Hello, I'm Chief Editor of Beauty Undercover, Agent G.
Like many Singaporeans, I am an ardent fan of massages. Before Circuit Breaker, I'll try to sneak in a massage once every 2-3 months in Johor to give my body the pampering it deserves. COVID-19 has however made it impossible for me to do the same in Singapore.
This got me wondering, what could be an alternative option that is more time and value effective? The service that came to mind is HEAD SPA. I'm not talking about scalp treatments but pampering head spas that has been popular in Japan.
(Read here if you want to know the difference between scalp treatments and head spas)
Everyone is different but I like the scalp and shoulder massage the most in a full body massage. Maybe because I sit at the desk for long hours and frequently feel stressed, massage of the head and shoulders relieves the deepest aches that plague me. More importantly, I know that I've been facing hair thinning in recent years. Head spas are very helpful as they are very much like facials for the scalp: they wash and clarify the scalp during the massage, then apply hair tonic that is readily absorbed. This process helps to unclog pores at the scalp, slow down thinning hair and even promote hair growth.
Relaxation and effectively slowing down hair thinning all in one? Why not?
That got me writing about the 10 Reasons Why Head Spa is The Newest Hair Service We Can't Live Without. Since then, I've been around different salons to see which gives the best head spa in Singapore.
I've previously tried COVO Japanese Hair Salon @ Katong, Walking on Sunshine @ Orchard Central, Hair Salon Tokyo Michaela @ Riverside Point and the unique Dry Head Spa by Branche Japanese Hair Salon. Recently though, I hear that influencers like Xiaxue and Shiberty have been raving about the newest head spa fix at instagrammable Japanese salon: Room 49A.
Could this dethrone my favourite head spa at Room?
There's only one way to find out.
For those who coming into office around the CBD area, you'll love how close this is situated to where you work. Located in the nostalgic Amoy Street enclave with its glorious stretch of good eats, Japanese Hair Salon Room 49A is hidden in between famous Japanese restaurant Yoyogi and several offices.
When I pushed open the glass door
and walked up the staircase, I was treated to a salon that fits straight right in with its iconic helical staircase and furnishings that look oh-so-instagrammable.
Emiko greeted me warmly as she escorted me up the second level of Room.
It must be my lucky day as I had the entire level 2 to myself.
See the benefits of booking the first slot of the day? The early bird gets the worm!
If the first level was gorgeous, the second looked even more charming and private with sloped ceilings and a long horizontal mirror that remind me of dreamy attics and bedtime stories.
I plonked my ass onto one of the comfy seats as Emiko began the head spa.
First things first, consultation.
Not gonna lie, I've been getting a little worried about my scalp. Maybe its because I'm entering my mid-30s, I'm starting to find more and more balls of hair on the floor after blowdrying my hair. Other than needing to clear it up, it makes me wonder if I'm starting to bald.
I'm therefore really glad that the stylist for the day was Emiko. Not only was she well known for her glorious head massage, she is actually a certified head meister back in Japan. The very knowledgeable Emiko shared that 3 things tend to happen when we get older:
1) Thinning Hair
Hair starts to thin due to a decrease in oestrogen for ladies and an increase in androgens for men. This causes our hair to thin and decrease in strength when we enter our 30s and older. This tends to cause hairline parting to get more obvious as the number of hair in each pore decreases and hair becomes softer and finer especially at the top.
2) Frizzier hair
As we age, the cortex of our hair leaks nutrients more easily, causing the hair to lose structure and shape. Hair looks thus looks frizzier, lacks firmness, and has unwanted waves.
3) Thinning Scalp
Last but not least, scalp starts to become thin and hard due to a decrease in cell production of elastic ingredients such as collagen, hyaluronic acid & more. The exact effects however vary according to your inherent scalp condition.
For some, scalp becomes more oily due to excessive sebum secretion and open pores. For others you may find your scalp becoming drier and itchier with lower sebum secretion. Your scalp may even become inflamed.
えと, does your scalp itch a little sometimes?
From her diagnosis, Emiko shared that my scalp appears a little dry and is in fact flaking a little. Hence she wondered if I am facing some symptoms for dry scalp.
I'm a little surprised she'd say that my scalp is dry because it can get oily at times.
