Tie on shine


POSTED: Thursday, April 09, 2009

If you recently found yourself staring at a glint of light bouncing off a stranger's head and wondered if your eyes were playing tricks on you, consider it your introduction to the world of Thai Silk.





        HazeLee & Co. will be offering the hair service in the Rejuvenation Tent:

» Place: Iolani School


» When: Noon to 10:30 p.m. April 17 and 18


» Cost: $4 per strand for the fundraiser (it's $2.50 per strand at the salon)




The thin, shiny strips of 100 percent Thai silk present a quick, easy way of adding a touch of color to hair. The colorful hair extensions are simply tied to individual strands of hair, where they stay put until the individual hair falls out naturally. That may be anywhere from a day to six months. During that time, the silk can be washed, blow-dried and flat-ironed along with the rest of your hair.

Its no-fuss property makes it an easy choice for busy women and moms like Tanya Teixeira, who has two children, and Jaime Manuwai, who has to run after her six.

Teixeira, who has about 30 of the extensions in her blonde hair, said she noticed them in Kristin Wood's Kapahulu salon about three months ago when she had an appointment for eyelash extensions. Teixeira was attracted to the idea of adding subtle sparkle to her hair, even though she's usually color averse.

“;I don't like to wear color. I like jeans with black shirts, or white shirts,”; she said. But because she keeps her wardrobe simple, she can make her color statement with her hair. She started with 15, and has added on over time, with strands in purple, gold, pink and multi-hued rainbow.

Manuwai opts for colors like copper, orange, gold, brown and red that work with her dark locks streaked with blond.

There's no limit to the color combinations available, although those with dark hair may want to stay away from silver, which might be mistaken for a white hair. If you care about such things.

The cost is $2.50 to $5 per strand for the service, depending on the stylist and salon. Many also sell the strands for $1 to $2 for those who want to try tying it in themselves or who want to tie it into their children's' hair.

“;Tying it in is simple,”; said Tabitha Fernandez of Shimmer Lights, a makeup artist who started distributing Thai Silk in January. “;If you can tie your shoelaces, you can do it.”;

There is a learning curve for DIYers, though. “;When I first started, I felt like my arm was going to fall off. If you're trying to do it yourself and looking in a mirror, you have to work with a reverse image, like working with your hands backward.”;

FERNANDEZ WAS introduced to the phenomenon last summer when a friend went to Chicago for a wedding and returned with her tresses filled with the head-turning sparklers.

Fernandez, who loves anything colorful, decided she had to get some of her own, and couldn't believe the response when others saw them in her hair. They're easy to spot, reflecting little flashes of color and shine with every turn of the head, which makes them look like hair jewelry day and night.

“;You can make it really stand out or as subtle as you want. They can be tailored to your personality, your preferences,”; Fernandez said. “;I've worked with every age group, from girls too young to walk to 70-year-olds.”;

She recently started hosting Shimmer Lights parties for friends who want to get together and get the Thai Silks added all at once.

And the type of people who want them also surprise her.

“;People who look conservative, who you wouldn't think would be open to it, get really excited about it. They just go for it,”; she said. “;Some people tell me, 'I'm too old for that,' but if you don't like it, you can just pull it off. It's not like you wasted $100 on a hair color you don't like.”;


Tabitha Fernandez's Web site is www.shimmerlites.com. Several salons now carry the Thai Silks. Among them are Kristin Wood Beauty Boutique in Kilohana Square, Salon Bobbi & Guy, and HazeLee & Co. in Restaurant Row.