It's a busy time for Mana Dave - tomorrow the three-time Hairdresser of the Year opens a new business in Newmarket, then at the end of the month he is off to Spain to represent New Zealand.
The wizard stylist and colourist has been juggling work in his Blaze salon in Newmarket, with overseeing planning for Pony Professionnel, a concept store further down Broadway. "We really want to be a place where people can come for great service and great advice on healthy heads of hair," he says of the new venture, a seven-day-a-week one-stop shop for haircare between regular salon visits.
Pony Professionnel will provide three services: a walk-in styling bar (with prices from $40), hair rituals by appointment and haircare retail, dispensed by staff trained to prescribe the best products for each client's needs. Dave has handpicked around a dozen brands across a range of prices, including those with strong green and fashion influences.
He believes there is a market for independent, unbiased advice outside the salon and wanted to team this with a wet and dry styling menu, similar to that he pioneered at Pony within Glassons Newmarket several years ago, when the blowdry bar trend began.
The new streamlined space, designed by Katie Lockhart who also worked on Blaze, gives a nod to 1960s Paris. But it is Madrid that is next in Mana Dave's sights as he gets set for his first visit there to compete at Schwarzkopf's global Hair Expo.
We tapped into his expertise for some easy ideas for successful summer styling. Here are three tips to try.
Powders are the "buzz talk" hair product at the moment. They are a user-friendly way to add body and texture into your haircut whether it's short or long. Because they're so compact, powders are small enough to carry around in your handbag or even a jacket pocket for on-the-go styling.
Tap the bottle directly on scalp wherever you need extra volume and lift, then massage lightly. For more "grit" and texture, lightly tap over hair lengths and massage in to densify - it's perfect for beachy summer hair.
Most brands have their own version of a powder, so experiment to find the perfect match for you. My personal fave is Redken's Powder Grip ($36), the mattifying powder is superfine and it's a great way to extend your blow-wave through to day two, when it starts to flatten out.
Oils are an easy way to add shine, softness and sun protection into your haircare regime. Keep the gloss and avoid the grease by making sure that you use one that's not too rich for the texture of your hair. Oils are definitely a "less is more" product - pop a few drops into the palm of your hand, then rub your hands together. Now work this through your mid-lengths and ends. If your hair is quite thick, you can gently wipe any residue of the product left in your hands, over the top of your head to get rid of flyaways.
Check out the new collection of oils from Kerastase Elixir Ultime, a range of four custom-made beautifying oils designed for specific hair needs. The Rose Millenaire ($49) option is perfect for fine sensitised summer hair with the added bonus of an amazing fragrance.
Find a way to restore some of the goodness that summer takes out of your hair.
Our Kiwi sun is particularly harsh on hair colour and the balance of moisture and protein levels needed for healthy hair.
If time is a concern, there are a range of leave-in spray and cream treatments that will give you condition on-the-go. If your hair is reasonably thick, cream formulations will give you a more luxurious feel while sprays are perfect for those with fine hair.
Moisture and Protein Infusion 20 from Sans New Generation Ceuticals is summer luxury in a bottle. A highly concentrated lightweight serum that is packed with hair goodness, it is compact for holiday travel.
* Pony Professionel is at 290b Broadway (opposite Morrow St), ph (09) 520-5086.