How Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) Transformed My Decade-Long Unchanged Hairstyle (Part 1)

How desperate can one be to walk into a random hair salon and request for a random hairstylist to chop off her chest-length hair – a hairstyle she has kept for more than a decade? That’s me that I’m describing and the random hair salon was Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru).

I was extremely desperate and walked into the hair salon without making any appointment. It was an impulsive moment. LOL! Want to know why I was this desperate and how my new hairstyle turned out? Join me in my hair transformation journey. 

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)


I Allowed a Stranger to Chop off My Chest-Length Hair

Upon entering Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru), I allowed the first person who attended to me to be my hairstylist for the day. Was he a receptionist, junior hairstylist or experienced director? I had no idea.

“I want to chop off my hair,” I requested bravely. The young-looking male stylist nodded his head with a polite smile and led me in.

I was expecting a bigger reaction from him because I really thought it was a big deal! But I guess he probably “chopped off hair” so often this was just another day, another haircut for him.

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
Before the transformation – me and my chest-long hair

Is it a big risk to let someone you knew nothing about transform your look and chop off half the length of your hair? You bet! A random stylist would know little about my hair texture, thickness or styling preference. Would my impulse turn into a a misadventure? Read on and I’ll let you see how my hair transformation turned out and how my partner received a shock mid-way through the transformation and almost dashed to the salon to rescue me from the hair job. LOL!


Why I kept the Same Hairstyle for Decades?

If you have been following me since the launch of this blog in 2014, you would see how I spot the same hairstyle post after post, year after year. You are actually lucky because my closest friends had seen my unchanged hairstyle for decades. I bet they were bored. In fact, I knew they were because there was an enormous reaction when I showed them my new hairstyle. Okay, we would get to that later.

Now, why didn’t I attempt to change my hairstyle all these years? Why did I allow myself to reach the peaking point of desperation? 

I thought I looked prettier

I knew I look better in long hair. Most ladies look better in long hair, no? It kind of gives one an alluring, feminine and somewhat dainty (vulnerable) appearance and makes guys want to protect you more (or that’s what I’d thought). I also felt that long hair framed my face better and made them appear slimmer.

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
I’d thought that long hair framed my face better

I didn’t have a choice

I didn’t have a choice, or that was what I was made to believe. If you look at my primary school photos, you would understand. You’ll see this girl with a mushroom head so big the crown is wider than her shoulder.

Thanks to my parents, I was born with very thick hair. Both of them have thick hair and so it made mine doubly thick. LOL! I’m not sure how true it is, but an ex-stylist once used a magnifying device to scan my hair and told me I’d six strands of hair per follicle. Is that even possible? Not only that, each strand of my hair is thick. If you hold them up vertically, one end would continue to point to the sky instead of following the pull of gravity.

That explains why I was forced to straighten/relax/rebond my hair since I was a teenager. It was the only way for me to appear presentable. And I was told that I had to have it long to weigh down the volume.

“Your hair will explode in volume if you cut it short,” said my ex-hairstylists who never failed to remind me of the consequences, before rejecting my repeated request for change. And so I kept the same long, straight and rebonded hairstyle for decades until I could take it no more. 


My Hair Consultation at Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)

I stepped into Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) wanting to cut my hair to shoulder-length and to rebond the newly-grown roots. If possible, I also wanted to experiment perming the end tip of my hair. These were the photos shown to my hairstylist on what I meant by tip-perming.

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
Showed these photos to my hairstylist

Most stylists I’ve worked with would reject me at the point of requesting for short hair, let alone a perm. So I was expecting the hairstylist from Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) to discourage me from doing so too.

But he didn’t. Instead, he offered me three options:

  1. To cut my hair short and rebond (original request)
  2. To cut my hair short, rebond the roots and digital perm the ends
  3. To retain length, rebond roots and digital perm the ends

None of the options required me to stick to my original hairstyle, which was great. But I also started doubting the stylist’s experience. If all my very experienced ex-hairstylists said I couldn’t cut my hair short or perm it, why did this young-looking hairstylist from Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) allow me to do both at the same time (option 2)?

In any case, I went for the biggest change and chose option 2. Told you I was desperate!


Great Haircut at Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)

Not everyone can cut thick hair well. In fact, very few could! Many lousy hairstylists just thin your hair in a random fashion using thinning scissors, thinking they have reduced your hair thickness. What they didn’t realize was how the unstructured snips can cause hair to get entangled for no reason (read more here).

A recent haircut in Johor (Kulai) did the reverse. After the hairstylist was done trimming my hair, my hair remained as thick as when I’d walked in. I asked him to thin more, but he gave me a professional reason why I shouldn’t. And he was a Salon Director, so I’d better heed his advice, right?

The hairstylist from Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) spent one hour cutting my hair. This was probably one of the longest haircut sessions I’ve enjoyed and I appreciate his attention to details. Most importantly, my hair achieved the right balance in thickness and flow. It was lighter and nothing gets entangled unnecessarily. 

