With Hong Kong’s heat and humidity, it’s tempting to tame your mane with all sorts of treatments and chemicals. We recently road-tested two local salons that deliver the results you’re after, while using only natural or organic products. And they offer a bit of pampering too!
I love, love, love Love Hair! If you’re looking for a highly qualified UK-trained stylist who isn’t another “lazy” hairdresser about to give you the same-old expat “do”, then meet Toni Sutton-Marcus, the proud owner of Love Hair. You’ll find her new premises down on the trendy part of Wellington Street notable for its typically HK mish-mash appearance and buzzy vibe.
Toni previously worked at Hippfish and after its closure decided to go out on her own. After years spent in salons surrounded by chemicals, she was forced to make some lifestyle changes, which made her really question the products and environments she had been accustomed to.
These days, Toni is passionate about all things healthy, natural and green, and she has engaged with many businesses, locally and internationally, who share the same philosophy. One of these is O&M, an Australian brand of hair care organic products. Toni likes their very simple and effective range, which has been created without nasty chemicals, using only high-quality Australian botanicals.
Love Hair’s commitment to the environment flows through into other aspects of the business as well. The team at the salon recycles as much as possible through HK Recycles, and they use reusable gloves for hair dying. These kinds of small things add up to a huge commercial commitment on Toni’s part, but they’re very personal to her.
The Love Hair experience is a pleasure, with lovely, warm and welcoming staff. The salon is located in a gently renovated Chinese building from times gone by, with a beautiful balcony, and the interior is relaxed, open, and light. Every corner has been well thought out.
This is not just a standard hour at a salon but a relaxing experience where you can unwind and leave your hair to the professionals who go out of their way to make it an experience. I spent my time really being looked after, and I left with a lovely blowout that is still holding strong in this muggy weather.
Emmanuel F is well known as more of an organic hair establishment than just a salon. It specialises in organic hair care, with a team that believes in delivering beautiful hair with organic products. For me, though, it’s not just about the organic products; over the years, I’ve had my hair cut in many different places, and I have always left Emmanuel F with a cut that lasts.
The salon in Sheung Wan is conveniently located just a stone’s throw from Central, and in the very neighbourly part of Bonham Strand. I went in already knowing a little of what to expect, having been a regular client for years, but I was really pleased to see they are still upping their game. The move to Sheung Wan has given them the opportunity to build a new environment that is in keeping with their ethos, yet caters more carefully to their clients’ needs.
The salon is at the front of house, and there is a gorgeous spa in the rear. The staff are extremely attentive, as always – family-like yet very professional. The services of the spa and salon cross over; you feel like you’re heading into a “hair spa” rather than just a salon. To save time, you can have your nails done, or enjoy a facial or a massage while waiting in the chair. This is an excellent option if you’re short on time, like most of us are!
I opted for a blow dry with a special hair treatment, which included a lovely head, neck and shoulder massage by a trained masseuse. (She had previously worked for five-star hotels and has been in her profession for over a decade.) I was, to say the least, very relaxed! The team at Emmanuel F know their facts when it comes to hair in general, explaining to me the balance of protein and moisture in healthy hair while they assessed the current state of mine and customised my treatment. Then I sat back and tuned out for 20 minutes while having my heavenly massage. Once I was dragged back from my state of bliss, I had a thorough wash, followed by the best head massage, ever! After all of this, I was then given a lovely blow dry, which left my hair so shiny and healthy. What a treat!
This article first appeared in the June/July 2016 issue of Expat Living. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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