Jittery about your first foray into the workplace and wondering how Zoom might complicate things? Well, you're not the only one.
Some of our Beauty Undercover Agents share that working from home feels like both a blessing and a curse. Blessing: you're comforted by a familiar physical environment. Curse: it feels that much harder to connect with and learn from colleagues you don't see in person - something especially scary for fresh graduates at their first job.
One thing's for sure: it feels good to be able to wake up just 30 minutes before work begins and still start work on time! But that doesn't mean we should stay in our pajamas and be sloppy. While it may be okay for some workplaces, most of us find ourselves wanting to appear professional in front of our colleagues. For some of us, it's still very much a necessity to put on a bit of makeup and get our hair in shape. (Zoom may have filters to beautify your face but it can't fix a bad hair day!)
Here's our tip: If you're not keen to wake up extra early so you can style your hair before work, consider getting a perm! Here are 3 reasons why a perm may just be what you need.
While personal character is equally important, people often form first impressions based on how you look. How your colleagues perceive you can have a huge impact on how they treat and connect with you.
Perms can tame frizzy hair for a more professional look, or help those with flat hair add more volume and oomph. Depending on the type of image you want to portray, perms can texturize your hair and help you put your best face (and hair) forward.
Not all perms are the same but if you go for a low-damage perm, all you need to do is rub some styling lotion in your hair! That's Agent A's experience with the Advante Perm. As she has the habit of washing her hair at night, all she needs to do in the morning is to blowdry her hair and her hair will look presentably tousled for work! To create more definition and make it neater, all she has to do is apply some oils or styilng lotion and her hair is ready for Zoom meetings!
When you've got hair that's always on point, you'll have colleagues asking how you manage to keep your hair looking amazing all the time. That's when you whip out all your hair knowledge from reading Beauty Undercover and share about how low-damage perms minimize hair damage while keeping your curls defined and long-lasting.
Even if you're convinced to get a perm, the next question is: Which one? There are SO MANY perms out there. Which best suits your needs? Read our article on Advante Perm vs Tokio de Sinka vs Shiseido Perm vs MUCOTA perm to find out more.
In the past, you used to have to choose between how long a perm lasts or the level of damage your hair sustains. With recent advances in perm technology, this is no longer the case! Perms can be defined, bouncy and long lasting with minimal damage. Recently launched in Singapore, the Advante Perm is one such example.
To understand more about this perm and its process, we follow recent graduate Agent A who chose to perm her hair at Room Japanese Hair Salon in preparation for her first day of work.
Ohayo, I'm Agent A!
The first thing people often notice about me is that I'm a HUGE fan of Japan.
Do you sometimes get the feeling that you're born in the wrong country?
Well, it feels like that for me.. sometimes.
I save up just so I can travel to Japan.
Even if it's just for a whiff of the sakura scent, it makes me so happy just to be there.
It's not always financially feasible to fly to Japan, so sometimes you'll find me at cosplay events to interact with others who love the Japanese culture as much as I do. I recently graduated, so guess where I got my first job?
Yes! At a Japanese company!
I consider myself lucky since it has been really difficult finding a new job during these COVID times. I'm particularly grateful that I didn't just get a new job - I got one at a Japanese company!
Besides catching up with my friends, I've been trying to prep myself for this new job for the past weeks.
I got my nails done and did some shopping for some professional-looking clothes.
I know many meetings are now done over Zoom but hey, I should still look presentable on cam, shouldn't I?
One area I needed to work on - my hair.
By Singapore standards, I think it's OK.
My relatively long and straight hair may be OK by most Singapore standards but I felt inadequate around my female Japanese colleagues who always look so immaculate.
Long or short, they always have a signature vibe that gets me envious.
I thought the secret must lie in their curls. Many of these Japanese ladies spend at least 30 minutes a day styling their hair to make it look good, even for Zoom. It got me thinking - could I do something to my hair so I look like I put in effort too?
Most people will tell me to "go get a perm lah" but it's not as easy as it seems. The last time I permed my hair, it got quite frizzy and hard to maintain.
In a bind, I asked my stylist and friend Emiko from Room Japanese Hair Salon what she thought might be best for me. Emiko shared that she's been testing a new perm lotion that's highly raved by hairstylists: the Advante Perm. Apparently, it's a revolutionary new perm that claims to create curls without opening hair cuticles, minimising damage. Frizz is therefore not an issue at all! As she was still testing the perm, Emiko asked if I would like to be her hair model.
A new perm that creates lasting curls without frizz? Sign me up now! ~ Agent A
As I hadn't started work yet, I made an appointment immediately at Room Japanese Hair Salon.
Bonus: Room is also an instagrammably-gorgeous new Japanese hair studio located on Amoy Street.
The entire salon is designed to be classy, elegant and cosy, all at the same time. The natural lighting and the whiteness of it all takes my breath away. I was so impressed by the decor, I made Emiko promise that they'll let me use it for my wedding shoot if I ever get married.
