“Konnichiwa, o-genki desu ka?”
That is “Hello, how are you?” in japanese language! It’s been 1 month since my visit to Aoyama Hair Studio and if you haven’t seen my new hairstyle, here’s showing you my new kawaii look. Can’t help admiring this new change and looking twice in the mirror every time I walk past a reflective surface (mainly to check if there’s a hole in my fringe heh).
For many years, I have a straight boring long hair style. 2017 is however a tad different, it is a year filled with changes; I took a leap of faith to believe in love again, wiped out my savings for a second-hand car, and if you haven’t heard I had left my full time job. To describe this year in one word, I would say it’s “revolutionary”.
I have a long/hate relationship with change. I whine whenever changes occur, yet, looking back, I am happy for all the changes in my life. For many years I resisted driving and after years of persuasion from my mum that it is a necessary life skill for modern woman, I relented. Can’t help laughing at my silliness now because I can’t imagine not having a car anymore! It’s ridiculously convenient going around to ulu places for castings, shoots and business meetings with all my barang barang (shoes, gym outfits, accessories, change of clothes). It is through these changes which reminds me that anything is possible, if only we take the first step out. Had I not work against my fear of driving; I wouldn’t have been able to conquer and crush it.
Mid of this year, I decided that I’ll not partake in any competitions (mainly because I am at the age limit *cue tears*), so here’s me craving a change and in need of a stylish hair makeover. In looking for a suitable salon, I wanted (1) convenience (i.e. near my house), (2) a reliable/recommended stylist and (3) affordability.
Being a westie and after some research, I decided on Aoyama Hair Studio at Clementi Mall. I was mainly drawn to the salon through a good friend’s, Christabelle, recommendation. I like how the salon created a natural hairstyle for her that is easy to maintain while looking chic. You can see her visuals in this blogpost here.
Many of us like knowing the prices before checking in any salons, I am no exception. It helps me estimate how much I need to be forking out and to determine if it’s within my budget. Aoyama Hair Studio’s pricing is very transparent, you can find them easily on their website and right in front of their storefront. In general, I think the prices are very affordable. Maybe because it is a relatively new salon so the rates are more attractive.
Helmed by Award Winning Japanese Creative Director Yuichi Soga, you can expect quality products and hair technology brought from Japan to our sunny island. Stepping in, the salon is spacious, bright and welcoming. The warm orange light in the salon helped me feel more relax after a long morning at work. When I visited on a weekday afternoon, I was surprised that were many walk-in enquiries and customers to the salon. The salon wasn’t packed but the employees were all busy/working at full capacity.
Knowing that my tresses are in good hands, I told Creative Director Yuichi Soga that he could decide on the hairstyle for me. Yuichi Soga has a polite and gentle demeanour. He speaks simple English and was always checking in with me if I wanted to cut my fringe and to try a perm. I am sick of creating my own curls on a day to day basis, so a perm sounded like a really good idea so I said YES immediately! I’ll let the photos do the talking for now.
And here’s Creative Director Yuichi Soga working his magic on me. He has this charisma around him that is very attractive; he doesn’t talk much and is always in full concentration whilst working.
I am in the midst of the Milbon Perm; what you are seeing now is actually Japan’s most popular perm system to create soft bouncy curls.
Next, it’s time for some straightening for the hair crown. Creative Director Yuichi Soga and manager Joey are super hands-on for each customer, they check on me and the other customers regularly. For the 4-5 hours I was there, both of them barely had time to sit, chill or chat.
Lastly, it can be super damaging to do chemical services for hair, so I opted to do an extra Hair Treatment.
For people who can’t really sit still (ME!!), there are many magazines for you to browse from and you can also pick up some simple Japanese wording through a booklet they provide.
… and there’s free wifi plus refreshments! I had an OREO when I last visited heh.
If you are curious, all hair products used in Aoyama Hair Studio are imported from Japan. They are eco friendly and supposed to be gentle on your hair to bring out its natural texture. You can read more about their brand, and products here.
That afternoon, I did the Milbon Straightening ($280), Milbon Perm ($280) and Aoyama Signature Hair Treatment ($120 for all hair length). If you are doing two chemical services at the same sitting, good news, it’s only $50 for the second treatment! But for you whom are blessed with straight locks, you can skip the Straightening service. I have unruly and natural curls so the straightening was necessary. For my visit, there was a $35 additional Director’s charge too.
In sum, I went in with zero idea of what I wanted and came out with a fresh look. Getting bangs created instant volume and I like that the new bangs transformed my face entirely! With the new fringe, I think my face looks less long than before and most friends say I look much younger!
I am not sure if the perm is intended to be such small waves or if my rebonded hair had reduced the extent of the curls, I would have like this hairstyle more with bigger curls. Nevertheless, I am overall pleased and happy with the experience and transformation.