Over the past few weeks, Lee Na-Young, Lee Sung-Kyung, Soo Joo Park and other Korean It girls have all adopted styles with natural waves and bounce. To find out how to achieve a look like theirs, and to learn what clients are best suited to a wavy hair look, FAB took a trip to one of Singapore’s most famous salons: the Picasso Hair Studio. Teo Shiyun, the salon’s co-owner and also training manager for Kérastase, sat down with us to answer our questions.
FAB: Lots of K-Pop stars have chosen wavy hair looks this year. Has this trend reached you at the Picasso Hair Studio too?
Teo Shiyun: More and more clients ask for natural wavy looks. The most in-demand curly hair style is probably our rebonding perm and freestyle perm, because they give a very “bed-head”, flawless look.
These styles were designed by our own Picasso team to suit the needs of the customers in our market. More and more women are looking for easy-to-manage hairstyles, with non-frizzy curls that won’t require a lot of blow-drying. We also took into account the weather here: Singapore is very humid and hair frizzes out very easily!
FAB: What should a client expect when they come to you for a consultation about getting curly hair?
T.S.: We follow a five-step procedure using a customer consultation sheet that allows us to understand what the client needs. First, we talk about any chemical services done in the past – like rebonding, coloring and bleaching, which would be a no-go. Secondly, we ask the customer about her lifestyle. The most important question is: do they blow-dry their hair? If they don’t, they need to start because perms require a fair bit of upkeep!
We then check the dryness of the hair. We have a special machine that helps us to test the elasticity of the hair to determine whether a perm is possible. We also draw how the hair will be cut for the perm. We’ll mark out the areas that probably need special attention, especially if they are drier than the rest. This allows us to adjust the strength of the perm lotion and the timing.
Finally, we look at the face shape – this determines where the curls should start to enhance the client’s beauty. Often, we will look at the client’s skin-tone too, because we normally recommend dyeing the client’s hair. You know, a perm is not only about the perm, it’s about the whole design !
FAB: Do you ever end up advising a client against getting wavy hair?
T.S.: That happens quite a lot, for example if a client has bleached hair – if they have rebonded their hair too many times and the elasticity of the hair is no longer there. We also discourage any clients whose hair is too dry. Again, if a client does not want to have to blow-dry their hair, perming it is definitely a no-go.
FAB: How do you make sure that a client’s hair isn’t damaged by the chemical treatments?
T.S.: Firstly our stylists are all super experienced in perm techniques, so they are trained in choosing the right strength of chemical for different parts of the hair. We do not use one perm chemical throughout the whole head: we segment them. We always do a pre-chemical treatment before the perm and a post-chemical treatment afterwards. And most importantly, we have a machine that helps us test the hair and decide when it has been softened enough by the chemical and is ready to be washed.
FAB: Once the procedure has been carried out, how do you advise clients to look after their hair to keep their curls looking natural?
T.S.: In fact, perms don’t require complicated upkeep, although blow-drying is essential so our stylists always teach clients on how to blow-dry correctly. No tools are required: just a hairdryer and you use your fingers to twist the curls. However, we do recommend applying a Moroccan Oil curl cream or the Kérastase Oleo Curl cream before you blow-dry to maintain the curls in shape throughout the whole day without making them feel stiff or hard.
FAB: How long can someone expect their curls to last after a perm?
T.S.: Depending on the hair, the perm will last between two to four months. However, we advise the customer to come back one month later for a treatment and two months after that for a trim to keep the curls in shape.