Sleek Summer Style
Hong Kong’s heat and humidity add up to just one thing for your hair – frizz! And the daily battle to tame your tresses can actually exacerbate the issue, leaving you in a vicious circle of over-styling and damage. We chat to Rennie Fensham, Salon Director of Glow Salon and owner of Hollywood Hair, along with her expert team of stylists for their advice on how to remain cool, calm and in control of your style this summer.
With over 30 years of styling experience, there’s very little that Rennie Fensham doesn’t know about how hair behaves. She explains, “As air humidity increases, your hair’s cuticle opens, preventing the strands from lying flat and resulting in that not-so-angelic ‘halo’ effect!” She continues, “The more damaged your hair, the more prone to frizz it will be, and so the very first step to achieving smoother hair should be to address your hair’s condition. This begins with a good home care regime, supplemented with the correct salon smoothing treatments for your hair type.” And it’s here that Rennie stresses the importance of choosing your stylist wisely, “The treatments that we use can dramatically improve the condition of your hair when used correctly, but this is a highly technical process.”
When asked about the high cost of these treatments, Rennie explains, “These treatments are expensive for good reason. Both the product itself, and the time of a well-trained technician costs money, it’s true.” And while there are cheaper deals to be had, Rennie advises caution, “We have seen terrible cases of clients whose hair has been irreparably damaged by incorrectly applied products. We’ve even seen people with completely destroyed hair and chemical burns to their scalp – it’s crucial to work with a skilled professional who understands the science behind these treatments.” These ‘bargains’ can also have an unexpected financial cost, “Unless the hair is prepared appropriately and the products are applied correctly, they simply won’t work. In that situation, you’re literally rinsing your money down the drain.”
Rennie recommends always asking around for recommendations, in person or online, “If your friend rocks up with hair to die for, ask for her stylist’s number! There are also plenty of online forums giving honest feedback, so there’s really no need to find your forever stylist by trial-and-error.”
So you’ve found your stylist and you’re ready to commit to investing in your hair. But with a wide range of frizz-busting treatments on the market, which should you be booking in for? Rennie suggests that there’s no need to jump in feet-first, “Any good salon will be happy to chat about the available options and examine your hair before you commit, so book in for a consultation and let your stylist find out more about you, your lifestyle and your hair goals. Information is power!”
With that in mind, we chat to some of Glow and Hollywood Hair’s most experienced stylists about their personal frizz-fighting favourites.
Rex Wong, bhave Smoothe Plus
Senior Stylist Rex’s top pick is a hair smoother that is both paraben and formaldehyde-free, making it great for health-conscious clients, in particular pregnant women or nursing mums. Made from keratin (the same material that our hair and nails are made from), extracted from New Zealand sheep’s wool, and containing argan oil, collagen and silk amino acids, the formula delivers maximum results, gently. bhave also allows maximum flexibility with your style and is suitable for every hair type, from poker-straight to corkscrew-curly.
Rex explains, “I love bhave Smoothe Plus because it works particularly well on hair that has been chemically damaged – you really notice a difference in the softness and smoothness of the hair afterwards.” He continues, “The downside to bhave is that you can’t wash or tie your hair back for 48 hours after treatment. This is so the keratin can really absorb into the hair shaft. It can also ‘lift’ hair colour in certain circumstances, we know how to minimise the risk of this happening, so we always do a thorough consultation before proceeding with this treatment”.
Ari Wong, Goldwell Kerasilk Control
Packing the same powerful smoothing punch as bhave but without the 48-hour waiting period for washing or tying up, Kerasilk Control is another keratin-based treatment containing silk proteins that’s great for repairing and de-frizzing damaged hair. It also helps to protect against fade, making it a popular choice amongst clients who colour their hair.
Says Ari, “I’m known as ‘Kerasilk guy’ as I’m so obsessed with the results I get from using it! It is really customisable – you can basically choose how much body and wave you want left in the hair, which means that clients don’t have to completely reinvent their usual style.” He adds, “Providing you use the right care products at home, a Kerasilk treatment can last up to four months. I always recommend Goldwell’s accompanying sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner to prolong the result.”
Anson Ho, Ybera Discovery
Recently re-launched, this Brazilian treatment is created using stem cells from a rare breed of Swiss apple. The 100% natural formula contains no formaldehyde or any other chemical straightening ingredients, and acts directly on the hair shaft’s hydrogen bonds – the easily damaged element that gives your hair flexibility – to restructure, repair and moisturise.
Anson enthuses, “I’ve found the new and improved Ybera to be a really effective treatment in repairing the hair and reducing frizz. Brazilian hair products are always innovative and this one is no exception. It’s extremely effective on most hair types, which is impressive, particularly considering that it’s all-natural! And Anson’s favourite thing of all? “It smells of apples! For most stylists who deal with chemicals day in, day out, that is a huge bonus!”
Chris Lo, Brazilian Blowout
The original and some say the best of the bunch; Brazilian Blowout has not been without controversy. While previous incarnations of the product contained known carcinogen formaldehyde, it has since been reformulated into a safer format, while still offering superior smoothing and straightening results that can last up to four months. Unlike other keratin treatments, the “BB” is not suitable for heavily damaged or very fine hair, and is generally recommended for clients who struggle to manage their normal-to-thick mane.
Chris is faithful to the brand, saying, “There’s a good reason why hair straightening treatments are collectively known as ‘having a Brazilian’ – the BB still gives the most dramatic results, and clients and stylists come back to it time after time.” But what about health concerns? “If you are planning on a Brazilian Blowout, make sure that you’re definitely getting the authentic product, as there are many unregulated copycats out there, especially the cheap deals. As a precaution, both you and your stylist should wear a mask during treatment, and the room should be well ventilated. To try it is to love it.”
Rennie Fensham, Olaplex
As if these superior smoothers weren’t enough to whet your appetite for a frizz-free holiday season, there’s a new kid on the block promising more luscious locks than ever before. Olaplex is a seemingly magical conditioning product that is suitable for use in combination with most smoothing and colour treatments, boosting their efficacy while protecting your hair against damage. Rennie explains, “Olaplex is like insurance for the hair – you can add it to most other salon treatments and it repairs hair at a molecular level. This leaves it strong and healthy, even after harsh chemicals like bleach.”
But Rennie’s favourite use of Olaplex is in combination with smoothing treatments, “It amps up the effect of the smoothing treatment by penetrating the hair and repairing damaged bonds. This leaves the hair shaft flatter, which in turn gives great shine and unbelievable softness. It’s a real game-changer for fighting frizz and an essential in my salon.”
And with a ringing endorsement like that, surely the only question left to ask is, “when can I book an appointment?”
Glow Spa & Hollywood Hair’s expert hair and beauty team at their Central salon have a wealth of experience and know how to make you look your most youthful and radiant best. Get in touch for a friendly consultation.
Still not sure what’s the best hair smoothing treatment for you? We have lots more information in this post.