RCNQ stands for Robert Czlapka Northern Quarter and is based in Manchester. Rob is a very accomplished hairstylist, rising through the ranks quickly and now creative directing Balmain shows.

This is my result at RCNQ



I walked into a 2 story modern salon with an edge. The back wall had eye-catching palm wallpaper . I was greeted by the friendly face and had my appointment with Rob at around 11.20am. I came in sat down and we talked about myhair history. I walked in with 6 months worth of growth. The ends of my hair were still bleached. Rob had already seen a picture of my hair. He and I talked about what I wanted to get out of my hair and what color I was looking to go. I told him about having Platinum hair, however it was unmaintainable and one day whilst getting my roots done, the whole thing frazzled out and disintegrated. I lost 50% density in 2 minutes – you can read about my Platinum journey here:

Anyway, Rob was really understanding and mentioned that at RCNQ hair takes a lot longer to bleach because they lighten hair slower to maintain the condition. The other thing really different abou RCNQ was that they use an all natural oil based shampoo, the benefits are it doesn’t strip and dry the hair and it keeps the color in longer.



He then set out to bleach my hair. The philosophy at RCNQ is when you bleach gradually with Wellaplex in the hair it keeps the integrity of the hair. So it might take a little longer but the hair condition will be better. He bleached the hair with pieces of what looked like white wax paper in between. He avoided bleaching the prebleached ends.

While i was waiting for my hair to bleach I was offered tea from RCNQs collection of T2 teas. I was familiar with T2s premium teas from back home in Sydney so it was nostalgic to see. I picked Lemongrass & ginger. Gosh it was refreshing and it was served in the loveliest glass cup!

After my bleach session I had my hair washed in the sink by one of Robs staff. She gave me an amazing head massage and washed my hair with the most amazing smelling shampoo. The shampoo was quite different called New Wash its sulphate free, oil based and doesn’t  dry out the hair. Literally one of the best products ive ever used. Ihave naturally curly dry hair so it was a godsend at keeping the condition and shine. The whole bleaching process took a couple of hours. Once My hair was washed and dried it was a light orange fluorescent color – see:



Now it was time to color my hair. Rob wanted to blend the dark roots into light ends without it looking bandy.

Used 1 color on the root
1 color mid lengths
1 color on the ends.

The result was superb! We finished at around 5pm.



Rob then cut my hair in a blunt cut bob, careful to check all the layers were one length. Then he gave me fringe as per my reference (Parveen Babi was my reference hehe!). Gave it a curl and out the door I went. I actually hadn’t had a short fringe for over a decade so I thought it would be a good idea, but I think it probably would have looked better without the fringe haha! All good, it will grow out and be gone in a couple of months!


RCNQ is by far the best salon I’ve been to in my life. The reason is they do things a little differently and despite my hair being bleached, when I walked out the condition of my hair was exactly the same as hair condition I walked In with. Not even remotely dry or brittle. They took such care to maintain the condition that I was absolutely amazed! They even had a method for dealing with root regrowth in one go. He recommended mix a product called Wella Magma with bleach and apply to roots and it would blend with the rest of the hair. The advantage is that after bleaching you don’t have to sit in a sink with wet hair. For me this is generally the single moment my hair becomes brittle. Anyway I would highly recommend RCNQ for people with very dark hair who want to go lighter and people with virgin hair that don’t want to lose their condition.