Friday, August 8, 2014

Beauty destination: Loxy’s Hair Boutique, Ponsonby


When Loxy’s Hair Boutique owner - and generally inspirational, wonderful woman - Kate Jarrett (left) opened her first ‘official’ salon premises on July 1 last year in Grey Lynn last year, little did she know that she would be doing exactly the same thing precisely one year later - albeit on a very different scale. 
Recently moved to premises that are bigger and brighter than ever before at number four Ponsonby Road, she says that if someone told her she’d be not only moving her salon but also expanding her staff, renovating her home and getting married in the space of one year she would have told them they were completely mad. 
With a background in account management and advertising agency work, up until a few years ago the successful salon owner didn’t even have any training in the area of hair, full stop - just a love of her own hair extensions and a growing desire to take the best of what was on offer and make it available to women all over Auckland. “When I was about 18 I had clip in hair extensions,” she says with a smile, “which were actually totally horrific and I could only get away with them because I was so young! My partner at the time (now her husband) pointed out to me how ridiculous they were on a regular basis, and one day surprised me with a visit from a woman who gave me a proper weave - a set of sewn in extensions that were a hundred times better!” She says that began her love affair with extensions, and six months later she started to train in how to apply them herself, whilst still working in offices and agencies. “I had some great jobs over the next couple of years but wasn’t fulfilled,” says the petite pocket rocket, “so about four years ago I put a rent-a-cabin on my front lawn and started doing extensions for a living.” Within a year she’d outgrown that space and her partner built her a purpose-built studio at the back of their home, which she also soon outgrew.
Next it was a move to her aforementioned salon on Richmond Road, where she also bought on board hair stylist Amy Phengsavath. A veteran with over eight years experience in the business, Amy worked on all three cycles of ‘New Zealand’s Next Top Model’, backstage at New Zealand Fashion Week and in one of the city’s busiest and largest salons. “She was a godsend as she meant we could offer cuts and colours as well as extensions,” says Kate, and the business soon outgrew its Grey Lynn space and a move was inevitable.
The new premises means even more staff members coming on board, including a salon manager to take the pressure off Kate. As well as an expert in extensions, Kate loves spray tanning “for the same instant gratification factor I think! Both can really transform a person and how they feel about themselves, and I love that.” Loxy’s are New Zealand's exclusive supplier of the amazing range of Vita Liberata organic spray tanning products, which Kate believes are the best in the business. For hair they also stock the fabulous range of Davines and O+M haircare, which are both pure and natural in line with the Loxy’s philosophy.
When I ask her about the reputation for error that many styles of hair extensions have acquired over the past few years she says, “they have got a really bad rap recently, and with good reason. Most applications have a gluing or braiding aspect, and if you see photos of celebrities with bald spots then it’s usually due to the former. My own hair couldn’t handle the braiding technique after a while as it’s so fine, and the method just added too much tension for it to handle.” The method that Loxy’s offers and Kate trained in (amongst others) involves no gluing and no braiding, but rather wide wefts - or rows - of hair - being attached using a silicone banded micro ring that holds it in place. “This means that the hair can be put in without gluing or braiding your hair -which can be very painful,” says Kate “and it significantly decreases the chances of damage to your own hair. We work with 100 per cent human remy hair to ensure a natural look too, and the technique is perfect for giving length or adding volume.” It’s also quicker and easier to put in “because we're not putting in 100-150 individual clusters of hair, a lot of time is saved! You shouldn't need to sit in a chair for 4-5 hours to achieve a look you can get in one.”

Kate says that she and her team are always fighting to change the “stigma of hair extensions, which when they are done well should be totally undetectable. I love it when people are shocked that I have them and saying ‘that’s the whole idea!’”
“It’s a rare kind of job where you get to make people happy every day,” she adds with a smile, and I for one think that she is perfectly suited for the position.



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