How to Wake Up With Emily in Paris' French Girl Waves - in Singapore

Published on Feb 22, 2021

Maybe it's an occupational hazard but we couldn't help but ask as we binge-watched the 10 episodes of Emily in Paris.

How is Emily manage to look so darn perfect with her S curls? Is it possible for us to perm those curls in Singapore? 

As it turns out, we can! 

We talk to Celebrity Stylist Leslie from The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics who shared some tips and techniques on how you can get the glorious S curls you see in the popular Netflix Original series. 

1. Grow out your hair to mid-back / bra length


The curls look pretty but the visual impact is made even stronger if you manage to grow it to mid-back or bra length. 

Emily in Paris Hairstyles

Credit: Emily in Paris

Not sure if it's the proportion but there's just something about mid-back length hair that reminds us of Barbie Dolls and sensual femininity... something shorter hair can't seem to achieve. 

Emily in Paris Hairstyles

Credit: Emily in Paris

It is easier said than done though. Other than the time taken to grow it out, it is not easy to keep long hair healthy; after all, there is no use growing out your hair if the hair ends look dry and scrappy. 

Even if you can't get it to the exact length, you can consider going for S-curls and go for regular treatments in the meantime to keep your hair looking healthy and shiny! ~ Leslie, The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

2. Try an effortless wavy perm


Although Emily sports more defined curls throughout the series, 

Emily in Paris Hairstyles

Credit: Emily in Paris

we find her signature loose waves the most gorgeous.

Emily in Paris Hairstyles

Credit: Emily in Paris

Compared to structured curls, loose waves makes you look more trendy and chic.

Emily in Paris Hairstyles

Credit: Emily in Paris

Most of us, however, do not have a celebrity stylist by our side 24/7 to make sure that our hair looks immaculate.

If your hair is originally straight, consider a perm to get those curls that you can actually wake up with. 

Plain Straight Hair Before Hair Makeover at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

See how much Agent D transformed after an Advante Perm at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics with Leslie?

Hair S Curl Perm and Colouring at The Beauty Emporium

3. Add on Balayage Highlights


Though the curls are the most obvious, it's balayage highlights that truly stole the show. 

Emily in Paris Fashion and Hairstyles

Credits: Emily in Paris

Using freehand strokes to weave in lighter sections of hair, balayage will make it look as if your hair is effortlessly "kissed" by the sun. 

Emily in Paris Fashion and Hairstyles

Credits: Emily in Paris

As Leslie explains, it is all the more crucial for us Asian girls to get a balayage highlight with our perm

As most Asian hair is dark, even black, it can actually be hard to see the new curls if there's no colour.Hence, I recommend getting a balayage highlight along with the perm to show exactly where the new curls start and end. ~ Leslie, The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

Don't you think that Agent D acquired much of the Emily vibe after her balayage and perm? 

Curious about how it's done? Check out her transformation at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics below.

The Emily in Paris Makeover


Hello, I'm Agent D. I'm in the nursing profession and at times, I've dabbled in modelling when I have the opportunity.

Plain Straight Hair Before Hair Makeover at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

That means NO CRAZY COLOUR (or bold haircut) as I really don't want to distress my patients more than they already are. Plus, crazy colours or bold cuts may also limit any job opportunities in modelling. 

So what do I do? Like most people, I'll go around various salons for basic haircuts and when necessary, hair colour retouch. 

Plain Straight Hair Before Hair Makeover at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

I know, I'm 27 but grey hair has already been popping up ever so often. To get me looking fresh, I've been colouring my hair with box dyes every 3 months. As you can see, that has gotten my hair looking pretty listless. 

Plain Straight Hair Before Hair Makeover at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

I've been thinking about going to a professional to do something the entire year but what? Nothing came to mind... 

Until Emily in Paris came along. 

Emily in Paris Hairstyles

Credits: Emily in Paris

I wasn't just looking at her hair of course, The drama was enthralling enough for me to finish 10 episodes in less than a week but yes, her hair is simply gorgeous!

