The Apprentice: Meet Dani Donovan From Mermane Hair Extensions

The Apprentice: Dani Donovan is a 26 year-old hair extension(s) expert + entrepreneur from Hertfordshire. She is the owner of the Mermane Hair Extensions salon.

“From recruitment, to her mum’s shed, to Mermane Hair…”

After a short stint in recruitment, Dani decided to embark on a hair extension(s) course, instead.

Shortly after, she opened her first hair extension(s) salon in her mum’s back-garden shed, which proved to be successful. Impressively, six months later, Dani moved from the shed – to a fully-kitted-out location in Sawbridgeworth.

Fast forward to now (seven years later), and Dani’s Sawbridgeworth salon is still there today. AND, it’s doing really well (congratulations, Dani).

“When you’re young, you’re a lot more fearless. You have a lot less riding on it. If it all fell apart, I didn’t have any children to feed, or a house to pay for,” said Dani.

BUT, it wasn’t all plain-sailing. Far from it in fact. It took some hard work, and some sleepless nights.

“In the early days, I would travel to West London. I would travel to Reading. If there was a client that wanted their hair done, I would drive, and I wouldn’t charge any extra for petrol. I just wanted to do it. I remember this one time, I worked through the night. I made an appointment at midnight or something crazy. I used to graft,” said Dani.

It didn’t take long for Mermane Hair to become a family business. In no time at all, Dani hired her aunt, her sister, and her mother – to work in the salon.

Related Products

Also, prior to her successful stint on The Apprentice, Dani spotted a gap in the market for a new range of hair-care products for those with hair extensions. This is a revolutionary idea that has never been done before, but there’s certainly a need: “Hair extensions have no natural oils. They require a lot of care, and they’re expensive,” said Dani. The products are sulfate, paraben, and silicone-free, and they’re vegan and cruelty-free.

The range includes a Drench Mask, a Leave In Conditioner, a Blue Toning Shampoo, a Mermane Travel Trio, an SOS Hydration Mask, a Crystal Clear Clarifying Shampoo, a Slick Gel, a Tape Remover, a Shell Shine Argan Oil, a Heatwave Heat Defence Spray, a Strawberry Burst Magic Mist, a Stickease Tape Tabs, a Caffeine and Biotin Conditioner, a Caffeine and Biotin Shampoo, and more.

BUT that’s not all. Dani isn’t done yet. This is just the start...

“I have a serious mission,” said Dani.

“I want my products to be everywhere. I want them to be global. I want to have them in retailers. Also, I would love to sell my products in countries where there’s big resorts,” said Dani.

AND there’s a sustainable drive, too – a requirement in this day-and-age, with the world becoming more and more eco-conscious by the hour.

“Mermaids are associated with the sea. I would love to contribute towards clearing up the ocean. I’ve got this dream of untangling turtles, and taking divers with me,” said Dani.

And lastly, when asked about her ‘Apprentice experience,’ Dani said that it was “a roller coaster of emotions. It was mainly positive, and [she] learned a lot of valuable lessons.”

You can find out more about Mermane Hair here.