In the past six years, I don’t think I’ve returned to any hairdresser more times than I can count on one hand. The reason for this wasn’t always because I didn’t like the haircut, and it has never been a case of me not gelling with the hairdresser, it’s simply that no hairdresser ever demonstrated that they knew a thing about hair beyond how to wash and cut it. I was sick of leaving hair salons with my hair full of a plethora of products, even though my stylist couldn’t tell me how or why any of them were actually beneficial, beyond cluelessly saying “uh, they’ve got good ingredients…it might say on the bottle”. I was starting to lose all hope… Until I met Chad at Elajé Hair & Beauty*.
Elajé is a stunning salon. It’s refreshingly spacious and modern with a really relaxed vibe. It’s clear that a lot of effort has gone into designing the perfect space to attend to the needs of all of their clients, with the option to have a private room for haircuts and treatments, free wifi and even iPads to use during your visit.
Elajé is located in central Cambridge, just a short walk from the train station, so even if you don’t live in the city, it’s easy to get to - and well worth the trip.
Chad Maxwell - Artistic Designer
Chad is quite simply the most talented hair stylist that I have ever had the pleasure of having an appointment with. His unrivalled passion for what he does is inspirational and his knowledge is second to none. As well as being a great stylist, he understands the biology of hair, the technology behind styling tools, and the science of product ingredients. As well as having this knowledge, he was keen to share it, and without me even having to ask. I am so delighted to have found such a gem!
He told me:
"Being trained with top products and finding a passion for in depth knowledge is something I have always thought is important. A client is fully putting their trust in you so if you can't provide them with the information they need you are not fulfilling your job duty properly.”
Clearly, he just gets it.
It’s also remarkable that Chad is 20 years old (I couldn’t believe it when he told me!) with 5 years of experience already behind him. He trained with SeanHanna and with L'Oreal and Wella products, is a member of the GHD styling squad, and has worked three seasons at London Fashion Week. The day after I met with him, he was even working the Victoria’s Secret show.
Chad is super ambitious and a definite star in the making (he has the name for it too, right?!), so book in with him while you still can!
My Consultation, Cut and Finish
To start, Chad conducted a thorough consultation with me. We covered my last hair cut, my haircare routine, any issues I have with my hair, and my lifestyle. Chad also checked the condition of my hair and talked me through different styles and trends.
I felt that Chad put a lot of effort into understanding my requirements and I was really confident that he knew what to do with all the information that I gave him.
I was really happy with my wash and cut, plus the little complimentary head and neck massage, and the blow-dry was the best I have ever had. Probably because, like everything else, it was highly personalised. By understanding my hair weight and texture, Chad applied the best styling techniques to give extra volume and shine; and without a tonne of gunky products. He even gave me tips for replicating my salon blow-dry at home!
Ultimately, Chad provided a highly personalised treatment - something that only passionate creativity and a deep understanding of the field can enable.
Haircare Tips for Fit Girls
Throughout my appointment, Chad gave me lots of tips for looking after my hair, especially with the amount of time that I spend in the gym, and I couldn’t not share them:
1. Don’t tie up or put tension of any kind on wet hair. Hair is at its stretchiest when wet and this can cause it to snap or become damaged.
2. Don’t always tie your hair up in the same place. This is likely to cause kinks and weakness in the concentrated area.
3. Try plastic, spiral hair ties. I rediscovered a pack of invisibobble hair rings in my drawer after seeing Chad, and I swear by them. They’re great for preserving a blow-dry when you’re working out too!
4. Don’t wash it every day. Try using dry shampoo, or simply rinse and condition to refresh. This will help the balance of natural oils in the hair.
5. Avoid sulphates and silicone. Stick to high quality shampoos and conditioners where possible.
6. Use the right product for your hair. Your hair is a delicate balance of proteins and moisture. Avoid using ‘repairing’ products unless you’re sure that your hair has structural damage (from chemical treatments, for example), otherwise the extra proteins can make your hair brittle.
As well as having a brilliant cut and blow-dry, I learnt a lot about my hair and how to best look after it. I even had the opportunity to sample Elajé’s beauty treatment offering, as I was treated to a perfect manicure without even having to move from my salon seat! I had such a wonderful experience at Elajé and I would recommend them to anyone.