Ah that is a common misconception. A lot of people think that they have dry scalp when in fact their scalp is dehydrated.To compensate for the lack of moisture, the scalp produces even more oil to lubricate itself, causing you to think that your scalp is oily.. when in fact it is dry.
Emiko however reassured me that this is not an overly serious problem. With the right treatment, I can reverse or at least slow down the aging process.
This treatment comes in the form of a customized Head Spa she created with the Room team. Just like how you need to go to facials for extractions and moisturization, Emiko designed a head spa that would clear gunk from the scalp before infusing it with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. This head spa is different from others as it is tailored to your scalp and hair condition after examining your scalp.
Seeing that my scalp is dry and itchy, she recommended using the Viege Soothing Suppli to sooth and nourish the scalp.The Viege Soothing Suppli contains Okra polysaccharides, aloe vera polysaccharides, broccoli extract, celery extract that is perfect for moisturizing dry & inflamed scalp. She opened the bottle and let me take a whiff of it... and my first thought... vegetables!
I can so imagine her infusing the goodness of vegetables into my scalp.
She escorted me over to the automatic recliner just behind us as she gently lowered my head onto the wash basin.
Emiko then started to give my hair a thorough rinse...
When it was done, she didn't forget to give me a sneak peek of her incredible massage skill
as she nudged all the dirt from my scalp.
Next, she brought me over to another recliner / bed where I could lay down flat.
She put this eye mask over my eyes
Then, she applied the Viege base gel massage cream. This massage cream contains incredients that helps to strengthen the hair root, while softening & moisturising hardened scalp from within.
And then began her massage proper.
That's not all.
Halfway through, she covered my head with a hot towel and continued with the massage.
I don't care if you laugh at me for looking like one of the Among Us characters right now...
But I tell you.. the massage FEELS SO GOOD.
It may sound a little strange but at the very moment when she was giving me the head massage, I felt somewhat like I'm back in my Mom's womb, warm and cocooned in her embrace.
Weird imagery I know... but that's exactly what it felt like.
I didn't want it to end but alas, it had to.
Emiko brought me back to the automatic recliner
Where she applied Milbon Cronna hair treatment to nourish my hair.
To let all the goodness seep in more deeply, Emiko used a steam machine to open the hair cuticles
The warmth from the steam made me feel all relaxed and drowsy!
We are almost done!
After the final rinse, Emiko brought me back to the seat where she sprayed the Viege Medicate essence. This scalp essence contains ginseng extract, mulberry root bark extract, bamboo root extract & licorice leaf extract that helps to promote thicker, stronger & healthier hair.
If possible, she shares that we should actually include this in our daily haircare routine to keep our scalp healthy.
To make sure it all goes in, she added an invigorating scalp massage
and a darn shiok lymphatic shoulder massage!
Believing that the body's systems are connected, Emiko shares that the lymphatic massage like this helps the body better drain the toxins so that the products applied can work more effectively.
Given how relaxed I feel, it must be working!
So many massages in one head spa.. I absolutely love this place!
Finally, Emiko dried my hair to get me ready to take on the rest of the day.
And I'm done!
On top of having a really good rest, my scalp feels super clean and my hair's curls have now become bouncier than before!
Some part of me wanted to go for a re-perm but it seems as if all I really need now is hair treatment to get back those curls.
Thank you Emiko from Room 49A for the awesome head spa!
It may only be 90 minutes but Emiko's massage is so good - I felt like I went to the moon and back.I haven't had such a relaxing time in a long while and so am really thankful for this treat for both my hair and scalp.
It isn't just relaxing though - beyond the immediate effects on that day, I was glad to have the bouncy curls stay with me for another week and the feeling of cleanness persist for 2 weeks.
This definitely ranks among the best head spas I've experienced thus far and would highly recommend it for anyone looking to treat yourself at the end of the day.
A perfect treat too, if you're thinking of what to get for friends whose birthdays are coming soon!
With a lovely gift card included, the people at ROOM have certainly taken care of all the details for you.
I'll probably be coming by again soon so if you happen to see me there at ROOM, don't forget to say hi!
Keen to try the Head Spa at ROOM?
They're offering the Head Spa + Hair Treatment at $168 (UP: $180) for first time customers only!
Read more about ROOM Japanese Hair Salon here!