There are many reasons to crave for a drastic change in your hairstyle. Whether it’s to mark a celebratory milestone in your life or the end of a valued relationship, you can’t deny the emotional ties we have with our hair. According to psychologists, when we go through a period of transition, we tend to gravitate towards things that can provide immediate relief—think shopping, redecorating or changing your physical appearance, all of which can help you feel better or give you a sense of control over the situation. However, using an extreme hairstyle change as a coping mechanism can result in regrets. So before you run off to your trusty hairstylist for that switch, ask yourself if the desire stems from a place of empowerment or from fear and helplessness—when distressed, a hasty visit to the nearest salon is never a good idea.
Hairstylist Den Ng from Prep Luxe suggests going to the salon with several images saved on your phone to function as a mood board. This preps you mentally about the change you’re about to go through while allowing you time to mull over potential impulsive decisions. As an added bonus, you’re also able to communicate visually with your hairstylist about the new hairdo you have in mind. “Having visual references really helps kick‑start the discussion, whether during an in‑person consultation or a pre‑visit Whatsapp discussion,” says Ng.
Wai Kan, Associate Director of Chez Vous, cautions against using heavily styled visuals as a reference as these might not translate well for everyday hair. “Look for images with a hair type and texture similar to your own,” he says. “For example, Asian customers should avoid using visuals with Caucasians as a benchmark because their hair texture and natural pigments are different.”
Not all of us have a regular hairstylist who understands our hair condition and lifestyle habits. So don’t be afraid to start a conversation that lets the hairstylist know how far you’re willing to go, and how much you’re willing to spend, to maintain your new ’do. Some styles look deceptively simple to upkeep, but end up requiring more frequent visits to the salon, daily maintenance at home, investment in treatments or even lifestyle changes to maintain hair health.
A dip in a chlorine‑rich pool, for instance, is a big no for those with long bleached locks, unless you protect them prior with a light coat of leave‑in conditioner such as Briogeo’s Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave‑In Conditioner ($32). And while a short bob is chic and classy, it is also prone to looking frizzy and unruly without the weight of longer hair to keep it flat and tame in our humid weather. In this case, an anti‑frizz product such as the Oribe Imperméable Anti‑Humidity Spray ($63) will have to be used to help dial down the volume and frizz. “Newly permed hair,” adds Wai Kan, “requires customers to style and blow‑dry their hair using the correct styling products daily, plus use a hair mask every time they shampoo.” So before taking the plunge, do ensure that you’re ready to make that commitment to keeping your hair in tip‑top condition.
Home care also forms an important part of your new hairstyle. “It’s really silly to spend a long time in the salon only to go home and ruin it with the wrong shampoo or hairstyling tools,” says Ng. Simply put, the hair makeover doesn’t stop when you step out of the salon. Like everything else in life, you need to make a daily effort; only then can you keep your mane looking lush and healthy.
"IT’S REALLY SILLY TO SPEND A LONG TIME IN THE SALON ONLY TO GO HOME AND RUIN IT WITH THE WRONG SHAMPOO OR HAIRSTYLING TOOLS.
—DEN NG, HAIRSTYLIST AT PREP LUXE"
BY ARISSA HA. PHOTOGRAPHY: GAN