Behind the Scenes Beauty: Hair update with David Gillson

Today I’m sharing something that is deeply personal…

My hair journey!

Yes, as with most women, my hair is something that is a very personal part of my life and one that can cause me extreme emotions.

If I’m having a great hair day (usually only the day after a visit to the hairdresser) I feel super confident and face the world with a spring in my step. On all the other days… jokes… when my hair is looking rather sad, I struggle to feel confident and prefer to wear a hat or tie my hair up in a mom-friendly messy bun!

I am fortunate to have A LOT of hair – but that can be a blessing and a curse. Have you tried washing and drying long, thick hair before? It can be a couple of hours! I love having long hair, but I find the upkeep can be tedious. Highlights, especially, require maintenance to keep them looking lovely. That being said I feel that I have finally found my bliss when it comes to my hair cut and colour – and this is all thanks to my brilliant hair stylist, David Gillson from Carlton Hair.

This roving celebrity hairdresser is much in demand and I’m so fortunate to have a regular appointment with him when he visits the Constantia brand of Carlton Hair in Cape Town every 6 weeks.

David Gillson is usually based at Carlton Hair in Hyde Park, but recently he has also been making a regular turn past his brand new salon in London, Issy’s in gorgeous Elizabeth Street, Belgravia where he spends 5 days every month.

One of the hardest things for any woman to do is to find someone she trusts to style her hair just the way she likes it! It all comes down to connection and communication. A hairstylist is a very personal relationship – your deepest secrets are revealed in the hair salon – your roots!

The person you choose to trust with your tresses needs to be someone you really rely on for their unbiased opinion about what works for you and your hair in terms of colour, cut, and treatments.

I’m very lucky to have found this all in David Gillson. He is a vastly experienced hair stylist with international input and an expert eye. He travels frequently to stay current with hair trends in terms of colours and cuts and knows exactly what works for each client while still listening to them and aiming to ensure they leave the salon looking fantastic and feeling their best.

Every time that I visit David I spend a few minutes telling him what I have in mind, but then I had over carte blanche to him to do whatever he feels will work for my hair – taking into account the latest trends and the latest treatments.

For the past few months I’ve been visiting David and enjoying his expert opinion and insights.

One improvement he has made to my hair is the regular use of a Keratherapy treatment with every visit.

David started with a Keratherapy Colour Smooth & Lock which helps to maintain a naturally nourished, frizz-free texture and longer lasting colour.

David followed this with the Keratherapy Express Renewal PLUS+ treatment which contains hydrolysed collagen and a protein complex to replenish the hair. This is a fast, safe way to remove frizz and protect hair from humidity, while rejuvenating, smoothing and reviving the hair. Tamanu and Argan oils along with Jojoba and Rosemary Leaf extract leave hair looking healthy for up to 6 weeks. Some of the benefits include reduced blow dry, flat-ironing & finishing time and easy spray-on application. I’ve really enjoyed this treatment and found that it has really helped to reduce frizz and make my hair more manageable and shiny. This new professional treatment is currently only available at Carlton branches in South Africa.

Another treatment I’ve enjoyed during my visits to David Gillson is the On protection treatment from Davines. This treatment protects from oxidative damage that may cause weakening and breakage of hair during bleaching, colouring or technical services. It helps to repair, protect and reduce fading and it can be useful both during and after the service of the hair fiber. Hair is left looking visibly healthier, revitalized, soft, shiny and lastic hair. All Carlton Hair salons stock Davines range eco-concious range hair products.

The “highlight” of my visits to David has been the discover of The View Toners. As a blonde I often struggle with the brassy tones that my highlights morph into. I don’t love them! I want blonde that remains clean! David has used The View Toners on my hair during my last few visits and I have found that they really do bring a lovely tone to my hair. Toners are used to control brassiness and keep hair looking healthy and the benefits are a shiny finish that lasts up to 15 washes.

This is my BEFORE and AFTER my most recent visit to David Gillson – He used The View Toners to achieve this result!

While the initial result had almost a grey tinge to it… I can honestly say, 2 washes in, that I’m loving this tone of blonde and have received many compliments in the week since the refresh! Thanks so much David – you truly are the King of Blondes!

David Gillson’s tips on how to choose a hairstylist

  • Research by reading local blogs and following people on Instagram
  • Ask friends or influencers for their recommendations
  • Make sure you have a connection with your chosen stylist and that you can communicate what you want openly
  • Go for a blow-dry first to make sure you both have a connection.
  • Dress how you usually dress
  • Tell the stylist about your lifestyle and how much time you have for daily styling and hair maintenance


Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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