How To: Fake Your Hair and Tan (So No One Will Ever Know)

Whether it’s your tresses or your tan, if you’re going fake it pays to do it right.

  • Story by Photo Stephen Tilley

Whether it’s your tresses or your tan, if you’re going fake it pays to do it right. Based in Auckland’s Ponsonby, Loxy’s Hair Boutique is the ultimate bridal stop-off, providing everything from Keratin treatments to hair extensions and organic spray tans. Here, owner Kate shares her top tips. 

It’s never too early to start thinking about your wedding hair

We see brides for consultations as early as 10 months before the big day – often, the wedding is their excuse to get the hair they’ve always wanted! A trial is best carried out at least a month out from the wedding – but in saying that, a good salon can cater to last-minute hair decisions as well.

Not all hair extensions are created equal

We use a micro weft system – it’s essentially wide rows of good quality human hair held in place using small silicone-banded micro rings. The method involves no gluing or braiding, which means less chance of damaging your natural locks. Generally, extensions come in every colour and texture and are suitable for anyone with reasonably healthy natural hair – if the client takes good care of them, they can last up to a year. When in place they can be treated in exactly the same way as natural hair: curled, straightened, washed and blow-dried.

Going for extensions? Shop around

Look for a hair extension technician who cares about the health of your hair, both now and long-term, and someone who knows how to apply extensions tastefully. You should never be getting the maximum amount of hair unless it’s really needed (My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, anyone?) – good extensions should be completely undetectable. Lastly, be sure to look for a hairdresser who listens to you. All too often we meet clients who arrive telling us their last hairdresser did the polar opposite of what they wanted. Bring pictures to your consultation to be sure you’re on the same page as your stylist and that your dream look is achievable.

Even if you’re pale-skinned, don’t be afraid of a fake tan

When quality fake tan is applied by a technician who knows what they’re doing it acts more like a tint – working with your skin tone instead of covering it with a thick coat of unnatural colour. For this reason, fake tans are capable of suiting every bride. My top tip? Look for a solution with a green base – it’ll counteract any orange pigments. When in doubt, ask your technician to start light and build up slowly, so you can keep checking the colour as you go.

Time it right

Opt for a trial at least three or so weeks ahead of ‘I do’. I often suggest pre-hen party, so you get a chance to wear the tan out somewhere. Get the final one applied a day or two before the big day as this will give it time to develop without being too dark or rubbing off on your dress.


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