The hairstylist of your dreams is someone who gets everything you say, understands your head shape, and how your hair grows and moves. He or she instinctively knows just what colours to use, and how long or short you should go.
This unsung hero is someone you can trust to leave you with gorgeous locks even if you were to fall asleep throughout your appointment. This person knows your tell – a small frown or that mouth twitch – and your likes and dislikes (“iced milo with no sugar and extra ice cubes”, “bak chor mee with no spring onions”, etc). He or she truly cares, never hard-sells you, and understands if you are on a budget that month.
In other words, your hairstylist is the friend you didn’t know you have. If you haven’t found this lifelong friend yet, fret not. We’ve talked to the industry’s beauty experts to find out which hairstylist(s) they go to and why, so you can start shortlisting a new hairdresser.
Alli Teal, founder, Mmerci Encore
Katherine Home Studio, 147 Devonshire Road, tel: 9049-3344 (strictly by appointment only)
“If you love attention and care lavished on you, but hate going to loud and crowded salons, you’d love visiting Katherine in her intimate at-home studio [like I do]. She takes her time, always updates her skills, and I always leave with a chic cut and colour.”
Lynn Tan, managing director, Ales Group Singapore
Jon’s Salon, #05-57 Far East Plaza, tel: 6732-3133
“Jon is very experienced and able to achieve incredible hair colors for me, for instance, he created a silver-grey-ash, which I love. My whole family goes to him, [and he’s great with kids]. Jon is able to give us the perfect hairstyles according to our hair textures, face shapes and lifestyles.”
Simone Wu, associate editor, The Singapore Women’s Weekly
Passion Hair Salon, #02-01 to 06 Palais Renaissance, tel: 6733-5638
“I have been going to my hairstylist Sam Chok for over 10 years before he rejoined Passion. Sam has always been able to create a hairstyle that fits into my lifestyle – wearable and low-maintenance. He has a great understanding of hair textures and I like that he uses different techniques to achieve what looks best. As a former beauty editor, I always turn to Sam when I have questions. He’s very easy to talk to and highly knowledgeable about hair – just ask him anything pertaining to hair!
“Sam also has many years of experience with colouring, and is able to get down to the deets on why certain colours look this or that way, or end up in another way. I have sent family members and friends to Sam previously and there’s never been any complaints. You can trust him when he says a certain style wouldn’t suit you. Even my husband says that Sam’s the most technical hairdresser he’s ever been to, and gives him the best cut he’s ever had.”
Diana Ong, founder, The PR People
The Capelli Hair, #03-31 International Plaza, tel: 6221-1307
“Chris has been my hairstylist for more than 15 years – I would leave it to him to decide on what to do with my hair every time. He has given me really sharp bobs that I love. The best part about his cuts is my hair grows out well, and the shape lasts!
“Chris is great at colouring hair – he knows how the colour will change over time and if it would still suit me. He will also advise me not to spend on services and products that I don’t need or don’t fit into my lifestyle. Chris is also really easy to talk – everyone should have a hairstylist like Chris!”
Cheryl Chio, editor and beauty blogger, Beautifulbuns
Leekaja Beauty Salon, #03-13 Mandarin Gallery, tel: 8133-0818
“I go to Zia at Leekaja. She’s one of those rare hairstylists who cuts exactly 2 inches when I request for it, no more and no less. She also knows when to talk me off the ledge (like when I ask for a certain cut that doesn’t go with my style or hair type).
“I also go to Zia for my perms – the natural Korean-style waves last for at least six months (going on seven now) and I barely need any product to style my hair.”
Larry Yeo, makeup artist and co-founder of Superbly.XYZ
Hairloom, #01-50/52 Shaw Towers, tel: 6295-2088
“My regular stylist is Samuel Sim, though everyone at Hairloom has cut my hair at some point. I have been going there about every three weeks for the past five years. The hairstylists really understand my head shape as a bad cut will make me look like Fido Dido from the ’90s! I like how they help me maintain my blonde hair and my random colour changes.”
Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director and founder, SW1 Clinic
Kim Robinson, #02-12, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, tel: 6738-8006
“I go to Michael at Kim Robinson for all my hair care needs. He knows exactly what I want and he’s able to give me a look that’s low maintenance yet looks good. He knows I am terrible at having to spend hours to style my hair and that I am a wash-and-go type of girl.”
Clarence Lee, makeup artist
Sublime Hairdressing, #05-32 Orchard Central, tel: 6733-6966
“I’ve been going to Benny Chong since 1997 and have sported hairstyles of different lengths, from super short to almost down to the waist. Every once in awhile, I get people asking who does my hair because they want to go to him, too.”
Gladys Cheng, CEO and founder, Jet Concepts
VC Hair, #01-02 HPL House, tel: 6836-4717
“I go there for fantastic colouring and highlights, which are never boring. Vincci Koh usually does my colour.”
Caryn Lim, entrepreneur (founded now-defunct Coat nail colours and Hands+Feet Studio)
Colors Hair Salon, #01-01 288 River Vally Road, tel: 6235-0226/ 9736-1770 (SMS Only)
“This salon is run by a Japanese husband and wife team who were from top salons in Japan previously. Urakami (the colourist), is amazing with colours. His colouring technique is current and [I like that] they have ammonia-free dye too. Hairstylist Satsuki creates a good cut to help bring out the hair colour. Both of them really brings life and vibrancy to my hair.”
Dr Lum Yang Xi, medical doctor, IDS Clinic
Chez Vous, #05-05 Ngee Ann City, tel: 6732-9388
“My best friend recommended Winky Loke. I never told him how I like to wear my hair, but he’s been able to read my mind and work his magic.”
Cynthia Chew, AVP of communications, IDS Skincare
Evolve Salon, #03-102 Great World, tel: 6336-1358
Prep Luxe, #01-62 Capitol Piazza, tel: 6384-1406
“I have been going to Edward Chong for haircuts since 2007 – before he joined Evolve Salon. He’s a whiz when it comes to short crops, and I am amazed how he manages to give me a slightly different twist every single time (and I see him about every 3 months!).
“For colour, I have been going to Den Ng from Prep Luxe for the last three years. I have tried many [colourists], but he is by far, the best for special colours such as silver-grey.”