Vibrant hair colours may be beautiful but its not for everyone.
Certainly not for the fitness junkies among us who prefer to spend her time at the gym more than at the hair salon!
Read more about Agent AT's experience at Izumi Salon to see how Izumi helped sculpted her Summer Sporty look with a Sunkissed Highlights that damages her hair minimally!
Hello I'm Agent AT.
I'm a PR Executive by day and a fitness junkie by night!
You'll either find me at work or at the gym.
Although my job gives me the leeway to experiment with vibrant hair colours, pink or blue hair colour have never been something I liked as they are much too loud for me!
Instead, I prefer my hair to look and feel healthy so I can easily tie it up or leave it down and it still looks good.
I last coloured my hair in January.
As my hair has turned quite brassy and my roots was growing out, I was hoping to give my hair colour a refresh.
I was therefore glad when Agent G contacted me for a sponsored visit with Izumi.
Izumi is a Japanese hairstylist who set up shop in Singapore more than 6 years ago. Agent G shared that Izumi was very popular among forumers in Cozycot and Flowerpod because of her skill in haircut and colouring... and because her command of English is very good! She is one of the few Japanese stylists in Singapore who can speak very fluent English as she spent more than 10 years in New York as a hairstylist!
I've never tried a Japanese hairstylist before so I am excited to try her out!
The salon is located in the SoHo1 area of the The Central mall. If you take the MRT, the lift entrance is on the right once you get out from the escalator.
You've got to dial in the outlet number before you can even enter the place.
So yes, its pretty exclusive and a little hard to get to.
(OK it's not that hard the second time around)
Once I get to the salon, I couldn't help but let out an audible gasp "Wow!"
The salon looks so homely and pretty... and the view is just AWESOME.
I couldn't help but take a selfie!
Izumi salon is run by Izumi and her husband, James.
They welcomed me warmly into the salon... which has only one seat in the entire salon!
The moment I sat down, I could feel Izumi's exclusive attention all on me.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Izumi has already done her homework!
Other than feeling my hair and asking me a few questions on my preferences for hair length and style, Izumi revealed that she actually browsed through my Instagram account the night before to get some ideas on the styles that may suit me!
She noticed that I liked to tie my hair up in a bun so she will make sure that the highlights we are doing today will show up when I tie my hair!
Other than retouching my hair, Izumi also mentioned that my base colour has turned brassy.
Therefore, after the retouch, she will be using a toner to make my base colour "cooler" or more ashy.
It is clear that Izumi knows what she is doing so I was happy to listen to her advice and let her go ahead!
The first step is root retouch.
This step looks easy but to make sure that there is no demarcation actually requires quite a bit of experience and judgment.
I was just amazed when Izumi could accurately and precisely point out that my hair needs to be lightened to level 6.25.
After Izumi was satisfied that the colour retouch was complete, she escorted me to the wash area to wash off the colour!
And yes, she's the one who personally washed my hair! Izumi mentions that this allows her to get a better idea of the customer's hair texture when its wet!
Izumi also focuses more on cleaning the chemicals from the hair so there is less of a hair massage here.
After cleansing, Izumi applied the toner on the hair to achieve the ash colour she was looking for and make my hair less brassy!
She then washed off the toner and applied the one-step Kerastase treatment to protect my hair before the next step!
Finally, I got the chance to see the base colour that Izumi chose for me...
Isn't it GORGEOUS?
It's sleek and matches my skin tone perfectly (something which Izumi tried her best to do)!
Izumi shared that if the right base colour is used, my overall skin tone will actually look brighter... and it certainly does!
Izumi showed me the picture inspiration again to confirm the type of highlights she was going to do.
It definitely looks good!
Before she began, Izumi apologized that she wouldn't be able to speak to me for the next 20 minutes while she applies the prelightener or bleach. This is because she wants to make the bleaching process as speedy as possible to minimize damage on my hair. She mentioned that bleach will NOT damage the hair significantly if it is left on the hair for less than 15 minutes.
As she has to take into consideration the design in such a short span of time, she would have to focus.
I like how professional she is as she very quickly and deftly selected various parts of my hair to do the highlights.
Now, I have A LOT of hair so its not an easy job to make sure that the lightening process is done under 15 minutes!
This is how it looks like after 15 minutes!
Izumi takes the effort to check EVERY SINGLE bleached portion to make sure that the colour reaches the level she is looking for.
Definitely the most meticulous stylist I have seen thus far.
After the hair wash, Izumi applied two different types of treatments for me.
The first: a treatment to nourish the hair with proteins and a second Kerastase treatment to close the cuticle.
Other than Kerastase, she also uses other brands of treatments like Shu Uemura and other treatment brands from Japan but she found this treatment to be most suitable for my hair.
Totally love what I see in the mirror after Izumi blew my hair dry!
I love how the streaks of highlights look so natural and sunny, especially under bright sunlight.
It really complements my sporty look, methinks!
Izumi also mentions that she did the retouch and highlights in such a way that my root regrowth will not be that obvious. She does so by creating a gradation in my base colour from dark to light and inserting the highlights at the right places. This way, even the black hair adds to the overall design!
As Izumi promised, it looks especially good if I tie it up!
I love how my hair doesn't feel dry AT ALL after this experience!
Even days after, my hair feels extremely smooth - not the type of hair texture I usually experience after a bleaching experience! Kudos to Izumi san for her incredible technique and also the quality treatments she used to make sure that my hair is well treated and maintained!
This is my first time getting my hair done in a Japanese hair salon by a Japanese hairstylist and I must say I love the experience!
I felt very well taken care of as I was the only customer in the salon.
It is clear that she is a professional as she does very in depth consultation and has very good technique! Izumi also does everything herself so the quality of the hair service is very high.
Izumi was also very friendly throughout the process, engaging with me in conversation about what I love!
(Yes, we were chatting quite a bit about Japanese food like sea urchins and travelling in Japan!)
Best of all, the results of her hair service is very good! Izumi delivered exactly what she promised - the Sunkissed Highlights look that Hollywood actresses love to go for!
The only three things to take note of:
1) Izumi is not the cheapest hairstylist out there.
Her single hair colour starts from $165 and highlights start from $185. However, you get what you pay for as she gives really good service and has very good technique. She is so good, she just doesn't make mistakes so you don't have to waste your time coming down again for a redo.
2) Izumi does not do crazy hair colours.
As she doesn't believe that vibrant hair colours look good, Izumi simply doesn't offer vibrant colour service. You won't have an issue if you are like me though :)
3) Izumi keeps a tight schedule so you can't add in a service at the last minute... and if you are late, she may have to cancel your appointment!
I considered getting a haircut from Izumi. However, her schedule is usually tightly packed especially on weekends. Therefore, it was not possible for her to give me a haircut at the last minute.
Yes, Izumi is very professional. So if she doesn't believe that she can do a good job within a certain time, she would apologetically reject your request!
Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Izumi Salon.
It is definitely a salon I would readily recommend to friends looking for a great haircut, stylish sunkissed highlights and a wonderful Japanese experience!