The Production Line of Happiness

15 - 4 - 2015

A new show opening at The Whitechapel is a survey of the work of Christopher Williams, an artist who takes the idiom of commercial photography to explore the imagery of consumerism.

Accustomed as we are to seeing 'perfect' images in our daily life, have our eyes become immune to the trickery of the camera? We read Williams' images reflected through this learned view but the discovery of a break or a blemish highlights the beauty of imperfection.

There is the thrill of playing detective when looking at these works, especially as Williams's technical skill is equal to any advertising photographer. Go the the Whitechapel from 29th April - 21st June and look a little deeper.

Hair and Art

11 - 3 - 2015

March saw Jimo SALAKO head to New York at the invitation of MoMA to work on creating hair sculpture for the current mid-career retrospective 'Bjork'.

The MoMA show brings together the diverse elements of Bjork's creative range and Jimo's task was to interpret some of her many iconic looks.

Having worked with Bjork for the Nick Knight-produced 'Volta' album cover and associated PA's (including this appearance on the Jools Holland show, Jimo was ideally placed to duplicate the style featured in this iconic shoot, working once again with the original Bernhard Willhelm- designed costume to ensure the integrity of the finished piece.

The show is an ambitious attempt to trace Bjork's development as an artist, utilising sound, imagery and text to present an overview of her oeuvre to date. 

Jimo is honoured to have his hair creations on display at MoMA and they can be viewed until 7th June 2015. Go see! For Jimo Salako booking enquiries contact

Artisanal Hair

21 - 1 - 2015

Jimo started the New Year with a collaboration. Danish filmmakers, BlackBird ( created A Moment with Jimo Salako as part of their ‘A Moment With’ series, which focuses on people who are masters of their craft.

Inspired by Jimo’s intuitive approach to hair cutting, the Blackbird team approached him as a subject for their evocative film, which captures the essence of Jimo and the SALAKO space.

Shot on a wintry Sunday afternoon, with natural light pouring into the studio, the film shows Jimo at work doing what he does best: cutting hair in a naturalistic, free-flowing style. 

With just a comb and pair of scissors, Jimo created a textured, choppy long bob. 

Using his fingers to create movement in the hair, his technique of hand-drying whilst cutting ensured that the style was finished with minimum effort but a whole lot of expertise.

The final style is reminiscent of European films from the 1960s, which are Jimo’s go-to reference when creating hair moods.

For an artisan experience, book a visit to SALAKO, 85 George St, W1

To see the full film, visit:


17 - 6 - 2014


© Rita Ackermann, A Study on the Aesthetic of Disappearance - Hair Wash, 2014 (detail)

Rita Ackermann's new piece A Study on the Aesthetic of Disappearance - Hair Wash (2014) showing as part of Hauser and Wirth's Unlimited exhibition at Art Basel got us thinking about the various meanings of 'wash'. Ackermann's drawings on chalkboards depict disturbing scenes that appear and disappear in fine chalk markings. The overall piece has a tranquil effect but violence reigns beneath. Random markings serve to obscure the figurative drawings and the large scale of the work allows for a more distant or closer reading, as the viewer decides. The idea of washing over things (to 'whitewash' for example) has long had currency but we thought we would explore the softer side of 'wash' and it's function as verb and noun.

The most obvious meaning that comes to mind, especially at this time of year, is washing to clean away the heat of the day. Cool water splashing on hot skin while listening to Spectrum's 'Waves Wash over Me', perhaps? 

 The expression 'letting things wash over' can be good to remember, especially if you are feeling hot under the collar. Sometimes you just need to lie back, give in and let the water flow over you.

Whitewashing can have a negative interpretation but how better to keep things clean and cool? Check out these Moroccan and Greek abodes, 



or this farmhouse decor. 

There is something simple and honest about sloshing a load of white paint over a brick wall as people have been doing all over the world for many years. Stepping into these interiors as a refuge from searing heat or even the outside world has the curious effect of creating calm. Their spartan, cell-like feel encourages relaxation and quietens visual noise.

Washing things away can be a cathartic experience and Mitzi Gaynor does it with gusto in her rendition of 'Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair'.

So, however you are feeling and wherever you are, just let things wash over and everything will be alright.


12 - 5 - 2014

© Jimo Salako

We have previously posted on Black and White (03-07-2013) and are continuing our series looking at colour, following on from our 'Orange' post (19-07-2013)

Strictly speaking, grey is not a colour but a tone. It is achromatic, that is to say, without colour. Yet the nuances of this tonal range are many and it is rather more complex than one would first think.

Grey is humble, quiet and yet the cityscapes of the globe are overwhelmingly grey in colour, skyscraper towers reflecting the skies around them. Known as the colour of the poor because of the shade of undyed wool worn by peasants in the Middle Ages, grey's status was elevated by the artists of the Renaissance, who featured grey heavily in their paintings, to add depth and shade: it is the middle ground between black and white, with varying measures of each.

In recent times, grey is used to add an aura of authenticity. Look at any Georgian period street in the shires and the overwhelming colour is grey, conforming to conservation protocol and adding the sheen of genteel elegance. Farrow & Ball famously have an array of grey toned paints with evocative names such as 'Elephant's Breath', 'Cornforth White' and 'Blackened'. All of these descriptions allude to the quietness of grey, a colour that doesn't need to shout.

Grey is also used as a derogatory term for a dull person and is often greeted with horror when the first grey hair is spied in the mirror. However, grey hair can be very flattering and many people now have bespoke grey hair colour applied, embracing all its tones, from bright silver to a warm, deep shade.

