Beauty / Fashion / Spotlight Series

Spotlight Series #14 | A day with Ian Miller founder of Vera Wigs

Hey there my lovelies,

Welcome back to my Blog!

ianWoohoo the spotlight series are on fire this year and I am loving it! Today I have an interview with a very special person to me Ian Miller, owner and founder of Vera Wigs. He is the genius and mastermind behind all my customised clip-on extensions and he literally makes my wishes come true.  It is a known fact that my hair is thin and frail which means that I cannot grow it out as much as I wish.  Obviously  I love thick voluminous hair and that is were Ian comes to the rescue and he always manages to make my wishes come true and makes me feel pretty again!

Ian started his career in hairdressing in London having trained at the renowned Vidal Sassoon Academy.  In 1983 he moved to Holland where he opened several successful hair salons. With a passion for painting portraits in his spare time he decided to complete a course in make up artistry at the prestigious House of Orange in Amsterdam.  After completing the make up artistry course, Ian worked as a freelance hairdresser and make up artist, working on photo shoots with a range of models, singers and TV personalities.

It was here that Ian came up with the idea to make a one piece clip-on extension to be used during one of these photo shoots.  Following 30 very enjoyable and successful years in Holland, Ian sold his chain of hairdressing shops and moved back to his birth country (Malta) where he recently established Vera Wigs, offering not only custom made clip-on extensions but also natural top pieces and wigs.

Ever since moving to Malta, Ian is heavily involved as a Coordinator for the Malta Community Chest Fund, producing wigs for Maltese women undergoing cancer treatment, lupus and alopecia, to mention a few all made from the donated hair from the generosity of the the Maltese and Gozitian public which is stored and taken to the palace in San Anton.

So over a cup of coffee at his amazing home-work space, me and Ian got talking and here is what came out of this chat.

Can you explain to who might not know, what is a clip on hair extension?
It is an easy way to have tons of volume, length or both in just a few minutes.

What is the cost for a for a clip-on extension?
It varies on the length, volume and believe it or not even colour, sadly blonde hair as becoming rare.  As a reference, price is calculated by weight and as price point they start from Eur150.

How long will the clip-on extension last?
It all depends on  how you take care and maintain it.  Ideally on consultation, the colour chosen is the one you will be retaining.  So anyone looking for a change in colour do that before going in for a consultation.

Is it dangerous for my own hair?
No, it is totally safe, but it is recommended to take it off at  night time.  If it’s a one-time thing it is perfectly OK, however do remember that your own hair grows out on a daily basis so it best to let it free to do so.

Is it difficult to maintain and take care of the clip-on extension?
No, not a all, it is totally manageable, the advantage is that when you take it out, place it under tap water, wash it and condition it as you would normally do your own hair all whilst holding it in your hands.  Let is hair dry well before styling it.

Can I color my clip-on?
Yes, you can, but it is advisable that you refrain, if you can, as this will reduce the life-span of the clip-on. It is always best that extension is colour matched to your hair.

How is the colour matching done?
This is done during consultation, and preferable during the day, to get the best out of natural light.  Our hair, even if we colour it consists of different shades.  I like mixing light and dark hair to create the natural shadows and after doing this for last 32 years, I can tell what best suit each individual.  In fact, I had a client with whom I had colour matching done via Skype call, as long as it is done in daylight 🙂

Can I do treatment to whilst wearing the clip-on?
I suggest to always take the clip on off for any treatment to do be done.  Remember that this is why it is more comfortable and convenient, the clip-on is 100% European untreated human hair so the less chemicals come in contact with it the better to maintain it’s life span.

Can I curls and do up styles with my new hair?
Yes, everything is possible.  The more volume the more choice you have to do anything you want.

How do I maintain my clip-on in order for it not to get tangled?
Always remember to treat your clip-on as you would your own hair.  Good products and using brushes like the Tangle Teezer and paddle brushes are advisable to best maximize the brushing with less damage.  Also storing your clip-on on a trouser hanger if it’s straight or wrapped up in a pop sock if it’s curly. Tip from the master: if you place your curly extension in a pop sock and leave it is the sun it will have the same effect of a hot roller 🙂

How long can a clip-on be?
The longest one I ever did was 33 inches long!

How long must my own hair be?
Ideally shoulder length, layered and not one length is the best type of hair so it can nicely blend in with the extension.  However, if some one has shorter hair, more than one clip on can be made for that purpose, but all these different options can discussed during consultation.

Can anybody use clip-on?
Yes of course, but one has to assess the condition of the hair.

What kind of hair is used?
100% European human, not mixed hair with all different kind of textures, curly, wavy, straight, blonde, copper, ash, brown, back, white and grey.  One weft is on person hair.  Chinese hair or Indian are not used because one is too thick and coarse and the other is too frizzy.  

With regards to creating a wig is the process very different from a clip-on?
It is a totally different method, A wig is most suitable for people that suffer from lupus, alopecia and cancer patients.  In this case a custom made mall of the client head is made specifically in order to get a perfect fit.  Each wig takes a maximum 4 weeks to be done.  The same process is used for top hair pieces which is suitable for people suffering from hormonal imbalance causing thinning hair and scarring.  The edge of the each mall is made from polyurethane that can be stuck or clipped to the head without causing any damage whatsoever.

What other things can be done once you have the hair strands?
Anything you wish for can be made possible, pony tails, hair fillers (like a bump to add volume), fringes etc., volumizers and short and long extensions etc.

When asked what he enjoys creating most, he was extremely passionate about the ‘problem’ clients.  They are his utmost favourite because they have a story to tell. Meeting someone having led their lives with that visible scar or hair problem, reminding them  everyday of the problem, it gives Ian so much satisfaction.  Knowing he can give them a smile back, is everything to him.  Also, I once had a client who inquired to make a wig for her transgender son as she wanted to help the transition. That was such a special moment that they had trust in me!

Now for the fun part after the lovely afternoon spent with Ian, he kindly offered to give my readers/followers a 10% discount to those interested in getting  a customised hair clip-on extension, wigs or anything you wish for.  All you have to do is contact Ian via PM or through his website and let him know I sent you 🙂 Also, consultation is free 🙂

Until next time,

XOXO

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