You’ve read about how I was acutely bored with my decade-long unchanged hairstyle that I allowed a random hairstylist from a random hair salon to snip off my hair. You can read more about my hair transformation (Part 1). Today’s post is a formal review of services received at Kimage Tiong Bahru.
I’ll reveal my friends’ reactions to my new hairstyle (it’s a big one by the way!) and the goods and bads of my experience at Kimage Tiong Bahru. The service I’d paid for included Digital Perm, Rebonding and Haircut.
What’s Good about Kimage Tiong Bahru?
1. Successful Transformation as Per Friends’ Reaction!
He looked at me fondly. “Hey, this is nice!”
That was the first response I’ve had on my new hairstyle and it was from my dearest. Phew! The money I’ve spent on this transformation didn’t go to waste. It was a mild response, but the compliment came in every other hour. He seemed really pleased with my new hairstyle.
When I revealed my new look on Instagram Story, a long-time pal got so excited she started messaging me non-stop telling how much younger and prettier I looked. Oh wow! That was definitely a confidence-booster to me!
I also received random compliments from IG followers, people who may not know me in person.
Yay! Another affirmation of my new hairstyle. Woo hoo!
As such, I now conclude this mega hair transformation at Kimage Tiong Bahru a success!
2. Gave Me Hairstyle that all Ex-stylists said I couldn’t take
I was made to believe that my ultra-thick hair could only be kept long and rebonded in order to look presentable. All my ex-hairstylist reinforced this idea saying how a shorter hairstyle, without enough weight, would lead to an ‘explosive’ look.
I’d requested for change on numerous occasions only to be rejected by them. You can probably tell how desperate I was to have done what I did at Kimage Tiong Bahru.
I’m exceedingly pleased that these myths were broken by Kimage Tiong Bahru when they acceded to my request for change and gave me a stylish new look. Why didn’t I attempt the change earlier? How much time had I lost sticking to the old hairstyle and not experiencing new things?
Life is short. I can’t believe I’ve had the same hairstyle for decades. Never mind, better be late than never.
3. Changed My Stubborn Hair-Parting
If you have been following me since the launch of this blog, you would probably see me clipping up my fringe. Why did I do that? Clipping up and propping the fringe used to be in fashion, but hasn’t been so for a very long time.
The reason why I couldn’t escape from the clipped-up look was due to my stubborn center-parting. I’d tried to change it for years, but to no avail because of how thick my hair was. Even my ex-hair stylists told me it was impossible for me to change my hair parting. Sigh!
Some old photos (very few) may show me with side-parting. That was after applying lots of hair spray!
As you have read in part 1 of this review on Kimage Tiong Bahru, I didn’t go in asking for a change in parting and didn’t expect one even by the end of the service. The hairstylist just casually asked me where I wanted my parting to be when combing my hair, and I told him “Side, please!”. That’s it. I wasn’t expecting this new hair-parting to stay in position after a wash. Much to my surprise and delight, this digital perm gifted me a lasting change in my hair-parting and I absolutely loved it! I’m so happy!
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4. So Easy to Maintain
I’ve had long straight hair for the most part of the past 25 years. There were two occasions when I had a brief change, one of which was to perm it. That was 12 years ago.
The perm didn’t turn out well. It was neither chic nor stylish and made me look older than my age. The curls were slightly tighter than what I’ve received from Kimage Tiong Bahru and were uni-directional. Worse of all, I was told that I needed to constantly twirl the curls with my fingers to retain its shape. We are talking about daily/hourly twirling, okay? “The more, the better”, I was told.
How about adding wax to your hair and then start twirling it? Yeah, I was told to apply wax to my curls. As such, my fingers were constantly in a sticky state and I didn’t like it one bit. That explains why I’d stayed away from perm for a very long time.
