Spoiled: The Full Treatment

Isabella Isett writes about her experience at Spoiled, a hair salon in St Andrews

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Photos: Samantha Chinomon

SP: Glenn Malloy, the proprietor of Spoiled, described the Spoiled experience as a ‘journey’ that his clientele takes. From the moment they step into Spoiled to the moment they leave, each room and treatment is carefully crafted to create the ultimate salon experience.

The first time I met Glenn we discussed the current state of my hair and what I wanted to do with it. I expressed a desire to try balayage – a new highlighting trend – so he made me an appointment with a specific stylist who knew her way around the technique. Next, Glenn sat me down with a colourist, who dabbed some colour behind my ear while I filled out an allergy form, then told me to contact her if anything happened to the patch.

A week later – at 10 am on a rainy morning – I return to the salon and am given a warm welcome by the receptionist. Before I have the chance to sit down, I’m asked what I want to drink. As any students that have visited the store will know, the drinks menu is a little different at Spoiled. They serve – not just the typical water, coffee and tea – but also spirits, wines and beers. If it was later on in the day I might have asked for a gin and tonic, but considering that it was nowhere near 5 pm (and my mother was within sight), I decided to stick with tea.

A couple of sips later I’m given a menu – this time not for drinks but for treatments. One of the prized aspects of the Spoiled experience is the vast range of treatments that they offer. After browsing the menu I decided on one of the Kerastase treatments aimed at addressing frizz, damage, lack of density and dry hair. Having a flatmate that raves about the treatments at Spoiled, I was eager to try them out. These four different treatments come in a beautiful array of bottles that have been displayed all over the salon – making a colourful backdrop for my salon experience. Soon after choosing the anti-frizz and damage treatments (getting balayage requires using a bleaching agent), I was set. Moving from the main room to the back salon, I was escorted to a modern room filled with stylists prepping, blow drying, and styling their clients hair.

I understand now what Glenn had said to me about the physical layout of Spoiled, and how it contributes to the experience. Walking from one room to the next, I can see how each room emulates a slightly different feel – from the relaxed entrance to the sparkly salon room.

Next I was met by my stylist for the day. Sharee, who is known specifically for her free hand highlights, pulled up an iPad and asked me what type of hair and colours I was going for. Having never coloured my hair before, I had no idea what I was going for, so she pulled up some pictures to give me extra inspiration.

After deciding on a colour, Sharee guaranteed me that it would not only look natural but that the colours they would use could be toned up and down to adjust the colours even after the colouring process. Putting all my faith in her, she took a before picture and then began to hand colour strands of my hair, picking places throughout to make sure she achieved the natural look I was going for.

While she worked, we talked about the colouring process and what it entails for the hair. She explained to me that the colour was a bleaching agent and the longer it was placed on my hair the lighter the colouring would become. Figuring that I had already trusted her with the colour of my hair, letting her choose the treatment to prevent damage was a given. After about an hour of sipping my tea and colouring strands of my hair we moved to the washing room. Here, I moved from Sharee to an assistant who was in the process of getting her colouring licenses. She washed my hair and after double checking with Sharee, decided to use a mild water-based toner to help maintain and polish the colouring. With my hair coloured and toned I was ready for the treatments. The assistant picked out a small colourful bottle and mixed together the two treatments, which were then sprayed into my hair.

Photos: Samantha Chinomon

I’ve never been someone who stares at the floor of the hair salon and cries over my lost hair, but seeing the perfectly coloured and toned pieces being cut did break my heart a little. However, after everything was cut and blow dried all the highlights began to show prominently and I was delighted with the effect. Balayage is typically shown on girls with large curls, however I have stick-straight hair. Even though I’ve owned straightening and curling tools since I was in middle school, at 20 years old I have still never curled my hair. After telling Sharee this, she took it upon herself to teach me, and showed me how to master different types of curls – from large beachy waves, to small and tight curls.

The finished product was just like all the pictures I’d admired on Pinterest – relaxed beachy waves with soft caramel highlights – exactly as Sharee had promised me. After finding the perfect lighting she took after pictures and showed them side by side to demonstrate the full effect of the transformation. The difference in the pictures was remarkable, but only just a week later the hair colour has already started to feel like my natural hue.

Located in the centre of town, Spoiled is at the heart of the university community, and Glenn tells me that he loves the bustling, international atmosphere of the town. Working in the town means that every day is different for him and his stylists. One of the most important aspects of Spoiled’s job is that of maintaining their rela- tionship with the university population. The close relationship Glenn and Spoiled have with the community is evident in the way they work with student organisations, such as FS, Don’t Walk, Sitara, and Catwalk, where they do their hair and work on photoshoots. Aside from fashion shows, Spoiled also houses different events for university groups such as the LGBTQ society and On the Rocks. From day to night, the salon changes into a gallery with lights, mirrors, and new images on the walls, and at some of their events there are even special appearances from DJs.

During the off-term months, Spoiled is just as busy serving tourists and locals as they are when students are around, meaning that the stylists working at Spoiled have a different experience to those in other salons, who see the same people every week. The large tourist boom of the summer brings many golfers in to get their hair cut, as well as wedding attendees. In fact, Glenn said not only do they do a lot of local weddings, but also those of St Andrews students who come back to the town to have their wedding. Although he laughs off the fact that they weren’t invited to do the hair of Kate and Wills, it is clear that seeing students come back to the salon is always a joy for them.

In the upcoming months you can look forward to seeing Spoiled hairdressing looks featured on a variety of student models. FS, Don’t Walk, Sitara, and Catwalk will all benefit from the salon’s expertise, and you can even expect to see their work in photoshoots along the way. And, as my balayage experience goes to show, Spoiled is the top pick for any pampering and quality cuts, self-care, and all your face and hair beauty needs!

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