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Sun, Sep 08, 2013
Urban, The Straits Times
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S'pore's top hairstylists' pet peeves about women's locks
by Gladys Chung and Leslie Lay Lim

Ms June Ng, J's Salon

Busy local women might not have much time to groom their hair, but Ms June Ng, 53, the owner of J's Salon at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, says there is always a solution.

"Just put in some effort to find a good hairstylist who can give you a cut or perm that requires little maintenance," she says. "I always ensure that my customers' hair look good from every angle."

The mother of three has been in the industry for 36 years and was trained at the Vidal Sassoon Academy and Alan Hairdressing International Hairdressing School in London in the early 1980s.

Ms Ng became a business owner in 1987 when she took over the Brown salon at Goodwood Park Hotel from her former boss. J's Salon moved from Goodwood Park last year to a sprawling 6,000 sq ft space at Grand Copthorne Waterfront. She also has an outlet, Salon 360 Degrees, at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, which opened in 2010.

J's Salon is also where French haircare brand Kerastase's first Advanced Hair And Scalp Institute in Asia is located.

There, the staff - including Ms Ng - are trained to analyse the health of one's scalp with a scope.

The salon's main clientele are socialites and executives. Ms Ng has also groomed the tresses of celebrities such as Stefanie Sun and the members of K-pop group Bigbang, who stayed at the hotel when they were in Singapore last year. Occasionally, she also flies to Brunei to cut the locks of the members of the royal family there.

The entrepreneur believes in giving back to society too. J's Salon has been awarding up to six $6,000 scholarships per year to hairdressing students at the Institute of Technical Education for the past three years.

Who cuts your hair?

My apprentices. They get to cut my hair after three years on the job, during which they learn how to do a proper blow-dry, a dye job and a good haircut. Just before I allow them to cut a customer's hair for the first time, I will test them by having them cut my hair. A good cut should emphasise one's features and hide one's flaws, and not make the hair look stiff.

What are some of your hair concerns?

I have fine hair and an oily scalp, but the ends of my hair are dry. So, I make sure I use the right shampoo for my hair and scalp type. I am currently using Kerastase's Age Premium Bain Substantif Shampoo ($39) and Masque ($69).

What does your haircare regimen entail?

I massage Kerastase's new Densifique hair tonic ($342.40 for a box of 30 doses, call 6738-3113 for salon listings) after every hair wash, as well as the brand's Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrate ($80) twice a week. Once every three weeks, I get a customised hair scalp treatment (from $268 for 120 minutes) at my salon.

What is your favourite hair product and why?

The Densifique hair tonic. I have used it for two months and my hair has more volume and is thicker.

What do you think is the best beauty invention when it comes to hair?

The Kerastase scalp and hair diagnosis system machine. It magnifies the scalp by 200 times and hair roots by up to 1,000 times. It allows us to determine our client's hair problems. With the machine, we can come up with effective and customised treatments for them. If you want healthy hair, it all starts with a healthy scalp.

What is the one thing you wish local women would do when it comes to their hair?

Get an easy-to-maintain perm.

What is the most ridiculous thing you ever did to your hair?

Nothing. I always opt for low-maintenance styles because I am too busy with my customers' hair.

What is the best haircare advice you have received?

Use a heat-protecting product on your hair before applying a heated hair tool to it. I use Kerastase's Ciment Thermique Strengthening Milk ($50). Besides protecting hair from the damaging heat, it strengthens and fortifies it with treatment ingredients.

~ Gladys Chung

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