On the contrary, the digital perm by Kimage Tiong Bahru gave me a vastly different experience. I couldn’t believe that it requires zero maintenance. It has been two months since I’ve permed my hair and I have not touched a hair-dryer or applied any wax. Neither have I twirled them in any way. My hair looked perfectly presentable without any effort. This makes a lazy girl like me happy.
All the photos you see of my new look was air-dried (means naturally dried). That’s amazing and broke another myth of mine that permed hair requires high maintenance.
Permed hair can be zero-maintenance if you do it right! Getting it done by a good hair stylist or hair salon is very important!
5. Healthy Locks
Remember how smoke was emitting from my hair during the digital perming process? I was then worried that my hair would be fried. As it turned out, my hair remained healthy and smooth to the touch. There’s not a single split-end up till today. This is not a norm as far as my thick hair is concerned.
I’m not sure why such heat treatment didn’t harm my hair and can only conclude that digital perming probably isn’t as damaging as other forms of chemical treatment? Or perhaps visiting a reputable hair salon with an established standard operating procedure helps? Or perhaps cutting it short gave my hair a new lease of life?
6. Retains Shape after Multiple Washes & Abuse
By right, we should refrain from washing our hair too often after a perm. Washing hair too often can cause the curls to loosen prematurely. Due to my habits and lifestyle, I have been doing the opposite of what is considered best practice.
Since day 1, I have washed my hair every single day without fail. As you see, I exercise very often. Please don’t ask me to sleep in dirty and smelly hair. I won’t allow my hairstyle to take precedence over a healthy lifestyle, no matter how pricey it was to achieve it.
I abused my digital perm
There was a more severe abuse that I subject my digital perms to. Please take it as me leading by BAD example and refrain from doing what I did.
A month after the perm, I went to Okinawa where I spent many days snorkeling, hiking and waterfall-chasing. On some days, I tied my hair in a bun since morning, submerged it in salt water when I snorkeled, hiked to a waterfall and retained it in the same bun till midnight where I shopped at some malls. All these while, I didn’t let my hair down, didn’t let it dry or washed it. It was a wet and salted bun that I wore for more than 14 hours.
When I said I didn’t like to spend time maintaining my hair, you can tell that I meant it. What’s worse, I did this to my hair on at least three days, some on consecutive days.
I only learnt on hindsight that this was a ‘No No’ for people with permed hair. It was obvious that my curls were loosened after those four consecutive days of abuse. But I’m glad that somehow, the curls seemed to have bounced back in shape after I stopped the abuse.
Tips: To maintain your curls, do not wash it too often. Also, do not bun it up when it’s wet and keep it in that state for hours. This will spoil or loosen the curls.
This is how my hair looked like two months after the perm (one month after the abuse). I think it still looked great. I doubt anyone would be as
careless carefree as me when it comes to hair maintenance. So I believe digital perm would be even longer-lasting on others.
7. Comfortable Hair Salon Environment & Amenities
Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) was recently renovated following the refurbishment of Tiong Bahru Plaza in 2016. Hence, it bears a modern and clean design, including mechanized recliners and ipads for each customer.
Tea was served at Kimage Tiong Bahru. And the salon’s environment was a quiet and peaceful one – it would suit people who prefer to do their own stuff and relax, than chatting non-stop with hair stylists or getting distracted by loud conversations (err…me?).
8. Great Location of Kimage Tiong Bahru
Kimage (Tiong Bahru) is located at Tiong Bahru Plaza, a mall located almost right at the center of Singapore. It is connected to MRT station and make visiting the salon an easy task.
9. Pleasant Demeanor of Stylist
The hairstylist from Kimage (Tiong Bahru) didn’t know I was a blogger even right at this time of writing. So I believe what I’m gonna say here would describe his genuine response to customers and his overall demeanor.
First of all, the hairstylist gave me clear options during the consultation. He was polite and professional throughout the 5-hour long process, even when I was showing my impatience at the 4-hour mark. He remained in a calm demeanor instead of appearing defensive or stressed-up (even though he had a few customers getting impatient at the same time).