I mean, this is Lily Collins after all - she must have a whole team of stylists looking after what she wears and how her hair looks so she can carry off a 22-ish character even though she's already 31. 

That got me wondering... could I do the same? I may not have the resources she had but is it possible to glam up my look with a makeover at the salon? I knew it was serendipity when a friend of mine shared about her regular stylist Leslie from The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics. Apparently, he was looking for a hair model for a new service of his: the Advante Permyage - a play on the two services: perm and balayage. 

I knew I gotta grab the opportunity so I got Leslie's number and arranged for a visit immediately. 

First impression


To be honest, the name of the salon is a mouthful The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics but as you'd expect, the place looked really luxe. 

The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

It's conveniently located within Raffles City, though I had to walk a few rounds to find exactly where it is. Not exactly hole in the wall but yes, it's definitely a bit more private than most. 

As the Beauty Undercover people had to take a few photos, the friendly receptionist escorted me to a private room where the entire service was to be done. 

What more could I ask for? 

Consultation


No photos here because I arrived earlier than the photographers but the very kind Leslie took the time to talk to me. I shared some of Emily in Paris photos with him and asked if I could have a similar hairstyle with her. 

Plain Straight Hair Before Hair Makeover at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

Before giving his professional opinion on whether that could be done, the very experienced Leslie checked my hair history and condition. He was a little concerned about my frequent box dyes at first; if my hair was too damaged or lacked elasticity, it would not be able to withstand lightening or perm. 

Fortunately, my hair seems to be healthy enough to pull off an Emily! 

I love how long you've kept your hair! The S curls look really nice on Emily partially because her hair is long - I'm sure it will look good on you too! Your hair is a little dry but don't worry, I will use the world's lowest damage perm for you: Advante - so the curls will still turn out well. ~ Leslie, The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics

He also suggested adding a balayage highlight to emulate the balayage seen on Emily and also long layered haircut to better frame my face. Leslie however suggested bleaching my hair BEFORE the perm to minimize hair damage and create the curls. 

That sounds awesome so here we go! 

Step 1: Lightening


The first step in the process was not haircut or perm but lightening. Leslie suggested lightening to be done first as the process itself will break some bonds, facilitating the softening process for perms later. 

Lightening Highlights at The Urban Aesthetics

As I don't go to salons very often, Leslie also felt that highlights work better for me than whole head bleach. This way, my hair will still look natural when it grows out. 

Lightening Highlights at The Urban Aesthetics

He selected small sections of hair and applied lightening solution before wrapping it up with aluminium foil.

This way, the lightening solution wouldn't unintentionally land on other strands of hair. 

Lightening Highlights at The Urban Aesthetics

Once he was done, mild heat was applied via the hair dryer to speed up the process. 

Lightening Highlights at The Urban Aesthetics

For the sections that lightened faster, the assistant took out the foils and wet the hair to dilute the lightening solution. 

Lightening Highlights at The Urban Aesthetics

This takes a lot of effort but am glad that they took the extra precaution to make sure that my hair wouldn't be overly damaged. 

Soon it was time to go for the hair wash. 

Lightening Highlights at The Urban Aesthetics

Leslie shared that Advante shampoo and treatment was used during the hair wash to remove the lightening solution and prepare it for the next step: perm. 

Hair Wash at The Urban Aesthetics

Step 2: Trim


Not so soon though. 

Back in my seat, Leslie toweled dry my hair and gave it a trim right after. 

Haircut at The Urban Aesthetics

Leslie assured me that he won't be reducing my hair length but will instead focus on creating layers around my face.

Haircut at The Urban Aesthetics

Once he was done, he proceeded to blow my hair dry and continued with a dry cut. 

Haircut at The Urban Aesthetics

This step is apparently the most important as it would determine where my curls start and end for the flowy effect. 

Haircut at The Urban Aesthetics

I can't wait!

Step 3: Pre-Treatment and Perm Lotion


With the haircut now ready, Leslie applied the Tokio Step 1 Pre-Treatment before continuing the perm. This protects my hair and prevents it from being frizzy later on!

