Looking for an expert in Asian hair? You’ll find top-notch service and hairstyling mastery at this Riverside Point hair salon, as reviewed by our Creative Services Editor
It’s time to ‘fess up – I’m actually pretty hard to please. As one with compulsive perfectionist tendencies, my inclination for quality and precision extends into my beauty choices. And yes, I am extremely picky about my hairstylists. No stranger to Japanese hair salons, I’ve been a loyal customer to a particular Osaka outpost here for several years (after all, nowhere embodies perfection more than the land of the rising sun.) But an unforgettable experience at a “hidden” Clarke Quay gem made me consider the unthinkable: cheating on my hairstylist.
Hair Salon Tokyo Michaela, a Japanese hair salon located at Riverside Point, is a convenient five-minute walk from Liang Court and Clarke Quay MRT station. Staffed almost entirely by hairstylists from Japan, you can expect nothing less than an unwaveringly polite and hospitable service; another reason why I’m such a fan of the Japanese touch. The salon itself is a comfortable set-up – you’ll be served with sweets and refreshments in a tranquil environment, which means no annoying small talk or shop chatter to pull you away from a relaxing session.
Solid hair advice
Senior stylist Takahiro Kobayashi—who has 13 years of experience working in Japan and London combined—is unfailingly professional. With a portfolio that includes hairstyling at fashion shoots for cult London ‘zines such as I-D and Dazed and Confused, you can be sure he has his finger (or scissors) on the pulse of the latest trends.
As he scrutinised my shoulder-length hair, which featured a concave shape, he suggested making it a straighter, chin-length cut. My ash-brown dye job had turned slightly brassy from the wanton use of drug-store shampoo, so he recommended a subtle combination of ash highlights around the crown and at the ends of my hair, set against a violet gradation with blue undertones that would flatter my fair complexion. He explained that the different colour treatments help give more texture to my ‘thick and strong’ hair, while a shorter length creates the illusion of an oval face.
The Omotenashi treatment
My capacity for these sessions ends at the three-hour mark, and I was impressed by how fast and efficient Kobayashi was. Despite the laborious hair colouring processes involved, he managed to cut, dye and treat my hair within the time frame and without faltering in the level of his service. Even my hair wash involved a gentle head massage, which elevated the entire experience – I didn’t want to leave my chair… well, almost.
Asian hair expertise
At Hair Salon Tokyo Michaela, the attention to detail is unparalleled. Case in point: An additional layer was added underneath my bob, so it falls nicely at the nape of my neck. Thanks to the “3D effect” created by the highlights, my hair looked effortlessly sleek and vibrant – the lazy girl’s solution to perfect hair! Kobayashi also threw in a pampering ‘shiny hair treatment’, said to help supplement nourishing proteins and amino acids—essential ingredients for healthy locks—so my hair felt extremely smooth and soft despite being bleached.
Don’t hesitate to ask if you need tips on how to maintain your hair colour. I was advised to use violet shampoo once a week and also to apply hair oil before heading out, which helps protect the colour from UV damage.
One week in, and my hair still looks totally salon-worthy. What sold me on my new hairstyle, is that it’s completely low-maintenance. The natural tones meant I didn’t have to worry about unsightly roots showing up eventually, and the excellent cut ensured my hair fell into place without the hassle of blow drying every morning.
Am I still thinking about switching salons? I’m still on the fence about cheating on my hairstylist, but after being (ahem) blown away by my experience at Hair Salon Tokyo Michaela, the seven-year itch is real.
Enjoy 20% off all hair services and Michaela Pharmatica hair care products on your first visit. Book an appointment here and mention “Honeycombers” to redeem the offer.
This article is sponsored by Hair Salon Tokyo Michaela