Here’s how to keep your ringlets looking cool when it’s hot in Hong Kong
Women with curly hair can always tell what the weather will be like long before they leave the confines of their air-conditioned flats. It’s as if the humidity seeps through the concrete walls and heads straight for their hair. To state the obvious, anyone with twirled tresses knows: Hong Kong’s weather means very few good hair days.
But fear not, fellow curly girls, I’ve looked and researched products, salons and sites catering specifically to our hair type. And you know what? There are a lot to choose from! So, whether you’ve got wavy hair, kinky curls, a mixture of both or perfect locks, here are some of the sites, salons and products that will help you battle the frizz and love your look.
Often the key to taming your coif is all about getting a really good cut. But as we know, trimming even a centimetre can often mean our hair looks five times shorter. And no one with tight-knit spirals can deal with that kind of loss! I polled several women to find out which salons they trusted, and these are the ones that stood out most:
This highly rated boutique and hair salon is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most established. Many clients rave about its owner, Pauline (who wouldn’t love being greeted by her with a glass of wine?) and say she’s an expert at cutting and styling curly hair. “The Firm’s staff are the kindest and more professional group of people I’ve ever encountered in a salon,” said one client. Haircuts start at $650 (depending on hair length) and include consultation, haircut and blow dry. All come with a complimentary conditioning treatment (if needed).
The Firm, 7A Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 6696, www.facebook.com/thefirmhk
One of our favourite salons, Love Hair, is eco-friendly and has a super talented staff! Tucked away on Wellington Street, the staff are kind and friendly, has awesome products, does great cuts and styling as well as make-up services and – best of all – an eco-conscience. Whether you’re after a quick styling sesh, a de-frizz treatment or a regular cut and colour, this is a go-to for curly and non-curly girls alike. Prices vary by stylist, but haircuts start at $350.
Love Hair, 1F 99F Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong www.lovehairhk.com
Anaitha Nair is a former Bollywood actress with the looks and style that prove it! A top stylist trained at Paul Gerrard in HK, Anaitha is also certified by the Vidal Sassoon academy in San Francisco. Her clients are loyal and the ones with curly hair boast about how she made them love their natural hair again! A wash, cut, and blow dry starts at $350. Click here for a full price list.
Anaitha Nair, Coronation Circle, 1 Yau Cheung Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong www.anaithanair.com
The Strand is a comfortable and tranquil salon set in the heart of Central which is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the places to get your hair styled in our bustling city. It caters to anyone looking for a fresh cut, and uses products sourced globally (including organic, aromatherapy and plant based lines). If you have black or African hair, its specialist, Cynthia at Afrotherapy, has been touted by her clients as one of the best in town. Prices vary by stylist, and begin at $600 for a haircut for women.
The Strand, 18 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.thestrandhk.com
Muna’s Hair Salon
For women of colour (especially if you are black or African, or have type 4b or 4c curls), finding someone who won’t chop and ruin your hair is almost impossible. One women called this salon “a wonderful resource for both natural and chemically treated hair,” and specifically recommended it for black or African women. (Prices unavailable at time of publication.)
Muna’s Hair Salon, Chung Wo Commercial Center, Room #1, 11F 42 Shanghai Street, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Because we’re always busy, the idea of having someone come to your home sounds fab to me! Susan Ng was referred to me by a woman who had “thick, curly, unruly hair, not quite curly and wavy in all the wrong places.” She says, “But somehow, Susan made it look great. It’s magic.” Susan was trained at Vidal Sassoon, opened three salons in HK and even cut Bruce Lee’s hair! Hair cuts start at $800.
Hair by Susan, www.facebook.com/hairbysusanng
Its list of services includes haircuts, colour, style and more, as well as nails, face, body and hair removal treatments, but curly-haired Sassy girls suggested we go here to get our locks shaped and treated, too. Haircuts start from $500.
Glow, 9/F Parker House, 72 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, www.glowspa.hk/the-salon
For a list of services in Hong Kong catering to specifically to black and African women (from braiding to weaves to extensions and more), click here
It’s all about the product, am I right? Without my primer, gel, serum and anything else I find to calm the curl, I’d seriously be struggling, so here’s a list of products here to help tame the mane:
I’m a huge fan of its cleansers and conditioners. Free from sulfates and any other ingredient that will dry out your hair (a huge no-no in the curly community!), these products make my hair smooth, soft and smelling great. I love its gels for fighting off that HK humidity, too!
