Friday, June 9, 2017

Getting Glorious Unicorn Hair in Singapore


The reign of my kaleidoscopic mane is coming to an end. It's about time I switched back to bland brown again. What an end of an era. No more rainbow, unicorn, mermaid type hair. I've done it all and I'm done damaging my hair.

Tis bittersweet.

It was an adventure though. I never knew how I'd end up looking after a whole day in a chair, I never knew how it'd change in a few weeks... it was exciting. I have to say though, my current and final look is my favourite.


Circa 2017

To commemorate this momentous occasion, I thought I'd do a little ode to my hair followed by some tips for those of you what want to go wild with colour.

First, to express my greatest love and deepest apologies to my hair, a haiku:


"Lady Magnificent of The Wild Marshes"

Blow as the wind must
A fleeting rainbow of change
Abomination.

Woah, that took a dark turn there.

But thank you Lady Magnificent of The Wild Marshes. Thank you for enduring the years of torture I put you through, glowing in the darkness and filling my life with joy. It is time for you to rest now.

On to my journey for multi-hued hair. It's an expensive journey let me tell you this.

Sure, like me, you could start out with a bottle of Manic Panic, gingerly dipping your unbleached ends into the pot before folding it with aluminium foil:

circa 2012: Manic Panic and Aluminium Foil
Carried away by the success of your first attempt, you'll want to go professional. My first go was at Salon Vim, simply cause I read some blogger reviews. It was great, I had five colours in my hair for the first time.

Circa 2014: Clashed beautifully with a H&M coat. Salon Vim
That was the first time they bleached my hair. Trying to save money, I didn't go for treatments, I didn't cut my hair, I just let it grow out and ruined it. I eventually had to chop it off because it started to break off whenever I combed it. I also didn't have time to waste blow drying my hair. Then we started planning the wedding. I wanted to go all out, so I did this:

Circa 2015: InVogue (I loved this hair salon. It's closed now :( sad)
My wedding photos came out amazing:

Circa 2015: John15 Photography, Gown: Yvonne Creative Hair and MU: Jaclyn Tan
SERIOUSLY AMAZING!

Circa 2015: John15 Photography, Gown: Yvonne Creative Hair and MU: Jaclyn Tan 
Then my hair started dying. Like DIE-ING. (not dye-ing)

I had let my hair fade into disarray. The bleached ends were dyed over and over again, I didn't use treatment, and I still curled or straightened it with a hot iron.

So in case you don't know when to stop, here are some symptoms of ruined hair:

This is what dead hair looks like.
1) The ends of your hair break - Brushing your hair becomes a torture, short, coloured ends break off as your run a no-tangle brush through your hair. They have frayed ends and when you hold it up to the light, you can see right through them.

2) Your hair gets really really bushy - Frizz-explosion. Your mane simply can't be tamed, especially the bleached portions. It's so dry! It's hay!

3) Your hair melts (that's right, MELTS) - when your wash your hair with hot water, it gets really soft and smooth, as though you've coated it liberally in conditioner. But once dry, it feels sticky and refuses to be combed through properly as though the ends have been... melted together.

To be honest, I didn't know how bad it was until my ex-beauty editor, the lovely Simone, sent me to Sam Chok to fix my locks. I was to be the part of the story that talks about how to stylish input colour into your hair in the workplace without looking tacky. I obviously needed help.

Sam Chok and Carol, then at Chev Vous, fixed my hair. They removed the green, all the while tsking at the unbearable state of my hair, and turned repaired it. I went to the shoot looking like this:

Getting my hair done at Chez Vous
Getting all made up for the photo shoot










Look at how gorgeous my hair looks!

←Taken just after my hair was done.

Taken just before the shoot. That's Larry the makeup extraordinaire →




I LOVED my hair.

So I went back to Sam for my wedding and had more pink put in.



And that was the last, for the whole of 2016, of my long, rainbow locks. I went back to an ordinary cut. You don't need to see it. I looked like every Asian on the street.

But then I freelanced for a bit, got a new job...  Spent more time taking photos of food than of anything else and got bored of my bland hair again. I needed to pop in some colour again. So... I went back to Sam! The hair maestro agreed to go on a hair journey with me. So the months of wild rainbow unicorn mermaid hair began:

Pictures from the process:

 

and seven hours in the chair lead to this:

The dream team: Louis, Sam and Carol

It was dark by the time I left.

