As a bit of a hair aficionado who firmly subscribes to the “It’ll grow back!” school of styling, I tend to be Sassy’s resident guinea pig for all things follicular – so when the invitation to check out the new super-swank BRUNEBLONDE salon at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong hit Sassy HQ, I hightailed it to Wan Chai like a woman on a mission.
Situated on the mezzanine floor of the Hyatt’s grand lobby, the sleek exterior gives way to an architect-designed interior that keeps on going… and going… and going! This is by far the largest salon I’ve ever set foot in, with a huge reception area-cum-product boutique, a men’s salon with barbershop facilities, a spacious area with sinks and beds (more on those later…), a huge ladies’ salon area and two private rooms, the ultimate in pampering indulgence for those who wish to shun the public eye (or avoid the paps!) while in foils. I was lucky enough to be led to one of the private rooms, where I was installed in an incredibly comfortable leather chair, brought an extensive tea menu and some handmade cookies, and left to peruse the stack of glossies in front of me.
Happily ensconced, I was introduced to Roland Boutin, co-founder of the salon and one half of the BRUNEBLONDE dream team. With a friendly but professional manner, Roland put me at my ease, and got to work applying the scalp care treatment I was sampling that day. All treatments are tailored to the clients’ own needs and use wonderfully aromatic products from French brand La Phyto.
Roland started with a blend of essential oils massaged deep into the scalp, causing a pleasantly tingly sensation; then came an application of a cleansing red clay and kaolin mask, combined with more delicious-smelling essential oils. Next up was a highly moisturising vegetal oil mask, containing nourishing wheatgerm and cereals once again blended with essential oils – this was by far my favourite stage of the treatment, as the mask felt deliciously rich and the mixture of lemon, marjoram, ylang ylang, thyme and cypress oils smelled absolutely heavenly. At each stage of the process, Roland was happy to answer my questions, and took great care and attention of my strands throughout.
After around 15 minutes of magazine perusing and cookie munching, it was time for a rinse. BRUNEBLONDE’s private rooms are equipped with their very own James Bond-esque sinks that appear and disappear from the walls with the touch of a button; however, I was more keen to check out those beds I’d spied on the way in, so was led over to the main rinse room. Of course, it’s pretty common in Hong Kong to avail yourself of a head massage while you’re being shampooed, but this was a standout by anyone’s standards. The electronic beds raise and lower to the perfect height whilst you’re tucked up under a fleecy blanket, as a stylist shampoos, conditions and massages you into a near-comatose state. Bliss.
I floated back into the room in a Zen-like state to meet David Gouygou – BRUNEBLONDE’s other founder, and superstar stylist who was ready to trim my newly soft locks. As friendly as his co-founder, David seemed to instinctively know what I wanted from my cut and had plenty of very tailored advice on getting the best from my hair, sharing some great hints and tips (and a few French restaurant recommendations too!). The cut was incredibly speedy and precise, but David lingered over the blow dry, ensuring my hair was finished to perfection.
…And what a finish! My scraped-back mop was now a lustrous, sleek (and amazing-smelling) mane with a noticeably lightweight feeling, despite the fact that I had only chopped a tiny amount from my dry ends. Roland explained that this was an effect of the scalp treatment and that the airy sensation should last for a few days post-treatment.
Treatment over, I reluctantly left the salon feeling like one of those slow-mo shampoo ads, alternately swishing and sniffing my tresses all the way home. The effects of the scalp treatment lasted for around a week with alternate day shampooing, whilst my colour appeared brighter and my hair shinier and softer than before.
A visit to BRUNEBLONDE is an event in itself, but if you really want to up the pampering ante, you should check out their food menu… yes, you read that right! The salon has its very own in-house menu of French breakfast, lunch and dinner goodies, plus an afternoon tea option and a good selection of house wines. Of course, all this comes at a hefty price but what more could a girl need for an indulgent day of pampering?!
BRUNEBLONDE’s scalp treatment costs $900, and a haircut with David Gouygou costs $2,200
BRUNEBLONDE Mezzanine Floor, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
2511 3988 www.bruneblonde.com