Haircuts are essential, as governments of Covid-struck countries all over the world would seem to agree, what with keeping salons open during lockdowns. But 'essential' doesn't have to mean 'basic'. While cost doesn't always equal calibre, a quality cut that you fork out more for can often also the one to keep its shape through circuit-breaker months, and which might even save you money on styling and trims in the long run.
Here are 8 good reason why haircuts at Izumi Hair Salon @ The Central SOHO are worth more than it's $175 price tag (NO GST).
Truly dedicated to her craft, Izumi doesn't let up any opportunity to learn new new designs and techniques in her past 30 years in the industry. This means getting mentored by top stylists, going for training workshops and even learning tacitly from observing haircuts by celebrity stylists in Tokyo, New York and Singapore. What has resulted is an incorporation of the very best techniques across top stylists across all 3 countries along with an impressive attention to intricacies in your haircut that elongate your neck, slenderise your face, balance out the shape of your head and create volume in all the right places. When people talk about haircuts giving people a makeover, hers really do!
That is why many of her customers find Izumi's haircut of incredible value; many of them used to frequent stylists from establishments that charged up to $2,000 per cut but now go to Izumi after realizing that her $180 haircut exceeds theirs in style and maintenance.
Having had extensive experience doing photoshoots for models during her time in New York, Izumi's dream was to help all her customers attain hairstyles that look good enough to grace the cover of any magazine.
She does so by acquiring diverse haircutting techniques in her arsenal - she can assess from your current cut whether you previously went under the scissors of another Japanese stylist, or someone trained by Toni & Guy, Vidal Sassoon or Kim Robinson because of how skilled she is. Izumi doesn't just subscribe to any one of these techniques but combines various methodologies to customise bespoke hairstyles for every single client. For example, you'll see her using both dry and wet cutting styles (cutting hair when dry for great precision versus cutting when wet for natural shapes and layering) to absolutely perfect your cut, even breaking out different scissors for each, while most other stylists will only use one during your visit.
With such incredible skill and attention to detail, you can expect compliments to roll in about how your hair looks so fabulous at all angles!
Agent N's latest haircut by Izumi (scroll down to witness the entire experience)
Thanks to her wide repertoire of haircut techniques, Izumi can structure the haircut in such a way that it increases your hair volume at the top and the back of the head. This will have the effect of making one's face look smaller and often younger as the new proportion takes on a face-lifting effect. Izumi also puts in much effort to make sure that the hair falls in such a way that your neck appears longer and more slender, a detail few stylists take into consideration.
By modifying the overall shape of our hair, Izumi's cut can give you volume equivalent to what you can get from a perm and make you look younger and slimmer... all without damaging your hair!
Because of Izumi's close attention to the direction of each customer's natural hair growth (not to mention your body type, face shape, etc) she always manages to craft cuts that doesn't need much manipulation to be in optimum condition. They're super low maintenance so that daily styling is minimised to casual blow-drying, or even less if you're feeling especially lazy.
Complimentary hair treatment with every cut
You may only be here for a haircut but don't be surprised when Izumi throws in an express hair treatment for free! Izumi believes strongly in the idea that healthy hair looks the most beautiful. To ensure that it remains the case, she provides every customer with a free hair treatment to replenish the amino acids and proteins lost from UV damage or daily shampooing. This way, you don't have to pay extra or go for additional hair treatments elsewhere just to keep your hair looking good!
Izumi and Agent N
The destination is always a beautiful cut, but why shouldn't customers enjoy the journey as well? The well-travelled Izumi has tons of stories to share, and her relaxed, humorous personality will make you want to tell her yours as well, making for an enjoyable time while she's perfecting your coiff.
Service doesn't get more personal than at Izumi's, where there is only one stylist (Izumi herself) and only one salon seat in the whole place. No need to book a private VIP room to escape the madding crowd, and no fear of paying for a director's cut only to be attended to by an assistant 90% of the time. Throughout your visit, all Izumi's expert attention will be focused on her sole customer - you.
Eagle's eye view of Clarke Quay from Izumi Salon
While you're being treated like royalty, why not survey your domain? Izumi's massive windows open up to a gorgeous view of Clarke Quay, with the picture-perfect Singapore city skyline in the distance. It's a view tourists would pay top dollar for, and a great accompaniment to your post-cut hair-fie.
Not convinced yet? Let Agent N tell you about her Izumi experience.
Hi! I'm Agent N and I've been living in Singapore for 8 years.
I used to only cut my hair on my trips back to Japan, but starting a few years ago, there were fewer and fewer convenient opportunities to return. This got me checking out Japanese Hair Salons in Singapore, discovering Izumi Hair Salon @ The Central SOHO in the process.
