As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am a little bit (read: excessively) preoccupied with my hair. In fact, it’s a long-standing joke amongst my friends that no-one ever really knows what I’ll look like from one week to the next, such is my passion for follicular reinvention. I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with the reasons behind my love of tinkering with my tresses, but I put it down to a low boredom threshold, plus growing up in the countryside and having little else in the way of recreation other than moping in my bedroom listening to indie music.
I really love playing with colour. I’ve been every shade of purple, brown and even black. I drew the line at the full head of platinum blonde, but have regularly sported honey highlights that would make a Californian surfer jealous, along with peroxide slices, subtle caramel lowlights and a complicated ombré that did nothing for my complexion but was hideously expensive to maintain. Most of all, I love red. Pillar box, traffic light, fire engine red.
It’s really hard to find a hair stylist that understands colour in Hong Kong. Blondes tend to have the toughest time of all, with friends reporting from the frontline on fried, over-processed ends and greenish streaks, but us redheads also struggle when it comes to finding someone who can deliver intensity of colour while staving off the intense fade that reds can suffer in the harsh climate. (Science factoid: red fades faster than other hair dyes as the colour molecules are larger and wash out more easily than other shades, resulting in brassiness, not to mention that telltale pink tide all over your white towels!).
That’s where the stylists at Hollywood Hair come in.
Helmed by award-winning South African hair maven Rennie Fensham (quite possibly Hong Kong’s friendliest stylist), Hollywood Hair is a haven of pampering perched high above Duddell Street, Central on the 23rd floor of the Shanghai Tang building. The team consists of Rennie’s retinue of creative stylists – including her lovely daughter, Yentl, who is soon to be taking the reins at an all-new Sai Kung outpost – and the huge space is airy, glamorous and carefully designed as a haven for frazzled Hong Kongers to come and beautify in gorgeous surroundings.
Rennie takes her work extremely seriously, having a hand in every single aspect of the salon’s design and operation – a creative director in the most literal sense. She is usually to be found flitting from chair to chair, greeting every client by name, making tiny tweaks to styles as needed and generally directing her creative cast with incredible attention to detail. This is no marketing ploy – Hollywood Hair’s greatest asset is the warmth and care shown to its loyal clients, so it comes as no surprise that Rennie describes most of them as friends.
And the results speak for themselves. I’ve visited Hollywood Hair every couple of months (damn you, grey!) for well over a year now, and, despite a long-winded and punishing chemical regime of intensive colouring and straightening treatments, my hair has never been in better condition. Wherever possible, the HH team use deep-conditioning masks to offset the damage caused in the colouring process, resulting in shiny, strong hair that keeps its colour for far longer than I’ve experienced elsewhere.
Rennie is obsessed with using the newest and most innovative techniques brands, researching the hottest hair trends, including new-to-HK Ybera and Kerasilk Keratin straightening, and Evo home care products (more on those coming very soon). Hollywood Hair is also one of the few salons in the city to offer Ballayage (hand-painted highlights), giving an ultra-natural, Farrah Fawcett-style golden girl finish to your newly fabulous ‘do.
I think it’s fair to say that the Hollywood Hair experience is not for you if all you want from a salon is a quick trim, as the process can be lengthy due to the detailed consultation. But if you have a little time to spare then head to Hollywood Hair to kick back and have a chat over a coffee (or, if the sun’s over the yard-arm, a glass or two of vino!) in your quest for gorgeous hair.
Want to know more? Check out this YouTube Video (including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by yours truly at 1.52!)
Hollywood Hair, 23/F, 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong
2861 9830, firstname.lastname@example.org
My visit to Hollywood Hair was by invitation – thanks to Rennie and her lovely team for having me!