Not a fan of crazy hair colours?
Babylights is a new hair colour technique that brightens your face and makes you look younger without resorting to attention-seeking vibrant hair colours!
Read more to find out about Agent CH's experience with Babylights at Izumi Salon.
Hi, I'm Agent CH, a certified image consultant as well as a preschool educator. Developing people, both adults and children is something dear to my heart and I studied this extensively to help people find their strengths and express themselves authentically and confidently.
Born in America to Singaporean parents, I followed my dad around, who went to the US and UK for work when I was a child, spending much of my childhood, teenage and adult years outside of Singapore and in the US, UK, Hong Kong and Shanghai where I studied and worked. I recently came back to Singapore after giving birth to my beautiful princess and am grateful to have friends and family around as she grows up.
Although life is rather hectic as a SAHM, there is a place that I never fail to go every 3 months... and that is Izumi Salon. I enjoy going to Izumi because I know that I will be pampered and refreshed after each visit.
Being a Japanese stylist is definitely a plus for me but I think it's beyond that. You see, Izumi isn't the first Japanese stylist I've tried in Singapore. I found numerous Japanese salons from Beauty Undercover and tried salons such as Kizuki+LIM and CLEO Hair & Make. However, it was when I visited Izumi's salon that I was most impressed, especially with her cut and colour.
Izumi Salon was perceptibly different from all salons I've been to in US, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. Firstly, Izumi takes in only one customer at a time. The salon itself is very private; there's only one seat in the salon.
Compared to other salons where each stylist has multiple assistants working on multiple customers simultaneously, Izumi's service feels a whole lot more exclusive/focused. Because she is able to dedicate the entire time to her customer, the hair results always turn out perfect. I have never seen her rush through a haircut or colour because she would never plan her time in a way that would compromise the quality of her work. Instead, she is unfailingly attentive and patient, always taking the effort to understand my hair condition and my expectations to the tee. For my first haircut with her, she went through photo after photo to get what I liked based on hairstyles she knew would suit me. She takes her work seriously, and that type of dedication is inspiring.
As far as I know, Izumi focuses on doing haircuts, colour, highlights, and treatment; no perms or other chemical processes that may look trendy but is very damaging to the hair. With the attitude of a craftsman who stays true to the goals she believes in, Izumi does only hair services that yield the best results for customers while keeping the hair healthy. I find this very unique and commendable in an industry which does whatever it takes to maximize their earnings. Her high standards and beautiful results have earned my respect and loyalty.
That's why I agreed when Izumi asked if I mind becoming her hair model for her upcoming babylights feature and sharing my experience on Beauty Undercover; I hope more people can get to know and experience Izumi's amazing hair service for themselves!
I made the appointment on a weekday afternoon in July 2017.
Getting my hair done by Izumi is one of the ways that I pamper myself as a SAHM. The privacy in the salon also allows me to have some nice and quiet "me time". I look forward to seeing her each time because the experience is so good and my hair always looks gorgeous afterward.
In fact, I just had a haircut a month before. This is how it looks like naturally without any styling.
It may look ordinary to you now but my hair has actually undergone a huge transformation under Izumi's hands. Before I met Izumi, my hair was badly damaged from repeated hair colours and chemical processing. Her strong skills in cutting hair and recommended treatments have gone a long way to improve my hair texture and overall look. From Izumi, I have learned that the tools and techniques a hairstylist uses for a haircut also affects whether the hair gets damaged, so getting the hair cut properly has also helped make my hair healthier. This is something I'm very grateful for.
As usual, Izumi sat me down and took a careful look at my hair to check my hair condition and what needs to be done. As roots were beginning to show, she suggested a root retouch together with a babylights hair colour. This would be the second time I've done highlights with her; the first was towards the end of last year. I wanted a dramatic change to my hair and considered a perm. However, Izumi suggested for me to try babylights for a change. It looked so good that I got tons of compliments saying that I looked younger... some of my friends were so in love with the colour that they started to visit Izumi as well.
Therefore, when Izumi suggested doing babylights in a lighter colour this time, I was all for it! Izumi has a good eye for choosing hair colours and I know I'll be safe if I leave my hair in her hands.
She personally put on the hairdressing cape for me before she began.
As I mentioned before, the first thing she did was to retouch my hair colour. She mixed a colour to match the rest of my hair and applied the colour directly to the roots. Although I have sensitive skin, I'm glad to note that my scalp doesn't have any issues with the hair colouring even when it is applied directly to the scalp, something attributed to her use of high-quality hair colours.
Approximately 15 minutes later, the retouch was complete and she brought me to the basin for a wash. Her washes aren't the longest or the most pampering; they are straightforward with a simple wash that is clean and focused on removing the hair colour from your hair thoroughly. She is gentle when washing my scalp, unlike some other experiences I've had before, where my scalp was scratched during the wash, sometimes with fingernails, making it painful.
Back at the seat, Izumi began to blow-dry my hair in preparation for the next step: bleaching. She doesn't go straight into bleaching and takes the time to section my hair so that the bleaching process can be expeditious.
Speed is of the essence, especially during bleaching as the longer the bleach is left on the hair, the more the hair is damaged.
Once Izumi embarked on the bleaching process, she fell silent, laser-focused on the task at hand.
I, on the other hand, got the chance to converse with the omnipresent James, Izumi's ever supportive husband who is always helping out with preparing the tools and making sure that her foils and chemicals are ready. James is very knowledgeable and well-read, so it's a joy to chat with him about the topics of the day which ranges from hair to politics and vacations.
Izumi explained that there are a lot more foils used in this process as the babylights technique require the highlights to be subtly blended into the hair. This is actually a technique originating from New York where smaller sections are being taken for that naturally lighter tone.
After about 30 minutes or so, the bleaching process is ready.
And my hair goes through a second wash of the day.
I can see more and more of the colour as it dries, with different tones at different angles! I love it! Izumi is not yet done, though.
The perfectionist her began trimming off just a little bit of the fringe.
And we are done!
Here are more photos taken from the side
From the back
Compared to the darker hair I had before, the brighter babylights certainly gave my hair vitality and life!
My hair also felt amazingly soft afterwards, thanks to the treatment Izumi applied at the end.
Although the light was getting dim, we managed to take some photos before the sun sets.
I really love my new babylights!
Far from being overly loud, this colour technique is very natural and makes me look like I was born with these seamlessly blended highlights. It brightened my overall look and made me feel younger!
Not sure if it's the American in me speaking but I really love the entire concept of babylights: delicate highlights created to mimic the subtle dimensional hair colour seen on children's hair. It is very natural, subtle and most importantly low maintenance. I find myself looking a lot more refreshed as Izumi chose just the right colour to match my features, my hair type, and my style. The highlights are slightly more obvious now after a few washes but I'm glad to note that it lasted well and did not turn out brassy! My hair is also in the same condition now as it was when I left the salon - soft and manageable.
Though Izumi doesn't use tongs on your hair after the haircut or doesn't perform head and shoulder massage during the hair wash, she directs all her time, energy and effort to make sure that you have a hair outcome that you are happy with in the weeks and months after the hair service. She has, therefore, never failed to impress me with her hair creations each time.
If you appreciate quality and attention to detail in your haircutting and colour, an easily manageable hairstyle and if you are looking to keeping your hair healthy with superior haircutting and colouring techniques, I cannot think of a stylist better than Izumi!