If thick, lustrous hair has been out of reach because of how complex hair extensions can be, an Irish brand that has recently launched in Dubai is looking to help out.
Easilocks founder Shane O’Sullivan has created an extension made of ethically sourced human hair that does not use heat or glue to be clipped in; tiny copper tubes are used to secure the extensions in place. The line, which comes in 45 colours, has been worn by Hollywood A-listers such as Margot Robbie, Rita Ora, Christina Aguilera and Kourtney Kardashian, O’Sullivan’s method, he says, leaves the natural hair undamaged. The entrepreneur and hair dresser tells Gulf News tabloid! about how he developed his brand, and which UAE-based sisters he’d love to work with.
How did your journey in hair and Easilocks begin?
My father is a hairdresser so I spent many an ‘after school’ moment in the salon just watching and taking it all in. I knew pretty quickly this was where I wanted to be, I developed a really keen interest in colour specifically and followed that route for a while graduating from the Vidal Sassoon school in London and opening my own salon at 18.
Dad went on to specialise in non-surgical hair replacement within his own clinics, of which extensions and additions played a huge part but could see little issues with each of them; inconsistent quality or harmful methods of applications. So I started to source, design and develop my own brand Easilocks based on those short comings. Once I started to see the difference we were able to make to people I’m not afraid to say I became obsessed and have been ever since.
What can people in the UAE expect from Easilocks?
A high quality retail line that provides fabulous high-end Hollywood glamour within minutes and a professional in-salon extension system, which sees Easilocks-certified hairdressers applying 100 per cent ethically sourced human hair extensions without the use of heat, glue, sewing or braiding resulting in absolute hair envy.
You’ve worked with a number of celebrity clients. Who was your favourite to work with and why?
I’m lucky that I’ve genuinely enjoyed working with everyone so far. Rita Ora stands out purely because of her energy, she’s all about good vibes which is amazing to be around — she’s unbelievably stylish so it’s always fun to be able to create different looks according to what she’s feeling at that time. Working with the X Factor finalists is always special because we get to be involved with people on a real journey; auditioning one minute and then selling out stadiums the next. Can’t forget Margot Robbie — very, very beautiful.
Who is your dream celebrity client and why?
Ooooooh easy — the Kattan sisters. They’re beautiful and incredibly stylish, they can do no wrong. I’m the only boy among five sisters and they’re all mad into make-up — there’s Huda Beauty pallets everywhere so I’d be an overnight hero with them if I got to work with Huda.
Has social media helped or harmed businesses like yours? Is there anything you’d like to change about social media and influencers?
It’s definitely helped for sure. It allows us, as a brand still in its infancy, to have a truly global presence without physically being present and needing to absorb significant set up costs. Someone in New York sees a product of ours, they DM [direct message] us and a maximum 48 hours later it’s with them — that’s the power of social media and as a start-up we’re really grateful for that opportunity.
That been said, I’d like to see it more regulated. The hair and beauty industry is a very image heavy industry and I think there’s a responsibility to make sure content doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and influence young girls negatively. I have a huge distaste for influencers with ‘bought followers’. The idea for me that a brand engages with an influencer only to find out that they’re not genuine after significant investment, whether financially or time wise, is not only totally unethical but should be seen as illegal.
What are your top tips when taking care of natural hair and hair extensions?
Invest in the appropriate hair care that’s recommended to you by a professional certified stylist. You’ll be surprised just how amazing your own hair and the extensions can last when you work with the right products.
We offer a full aftercare range for that very reason — ultimately a client wants their own hair to be just as healthy if not healthier once their extensions have been removed.
What are the biggest no-nos with hair?
Incorrect products! Everything should have a specific purpose and match your hair type — otherwise life can become quite difficult when it comes to your hair. Dubai is very humid in summer, has harsh water all year round and people spend a lot of time in the sun and the sea. Something very moisturising like our caviar protein shampoo and the leave-in conditioner (with UV filters to protect against sun damage, chlorine and salt water exposure) plus our rose gold oil is fantastic to help pump the moisture into your hair and is the best option for heat styling prevention.
What are your current favourite hair trends?
Loving these super sleek hair vibes right now a la Kim Kardashian at the Met gala and the ‘lived in’ loose textured waves because they work for absolutely everyone.
Where do you see the brand going in the next five years?
We’re definitely taking it global — starting right here in the Middle East where we’ve seen the interest in both in-salon and retail grow exponentially. We’ve just spent a week on the ground and have left feeling even more excited by the adventure ahead. I don’t think we were quite expecting the magnitude of opportunity that presented itself. Australia is an important market for us too and of course the US leads the way in terms of celebrity culture of which Easilocks has a place so we’re keen to continue growing our presence there. Ultimately, wherever we go our goal is to remain the number one brand in the eyes of the consumer when it comes to extensions and hair additions. Not just because a celebrity says so, but because our products really are of the highest possible standard.
Prices for Easilocks extensions vary. There is also a range of occasional wear clip-in additions, with prices starting from Dh600. For private appointments contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Easilocks will be available in selected certified salons in Dubai from September.