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Interview with Gary Rogers - New Zealand’s No.1 Hair Extension Specialist
How long have you been in the hair industry?
I have been in the hair industry for over 25 years and 20 of that has been spent in hair extensions.
What made you decide to specialise hair extensions?
I like to push the boundaries and I was looking for something new and innovative that the hair industry needed. I identified a need in my clients and in the market for ethically sourced, high quality hair extensions. I also worked with tv personalities, models, and movie actors and changing hair styles was often required.
I also noticed a lot of unethically sourced and chemically treated hair coming into the country, by way of clip-ins, wefts, tapes, and bonds. I wanted to provide a safe, high quality system and service for my clients.
How does the hair extension process work?
I offer a free one on one consultation. This is critical to understanding a clients hair, and head shape. I check the shape of the head and the fall of the clients natural hair. Then comes micro calibration - a vital part of the process to determine if the clients hair is suitable for extensions - (I explain more about this during the consultation process). We then decide on a choice of over 60 colours, that can be used singularly or blended, and decide on how many extensions are required for the look the client wants i.e. length, body, thickening, shape .
What hair extension system do you use and why?
Great question! I use Great Lengths hair extensions. I was the first salon to establish the brand in New Zealand. Great Lengths is the only hair extension company in the world that guarantees with documented support that all their hair is ethically sourced. And the only company in the world not using any toxic chemicals in processing of their hair. They can factually state there is no negative eco impact from their hair production process. This was very important to me as there is hair available and used in the market that comes from other countries that is not certified, is chemically treated, and often taken unethically….
I was selected by Great Lengths to attend specialised training in Australia, and the first to be certified to use the Great Lengths system in New Zealand. I was made Ambassador for the Great Lengths brand, and became their National Educator.
I have tried other hair extension systems such as wefts, tapes, clip ins. However to get a seamless and natural finish and flow of the hair that you can wear every day, up or down, curled or straight, swim or dance in I chose Great Lengths Hair extensions system. Great Lengths are applied using natural keratin (no gluing, taping, metal clips, or sewing into the hair which can cause damage and breakage).
Tell us about one project or accomplishment that you consider to be the one of the most significant in your hair dressing career?
Being invited to visit the Great Lengths hair factory in Italy. I was flown to Italy and stayed in Rome. Each day I was picked up by Limousine to be taken to the processing plant. I spent a good 5 days there. It was a wonderful and valuable experience to be able to see first hand the process that Great Lengths went to, to produce beautiful quality hair. I think I can say I am the only New Zealander to have been invited or visited thus far.
The head office in Italy were so impressed with the quality of my work they wanted me to take an agency! I was so excited to get back to New Zealand to share what I had learnt and apply the extensions.
Can you tell us about the celebrities and projects you have worked with?
Sure, however for some I am bound by confidentiality, but here are a snippet of projects I can mention.
- Anna Faris for Yogi Bear Movie
- Spartacus TV Show
- Ricky Martins Tour Dancers
- Ashley Tisdale - High School Musical 3 Movie
- Lion Witch and the Wardrobe Movie - The King
- Xena Warrior Princess TV Series
- Dancing With the Stars
What is a rewarding hair extensions moment?
A young girl came to me following a horrific car accident. She was so self conscious as half her head was shaved for surgery. Her school ball was not far off and she was desperate to attend. I had a wig at my salon that I gave her to wear for the event. We then spent the next 6 months bringing her hair back to life by applying hair extensions until she had her natural growth and length back. I saw her go from being very self conscious, to a happy functioning teenager. It was very rewarding.
I have also helped cancer patients realise their dream of having a beautiful full head of hair during there treatments and others who have alopecia.
You are based in Auckland based. Do you offer your services outside Auckland?
I have clients who travel from the South Island and Melbourne to have their hair extensions applied by me. I also travel to clients if they require, around New Zealand and overseas. I have been flown to Sydney and the Islands to apply hair extensions several times.
Any other advice for people considering hair extensions?
I must stress it is imperative that you choose a certified hair extension specialist with at least 7 years experience. They must be able to provide proof of the their work by way of photos and references, and proof that the hair was ethically sourced. Unfortunately I have had to fix work done by other salons – hair extension application takes a lot of experience and expertise to do it right.
What’s something out of the box you can tell us about your career in hair extensions ?
I was asked to apply hair extensions to Cody the horse for The National Banks commercials. Cody’s mane had been damaged by a chariot when he was working on the movie The Last Samuri. I needed to tenderly reconstruct his beautiful mane for the iconic National Bank advertisement.
How do we best get in touch with you?
Simply give myself or Lyn a call on 027 271 5859 and we can book you in for a free consultation.
What do these celebrities have in common?
Selena’s glossy LOB always looks 10/10. We love how thick and healthy her hair looks (read more)
Jennifer Lawrence is pretty damn versatile (read more)
Demi Lovato: Sorry Not Sorry we need a minute to take in all of this beauty and badassery. Demi Lovato with her new set of Great Lengths by the dream team Anthony Holguin + Amber Maynard of Nine Zero One Salon in LA. Don’t mind us, we’ll be staring for a while. See more HERE
Great Lengths aren’t just for A-list celebrities, you can check out our own work HERE to see the amazing transformations created by certified stylist Gary Rogers.
Expert Installation is Essential..
It is very important your stylist knows what they are doing to ensure your Great Lengths application and colour selection is perfect and you gain the most out of your hair extensions. Great length hair extensions are No.1 in the world of hair extensions and classified as 10th on the world list of cosmetic surgery. Applied by an experienced Great Lengths professional with at least several years experience, the hair will look natural, feel soft and last - to ensure you gain the best from your extensions be sure to talk to an experience professional.