updated 11 May 2012, 04:52
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Mon, Jan 16, 2012
The Business Times
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Destressing tired tresses
by Debbie Yong

X'pect Gallery

#02-18 Liang Court,
177 River Valley Road
Tel: 6837-0422

Customised treatment with shiatsu massage, $98

IN an age where you can get everything - your shoes, your perfume, even your coffee and cocktails - made bespoke, it seems par for the course that hair treatments should be custom-made for one's specific needs too.

That was the rationale behind Xpect Gallery's latest treatment, which focuses specifically on treating and nourishing the scalp, the literal root of all hair problems, with a series of herbal lotions by Japanese haircare brand Decco and a de-stressing shiatsu scalp massage.

Shiatsu is a Japanese technique that follows the belief, similar to acupuncture, that certain pressure points in the head are connected to one's other body parts, and massaging them will help to relieve stress and tension in the entire body.

Before starting the treatment process, each customer is first subjected to a few minutes of scrutiny by a specially trained stylist to identify problem areas. It was found that the repeated and frequent dyeing of my hair had created a mild inflammation of hair follicles at the back of my scalp.

It is a rather frightening thing to hear, as neither my previous hairdressers had highlighted such a problem to me nor was I even aware that such a condition existed. But the stylist assured me, thankfully, that it was a problem common to many clients with urban, ultra-hectic lifestyles. Phew.

And so the 40-minute process (which really stretched to almost 80 minutes, inclusive of blow-drying at the end) began. An organic balancing lotion is first applied, which claims to help regulate the mineral ions within the scalp. The lotion's tea tree oil component is said to help kill any germs hidden in the scalp, the saw palmetto extracts to slow down hair-ageing and promote hair growth and the ginger, well, just smells heavenly.

This is later washed off with a purifying shampoo, which helps to eliminate all the blockages and product build-up in the scalp and hair. A nourishing lotion is applied in the next step. It has mint that leaves the scalp with a cool, tingly feeling - an especially welcome sensation after an invigorating shiatsu massage.

Infra-red lamps are shone - said to be able to extract even bone-deep toxins - and the treatment is rounded off with a rather strong-smelling leave-in ampoule of treatment oil so that the scalp continues to get treated and nourished even as you hurry about your string of meetings. A suitably convenient solution for the woes of the time-starved urban professional.

This article was first published in The Business Times.

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