> MUST-READ: This Kimage Hair Colouring Service made me Stylish Overnight

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
Before-After Haircut at Kimage (Tiong Bahru)

At that point when the haircut was completed, I was already in love with my shorter and still-straight hair – it made me look younger already. The length was purposely left a little over the shoulder because the next process of digital perm would further reduce its perceived length.


Digital Perming & Rebonding at Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)

The next process was to apply a chemical (I think it’s a relaxant to break down hair structure). That was left to sit for quite a while, like half an hour. The hairstylist then started curling my hair using rollers. 

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
OMG. Why did he roll up so much?

At this point, I was wondering why he had to roll my hair up that much because I only wanted to perm the ends, remember? I kept flashing the photos in my Pinterest account and reminded the stylist about the “tip perming” that I’d requested. He acknowledged and reassured me that the hairstyle would turn out well. I started praying. :)

Each of the rollers had a wire attached to them and they were connected to what I assumed to be electrical supply. The rollers started heating up. When I saw smoke emitting from my hair, I was deeply concerned. Hey, I just went through a botched rebonding job not too long ago – read more here.

Andy, my appointed hairstylist from Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) assured me that it was normal for smoke to emit during digital perming. Never once did Andy display any sign of impatience or displeasure (for not trusting his expertise). In fact, I was surprised that he didn’t complain about my ultra-thick hair since he did visit the storeroom twice to replenish the relaxant. :P

Rebonding was done towards the end of the process and only my newly-grown roots were flat-ironed.


The Reveal – I had a shock at my New Hairstyle! 

OMG! This was not what I’d requested.

The hairstylist from Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) unrolled the curlers slowly. My heart skipped a beat with every unrolled curler. What did I get myself into? That was the first time that I started to panic. No way could I live with such a 50s hairstyle. Hmm, on hindsight, it looked kinda sexy, like Marilyn Monroe. No? Ha Ha.

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
Although I was smiling for the camera, my heart was beating so fast!

“Don’t worry, it’ll loosen after the wash,” Andy reassured me.

“Are you sure? How much will it loosen?” Once again, I flashed Andy my ideal hair photos from Pinterest. “Are you sure only the ends will be curled in, like in these photos?”

Andy kept smiling and even urged me to take a few more photos of my bombed hairstyle. By the way, he didn’t know I was a blogger. Nobody in the salon knew because I’m that unpopular. LOL!

I prefer low profile, and that’s why I hate to put up my photos unless absolutely necessary. My purpose here is to share information with you people, not to gain fame. Ironically, while saying this, I have to show a lot of face shots in this review. Haiz!).

I sent the above photo to my dearest and he got a mega shock. “This wasn’t what you’ve shown me?” He was referring to those Pinterest photos I’d shown him earlier seeking his opinion.

“Do you need me to come down to the salon?”, he asked anxiously. I was amused by his reaction and revealed that the job was only half-complete.  


The Real Reveal: Hair Transformation at Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)

After the final wash and blow dry, I stared at myself through the mirror intently, not knowing what to feel about this hairstyle. It was a big change for me and I couldn’t adapt immediately. I also thought the new hairstyle was more curly than what I’d asked for. Actually, looking at the photos now, it isn’t really that curly. I must have been in a shock then. Ha Ha!

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
Took this selfie at the toilet, right after exiting Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)

Andy looked at me with a somewhat admiring gaze and told me that I looked classy and chic. “很有气质!”

Hmmm….but Andy couldn’t possibly tell me I looked ugly, right? I have to discount his opinion since he was the one who created this new look.

Andy added, “If I’d given you a lighter curl, you may be asking for more in days to come,” He remained calm, confident and pleasant. How could I continue to cast doubt on someone with such a nice manner?

I walked out of the salon feeling very unsure. Do I look good? Do I look bad? I don’t know, man! Anyway, here’s another photo taken just 3 days after the digital perm job, without any hair styling. It was air-dried naturally.

Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)
3 days after digital perm

I’ve described the process of my hair transformation at Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru). In part 2 of this review, I’ll summarize the Goods and Bads of my experience at Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru). I’ll also share what my friends and dearest thought of my new hairstyle and show you how my digital perm looks like after 2 months. Stay tuned!

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4 thoughts on “How Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) Transformed My Decade-Long Unchanged Hairstyle (Part 1)”

  1. Actually you look REALLY good and as the hairstylist says CHIC! Very nice! I was googling layered triangle haircut and came across your blog! Thank you for giving me courage to try something new! 😊💯👍🏼

    1. Thank you, Ava. Yes, I thank the hairstylist for giving me more options in future. Now I don’t have to stick with boring rebonding all the time.

  2. Hi! The perm looks good on you! Not sure if its appropriate to ask – do you happened to have Andy’s contact? Called Tiong Bahru branch and was told that he left Kimage.

    1. Hi Gwen, thanks! I love the perm too and was sad that he left! Unfortunately, I do not have Andy’s contacts.

      For info, I did return to Kimage Tiong Bahru to have my hair permed again, by Priscilla if I remember correctly. She did quite a good job too.

      For your reference, I was wearing the perms in this post.

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