added the final touches to my new ‘do – a tousled, natural look that really expressed my penchant for understated style. The whole team popped over for a good look at their handiwork and it was smiles all round, none bigger than mine, though!

I’ve since been back and had my hair styled for an evening out at Piccolino with friends; Nicola gave me a gorgeous, edgy curl, keeping it a bit rough around the edges. Next week it’s my daughter’s turn for a trim with Charlie and Chelsea I don’t know who’s more excited!

Words by EVE Writing Services | Copywriting and content marketing
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