Those of us who were born in Western countries don’t truly appreciate our stroke of good fortune in terms of hair and beauty upkeep until we shift to warmer-climate countries like Singapore. All round tropical heat, scorching sun and high humidity, day after day. Never before has the sun been so unrelentingly brazen, and our armpits so plagued with more perspiration than its ever experienced before in its mostly cool, undisturbed past life!
Where once our curls behaved, possessed of a naturally shiny sheen and bounce; now all that’s left is frizz, split ends and unruly hair. Where once our skin didn’t complain so long as we kept it richly moisturized; now breakouts and heat rashes wreak havoc upon us. And where we could easily pop by our favorite neighborhood hairdresser to get our beautiful highlights done; now a trip to the salon could prove disastrous (as in, “Dull copper penny? Horror of horrors!”). Life change, indeed. One that you’d least expect could mess up your life so radically in your newly adopted city!
Team Expat has had their own fair share of hair and beauty woes amid unfamiliarly warm Asian climates, so we decided it was high time we tackled a most important topic… First up, know what you’re in for and prepare for the worst. Here’s some handy hair and beauty tips to practice when the heat is on, like, perpetually:
My Skin Condition Has Gone Down The Bin!
Frequent sweating in the sweltering heat outside can trigger irritating fungal infections like athlete’s foot, acne outbreaks, recurrent boils (folliculitis) and rashes. Oftentimes, such irritations are caused when our sweat glands go on overdrive and get clogged up or trapped, becoming an ideal breeding ground for bacteria formation. In times like these, try using talcum to prevent dampness and stay cool. Sprinkle evenly especially in hard-to-reach crevices!
Exposure to the extreme tropical sunlight also increases your chances of developing skin problems like rosacea or eczema, an inflammatory condition affecting the face, and in graver instances, skin-cancer. Women need to make sure they have their sunscreens ever ready. Select non-greasy, light-weight SPF lotions and apply evenly before heading out. But it’s SO humid, you say? All the more reason to stay hydrated and well moisturized. If you’re working in air-conditioned surroundings, your skin suffers hot-cold-hot onslaught and requires daily moisture protection.
What A Hairy Mess I’m In!
Yes, every international move takes A LOT of getting used to. But when you discover yourself a good hair stylist who can do right by your precious locks, the battle feels half won, doesn’t it? Most Westerners find it hard to adapt to Asian stylists who are not so attuned to Western-type hair. Curly, straight or semi-wavy; blonde bombshell, silver or red—your crown deserves special attention. Here’s some recommended hair and beauty salons for expats who want to look and feel fabulous, whenever, wherever.
Recommended Beauty and Hair Salons for Expats
- Price Range: $85 minimum for a Ladies Cut & Blow Dry | to $220 for Fashion Colour | and $320 for a 165-minute Perm, amongst others. | Rebonding, Keratin Treatment, Root Tints, Ombre or Balayage and more available. Check out Expat Hair Studio’s price list.
- Where: 422 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427642 (Parking at i12 Katong) | Contact No: +65 6444 7929
- Price Range: Starting from $90 for a 45-minute Renew & Boost Facial | to $115 for a 60-minute Treatment of Sensitive Skin and Rosacea | and $150 for a 90-minute Powerful Facial Rejuvenation & Collagen Restoration, among many others! Check out Expat Beauty Room’s services here.
- Where: Immanuel Beauty and Wellness, Forum Shopping Mall – Office Tower #08-03, 583 Orchard Rd, Singapore, 238884 | Contact: +65 9231 7008 | email: email@example.com
- Price Range: Starting at $64 for men, $89 and $108 for women, respectively.
- Where: 33 Erskine Road 01-08 Singapore 069333 | Contact: +65 6224 5156
- Price Range: Starting from $95 for Hair Cut and Styling | to $60 and up for Keratin Repair Treatments | and $100 and up for Color Glossing
- Where: Trimmings & Spa @ Loewen, 75 B Loewen Road Singapore 248852 | Contact: +65 6471 1922 or Trimmings & Spa @ Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street #02-17 SIngapore 237995 | Contact: +65 6737 8512
- Price Range: Starting from $30 for cuts to $180 for Highlights.
- Where: 101 Upper Cross Street People’s Park Centre #02-26
- Price Range: Starting from $85 and up for a Director’s Haircut to $165 for Colouring | and $200 and up for funky Creative Colour, Balayage, Ombre or Punk Colours, among others.
- Where: 33 Lowland Road, Unit H Singapore, 547429 | Contact: +65 8106 8099 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price Range: Starting from $70 for Stylist to $129 for the Director’s cut | and above $161 for Highlights and Colouring depending on the scope.
- Where: Holland Village, 24B Lorong Mambong 277683 | Contact +656466 2660 | There are also salons located at the Marina Bay, East Coast, Mandarin Gallery, Novena, River Gallery, Rochester Mall and the Star. Exact locations here
If you’re an expat with a good head for more great hair and beauty finds, share your top salon picks in Singapore with us. Stay beautiful!