Marc & Maxwell, a boutique hair salon nestled high up in the treetops on Surry Hills’ bustling Bourke street, continues to flourish post-Covid with its insanely talented team performing grand makeovers for their growing clientele.
Image and video Courtesy of bubble-magazine.com (accessed 02/02/2022).
I said this last time, and I’ll say it again: I personally find boutique hair salon experiences less intimidating and rather more enjoyable and intimate when compared to the rushed and frantic scenes you’d find yourself in at franchise salons. The banter and briefing between yourself as the client and the hairdresser performing a potential miracle makeover on your head of hair is far more natural and engaging – and dare I say, meaningful. They show they actually care. If I could even just review my experience at Marc & Maxwell on a social level, I’d say it was hands down the most personal and entertaining of all, to date.
On this particular recent visit, I wanted a reimagined version of the look they gave me in winter this year. A warm, dark chocolate lob embodying boss energy and a chic NYC feel. And this time, with a keratin treatment.
The dynamic duo of Marc Armstrong and Sabrina Maxwell conceived a theatrical performance of cut, colour, style and keratin treatment. Between the two of them, they have over 40 years in the industry with their work showcased in editorials in leading Australian and International fashion magazines.
“We applied a bhave keratin treatment (bhave Smoothing Keratin Therapy). I wanted to show Claudia’s hair in all its glory, keeping the ends nice and blunt to create structure and finesse. We cut her hair a little shorter for more of a fashion statement, to stand out from the crowd. We also went darker and richer with the colour to make her eyes pop – the darker the colour, the more shine you create!”
“Texture was added by point cutting and slicing, rather than adding short layers. This will give more movement whilst dishevelling the interior, which enables the style to be adaptable,” said co-founder and hairstylist Marc.
Entering summer – especially a wet, humid one in Sydney with La Niña upon us – a wave of self consciousness overcomes me with my frizz-prone hair to really go wild. So, with keratin treatment available, this was something I truly wanted for myself.
I asked Marc and his co-founder Sabrina what keratin is exactly. They said keratin is the protein your hair is made up of. It’s what keeps hair strong and shiny. And by adding this in a treatment form, you will achieve ultra-polished, healthy, smooth-looking locks.
“For those who are time-poor but lust the luscious-looking locks that are low maintenance and low manageability, it is a perfect solution for streamlining your beauty routine, as well as your look.
“Keratin smoothing is NOT a straightening treatment. Unlike other straightening services, it does not restructure the hair. As a result, hair looks more natural with enhanced body, movement, and manageability.”
With keratin, you need to allow at least 48 hours for the treatment to settle in before washing it out with shampoo and conditioner. On day 1 at the salon, Marc cut my hair and applied the treatment, and then on day 2 (48 hours later), he washed my hair and coloured it. The colour had to be done after the keratin was washed out, as keratin treatment can impact the colour of your hair – usually lightening it. In my case, it went a touch lighter with some subtle red and orange tones coming out to play. Once Marc had coloured my hair to a warm chocolate on day 2, the small impact the keratin had on my colour had vanished.
My plush long bob, which would’ve looked fabulous as is with my freshened cut and colour, had real celebrity quality to it with the keratin treatment.
Marc said: “bhave Smoothing drastically reduces styling time, making hair easy to manage. It’s ideal for anyone who struggles with frizz or curly hair. Keratin smoothing is designed to make hair easier and quicker to manage.”
After one and a half months since my keratin treatment, I’ve noticed the usual at-home routine of “wash, blowdry and straighten” (a relatively time-consuming routine) had quickly become “wash and air-dry”, which has really made an impact – and for the better. I feel like my hair is healthier without the constant heat from hair utensils and it has a natural, non-frizz appeal to it that frequently receives praise – everywhere from social events to neighbours on my commute to the local cafe.
When it comes to haircuts, styles and colour trends for this summer, Sabrina revealed they are loving the shag and that it’s coming back with a bang – literally with a bang! “Your fringe should be feeling a 70’s vibe, slightly overgrown with a soft finish just dropping over the eye a little. This will complement your face shape. Manuka honey blonde and coral-infused coppers are our top tips for hair colour.”
The team has said they are growing at a rapid rate, and they’re excited about their future. “We took advantage of lockdown and truly streamlined our business. We still offer online consultations and will continue to do so for those who choose to not get vaccinated for their own personal reasons, as well as those who simply can’t get out of the house for whatever reason they may have.”
“Our online shop is available on the Marc & Maxwell website to buy our premium products. There is also a ‘join our team’ option if you would like to be part of our family.”