Curious about getting hair extensions? Perhaps you’re looking for a solution for thinning hair, for example, or you just want a fuller look for the holiday season. We spoke with SIOBAN GUILFOYLE from Glow Spa and Salon about the long and short of extending your locks!
When would you recommend hair extensions?
“People use hair extensions for any number of reasons,” says Sioban. “Along with adding length, volume and shape, those with damaged and fine hair can use extensions as a way of adding highlight colour without doing further damage or adding stress to the hair.”
Another bonus of hair extensions, she adds, is that they allow you to switch up styles and colours without making a full commitment to changing your natural hair permanently with colour dye or bleach.
What type of hair extensions do you recommend?
Glow Salon was Hong Kong’s first accredited Gold Fever salon for hair extensions. The Gold Fever brand is acknowledged as a market leader, working with salons on an invitation only basis. “If you’re looking for longer hair styles with impressive volume, Gold Fever is recommended,” says Sioban, “not only because of the extremely high quality of the hair, but also because of the shorter taper.”
What does that mean – “taper”?
Taper refers to the difference in length between the shortest and the longest strands of hair in an extension bunch; bundles with a longer taper include a larger proportion of short hair and fewer longer strands. Shorter taper comprises mostly long, healthy hair – according to Sioban, the difference is considerably noticeable after application.
A broader consideration is the one around the ethics of hair extensions – especially as extensions have exploded as a worldwide trend, and the demand for human hair is enormous.
Do you consider hair extensions to be ethical?
“The only truly ethical and traceable hair is Indian hair of the finest quality,” says Sioban. “And the only way to ensure its provenance is to use hair that is tonsured at Indian temples as part of a religious ceremony and donated at no cost by willing and happy worshippers. An alternative supply is hair voluntarily sold by women as part of the Indian culture and sourced exclusively from long-standing, credible vendors. The funds generated by the temples are used to build schools, hospitals and other charitable causes. This is how Gold Fever sources hair, and every order of hair is accompanied by a certificate of ethicality.”
The next step
How it works
When it comes to applying new extensions, Glow will usually arrange a consultation with you, so they can listen to your requirements (for example, are you looking for length, volume, a half head, full head, and so on), make recommendations and do a colour match. If they have your colour in stock, they can generally provide the application service immediately. If not, they’ll order the extensions, which typically take 48 to 72 hours to be delivered. There are samples of each range, so you can touch and feel the quality of the hair – and, as you can see below, the team has loads of experience so they’re well-placed to make recommendations about the most suitable extensions for your hair type during your consultation.
How much it costs
Prices for extensions at Glow vary depending on brand, length, bonding style and volume. Adding volume or disguising a thinning area starts from $700, while a full head application ranges from $7,500 to $14,500, depending on the desired volume and length. Glow offers instalment payment options, making the cost of extensions a little easier on the wallet. These options can be discussed with your extensions specialist (details at glowspa.hk/hair-extensions).
How to look after your extensions
Managing hair extensions is surprisingly easy; they’re not as susceptible to the humidity in the hotter Hong Kong months, and generally you will find them less frustrating than dealing with your own humidity-prone hair. The keys to correct maintenance are:
- Regularly brush your hair
- Use the recommended homecare
- Avoid tangling
Well-applied, well-maintained, quality hair extensions will last you at least 10 to 12 weeks, and some bond types may be re-used several times.
Meet Glow’s hair extensions team
“Ari has been a part of the Glow family since we opened the salon six years ago. His quiet and determined passion, and methodical and meticulous approach have served him well as he has developed his career and followed his interest in hair extensions, completing training with Great Lengths, BTCU and Gold Fever, mastering the technique and developing a loyal client following. Ari’s attention to detail is impeccable; he cares deeply about the quality of his work and client outcomes are his absolute priority. He’s been working with various extension bond types, including tape, keratin and clip-in, for the past eight years.”
“A super talented colourist and chemical technician, Chrissie specialises in extension application. She trained with Great Lengths and Gold Fever. Chrissie works with various extension bond types and she specialises in Keratin bond application and maintenance. Like Ari, she has been working with hair extensions for the past eight years.”
“Based across the UK and Europe for most of her career, Sarahann has worked in and managed a number of the UK’s top salons. After a number of years on the salon floor, she redirected her career into education. She worked as a technical instructor at a number of Glasgow’s private academies, and subsequently as a lecturer at Clydebank College. Sarahann launched her own salon in Glasgow in 2007. She specialises in tape-in hair extensions, and has worked with and trained with Seamless and J’adore, and with BTCU.”
This article first appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.