The moment I got my hair cut by Izumi, I have never looked back. You see, I'm one of those who has a clear idea of what hairstyle I want. Whenever I go to the salon, I'll show my stylist some photos I save as hair inspirations. Unfortunately, many of them (both in Japan and Singapore) are unable to achieve my desired hair designs, saying that my hair is too fine and limp.
That's why I found Izumi such a Godsend. Whether it is Kyoko Fukada's medium length hair or Haruka Igawa's beachy bob cut, Izumi has never said no to my proposed hair designs and instead, positively surprise me with haircuts that look true-to-photo. More importantly, these haircuts last.
I've personally met a number of stylists who gave me a seemingly good cut at the salon only to find the haircut falling apart the next day. That NEVER happened with Izumi. As long as I blowdry my hair, it will just fall into place.
That's why I stopped looking for new stylists. Even when my Japan trips started recurring, I would make sure to see Izumi first before getting on that Japan-bound flight, for perfectly presentable hairstyles the moment I reach Japan.
Of course, haircut techniques aren't the only thing I love about Izumi. Always humorous and interesting with new things to share, Izumi makes every visit with her a special one.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take you through the entire haircut experience at Izumi Hair Salon so you'd understand what I mean.
Izumi always starts the session with a detailed consultation, letting me take as much time as I want to outline my current concerns and hair goals, and to clarify them.
For my most recent visit, I shared that I wanted to go a little shorter. As usual, I showed her a few photos on my phone and we discussed about how she could customize it for me.
Some of the things we talked about included the ideal length for my fringe as well as the rest of the hair to make my face look smaller and slimmer while not irritating my eyes.
As my chosen haircut is a lot shorter, Izumi mentioned that she will spend a bit more time sculpting the cut at the back for a nicely rounded silhouette. She assured me, however, that it wouldn't require me to spend too much time maintaining it as she will cut according to how my hair grows out.
Having seen her do her magic so many times, I have no qualms that she will fulfill what she says.
So once she has conceptualized the cut, Izumi embarked on the transformation.
And that meant getting a hair wash.
Izumi may have decades of experience but she is certainly not averse to undertaking the hair wash on her own. In fact, Izumi shared that washing customers' hair actually clues her in to each individual's hair texture as well as idiosyncracies in head shapes.
But hair wash isn't the only thing she does at the sink. Believing that healthy hair looks the best, Izumi actually includes an express hair treatment in every hair service - even if you've only booked a haircut. This way, she ensures so that your tresses don't just look full of life and health, but actually are.
An express hair treatment like this would easily cost above $60 in other salons, so I appreciate she includes this without any additional charge!
After the wash, Izumi began with a wet cut to create the overall silhouette of my coiff, optimised to suit my bone structure.
After painstakingly perfecting every lock, she then proceeded to dry my hair.
Izumi wasn't breaking out the blowdryer because she was done with my crop, but because she wanted to further refine my locks with a dry cut. Stylists normally only choose to use either a dry cut or a wet cut, but Izumi's methodology involves using the wet cut to create a beautiful base, before moving onto the dry cut to add movement and volume, and razor-sharp precision where necessary.
This is why her haircuts always take a full hour.
You can't fake decades of experience.
The way she patiently teases out the best possible contours and her meticulousness with the scissors, using various techniques I've never seen on any other stylist, is always amazing to me.
Even after the hour is up and the cut complete, Izumi never rushes clients out of her her premises. Each service with her includes an express hair treatment - even if you've only booked a haircut, so that your tresses don't just look full of life and health, but actually are. Then, she styles your hair so you look your absolute best for a wander around Clarke Quay.
And guess what, the general styling is super easy - just lift my damp hair away from the scalp and blow dry, in any direction.
She then mussed the locks about effortlessly to amp up the volume still further - simple but with gorgeous impact and no actual mess, because each strand of hair was cut so perfectly.
She bequeathed some final maintenance tips, and we were done - It was time to properly take in my new do.
How can a few snips take years off my face? Easily, if it's Izumi doing the snipping.
While most stylists have to break out the chemicals to attain this level of volume and movement, all it took was a truly expert cut to achieve this look.
It's also versatile, and can be worn hanging loose for youth and edge, or tucked behind the ears for a soupcon of sweetness.
I'm delighted with my new 'do, which re-confirms that Izumi never disappoints. This look has so much personality and movement, that it looks like I did a body perm, when in reality no harsh chemicals went near my locks. And I love how idiot-proof it is to style and maintain.
When your haircut gives you this much happiness, you know it's worth every cent.
Izumi for the win!
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