Hi, I'm Agent EO.
I'm a mom who is currently working in a back-end function within the financial industry. Due to long working hours and the fact that I don't have the chance to have face-to-face contact with customers, I've become a little lazy about managing my hair.
This is possibly why my hair turns out like this...
Terrible right? This isn't the worst... I can even look like Sadako on bad hair days...
Honestly, that affects my self-esteem somewhat when going out with friends or meeting other people. What to do though? My hair is just so naturally curly and frizzy, and I just don't have the time to make it look good.
I tend to rebond my hair when it gets too crazy, which explains the harsh transition from curly to straight hair. It's been a few months since I last rebonded my hair. Hence, I was looking for a salon to do so before the festive season.
Luckily for me, a good friend of mine, who happens to be hairstylist Rina's regular customer, asked if I would like to be Rina's hair model. She has just opened a new salon. Hair Illustrated, and needed someone to try their new Clinic Perm using Paimore GRATS perm lotion for very damaged hair, like mine. Given how much my friend raved about Rina, I was only too grateful to say yes.
It was a little difficult to find the salon in Raffles City but wow! I can't help but be impressed when I first entered.
Everything looked so sparkling new, bright and spacious! There were big mirrors everywhere and the receptionist was so attentive, they served me tea immediately. Yep, this is definitely a luxury salon!
I was sort of surprised when I first met Rina. I expected her to be slightly older because of her skills but was pleasantly surprised to see how young and pretty she is in person. Although she is Korean, her command of English is so good that it was really easy to talk to her.
Although my hair was super messed up, Rina knew exactly what I needed to make it presentable. I shared with her my wish to have a low or zero maintenance hair (I'm the kind who wants my hair to be ready to go in minutes!), and she promised that she can help me achieve that with several hair services:
1) Hair Colour: My roots have grown out quite a bit and so she recommended to colour my roots and then the rest of my hair to make the hair colour closer to my natural hair colour. This way, I wouldn't have to always go for colour retouch and my hair will still look good.
2) Clinic Magic Setting Perm: I need to straighten my roots to remove the crazy waviness. To make sure that my hair doesn't lose all of its volume, Rina also suggested doing their clinic magic setting perm at the ends to give it some volume. That is suitable for very damaged hair like mine.
Seeing how confident Rina is made me feel at ease...this is definitely a stylist I can trust!
As my roots have grown out quite a bit, Rina thought it best to first retouch the roots to match with the rest of the hair, which will be coloured lavender brown.
To accelerate the process, Korean stylist Anson also came by to help out. With two stylists attending to me, I felt somewhat like a princess or a chaebol tai-tai I see in Korean dramas... haha!
First, they sectioned the hair and carefully applied the colour to ensure that everything is coloured well.
To accelerate the process, a plastic cover was used to cover my face and heat was applied so that the colour can penetrate my hair faster.
My hair is then washed 10 minutes after.
Anson used the Tokio Shampoo and Treatment which helps to nourish my hair a little before starting the perm.
Back at the seat, Rina applied a special pre-treatment from Paimore. Application of perming lotion tends to damage the hair somewhat and this pre-treatment will reduce the damage.
After pre-treatment, it is time to apply the perm lotion.
My hair condition is however quite special. My root regrowth is very strong because it is not chemically treated whereas the lengths of my hair are very damaged because my hair has been rebonded for more than 2 times and coloured multiple times. Just applying normal perm lotion, therefore, doesn't work for me.
Rina used two different perm lotions of different strengths. The roots area - the typical perm lotion from Shiseido and the damaged ends, their new high-end Paimore GRATS Perm lotion.
Most perming lotions are alkaline and can, therefore, open the cuticles so that they can penetrate and break the existing bonds.Paimore GRATS is different; it doesn't open the cuticles but is still able to penetrate through the cuticle and break the bonds so that the hair can be remodelled. This special characteristic causes the Paimore GRATS perm solution to exert low damage that it can perm even bleached hair!
