We put six salons to the test for one of KL's favourite little indulgences: the classic wash and blow.
Probably better known for their more elaborate styles, the number76 group of salons brings a taste of Japanese street fashion to KL. We felt a little boring having just a wash and blow here, but even then, service was swift and sound. There’s also a fast Japanese efficiency to the whole salon. This is great if you’re after something quick and good, but we didn’t quite like the feeling of being rushed. The blow-dry part of the session was done by two people and quite brusquely, which made us feel like maybe they were hurrying us out.
We’re guessing that going to number76 for a wash and blow is like going to a fine-dining restaurant and ordering a side of beans. You’re better off coming here for one of the fancier services, such as hair colouring and signature cuts, which are apparently sought after by local bloggers and celebrities.
We really like…
feeling like we’re in Japan. What’s not to love about coming out with your hair blow dried into cute kawaii flicks? Also, the salon offers great promotions and a relaxing, indulgent hair treatment on your birthday month.
Remember the movie ‘Steel Magnolias’, about a community of women and the local hairdressing salon that holds them and their years of friendship together? Jacq’s & Jan’s is KL’s version of that. Just about all our friends’ mums have had their hair styled here at some time or other, with good reason – mother knows best, after all. The quality of all their services, from a simple wash and blow to perming and dyeing, is solid and lasting.
It’s a no-frills salon – what you see is what you get. But the washes are so thorough and the styling done so carefully that after leaving the salon, your hair can last for up to a week without needing much touching up. Many of the clientele don’t bother washing their own hair, choosing to come here for their regular fix.
We really like…
the homeliness of the salon. Everyone is your auntie and your friend, and the stylists are great at remembering you, your personal preferences and hair history. Start a conversation with other clients, swap recipes and sometimes even eat some of the owner’s handmade cake.
Located in Publika, Hair Quarters is a great combo of convenience, style and quality. Also, although it’s located in a fairly modern upmarket locale, the wash and blow here maintains a classic touch so you get all the goodness of traditional, old-fashioned techniques in a comfortable, new setting.
While shopping mall salons tend to blur together, Hair Quarters surprised us by giving us one of the best hair washes we’ve had in a long while. After a preliminary check to determine the best type of shampoo for our hair and scalp, the stylist really took her time over a leisurely but very thorough wash and a heavenly head, neck and shoulder massage.
The blow drying and styling were also not rushed and done carefully with a lot of attention, so that every last strand felt well attended to and loved.
We really like…
the massage – we can’t get enough of it! While the neck massage and head rub aren’t the main attractions, we think this alone is well worth coming back for. As well as getting our hair to its softest and shiniest best, they also ironed out all the kinks and knots in our shoulders.
You don’t get old-school hair salons like this anymore. Ming has been around for more than 20 years and once you step through the door, you’ll be transported straight back to 1988.
Less is more here. The brands of products aren’t fancy and they might not boast a big range of new-fangled technology or tools, but it’s all in the technique at salons like Ming – and when it comes to getting a really top wash and blow, that’s what counts the most.
There’s just the right amount of vigorous scrubbing and massage to give your hair a squeaky-clean shine, but not so much that it leaves your hair feeling abused and overworked. That takes skill and finely honed precision. This is an art, and though it may be dying out, it’s still one that can be found only in this part of the world.
We really like…
how much bang you get for your buck. The things we now think of as extras in the new generation of salons are a given at Ming – from the Chinese tea to the awesome head massage. This was our cheapest session but arguably the best.
The brand spanking new Centro W Salon at The Gardens is where you’ll experience a whole other level of luxury hairstyling. Decked out in plush carpets, swanky light-boxes, avant-garde trimmings and a mirrored ceiling, the 14-seater salon boasts a gorgeous ambience. A must-try are the Takara Belmont signature Yume chairs which come equipped with swivel massages and 180-degree reclining for the ultimate in relaxation and pampering. The massive 2,600 space also offers two VIP rooms, a quick cut area for customers on the go, a cloak room and an exclusive manicure/pedicure area. Prepare to be wowed. They didn’t put a W in their name for nothing.