Cutting Confidential by Shaun Lockes

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Cutting Confidential by Shaun Lockes

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Buy Cutting Confidential by Shaun Lockes at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Claire Storey
Reviewed by Claire Storey
Summary: Shaun Lockes is the pen name for a real-life London hairdresser and Cutting Confidential is his autobiographical look at the salon scene, its ups and downs and ins and outs. A great read full of humour and usful tips.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: February 2007
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 978-0752875361

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Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the doors of a top London salon? Do you look at celebrity hairstyles with envy and wish you could achieve the same look? Do you like gossip magazines, chick-lit or beauty tips? If the answer is yes, then Shaun Lockes could be the answer to your prayers.

Shaun Lockes is the pen name for a real-life London hairdresser and Cutting Confidential is his autobiographical look at the salon scene, its ups and downs and ins and outs. Mixing the revelations of Hotel Babylon, the drama and mishaps of Jade's Salon and the insider tips from Trade Secrets or What Not to Wear, Locke gives us a pretty candid account, changing names to protect the not-so-innocent. Taking what he claims are true events, Locke weaves these into a "day in the life" reportage-style work starting with an appointment at the palace, through a celebrity or two, a disappointed bride, interviews (both of and by Locke) through to the close of play and shutting up of shop at the end of the day.

To many people, hairdressers have become the day-to-day shrinks, and this places Mr Locke in the perfect position to levy some quick wit and juicy tales, some of which might just make your hair curl. Much of the humour is at the expense of the client but the account of the life behind the scissors is as candid at times. The writing is almost as chi-chi as the styles the author is creating. The account of Locke's day is cleverly interspersed with styling tips, hair related jokes (blondes do get the lion's share) and topical quotes which make for a very readable book that one can dip in and out of at will. Each of the ten chapters is effectively a self-contained tale and so this book lends itself particularly well to reading in bite-sized chunks (be it on the train, in bed or even in the hairdresser's chair).

I particularly enjoyed the practical tips that appear at the end of chapters. It made me feel like I was getting something useful out of the book over and above a good read. In fact, they leant themselves to the credibility of the book. One could argue that taking "Shaun Lockes" as a nom de plume rather undermines its credibility but, having read the book, I'd say it just sets the tone for what is an amusing look at an industry that certainly has its fair share of characters both as professionals and as clients. I certainly found myself wondering who "Mr Shaun Lockes" might be in real life: I've certainly got a list of "it isn't-s" if the factual element of the book is correct and we're just talking name changes. I'm sure I won't be the only one who is wondering.

Don't be put off this book by the word "autobiography" - it's about as far from a challenging read as possible whilst still maintaining interest. If you like Kinsella you'll find this a similar read, unchallenging, yet strangely compelling. If you enjoy a light-hearted autobiography then you might like to try The Hardest (Working) Man In Showbiz, there may even be a certain topical similarity!

With thanks to the publishers, Orion, for sending such a highlighting read!

Buy Cutting Confidential by Shaun Lockes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cutting Confidential by Shaun Lockes at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Cutting Confidential by Shaun Lockes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cutting Confidential by Shaun Lockes at Amazon.com.

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Sue said:

I groaned at some of those puns, Claire!

Jill said:

Oh, I wouldn't like this (I'm allergic to hairdressers and go only when forced, otherwise I do my fringe myself and make Michael do the rest - with the kitchen scissors) but I did like the Bourdain gossipy thingy about restaurants. Same thing, but I like cooking!

Magda said:

My answers are no, no & no (though I like chick lit) so obviously not for me ;-).

But the main reason is that I actually hate going to hairdressers and the necessity of talking (with the inevitable Have you been on holiday? Are you going? eughrrrrr Oh, you've got wonderful colour; you are lucky! iiiiick) is just dreadful.

Oh, and they take so bloody long: 15 minutes to cut but then 30 to blow dry, but if you only pay for a cut, they make it awful on purpose.

Sue said:

You must be getting old, Magda. If you're young you're asked if you're going out tonight. When you're obviously past the stage of wanting anything at night other than cocoa you're asked if you're going on holiday.

I did once hear of someone who, when asked how she would like her hair cutting, replied 'in complete silence'. I can sympathise with that.

travelling hairdresser said:

As a busy hairdresser I found myself laughing along sympathetically throughout this wonderful book. I loved it and have recommended it to all my friends, family and clients: its fab !!

It gives a true insight into how bloody hard it is day to day being a busy stylist and the "cut throat" fashion industry we are part of . A must read for all !