Another thing I’ve noted was how the hairstylist was careful when handling my chest-long hair. He avoided unnecessary contact and maintained decent proximity that put me totally at ease (This isn’t always the case, ladies!).
When my hair was done, I couldn’t adapt to it right away as it was a big change for me. I’m glad Andy remained confident and wasn’t shaken by my persistent doubt. Eventually, I learned that he was right (and I was wrong) because if he had given me the minimum curls that I was asking for, I would be crying by now.
What’s not Great about Kimage Tiong Bahru?
I don’t normally have so many “What’s Good” in my review, but these points just kept flowing in until my fingers felt sore. Guess you can tell that I am very happy with this hair transformation service from Kimage Tiong Bahru.
To provide a balanced view as per all my reviews, let us move on to the “Not so Great” stuff about Kimage Tiong Bahru.
1. Longer-than-Expected Service Time
Gosh. Can you believe I’d spent more than 5 hours at Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru)? That’s probably the longest time I’ve spent in a salon. The record should be about 4 hours, as that’s normally how long a rebonding job would take (but of course to be fair, this service now included both rebonding and digital perm).
Let me first show my gratitude to Andy for spending one hour purely on haircut which turned out really well and which I’m really thankful for. Thumbs up for the haircut!
Unfortunately, the next few hours could have been trimmed. As you see, the hairstylist was handling everything, from attending to walk-in customers, to cutting, to chemical job, to shampooing and blow-drying. I was told that the salon assistant was on leave.
I also noticed that the salon was taking in all walk-in customers even though the hairstylists were already attending to at least one customer each. I wasn’t the only one feeling impatient. A guy sitting next to me kept asking when he would be attended to as he’d already sat there for 15 minutes while waiting for my stylist to finish curling my hair. My heart sank every time a new customer walked in because I knew that would lengthen my service time.
2. Not Cheap!
Kimage is not the cheapest hair salon in town but is definitely one that provides quality assurance given its long-standing branding and the fact that it also owns a large hairdressing school in Singapore. I spent $325, the most I’ve ever spent on a hair service and that was after a 25% discount – the privilege of being a Kimage Edge Card holder
The price is high because I did two chemical process – 1) Rebonding on roots and 2) Digital Perm on the bottom half of hair, plus a haircut. Those who do not have super thick hair like mine should face a much lower bill.
By the way, I was willing to splurge on my hair because this was a hair transformation process and I was in an impulsive and desperate mood for change. :) My normal budget normally hovers around $200+ for rebonding which would last like 8 months? So, it isn’t that bad as compared to guys who have to trim their hair every two weeks. Heh Heh!
3. Digital Perm won’t last as long as Rebonding
My hairstylist told me upfront that the curls would last about 5 months. As compared to rebonding, this is considered short because rebonding can last permanently (That’s why we only need to rebond new-grown roots). It probably isn’t fair to compare digital perm against something that gives a permanent effect. But I was basing it on my options.
Still, I’m really pleased with my hair as of today (over 2-month mark). Even if my exercise routine meant my curls may loosen faster than others, I doubt I’ll return to straight hair in the near future. This change is great and I look forward for more to come. Maybe cut it shorter? Maybe try a different perm? What do you think?
If you are longing for a change, apprehensive about having a permed look or want to change your stubborn hair-parting, Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru) may be able to address your needs. Even if you have thick hair, you can still take perms as long as you get the right person/salon to do the job. To avoid long service time, please call in to check if salon assistant is on duty.
All in all, I highly recommend Kimage Hair Studio (Tiong Bahru). I am extremely happy with the hair transformation and would definitely return. In fact, I was reluctant to share this review because I wanted to keep this as my little secret and didn’t want anyone to compete with me in securing slots with this salon. That’s why this review came out two months after my transformation. Rating: 4.5/5.
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