Renowned hairstylist Alessandro Calvio casts a spell with scissors
A renowned hairstylist with celebrity clientele is in town. How good is he? We take our tresses for a test
Internationally acclaimed hairstylist Alessandro Calvio employs a self-cultivated technique of snipping hair strands in a way that adds volume without affecting the length. Pics/Suresh Karkera
We are are taken aback when celebrated Italian hairdresser Alessandro Calvio asks us, “Are you vegetarian?” just as we take a seat opposite him at the recently refurbished Taj Salon. We nod meekly, wondering how he figured it out. On cue, the light auburn-haired stylist points at tufts of frizzy hair playing peek-a-boo under our keratin-treated, limp, poker-straight tresses and smiles, “That’s due to iron deficiency. You need to include Vitamin C, B12 and iron in your diet.”
We make a mental note of the prescription, considering it is from someone who has to his credit 25 years of work experience, which includes training at the age of 16, working with famed brands like Rossano Ferretti and Daniel Galvin, and being crowned as one of the ‘best cuts’ for UK by Tatler magazine this year. Not to mention a celebrity roster that includes Jade Jagger, Pippa Middleton, the Princess of Qatar and Sri Lankan import Jacqueline Fernandez.
Since he arrived from London early this week to provide his services exclusively at a swish SoBo address, his appointment diary has been booked. “I will be here every quarter, for 10 days,” he assures.
Before getting down to business, Calvio chats with us about how we manage our hair — from the way we brush it to the frequency of blow-dries. He suggests we use our fingers to dry our hair, when we complain about split ends. “I don’t follow trends. I have cultivated my own technique, and I like to cut hair according to your personality. I love, respect and listen to your hair. It calls out to me,” he says in a Zen-like mode. After a quick hair wash, we begin our styling session. “We need to add a bit of volume here,” he says as he tousles the hair on our crown. As we wonder what he has in store for us, he ensures, “I will shape and layer the strands on the inside but don’t worry, your length will stay the same.”
Watching Calvio at work is like watching a conductor direct an orchestra, albeit with a comb and a pair of scissors. Our strands, parted into sections, play a beautiful symphony in his hands as he twists, snips and shapes them finely.
At regular intervals, he asks if we are comfortable and indulges us in a freewheeling conversation. “Indian hair is one of the best in the world. It’s strong and silky,” he says, also sharing his love for Indian food, especially Prawns Gassi since his wife, Vanita, is a Mangalorean. And if you must know, Sonam Kapoor and Eva Green are on his celeb-hairstyle wishlist.
Then, he builds up a tempo with his scissors that play a melodic tune as he frames our face with tresses and “texturises” them so that “our head feels lighter and our face looks slimmer”.
It actually does when we check ourselves in the mirror after a blow-dry (“always keep it at slow speed”) and curling-with-brush process. Later, when a friend compliments us for having a good hair day, Calvio’s wise words ring in our ears, “When you step out of a salon, you should not look like you have had a haircut. It should look natural.”
Available till: November 30 (he will return in a few months)
Timing: 10 am to 6 pm
At: Taj Salon, The Taj Mahal Palace — Mumbai, Apollo Bunder, Colaba.
>> If you have curly hair, don’t brush it when dry. It will become frizzy
>> To avoid frizz, use sulphate and paraben-free shampoo, then apply conditioner, leave-in conditioner and serum
>> Best way to style your hair: Rub your hands to produce natural oil and scrunch the hair on your crown. It will give volume to your hair. To add volume to the roots, scrunch upside down
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