It's all about the hair: the joy of spending time with Mana Dave

Last week I was extremely lucky to spend some time with Blaze salon’s Creative Director, the charming and ridiculously modest Mana Dave. An award-winning hair stylist, he is also an international platform artist for Redken, their most knowledgable spokesperson and general all round guru when it comes to hair.
The first thing he did was “read my hair” and declare it in dire need of a Redken Chemistry treatment, possibly due to my new fairer hue and the impact of the Summer months. An exclusive, professional in-salon service, these treatments offer intense, customised treats for whatever your hair needs – whether it’s moisture, colour protection, strength, softness, control, or a combination of all of these benefits in one pretty package! He explained that a regular deep conditioning treatment such as Redken Chemistry is great for distressed hair, and the results can last up to five shampoos. There are two key types of hair distress: Chemical Distress which is caused by overuse of chemical services such as haircolour, lightening, perming (quelle horreure!) or straightening, and Mechanical Distress, which is caused by normal wear and tear from blow-drying, curling and flat irons, and every day brushing. I had a combination of both, and protein was to be the key to getting my hair back in tip top shape. Redken offers six “shots” that can be blended for truly personalised solutions and my options were an Extreme Shot Phase for distressed hair and Real Control Shot Phase for dense/dry hair, so Mana cooked up a combination of the two.
He reiterated that a mix of moisture and protein is what my hair needs, but to get the right balance as although I have a lot of hair it’s quite fine in texture, meaning that too much moisture will just weigh it down. “Bump up the protein,” he said, “and a great product for that is Redken’s Extreme Anti-Snap, which will give you heat protection and has a great cosmetic effect so that your hair still feels super soft and silky.” You can’t argue with that! As always I was told to focus on the mid lengths and ends due to my combination locks, and to schedule in a regular trim every two months to stop fluffiness and any split ends travelling up the hair shaft and making a meal of it all over. He added that a great addition would be the use of a volumiser at the roots for a little lift at the scalp, “and then always make sure that you really feed the ends”.
Coming into winter he says that long hair is still a great option as “it’s always current, and just never goes out of style. It’s just so feminine and sexy, but the important thing is to get a long cut that suits you.” He says that so many women just grow and grow their hair with no regard to their face shape, “which is just so important. Small faces don’t want to be stuck with one length that just swamps them and pulls the emphasis down” (cue a fringe for a little interest and to open the face up). At the opposite end of the spectrum, women with large faces risk their hair making it look even fuller, so they should think about maybe wearing a bit of a wave to break that up.
He’s a man that definitely knows what is on the horizon hair-wise, after travelling to Berlin at the end of last year to compete in the Wella Trend Vision awards, which he describes as being “like the MTV Awards, but with the volume turned up!” He says that although he didn’t win it was “awesome to represent New Zealand on the international stage”, as well as soak up the wealth of talent in the building. “It was incredible just to watch people at work, interpreting the same trends as I did but in vastly different ways.” The trip came after he took out the title of Wella Trend Vision Colour Gold Award 09 in Auckland, and in Berlin he competed at the international final against 72 other countries making up 2,000 competitors. He says that he really noticed the New Zealand aesthetic as quite different from a lot of the European countries competing, “and it was definitely in line with what we do when it comes to fashion. We had a darkness and an element of surprise that was quite understated, and I love that about what we do.”


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