Available at Strawberrynet
Offering gentle, cruelty-free, and moisture-focused products, Oyin hair care items are great for dry, curly, and highly textured hair types. The Handmade Hair Dew is perfect for kinky curls that are desperate for some moisture. All products are mineral-, paraffin- and petroleum-free.
Available at Fishpond
One of my fave companies (you’ve got to love it for promoting healthy views of women’s bodies!), has a series designed just for us! When it’s especially humid (um, six months of the year), try DoveQuench Absolute SupremeCreme Serum for Curly Hair to tame hair and add shine to dry (and coarse!) hair.
Available at Fishpond
With a broad range of products specially created for curly hair, I can’t help but take notice of KMS. Its shampoos, conditioners, styling products and more cater to all types of curls.
Available at KMS Hair
Women we know with wavy or curly hair say the introduction of Moroccan Oil has changed their lives. Whether you have tight-knit curls, waves, or you’re somewhere in between, there is a range of products to suit your hair.
Available at Moroccan Oil
Its shampoos, conditioners and styling products are all meant to tame your tresses and fight the frizz!
Available at Strawberrynet
The Knot-Today leave-in conditioner is the bomb. I like to put a little on before I style my hair because it tames the frizz and makes my hair feel soft. When it’s not as humid outside, I use Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz because it’s lightweight (and rinses out easily in the shower).
Available at iherb
Yup, we have Avon right here in HK! Although most people I know head to Avon for its Skin-So-Soft (it’s a fab bug repellent, lotion and sunscreen in one!), the products for unruly hair are what got us taking notice.
Available at Avon
If you’re looking for more options and sites that stock your go-to gel, shampoo, conditioner or even hairdryers, here are the best online suppliers that I found most useful (and inexpensive!).
I’m a DevaCurl addict, so having access to the brand’s Lo-Poo, No-Poo and styling products is essential. You can’t find these in any store in HK, but you can order them online! Strawberrynet will deliver Deva products – for free! – straight to your doorstep, sometimes on the day you order! This site also has everything from makeup to skincare to perfume (even for dads!), and you can shop by brand or by product.
If you don’t have time to visit the salon and don’t want to settle for using boxed hair colour (we’re so much better than that), you’re about to thank me for telling you about Fishpond.com. Another site with free delivery (yay!) Fishpond sells high quality hair care and hair colouring products which you can find by brand name. I’m a fan of Wella Koleston, so when I saw my 5/50 in stock, I grabbed it. (Note: sometimes there is only one of each item in stock, so you might have to go back and order a few more times, but with free shipping, who cares?)
This all-encompassing site has pretty much anything organic and natural that you could want. If you are searching for natural dyes or hennas, or even argan oils iHerb.com may be just the online store for you.
Our locks are special and crave moisture, which is why the products we use need to be free from the damaging ingredients found in other shampoos, conditioners, etc. The folks at Amika have created vegetarian-friendly and cruelty-free products that do not have sulfates, MIT, MCI, Phthalates or artificial colours. The site also stocks a variety of styling products to choose from (hair dryers, curling irons, kits and more).
Can’t be bothered to fuss with your hair at all? (Believe me, I get it!) We all-natural curl girls who shun chemical straighteners and relaxers can get a new look by investing in hair extensions or even real-hair wigs. You can find a variety of assorted hair weaves, lace-front wigs and other real-hair goods at the wholesale venue, Trendsgal.com. Shipping isn’t free, but it’s reasonable. Why not rock a longer length, or get a sexy style without having to spend an hour making it look presentable?
Not only selling makeup, Sephora has all sorts of hair brands I absolutely love. Products are only available online in Hong Kong, but shipping is free for orders over $350. You can shop by brand, type of hair or by product, and while you’re at it, you can also get some fun makeup or accessories all in one go!
Despite the humidity, our scalp and hair still has the nerve to get a little dry sometimes, and this UK-based company (with free worldwide shipping for orders over £50!) has organic coconut oil, natural remedies, styling products, tool kits and everything beauty related.
If you’re a bargain shopper and want to know the best online places to purchase your products, be sure to check out iprice. Here you can search for your favourite products and find out where they are sold at the cheapest prices. And we love a good bargain, don’t we?
Editor’s note: This post was published on 22 March 2017, and was updated on 20 September, 2018 by Lexi Davey.
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All images courtesy of Unsplash