Head to Head

by / Tuesday, 05 May 2015 / Published in Media

Bad hair day? Jane Clyde gets advice from local hair and scalp expertsline Jahns and Lorena Severi

To say that Aline Jahns and Lorena Severi know a lot about hair is an understatement. Put them in a room together to discuss their shared passion and the atmosphere would be electric – sparks might even fly. They share the same goal to inform people about their hair and how best to care for it, and they both take a holistic approach, but the way they present couldn’t be more different.

Brazilian-born Aline, who opened Strand and Science HairSPA in DB North Plaza back in December, is a former oral surgeon. Having treated people’s teeth for more than 10 years, she’s just qualified as a trichologist (hair and scalp specialist). Her naturally curly hair is super sleek and poker straight, thanks to regular Discovery smoothening treatments, and it’s sharply cut. A self-confessed “geek”, she’s exceptionally pretty, friendly and vivacious, and on a mission to save our strands through science.

Italian-born Lorena of BYTHD salon in Central, who is opening a Jean Louis David salon, also in Central, in April, has been in the business for 30 years. Naturally, she’s got great hair, and it’s unabashedly natural looking – big, long and free flowing. She’s the earth mother – warm, sexy and assured, and with a body of knowledge behind her she’s chosen to focus on nurturing our hair naturally.

The scientist

The first thing I learn from Aline is how to wash and dry my hair – correctly (see overleaf). Having straightened me out about the basics – don’t rub or brush wet hair, use a pre-shampoo and a styling product – Aline says in exasperation: “So many things people do at home are wrong. There’s so much information that nobody is telling you.”

Determined to get us informed, Aline is also a champion of the latest innovations in the industry. Her go-to tools of the moment include a GHD Aura hairdryer that blows hot and cold simultaneously, and a Sonaki showerhead that eliminates 99% of the chlorine and chloramine present in Hong Kong’s water.

Aline’s enthusiasm is equally infectious about products that are scientifically proven to enhance hair. She is a big fan of the Philip Kingsley range, which is based on 60 years of trichological experience. These take-home products cater to individual hair texture, length and level of processing. “We can treat your hair but you must know how to care for it at home,” she says.

Strand and Science doesn’t offer the Brazilian Blowout smoothening treatment, due to its formaldehyde content, but Aline is 100% for the use of “good chemicals”. “Everything is chemical, water is chemical,” she says. “Even products that claim to be all-natural or organic usually contain certain chemicals, like silicon, monoethanolamine, ethanolamine or peroxide, in their composition.”

Science-minded as she is, Aline is clearly not averse to making use of natural ingredients. She has just introduced the Josiane Laure range, which is big on clay treatments and essential oils, and organic-certified oils from Australia (applied with a cutting-edge nano machine) are an essential part of the Strand and Science treatment range. Aline also recommends Bona Vida organic coconut oil for pre-shampoo. “All products are good, you just need to know how to use them correctly,” she says.

The earth mother

Over in Central, at BYTHD and soon the Jean Louis David salon, Lorena is equally passionate about products and treatments that can help make our hair beautiful – and healthy. The new salon is fashion forward and state of the art, with a headquarters in Paris, and interestingly, Lorena follows the current trend for all things pure and organic.

“I take care of hair the natural way,” she says. “I don’t like to take away from the real woman.” Notably, Lorena is totally anti the Brazilian Blowout, and what she likes about Balayages, the all-new highlighting technique she is about to launch in Hong Kong, is that the “shading looks natural”.

Equally, when discussing the up-to-the-minute Jean Louis David product range, Lorena’s focus is the “fruit content”. The range may be technologically advanced but what excites her is that it contains naturally derived elements, like lavender oil, guar, zinc and even wheat.

Determined to turn us on to all-natural haircare, Lorena who was the World Champion of Unisex Hair Design in 1996, mixes her own 100% organic, sulphate-free clay cleansing masks. Rich in salt minerals, rosemary and lavender, they are made as you watch – and available to take home. Taking this formula one step further, Lorena is soon to introduce a range of haircare products based on Chinese medicinal herbs.

“I studied the value of Wuyi tea and the cordyceps [mushroom] in Beijing,” she says. “They have been used for healthcare and as a longevity recipe since ancient times. The new customised haircare treatments I’ve come up with are free of chemical additives, and leave the hair shining like silk.”

Clearly there are 101 ways to keep your hair healthy and happy, and a good starting place is to get great advice from an expert and some top products to play with at home.

Practical home haircare tips

1 Wash your hair correctly. Rub a coin-sized nub of shampoo in the palm of your hands and gently massage it into the roots. When you rinse, the shampoo will run down the rest of your hair, washing it sufficiently. Smooth conditioner on to your hair, avoiding the top of the head. Note that shampoo opens the hair’s cuticles (think of them like fish scales) and if you rub them they will break. This broken hair is what we call frizz.

2 Dry your hair gently. Since wet hair is fragile, don’t rub or towel dry it, or brush it when wet. Remove excess water with paper towels, and make sure your hairdryer is not too hot.

3 Eliminate frizz. Regular smoothing treatments and masks help, and you can also massage your hair with a pre-shampoo or natural oil to keep it hydrated and close the cuticles.

4 Cut out split ends. There’s no cure for old hair that’s been damaged for a long time. Look to Vitamin S – scissors!

5 Avoid pollution. Apply a silicon-based styling product before you dry your hair, and never go out with wet hair. Wet hair attracts dirt.

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