December 01, 2013

Hair Revamp @ Xpect Studio Orchard International Building

xpect studio perm color before and after

Hi lovelies, if you have been following me on Instagram, you probably know that I had 7-8 inches of the length of my hair snipped, permed my hair the first time in my life and also had my hair colored including some highlights.


As clinche as it may sound, I walked into Xpect Studio over at Orchard International Building not knowing what to expect.

For those of you whom are not familiar, Orchard International Building is actually just beside Shaw House, Shaw Lido, Isetan Scotts.

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Xpect Studio is in the same building as the very pretty TCC which has got chandeliers and Victorian-style furnishings. To get to Xpect Studio, just walk straight all the way from where the white arrow is (entrance of International Building) and you will see Xpect Studio.

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About Xpect Group and Xpect Studio

The X’pect Group first burst into Singapore’s hair scene in 1998 with its very first outlet at Sunset Way as the brainchild of Eddie Tan and Angeline Hang. With over 20 years in the hair industry, Eddie has set himself apart as a leader in hair trends, winning for himself several awards, most notably the 2002/03 Singapore Hairdressing Award which saw him go on to represent the country at the Global Hair Awards in Italy.

Fast forward fifteen years on, X’pect has grown from a one outlet brand to a hair industry force to be reckoned with. With five outlets in key parts of the country, namely Sunset Way store, Liang Court, Orchard International Building, Square 2 and the newest, Texture by X’pect @ Siglap, X’pect has been redefining the Singaporean hair industry one mane of hair at a time.

Xpect Studio is the place to go for any urban fashionista looking for a chic haircut and classy colours.


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Wei Ling (Salon Manager) was my stylist for the day.

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Wei Ling asked if I had any idea of what I want to do to my hair and I was like, "Hmm.. color perhaps?" She suggested perming and showed me some ideas of what she think suits me.

In case you are wondering what's the hairstyle that she showed me, here it is!

japanese hair inspiration

She was telling me that we could chop off the length, perm the ends (c-curl) and do soft rebonding on the top to make my hair less frizzy and cut bangs (cuz I told her my previous stylist didn't want to cut bangs for me as he claims that it will make my face look too squarish).

You know girls being girls, we need a lot of reassurance and trust that our hairstylist know what they are doing before letting them handle our hair - especially when I have long straight hair since 2010!

In the picture below, you can see Wei Ling trying to help me visualize the end result of my hair.

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Actually, I have meant to go for shoulder length hair since my previous hair cut but my stylist then said that it would make the bottom of my hair curl in a messy way since my hair was rebonded. Hence, when Wei Ling suggested shoulder length, I was actually squealing in delight. I mean of course deep inside I was half debating - what if I miss my long straight hair? So many what ifs came through my mind. But I told myself, "Change is the only constant." And I can't simply just have or live with my straight long hair forever right? I don't know if its just me or what but somehow, I have become so much more conservative especially when it comes to changing of hairstyles and also in terms of dressing compared to when I was much younger. Can you imagine I once had a bob haircut with steps at the back and my fringe was half bangs half slope with one side of my hair longer than the other?

Here's an obligatory 'before' shot before snipping off my long tresses. Ah, I look so sleepy in here. :X

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In case you are wondering, I rebonded my hair in 2010 and had my hair colored twice since then.

Here's Wei Ling hard at work - trimming my tresses to a 'U' shape close to a straight line which is all in the rage currently instead of 'V'. 

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BYE-BYE LONG HAIR! We will meet someday.

After my haircut, Wei Ling and Zhi Qiang started prepping my hair for perming.

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Did I mention that Wei Ling and Zhi Qiang work very well together? They have been working together for very long so Zhi Qiang knows what Wei Ling wants without Wei Ling having to prompt him every now and then.

In case you haven't realised, Wei Ling and Zhi Qiang really work together hand in hand. Most of the salons that I go to, if I opt for Director, the Director will simply cut my hair and leave the rest (shampooing, coloring, treatment etc) to his or her assistant. But at Xpect Studio, Wei Ling (Salon Manager) does perming, coloring side by side together with Zhi Qiang!

After Zhi Qiang clipped my rolled up hair to this machine (I don't know what is it called) but I call it the octopus because I think it resembles one, I asked Wei Ling about perming after care.

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And because sharing is caring, I have put down the questions that I asked Wei Ling and her answers just for you!

Q: Do I have to apply any hair oil to my hair after perming?
A: Just use your regular hair serum will do.

Q: Will I have to twirl my hair to maintain the curls?
A: No, this is because yours is c-curls which are just curled just at the ends.

Q: Do I have to use special shampoos/conditioners/treatment/hair mask after perming?
A: No, this is because yours is c-curls which are just curled just at the ends.

Q: How long do I have to wait after perming before I can shampoo my hair?
A: Its best to wash your hair 2 days after perming your hair.

Zhi Qiang kept asking me if I'm nervous because this is the first time that I'm perming my hair. He is very attentive in the sense that he make sure that I feel comfortable. He kept asking if I feel sleepy or if I need to go to the ladies.  

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After Zhi Qiang checked my hair, the rollers were removed and my hair looked like this from the back.

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Did the picture above shocked you? You are probably thinking, "Ajuma max or something along that line." But fret not because this is not the final result.

After perming, its time to straighten my hair from the roots.

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Wei Ling calls this soft rebonding. She says that this will make my hair look less frizzy and yet not flat like conventional rebonding.

After which, neutraliser was applied to my hair and left on for a while before it was rinsed, followed by shampooing of my hair.

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Ta-dah! Here's my new hairstyle - bangs with shoulder length hair with c-curls.

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Pardon my excitement but because its my first time perming my hair, I went overboard taking pictures of my hair. Here's how my curls look like from the back and the side. 

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Here's how my hair looks like 2 days after perming.

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I went back to Xpect Studio at Orchard International Building 2 days after I permed my hair to... color my hair!

I showed Wei Ling a couple of pictures that I found online of Korean hairstyles with the hair color that I like. 

korean hair inspiration 1

korean hair inspiration 2

I particularly like the hair color of the Korean girl in the white dress. I can't quite describe the color but its somewhat a hint of burgundy and milk tea color. And if you were to look at it carefully, there's like two-tone color, similar to that of highlights but not as obvious-looking as highlights. When I asked Wei Ling about it, she told me that its actually highlights but the colors used are rather close to each other hence its not the I-CAN-TELL-YOU-HIGHLIGHTED-YOUR-HAIR at one glance. 

Wei Ling helped me to choose colors that complements my skin tone before coloring and highlighting my hair. 

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I like how the coloring and highlight process over at Xpect Studio ain't pricking on my scalp. Unlike other salons, they don't massage hair dye into your hair or pile on leftover dye at your crown area. Frankly speaking, I love coloring my hair but one of the reason why I seldom color my hair apart from the fact that it may make my hair dry is that I can't stand the pricking sensation on my scalp during the coloring process. My pampering session at Xpect Studio ended with a treatment - did I mention that the steamer emits warm air followed by cold air? 

Ta-dah! Here's how my hair look like after coloring and highlighting. 

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I like how it makes me look brighter as a whole, not too over-the-top and still appropriate for work. 


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With the wonderful people from Xpect Studio Orchard International Building

Special thanks to Wei Ling and Zhi Qiang for making my hair pretty! I love my new hairstyle very much!  


X’pect Studio
360 Orchard Road
#01-09/10
Orchard International Building
Singapore 238869

Opening Hours:
Mondays to Fridays: 11.00am – 9.00pm
Saturdays, Sundays and Selected Holidays: 10.30am – 8.00pm


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