I have a confession to make: I hate getting my hair cut. I have curly hair, and the waves seem to be kryptonite to most hairdressers – but not at 02 Hair Studio. The independent salon has been beautifying the city for over 20 years, and it shows - they managed to tame my wild mane without leaving me with uneven strands or the dreaded triangle head (if you have curly hair, you know what this is. If you don’t, consider yourself #blessed). Of course they cater to all hair types, but it's worth noting that they're curl-friendly.
02 Hair Studio is in a league of its own in Hong Kong, providing the services and skill of the higher end salons, without the eye-watering price tag. The space itself is homey and comfortable. It’s not as flashy as some other salons, but what it lacks in sparkle it excels in hospitality. Service wise, I loved it. Every single person, from the receptionist to the hair technicians was friendly and helpful. Because it’s an independently run boutique salon, you get unparalleled attention, but not in an overbearing way. It’s all very relaxed and easy, like sitting in a friend’s living room (but with better Champagne and magazines).
I spread my transformation across three visits: a consultation, a dye and a cut. If you're thinking on skipping the consultation–don’t. The extra 10 minute visit shouldn’t be seen as an inconvenience, but rather the key to a good cut. “Come in, sit down, have a coffee and relax. Talk to me, tell me what you want – make it personal” says my stylist Robbie. This initial conversation helps your stylist understand your needs and lifestyle, so they can create the perfect look. They also ensure the salon will have the right colours for your hair, if you’re opting for a bolder look.
My consultation was a quick 15-minute chat about hair colours. Robbie needed to see the condition of my hair to know the best plan of attack. I was sporting a rather tired looking magenta and wanted to transition to a dark blue-grey. Robbie walked me through the process and presented me with a number of colour samples to choose from. A week later I was back in the chair, for real.
It would take seven hours to fully lift my existing pigment and apply the new one. According to Robbie, red pigments are the toughest to remove – and my head was full of them. Magically, however, he managed to lift the colour without destroying my hair. Instead of bleaching me to white, which other salons have done in the past, Robbie brought my hair to a yellow-blonde, which was far less traumatic on my already stressed strands (check out my review of the luxe Kérastase caviar hair treatment here).
He also coloured it with a toner instead of dye–a first for me. And honestly, I love it. The grey-hue, which is notorious for being quick-to-fade, has lasted far longer than I expected. I can easily go six weeks between touch-ups, a bit more if I’m generous with the dry shampoo. Touch-ups are fast and affordable as well – re-application can be done in less than an hour, for around HK$300-$500 depending on hair length.
After my colour was restored, Robbie and I spoke about cuts. For Robbie, a hairstyle needs to fit the client. “Styles depend on style,” he tells me, “If you do something radical, you’ll have to change your clothes and your makeup. You’re changing up your whole look, so it all has to fit together.”
I didn’t want to revolutionise my identity, however, I just wanted to get rid of my dead-ends. And Robbie listened. For the first time in my entire life, I walked out of the salon with exactly what I asked for: about two inches (an actual, real two inches) off the length and a bit of shape to my hair.
It’s been a few weeks since my cut and colour, and I still love my hair. The colour has stayed nicely, despite just being a toner, and long layers let my curls bounce without frizzing out of control. 02 Hair Studio is definitely a favourite of mine in Hong Kong, and worth checking out for your next appointment. If you’re interested in trying them out before you go all in, they offer quick 60-minute blow-outs at lunchtime.
02 Hair Studio, 38 Wyndham Street, Central Hong Kong + 852 2529 6289 , o2hairstudio.com