Finding a good hairdresser is always a challenge, especially in Hong Kong. That’s why I was more than happy to try out a new treatment at Toni&Guy Essensuals, possibly one of the trendiest hair salons in town. World renowned for cutting-edge styles and talented stylists, Toni&Guy Essensuals is a top-quality hair salon. However, what makes it unique is that it sits above a Pacific Coffee Company and is a half salon, half café hybrid! This was perfect for my early morning appointment, and I happily grabbed a strong Americano to help wake me up as I headed up to the salon…
Set in a wide-open space, Essensuals has a cool contemporary feel to it, with lots of light, white-tiled floors and dark wood shelving stacked with products. I liked that it felt modern and relaxed, the ideal salon for the young and trendy!
I would say I’m extremely low-maintenance when it comes to my hair… to the point where I can’t really remember the last time I had a hair cut! I’m a wash-and-go type of girl, and I’m happy to experiment with different styles. I’ve had everything from extra long locks to a short bob, and my most recent experiment was blonde ombre against my black hair. That’s why I couldn’t wait to see what my stylist, Ilya, would suggest as I was pretty much giving him free reign!
Ilya asked if I was looking for something a bit different or something office appropriate, and I decided that I should get rid of my straw-like blonde ombre ends and go for something a little bit more sophisticated. He suggested a ‘dark ash-brown’ from the Illumina colour range, and I happily agreed. The Illumina colour range from Wella Professionals uses MICROLIGHT technology to enhance hair colour and protection, promising ‘superior luminosity’… just what I needed! Ilya began to carefully apply the colour in sections, and before I knew it I had the heater over my head.
It didn’t take long until I was ready to wash it out. After several shampoos, conditioners and washes (and an incredible head massage – arguably the best bit of going to the hairdressers?) I was back in the chair and ready for a cut. Ilya skilfully trimmed off my dead-ends and added in some subtle layers at the front to frame my face. His care and attention to the cut made me realise why his clients from Singapore and Thailand fly out to see him!
After a final blow dry that gave my hair a bit of bounce and volume, I was done! I was very happy with the end result… it wasn’t anything drastic, and the colour is quite similar to my natural hair, but the cut was really well done. The straggly ends were gone, and my hair was soft and shiny – almost silky! The Illumina colour is very natural, but has given my hair an extra shine… especially in the light!
I felt refreshed and relaxed when I left, and I loved how at ease Ilya made me feel. His casual conversation put no pressure on me to be super chatty, but made me feel welcome… a quality I find quite rare in a hairdresser! To top it all off, I received two free mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner, as everyone does who gets the Illumina colour treatment. With reasonable prices (for Hong Kong!) and guaranteed quality products and treatments, this is one cool place to come for a cut and colour!
The Illumina colour treatment promotion is usually $920 with an added $200-$250 for a blow dry. Essensuals is offering a special Illumina trial promotion at only $998, which includes a blow dry and the Sebastian Colour Stay travelling set. You can also get 50% off for re-booking the Illumina service. Opening hours are Mon-Sun, 10am-8pm.
Toni&Guy Essentuals: Cafe Salon, 1/F, 86 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2254 6088