Search form

Instant Gratification

Darren Ambrose’s London Collection puts the focus on luxe looks and ladylike volume.

Photography bY Jenny Hands

There’s something to be said about being spontaneous, as proven by the stunning imagery from Darren Ambrose, seen exclusively on these pages. Ambrose says his goal was to capture women in a moment of being powerful and unique, while incorporating a vintage feel. “We did a lot of improvising on the set and the looks just evolved,” says the five-time British Hairdressing Awards winner. Ambrose, who along with his wife Jacki owns D&J Ambrose salon in Middlesex, England, called on marcel waves, a zigzag technique and natural movement to enhance texture and lend a slight retro edge to the styles. “We’ve played up elements of the runway and made quite a statement with the hair.”

Makeup: Mary Jane Frost; Fashion Styling: Hannah Teare

Ambrose  image
IMAGE ABOVE - For this style, Ambrose created long, shattered layers before fashioning a sexy fringe. Next, he imparted dimension to the hair with natural cashmere and pale gray tones, then coaxed it into a voluminous shape with finishing products.


IMAGE ABOVE - After cutting shattered layers and a long fringe, Darren Ambrose used a sponge to apply several hues down the hair shaft, overlapping and merging the tones. He then used a large tong to barrel-curl strands before brushing them out and backbrushing the hair underneath to amplify volume.


IMAGE ABOVE - To create this shape that’s slightly reminiscent of the pageboy, Ambrose precision-cut the hair around three-quarters of the head, leaving it longer at the nape. On the shorter side, he cut square layers before creating a very textured, shattered fringe.


IMAGE ABOVE - Using a scissor-over-comb technique, Ambrose created disconnection through the front and cut the fringe in a bi-level pattern, fashioning internal layers with a slide-cut motion. “This makes the shape appear self-cut, which makes it all the more modern,” Ambrose says.


IMAGE ABOVE- To give the hair a classic element, Ambrose put his own special spin on the classic ’50s double pleat at the back of the head, reversing it from the crown down to the front of the forehead. Through the sides and back, he used a soft finger-waving technique to create a billowing bottom and enhance the style’s feminine appeal.


iMAGE ABOVE -For this shattered bob shape, Ambrose left two disconnected panels at the front that he razored out to create a waif-like effect. After precision-cutting a wide fringe, he used a natural, deconstructed finger-wave technique to style the hair.

Publisher Issues: 

About the Author

Kelley Donahue

As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.