Meet London’s Digital Perm™ Expert
Christian Toth is the co-founder of Eleven Hair, a boutique salon just off Bond Street in London. For the past 11 years, he has been honing his skills as hairdresser as well as permenant hair straightener and curler. Today, Christian specialises in chemical hair treatments such as straightening and in May launched the new Digital Perm™.
Tell us about your background
My career in the hairdressing industry has spanned 11 years and started as a L’Oreal trained colour technician. Early on in my career I worked at the famous Molton Brown salon and then the Yuko Salon in Curzon Street. I was the first British hairdresser to be trained at the famous Yuko Academy with Yuko Yamashita and after that I went on to teach the techniques in both Dubai and Paris. Working so intensely in one area was incredibly satisfying but I wanted the challenge of creating a salon of my own. So I took a big step forward to launch my own salon, Compton Hair in Soho. The salon proved to be a huge success and we soon moved to a larger space in Covent Garden. Whilst there I met my assistant Sebastian Stetkiewicz and we’ve worked together ever since. Having a working partner like Sebastian means we can develop techniques together and we have worked really hard on gaining our reputation as being the best in permanent hair straightening. Over the years we have developed our own techniques which allow us to work with different hair types and conditions.
What inspired you to set up Eleven Hair?
After Compton Hair I wanted to take a break from salon ownership and worked at Fordham Soho, it was there I met Jason Welch and Ben White. Meeting two other hairdressers whose skills I admired really inspired me to create a home for our collective skills. Sebastian, Ben, Jason and I co-founded Eleven Hair and it’s proven to be a great success.
Why did you decide to focus on chemical hair treatments?
Having trained in colour my interest was always focused on the chemical and treatment side of our industry. And with chemical hair treatments such as straightening and perming I saw an opportunity to become very skilled in what is very much a niche and specialised area of hairdressing.
What makes the Eleven Hair unique?
Having the four different personalities makes the salon what it is. Eleven Hair is very chic and discrete and offers really top notch hairdressing services, but at the same time it’s a fun place to come and relax. We’re not stuffy but you can trust the team to make your hair look gorgeous. Ben has carved out a reputation as a top stylist and a brilliant blow dryer, whilst Jason works closely with Redken on their training and collections – he’s a top colourist. Our different skills complement each other perfectly.
What’s special about the London hair and beauty scene?
London is a fashion capital and trends come from the street as well as the catwalk. We have world beating designers here, amazing creative talent in the hair dressing and make-up industries and it all comes together to create a vibrate scene. We have an incredible media industry in the UK and this drives an interest in fashion and beauty that keeps everyone innovating.
Who else do you admire in the industry?
I couldn’t single out a particular person because collectively I admire our British talent, together everyone in the industry comes together to make Britain the hair capital of the world.
What’s new and exciting right now in the hair industry?
For us, the most exciting development is the new Digital Perm™. It’s a new way of giving hair texture and curl which is totally on trend for this year. Digital perming is a new curling technique that originated in Japan and it uses chemicals to change the structure of the hair. That alone isn’t new, but unlike a traditional perm, Digital Perming uses a refined chemical process along with digitally controlled thermal heating. Electric rollers are individually hooked up to a special unit which uses infra-red heat to help ‘set’ the curl memory. It’s very high tech and the results are amazing.
What are your favourite hair products?
Right now my favourites are Ringlet 07 from Redken which gives curls lots of definition and bounce and Moroccanoil which seems to work on all hair types. It’s a great restorer for hair in the summer as well, particularly if its dried out from the sun, sea or chlorine.
Top hair tip for this summer?
Without doubt, I’d say try the Digital Perm™, you can get an incredibly sexy, gentle wave with this technique, it’s perfect for summer as you look like you’ve just stepped off the beach. It’s so easy to style, you can just leave it to dry naturally and the boho wave just needs a tan to look gorgeous. It will last about three months which is long enough to see you through the summer before you want to change your look for the autumn season.