Since my hair is quite damaged by multiple rounds of rebonding and colour that it is almost like bleached hair, Rina thought that it would be perfect to use Paimore GRATS on my hair.
After 20 minutes of processing, it was time to wash off the perm lotion.
My hair looked a lot straighter after the perm lotion but it is still not sufficient. Rina says that it has to be straightened further as my hair will look very frizzy once it is dry.
She decides to trim my hair at this point.
She suggested a fringe cut to better frame my face... an idea I gladly welcome! Haven't had a fringe for quite some time!
After drying my hair, Rina embarked on the volume rebonding process.
To an untrained eye, the process of straightening may look ordinary.
Agent G, however, saw some differences. The sections and the angles taken are very well selected and different from the usual stylist.
Instead of doing the C Curl Perm separately, Rina is so good that she can combine both the volume rebonding and C Curl perm at the same time in one fluid motion for a very natural C Curl Rebonding.
Anson helped to connect the perm rods to the machine once everything is straightened and curled.
Agent G says that this Paimore machine is apparently the newest and most advanced perm machine in Singapore. It is currently used by most of the top perm salons in Singapore. It transmits heat very evenly to the hair in a cyclic manner, and it will heat the hair up to the specified temperature and then down again. This allows the hair to be curled at a lower temperature while making sure that the hair turns out bouncy and lasting afterwards. Combined with the Paimore GRATS lotion, my hair can be permed at a temperature of just 60 degrees Celsius, which is very low, isn't it (usual perm temperature is 120 degrees and above)?
This is my first time perming so I was just that little bit nervous about how funny / auntie-ish I looked.
I took a selfie for my hubby and he teased me about it.The process takes about 15 minutes and I drank some tea while waiting.
This is how my hair looked after 15 minutes when all the rods were removed.
To remove any kinks caused by the rods, Rina ironed the intersections where the rods were being curled.
By now, I've spent about 3 hours at the salon and I still have the colour + application of neutralizer to go. To speed up the process, Rina suggested to do both at the same time, something pretty new to me. She mixed a special lavender brown that she believes will complement my skin colour and applied that to my hair.
After application of the colour, she then applied the neutralizer. I was a little nervous when she applied the colour because I have had bad experiences at other salons which burn my scalp with low quality colour dye. There were no such problems this time around, the dye did not have a strong smell and did not cause any discomfort to my hair.
After about 15 minutes, it was time to wash.
A little more toning during the washing process... and we are almost done!
I can already see the slight lavender tint when Rina blew my hair dry.
The perfectionist in Rina, however, did a little bit more trimming to complete the look.
Just a quick reminder of how I looked before:
And now for the after!
My hair looks so pretty now, I simply can't believe my own transformation! I've rebonded my hair SO MANY times in the past but they always simply made my hair look straight for a few months.
But this time, it's just so voluminous!
It also feels so soft, I can't help but keep touching it!
Beyond volume, this new hairstyle made me look and feel a lot more feminine, something I've dreamed but never really thought I could carry. Very very glad that Rina was able to bring out this side of me.
It's been a few weeks and the curls still hold up very well. Thanks to Rina for teaching me how to blow-dry my hair (and my fringe), I now know how to get the wavy look by blow-drying my hair in just 5 minutes. The colour has faded to a subtle reddish brown with a slight purple tint but that's fine with me. I'm just glad that it doesn't look yellow like it did in the before.
Thank you, Rina, for rescuing my hair and making me feel beautiful again! I don't know how long this will last (eg. when my roots will grow out) but I'm loving my new hair so much! Rina says that my roots won't look so jarring as my ends are also curled. Regardless, I'm glad that I now have someone I know I can return to when my hair becomes crazy again. I just hope that Rina doesn't become too busy when I come back in a few months!
Interested to find out more about Rina, Hair Illustrated's signature perm? Read more about Hair Illustrated enjoy exclusive promotions here.