The hair care unch

Scottish Hairdressers are the best in the world— official. Miranda France puts in her rollers and visits the Scottish Hair Show to find out why.

Itisn’t really my scene: Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on a Sunday night and 1000 neatly-coiffed heads vie for attention in a packed auditorium. Women, top-heavy with back- combed beehives. chat to balding men with ponytails. Bottle blondes peer over the balustrade of the upper circle. More interested in perms than Puccini, these people aren‘t here for

Edinburgh's Headline sport a futuristic hairstyle and shiny breastplates

the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. but the annual Scottish Hair Show. And as rock‘s most famous baldy Phil Collins croons from the giant speakers. the lights are lowered and the show begins.

The Scottish Hair Show is the brainchild of Steve Milazzo— another exponent of the ponytail. Now three years old. the event provides an opportunity for up-and-coming salons to prove themselves in the cut-and-snip world of Scottish hair. It is, in the organisers‘ words. ‘a unique platform to help springboard a new generation ofScottish hairdressers onwards and upwards’.

Presenting the show, Maria Weijers, a post-bob blonde and executive editor of Hairdressers’ Journal, congratulates the assembled on being the ‘most professional and creative hairdressers in the whole ofthe United Kingdom’. They have put Britain at the forefront of international hairstyling, she says. and made Scotland the focus of world attention. In recognition of

Aberdeen’s Ishoka: overwhelming in red

their talents. as ofthis year, Scottish hairdressers will no longer compete in the Northern category of the Best British Hairdresser Award, but have their own Scottish section. Since they always won the Northern prize anyway. this means that everyone else will have a greater chancee Next. a twenty-minute ‘tribute‘ video on an enormous screen blinds us with fashion and proves Mary Weijer‘s point: Cheynes, Charlie Miller. Rainbow Room and Rita Rusk the four best salons in Scotland. Wembley. Toronto, Barcelona. Singapore. Italy, Dallas. Vienna shucks. this hair gets everywhere.

From Larkhall, William MacKenzie‘s troupe kicks off the live show with Bizet‘s Carmen. His dancers look a bit crazed, frantically tossing their long pagan locks about the stage and l repress an urge to giggle. Edinburgh‘s Headline features dancers in shiny breastplates and men with the ubiquitous bobs and. yes. ponytails.

Panache. also from Edinburgh, do a futuristic number with more


breastplates. Why. I can‘t help wondering. has armour never really caught on in High Street shops? Women have hair piled upon top of their heads in cones like something out ofStar Trek and one man has an amusing pair of devilish horns try explaining that one to granny. Aberdeen‘s lshoka models are overwhelming in red. and there is one fantastic red-headed Medusa who rather catches my fancy. Other heads are adorned with enormous, surreal puff-pastry twirls. From Glasgow. William Gray‘s models wear their hair swept across their heads in shiny waves and there is one bravely ringleted man who looks as ifhe‘d be much happier with a bob or. well, a ponytail as well as a couple of models with the charisma oftwo reluctant bridesmaids. Edinburgh's Paterson S.A. gets my vote. and is noticeable for the lack of pounding music and way-out clothes in the routine. The song is ‘Sentimental Journey‘ and the models wear wasp-waisted raincoats. Their hair is quite extraordinary somewhere between

The List 8-21 March 199167