This is the state of my hair right now.
My hair could definitely use some TLC.
Before we began, Emiko discussed with me about the styles I would like to achieve - naturally wavy but nothing too obvious; just enough to give me a little bit of personality while still looking professional. Without needing me to explain too much, Emiko understood what I was looking for and began the service.
The first thing she did was to give my hair a trim to remove all the split ends without changing the length too much.
As I was looking for a low-maintenance hairstyle, she also made sure not to give me too many layers so the curls would be "heavier" and easier to manage - something not every Japanese stylist understands!
After the quick trim, she brought me to the sink for a hair wash. This cleared the hair of all the gunk, making it easier for the next step.
As with all perms, it's necessary to break the bonds within the hair to allow a new shape to form later. Emiko explained that this new perm is very innovative as it manages to do so without opening hair cuticles, using a new ingredient called GMT. GMT can penetrate hair even at pH below 7, allowing cuticles to remain closed during the process.
After mixing the right levels of perm lotion, Emiko applied it on the second half of my hair.
After a quick 15 minutes or so, the perm lotion was all applied!
As the hair cuticles were closed (even though the GMT had already penetrated), it was hard to tell visually if my hair was ready for the next step. Hence, Emiko curled a small section of my hair in a roller.
After making sure my hair was ready, Emiko then released them from the roller to check if my hair could retain the new curls.
Looks like we were all ready to go!
Emiko escorted me to the sink and began to rinse off the perm lotion.
Even though she used the Advante shampoo and treatment in the previous step (that includes a number of treatment ingredients that repair the hair), cautious Emiko wanted to make sure that hair damage was minimized. She also applied the spray-on hair treatment Tokio Outkarami at this point to further strengthen my hair before the actual curling process.
To ensure a more natural look, Emiko prepared different sizes of rollers.
Then, she began the rolling process.
Sticks were placed on each side of every roll of hair, then tied securely using rubber bands.
This thoughtful step prevents ugly marks left by tying rubber bands directly on the hair.
After another 20 minutes or so, my hair was all coiled up.
And then, all hooked up to heat.
Heat used was also lower than normal perms to reduce damage.
Once the curls were created, Emiko applied the neutralizer to fix the curls in their place.
The neutralizer was applied everywhere, including my fringe!
After another 15 minutes, my hair was almost ready.
Crazy curls... but don't worry, this isn't the end result.
She brought me for a last hair wash that included a luxurious hair bath using the Tokio 4M Hair Treatment. Given how much I care about hair damage, I'm very grateful to Emiko for going to great lengths to keep my hair healthy!
Back at the seat, Emiko gave my hair a good blow-dry. I didn't know this before but Emiko shared that the first blowdry after a perm is tremendously important as it helps to set the curls.
She took the time to dry the curls in a rotating motion to ensure the curls dried both externally and internally.
This rotating motion also spread heat evenly around the curls.
A little hair spray to add shine to my hair and I was almost done!
Ready to see my transformation?
Remember, my hair used to look like this:
And now, it looks like this:
from the front
from the side
and from the back!
Don't you think I look more Japanese now?
I don't often get the chance to do a mini-photo shoot, so I made use of the opportunity and posed at all the instagrammable spots in Room.
That includes the washroom and even their centrepiece: the staircase!
Maybe it's the curls or maybe just the whole instagrammable decor - I simply couldn't stop playing with my curls.
They're just so soft and bouncy!
Thank you Emiko for the beautiful curls,
and the wonderful experience at Room!
Whenever I miss Japan, I'll just have to visit you and you'll light up my day with a makeover and your signature omotenashi service.
I feel that much more confident about my first day at work thanks to Emiko's beautiful creation.
I've had the perm for 4 weeks now and I must say that I'm still loving it!
Even if I wake up a little late for work (and don't have time for a full hair wash and blowdry), all I have to do is apply some styling lotion to my hair and it'll look Zoom-ready within 5 minutes.
3 weeks after the perm
I also love how my hair remained soft and smooth weeks after the perm; different from my previous perm which turned frizzy easily in humid Singapore.
Most importantly: it's how I feel about myself after the perm! Besides just adding waves, the perm made me look and feel less stodgy and more creative. Maybe because of that, I'm motivated to express myself a little more during work! A good thing, I think.
Thank you for listening to my story!
6 weeks after the perm
Eager to try the new Advante Perm?
We'll be gifting TWO of you with a complimentary Advante Perm if you do the following before 30 September 2020.
Two lucky winners will be selected on 1 October 2020 for a complimentary Advante Perm at one of these top salons:
All the best and have a happy September!
Want to try the above perm as soon as possible?
The price for the Advante Treatment Perm / Straightening is at $390 (includes homecare set worth $40) at Room Japanese Hair Salon.
Read more about Room Japanese Hair Salon and check out any existing promotions!