The Frenchmen: Yann Beyrie

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Leave it to a French hairstylist who was trained in the home of haute couture to treat hair like a precious material, meant to be shaped and coloured to perfection. It is this devotion to enhancing each individual’s hair through “minimal precision cutting” that motivated Beyrie to launch his namesake salon in Wisma Atria (#03-01D) in April.

With 12 years of experience (former creative director at Toni & Guy Singapore, plus stints with Toni & Guy Paris, as well as Trevor Sorbie and Vidal Sassoon in London), his focus is on creating modern – bespoke, if you must – hairstyles to satisfy his client’s desires. “Small, big, classic, crazy, funky, sophisticated – whatever they want to see their hair in, we can do it,” he says.

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The culmination of a long-time dream to have his own salon, the stylish, uber-minimalist space features an industrial raw concrete floor and two neat rows of chairs lined up against the opposite wall. Free of clutter, this offers a visual “breathing space” for him and his customers, says Beyrie.

Unsurprisingly, he’s also chosen to use premium tools such as Dyson Supersonic hairdryers (proven to dry hair faster and with less frizz) and GHD hair straighteners, as well as organic haircare products from Italian brand Davines (his personal favourite) that are free of sulphates and parabens.

Aside from his deft cuts, one of Beyrie’s specialities is balayage, the hair colouring technique that originated from France, where dye is painted on with a brush for a natural sun-kissed effect. He says: “Hair is art and should be respected.” Spoken like a true artist.

The K-Beauty Pro: Lois Park

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Much has been said about the flawless, dewy complexion that Korean girls seem to be born with, but equally influential are their pretty hallyu waves that seem to look permanently, perfectly coiffed. To help clients achieve those coveted bouncy curls, Park uses a combination of personalised Korean-style cuts, colouring techniques and perms, as well as the LKJ Cinderella Keratin Treatment.

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“LKJ” is short for Leekaja, the nine-month-old Mandarin Gallery (#03-13) salon where Park is director. The service, developed by in-house experts, uses organic ingredients like aloe vera, vitamins and collagen to restore lustre to over-treated locks.

“Korean women like to look trendy yet elegant,” says Park, who’s been in the business for over 25 years. “At the same time, Korean styles – which give volume to the crown and look naturally wavy – are easy to maintain, which is what Singaporeans like as well.”

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The 3,000 sq ft salon is one of the newest additions to the international, Seoul-based salon chain, which also has branches in the US, China and Australia. Here, customers are treated to cosy Korean hospitality: fresh coffee or cold-pressed juice, free mobile charging ports, and comfortable slippers that they can change into.

There’s also a menu of Korean-style beauty services, including nail art using products by eco-friendly Korean brand Bandi, as well as eyelash extensions using lashes imported from Park’s homeland, and eyebrow embroidery. One visit and your full K-pop makeover will be complete.

The “Artist”: Katsuhito Akimichi

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The Japanese are well known for their attention to detail and high levels of customer service. At nine-month-old S.A.D’s Hair Design (#01-01 RV Point), these aspects are amplified by the fact that it can host just two customers
at a time.

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Designed with cool Omotesando-style interiors, the space boasts raw concrete floors, and framed images of animals sporting chic ’dos (brought in from Japan). The highly personalised service is further enhanced by two ergonomic salon chairs and a movable washbasin by Japanese manufacturer Takara Belmont. What this means: that customers can settle in for a true VIP hair treatment from start to end.

Creature comforts aside, owner Akimichi (who owns three other salons in Japan – Switch, Arut and Diptych – their initials are combined to form the name of his Singapore outpost) is banking on his skills. He’s been a hairstylist for 16 years, and aims to provide customers with “not just a trim, but to transform their appearance so that they look different when they leave the salon”.

After all, his signature choppy cuts combined with rich, intense colouring techniques (think highlights, balayage and ombre) are what Japanese rock stars rock. With true Japanese attention to detail, he not only patiently chats with every customer before picking up his shears, but will also call them a few days after to check in on their hair.

What’s his bet on the next big Japanese hair trend to reach Singapore? He says: “Women in Japan are moving away from kawaii looks to more cool-looking styles, such as darker tones in the hair.”

This story first appeared in Female’s September 2017 issue.

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