One doesn't necessarily consider grey as a colour which draws attention to itself, yet recently, it became the focus for an act of guerrilla art from Bill Drummond, who used his specially mixed 'International Grey' to obscure a UKIP poster. This democratic act was undertaken swiftly and quietly and to date, Drummond hasn't been prosecuted. Perhaps the clever use of grey made the act seem less an act of sabotage and more an act of restoration. We associate grey with the municipal: concrete, council buildings, pavements. This small rebellion may make us reconsider this rather overlooked tone on the colour spectrum.


24 - 4 - 2014

Elizabeth Gregory-Gruen produces beautifully intricate pieces made from paper, leather and metal. Using a scalpel, she traces the patterns freehand – the whole process is focussed, transcendental, even. Hence the title of her upcoming show: ‘Meditation, Scalpels & Shotguns’ opening at the Ivy Brown Gallery, 675 Hudson Street, 4th Floor, NYC 10014 on May 8th.

Her use of contrasting colours and layers of paper produces stunning op art effects, reminiscent of the sculptural work of Naum Gabo. However, this considered approach to creating her work is subverted by Gregory-Gruen herself when certain pieces are selected to form part of her ‘Shotgun’ series.

Their perfection is blasted apart by the artist, using a rifle at close range to inflict ‘wounds’ on the images’ surface. Rather than being interpreted as a nihilistic act, this treatment reveals the multi layers of the images, creating more organic textures and exposing the viewer to a new interpretation of the intact ‘Cut-Work’ series.

The Ivy Brown Gallery is host to an eclectic, evolving selection of artists selected by the gallerist whose supportive and collaborative approach to art is evident in her opening up her home to artists and visitors alike. Do go and see if you are heading to the Meatpacking District (Gregory-Gruen’s show ends June 9th 2014).

For more info. see: or

All images (c) Elizabeth Gregory-Gruen


09 - 4 - 2014

Two is the magic number? From the discovery of binary numbers in the 17th century (and let's not forget their importance to modern life as the basis of computer code);

...through Marvin Gaye and Tammy Tyrell's gorgeous rendition of 'It Takes Two' in the 1960s Richard Ayoade's assured second feature, The Double: Two has a significance undiminished by time.

With Noah's Ark and its animals going 'two by two', memorably depicted in Darren Aronofsky's new take on the biblical tale, to last month's long overdue recognition of the right of same-sex partners to marry, it seems that 2 is the number of now.

SALAKO and Blow To Go, the exciting concept online hair company, have joined forces to offer clients the ultimate service, day or night. Booking is easy: simply decide if you would like a treatment in SALAKO's West End salon or in the comfort of your own home and book accordingly via the easy to use booking form.

Would you Adam and Eve it?

run your pretty fingers through my hair*

26 - 3 - 2014

Dead Famous DNA, which starts on Channel 4 today (Wednesday 26th March) takes an interesting approach to getting under the skin, and much else, of famous people.

Mark Evans tests the DNA of Marilyn Monroe, Hitler, Charles Darwin and Elvis Presley.Using a sample of Elvis Presley's hair, he deduces that Elvis had an underlying health condition which may have influenced his premature death. Examining a tiny strand of hair, containing all the building blocks of the human genome, it is a fascinating, if perhaps obtrusive, look at the make up of legendary figures.

Provoking questions regarding privacy and the ethics of DNA testing (Evans had to undertake research in the forty-five states which do allow such tests), it is nonetheless an interesting exploration of how much we want to know about famous people. Forensically, it seems.

How many bidders will try to buy a piece of Elvis' hair, which is at auction this week, remains to be seen. The hair was from the collection of Presley's personal hairdresser, Homer Gilleland ('Mr. Gill'), who was a close confidante and previously, Elvis' mother's stylist.

*lyrics from Elvis Presley: 'Treat Me Nice' (Lieber & Stoller)

Democratic Revolution

20 - 3 - 2014

' The most revolutionary idea is democracy' Tony Benn

There's been some changes going on round here: we have a new address in the heart of W1 and have relaunched the SALAKO website.

We thought this an opportune moment to make a few more changes, in keeping with our own values.

We believe that everyone should be able to have a great haircut, so the price list has been totally reworked, take a look here.We will also be running regular promotions so do keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter account.

We look forward to seeing everyone (and we mean, everyone) at SALAKO, 85 George St.W1 

Bookings: / 020 7262 5620


22 - 10 - 2013

Jimo's recent work for the new Uniqlo HairDo campaign inspires people to 'D.I.Y'. With step-by-step instructions on Uniqlo's Pinterest page, all of the sixteen looks can be achieved easily at home. 

The project greatly interested Jimo, as it breaks down hair styling techniques into a step-by-step process. Normally, a shot is all about the finished look - images are presented as complete and perfect. This shoot was about unpicking the whole process of creating a fashion image into its constituent parts: clothes, make up and hair. The overarching idea is all about encouraging people to experiment with their hair, demonstrating how the angle of a parting or the sweep of a fringe can create a different mood: Hair is as much of a part of the finished look as the styling of a piece of clothing.

Jimo designed each style, creating rough 'sketches' by styling and photographing over 25 different ideas which were then edited down. The final images were set up and shot (by Carl Kleiner @ Mini-Title) in real time, with each look being photographed at a different stage of its creation. It was important that the hair didn't look too finished, as the campaign is focused on attaining an achievable style. The whole shoot was produced in a spirit of collaboration, hence the perfect medium of a Pinterest moodboard to showcase the looks.

The whole project echoes SALAKO's approach to hair, creating believable and individual styles which are designed to complement your life and interests. We are planning on having some impromptu 'D.I.Y' nights at the salon, to take you through the different styling steps, so keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter, where we will also be showing some of the Uniqlo looks and their inspirations.