The Southsea Abode

The Southsea Abode

What better way to gather content for a feature than to chat to a really lovely bloke while he makes you tea and pampers you for three hours? I visited the new, yet to officially open, Southsea Abode salon last week for looooong overdue highlights and a cut. We photographed owner Ed Chase for the first issue of Southsea Folk when he was based in a room within The South Coast Emporium. Due to recent changes at the emporium it was necessary for him (and all the other traders) to find alternative premises. He’s found himself the perfect salon next to Dead Man’s Glory on Albert Road, very close to The Kings Theatre and Bureau of Change. It’s such a simple, cosy little salon with beautiful wooden floors, an antique dressing table and vintage hairdryers and scissors displayed on the walls. It made such a change to go to a salon where you’re not drowned out by hairdryers or bored to tears listening to stylists chat with clients about their holidays. Ed and I had a really nice chat and talked about all sorts of things. I found out he’s also an actor and is a member of The Portsmouth Players in Milton Park. He’s appeared in West End shows and he told me a hilarious story of how he got into the wig department on Sister Act!

Ed’s a real hipster, he wears the most awesome clothes… a trademark bowler hat (that he swaps for a wider brim in the summer) and he even gets away with a leopard print jacket! He’s just so at ease with himself, that’s what I love and he’s a great example of what we champion here at Southsea Folk; locals doing their thing in their own unique/alternative way. Ed’s worked in salons but he likes the environment of mobile work i.e. relaxed and intimate. He doesn’t want anyone breathing down his neck or telling him what to do so his cosy set-up is ideal. There is a space for another colourist/stylish but obviously the person needs to be right, not only in terms of technical ability but someone relaxed and easy going like Ed.

Although he’s up and running his windows are covered over, I had to knock on the door for my patch test and appointment, it was all very secret squirrel which I quite like and I think Ed does too! He informs me he’ll be opening properly when his sign’s ready but I don’t think he’s in any rush! He’s just not that kind of guy and he’s got plenty of clients.

My highlights and cut were perfect, exactly what I wanted and Ed offered advice on the cut based on my personality and the clothes I was wearing (skinny jeans, dirty DM boots and a massive sloppy jumper, lol). He also gave me advice on products to buy; an expensive but amazing Phillip Kingsley product for my damaged ends (Elasticizer) and a cheapy Superdrug toner to keep my blonde cool.

Ed and his salon are right up my street, I’ll be back for sure.

By Helen Ruff

Featured Image by Carrie Lavers