Pre Treatment and Perm Lotion Application at The Urban Aesthetics

Once he was done, he then applied the Advante Perm lotion. The pH of this perm lotion is low, allowing my hair cuticles to stay close throughout hte process, minimizing damage. 

Pre Treatment and Perm Lotion Application at The Urban Aesthetics

With the cuticles remaining closed, it is not obvious if my hair has completed the softening process. Hence, Leslie had to curl a few strands of hair (in the orange roller) to see if my hair is ready later on. 

Pre Treatment and Perm Lotion Application at The Urban Aesthetics

Once again to accelerate the process, he applied mild heat to my hair. 

Seeing that I haven't drunk anything today, he took the initiative to pass me a packet of hojicha while waiting for my hair to be processed!

(thank you thank you)

Pre Treatment and Perm Lotion Application at The Urban Aesthetics

After 15 minutes or so, he released the test curls to see how it was...

Pre Treatment and Perm Lotion Application at The Urban Aesthetics

Success! Now, my hair is ready.

Step 4: Creating the Curls


The assistant brought me to the sink for yet another rinse before blowdrying my hair and embarking on the perm. 

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

Rollers of various sizes were used to create these curls.

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

To make sure that my hair doesn't get too hot, a piece of thick cotton is put over every hair roller. 

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

Once my hair was all rolled up, they connected the individual rollers to a perm machine.

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

See this machine? It's not some alien contraption but one that heats up the individual rollers to create the desired curls.

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

 All that's left was to wait for another 20 minutes.

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

Time to remove the rollers!

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

i was a little surprised at how curly this is but the hair assistant assured me that it wouldn't look like this. 

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

To make my curls look more natural, the assistant straightened the roots of my hair to give it more of a natural transition to the curls. 

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

Next, they rolled it up into the desired curl and pinned it in place.

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

This was repeated until all my hair was pinned up.

Getting S Curl Perm at The Urban Aesthetics

Finally, neutraliser was applied to fix my hair in shape. This step is essential in the perm process as it fixes the curls in place by locking the hair bonds and closing the hair cuticles for the perm to be truly permanent.  

After 10 minutes, it was time to wash it off.

Step 6: Colour


After rinsing my hair to remove the neutraliser, the assistant poured a yellow solution all over my hair.

Honey Brown Colour During Hair Wash at The Urban Aesthetics

It may look like creamy sauce but is really hair colour! 

I've never had my hair dyed in this way, but I guess there's a first time for everything.

Anyway, we picked a honey brown colour that adds texture and does not require a light base - something I think Emily in Paris would wear. 

Hair Wash with Purple Shampoo at The Urban Aesthetics

After application, the assistant massaged the solution to make sure that every bit of my hair is properly coated.

After 20 minutes, the colour was washed off my hair and it's time for the final toning. 

Hair Wash with Purple Shampoo at The Urban Aesthetics

Purple shampoo was once again poured onto my hair to combat the brassy yellow tones.

The assistant then gave my hair a final wash and applied Advante Treatment to give my hair that extra silkiness. 

After a total of 5 hours, my hair is FINALLY READY for the unveil. 

Bouncy and Gorgeous Look After Getting Emily in Paris Makeover at The Urban Aesthetics
Bouncy and Gorgeous Look After Getting Emily in Paris Makeover at The Urban Aesthetics
Bouncy and Gorgeous Look After Getting Emily in Paris Makeover at The Urban Aesthetics

What do you think?

Bouncy and Gorgeous Look After Getting Emily in Paris Makeover at The Urban Aesthetics

Can I pass off as Emily in Paris?

Bouncy and Gorgeous Look After Getting Emily in Paris Makeover at The Urban Aesthetics

I came on a whim hoping that I could attain some semblance of Emily in Paris and guess what, Leslie delivered beyond my expectations. 

I love love LOVE this hairstyle! 

Although it took us 5 hours to get here, every minute is worth it. 

THANK YOU Leslie and everyone at The Beauty Emporium by The Urban Aesthetics for the amazing hairstyle, attentive service and comfortable experience.

I'm definitely coming back here again!

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