A couple of months later, the pink had all but faded, leaving behind the darker colours. I had a wash and a blowout:


Then I went for a second round. A lighter, softer pink, and added some oceanic colours underneath.



 Then it finally accumulated to the final, and most impressive mermaid hair that I simply ADORE.

Honestly, I'm quite sad about letting it go. Streaks of yellow, two shades of blue, some purples and a tad of green.

CHECK OUT SAM CHOK FOR AMAZING HAIR.


Sam's really amazing. Not only does he help conceptualise (so every new hair style I come home with is a surprise), he gives so many good tips to ensure your hair is well taken care of, he also follows up the week after to check on your hair and checks if you need a complimentary touch-up. The dude lives and breathes the mastery of hair so you're not just getting a hairstylist, you're getting a hair maestro. He sometimes throws scientific or fancy hair words at me and I'm lost, but they are tips I take seriously. Don't take advantage of his kindness okay!


Follow him on Facebook here and if you want his direct number to get your hair done, don't hesitate to contact him at +65 8699-9954. He's a genius with all sorts of hair.

Anyway it's time for this madness to come to an end. I've gotta grow up and go back to something a little more manageable, and cheaper. haha. If I learned anything from this journey it is how to take care of my hair and how to ensure my hair looks good. A good hair cut and a good hair day can make all the difference in making/breaking your attitude for a whole week! Toss in a professional shampoo (with a couple of head massages) and a glorious blowout and you're set to take over the world. I mean look, how Wonder Woman stole the show from Superman and Batman in the unmentionable shit DC movie:



What a woman!

But I digress.

I owe y'all some FAQs on dying your hair in Singapore.

HOW TO GET GLORIOUS UNICORN HAIR IN SINGAPORE FAQ

1) How much does it cost?
If you decide to dye your hair on your own, it's really affordable. Do it at home without bleaching your hair and it's under $20. Do it with bleach and you're looking at about $50. Head to a mid-range salon and you're looking at $150 - $300 depending on the length of your hair and how much bleach they need to use. Look at $400 - $600 for a good quality hair salon with a fantastic hair job.

2) How do I do it on my own?
The dye itself isn't expensive. You can get Manic Panic, La Riche Directions and a shit ton of other brands online and at box shops for under $20. They're also really good quality and are usually vegan so it's safe for your hair. The only trouble is that it won't really show up on dark Asian hair. Bleach it yourself and you might ruin your hair for life.

3) I've already bleached my hair, but it's really dry and dead and the colour goes really quickly.
That's cause these semi-permanent colours don't last forever and, depending on the colour used, your hair quality and your hair care routine. Colours like pink and purple fade really quickly, while blue and green seemingly last forever. If your hair's really porous and weak, there's a chance the colour clings on longer. Finally, if your hair's really dead, you can revive it, but it's an expensive, long-suffering process. Let me tell you this, hair care is not for the weak.

4) Okay then, so how do I care for my hair?
 - First, washing your hair every day in Singapore is the norm, cause of the humidity, but if you want the colour to stay, you should only wash your hair every alternate day. *GASP!* GROSS! Suck it up.
 - Treatment, treatment, treatment. Your hair has lost all its protein, and in the words of Sam, "lipids". These bad boys are the ones that give your hair shine, read more about them here. You need to put it back with some keratin treatment. Replace your hair conditioner with treatment. It's more expensive but... suck it up. Also, use treatment oil before you sleep on the day you wash your hair.
 - Use your hair dryer to dry your hair, it helps it dry evenly. If you air dry your hair, the outer layer might dry, but each strand of hair, right in the centre, it might still be wet, and that's not good at all. Leads to frizz.
- You shouldn't swim or put your hair out under the sun. You're helping it fade even quicker.

5) How long does your hair colour last?
Like I said, it really depends on the colour. But the longest has been three to four months, the shortest, just a few days.

6) Where can I go to dye my hair?
Hands down, I'd say go straight to Sam Chok at Passion. He's not super affordable, but if you want top quality, go there. I don't really know anywhere else cheaper, cause... after experiencing cheap, mid-range and expensive, there's really a clear difference in how your hair is managed and the looks you get.

Okay, if you have any questions. Drop it in the comments down below.

And to Amanda, 30 years from now, you had flipping amazing hair for a good, long, period of time.

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