Okay, so I am going to be honest here: not only am I not 21 (shocking, right?) I am also not a natural blonde. In addition to this (not at all shocking) confession, I am the worst type of bottle blonde. I flit between salons, following various discount promotions and deals and when I really have no time I just throw on a DIY version at home (the shame!). Honestly, this blonde mama gives the rest a bad name: I never learn, and have a few war wounds to show for it: burnt scalp, hair loss, and every shade of blonde that exists: from the good, to the bad (orange, brassy, white), and the very ugly (at one stage, blue, yes, blue).
So, an inch or so into the trashy dark roots stage of regrowth, I stumbled across Hippfish, a family run salon with over 16 years of experience in Hong Kong alone. Having suffered through the aforementioned horrific hair experiences I was ready to take it seriously and get this barnet sorted! Now, we all know that feeling of sitting in the salon chair only to be judged and tutted at (yes I know, I know). Thankfully, this is fundamentally contradictory to the philosophy at Hippfish, where taming tricky tresses and tackling colour correction is one of the challenges they enjoy most. “Bring it on!” says Jonathan at the start of a 3-hour marathon to fix my hair.
So we sat down and began the detailed consultation process reviewing my hair, which was various shades of dodgy blonde from top to bottom (cringe). With 25 years of color expertise, Jonathan spent a long time talking to me about my hair history, explaining the reason why some parts were one colour and some parts another – it was all a very relaxed approach, with no judgment! I was really involved in the consultation process, and was also interested to learn that suppliers have cut the vast majority of shades for blondes in Hong Kong, leaving many salons to create their own concoctions and who knows what you might end up with (blue anyone?).
Hippfish is different – they import all their colours from the UK, meaning that they’re able to cater to western hair with products created for that use. They’re also very honest. After the initial consultation, Jonathan told me, “If you’re going lighter, it’s going to mean some sort of bleach, but we know what we’re doing, and if well managed we can save your colour and your condition.” Ooh! That warm fuzzy feeling of knowing it’s all going to be okay! I really didn’t want to be a mousy brown girl, but someone had to sort this bird’s nest out!
Having suffered more than your average share of hair blunders, I hate that nerve wracking feeling to see what you’ll end up with. Granted, it took three hours to correct the previous errors in judgement and salon/home mishaps, but mama, was it worth it! A full set of highlights, toners and conditioning treatments later, I left the salon with the loveliest, most even, pretty shade of blonde I have had since I was eight (back when it actually was natural). Perhaps I’m over sensitive, but I think having your hair done is a big deal. The bad experiences are devastating, and I wanted to feel looked after. At Hippfish, it’s all about experience, knowledge, warmth and the feeling that you’re in good hands.
Now this salon may not be for everyone – it’s smaller and more low-key than many, and not a boutique or five-star hotel style spa experience, and they know that. It’s a good, old-fashioned, get to know your hairdresser so you can b*tch about boys while getting a really good hair-do type of place. For this no-frills mama, that’s all good. I just want to sit down, zone out, and have someone work miracles on my hair, so I can come out looking good for as long as possible (eight weeks in, it’s still perfect!).
It’s not often that I would say this, but I genuinely feel that Hippfish offers the highest levels of expertise of any salon I have ever visited (including many high-end salons I’ve been to too!) Hippfish is different to many of Hong Kong’s most popular hair spots – its family run, with an extensive and loyal clientele. The owners – Jonathan, Laki, and Patrick – and the team pride themselves on delivering a tailored, bespoke approach to each client that’s actually all about hair (and not the chair, the lattes and the extra pampering!).
Collectively, the dream team at Hippfish hold expert experience in the spectrum of haircare including blondes, colour correction, “white-girl afros”, afro-Caribbean hair, straightening, extensions, wigs and make up artistry. Their in house make-up artist will even get you in to strategically sift through your make up-bag, and show you how to use what you already have!
So if you’re anything like this mama and have a nightmare with your blondes, the team at Hippfish have seen it all, and trust me, you’re in good hands.
Hippfish, 32 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2815 3638
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