Would you go to a neighbourhood hair salon?

I skipped the DIY hair coloring and went to a neighbourhood hair salon some weeks ago to have my hair highlighted instead. The result was fine, and I don’t have much to complain about. I paid S$138 for my short hair with the lowlights and highlights, as opposed to having to shell out $200+ at my usual salon in town. But I declined the colorist’s request to cut my hair because that’s something I won’t compromise on. Only my hairstylist can cut my hair.

May lack consistency
Actually, some neighbourhood salons aren’t too bad. I was going to them to have my hair cut and permed until my teens. Admittedly, their services can get a little sloppy at times and perms are not always great because I usually had two different hairdressers curling my hair so the consistency wasn’t always right as well. Later, I learnt to ask for one person to curl my hair but only got obliged if the salon wasn’t packed.

May lack ambience
In terms of ambience, of course few neighbourhood salons can match up to those in town with sleek looking decors or built-in wall TVs. In addition, the selection of magazines are usually not as recent and not as interesting. Even the washing areas are less exclusive. But does that really matter? If my hairstylist were to work in a neighbourhood salon, I’ll still visit him there to have my hair cut.

Paying for dedicated service
In fact, that happened some years back when he went to work for a friend in Jurong. And then when he moved to Le Salon at Takashimaya which was so expensive, I still continue using his service. The salon is known for the unique creativity and does have extra services like a dedicated lady to dust off your hair after your haircut, but really, what mattered to me was the end result. Yet, I had to pay through my nose just to have my hair cut by him. Good thing he decided to move on and that helped eased a big load off my pocket too!

Hairstylists doubling up and taking other salon jobs
Skills aside, I think if we cut out the snob factor, some of our hair services can be done at the neighbourhood hair salon. In fact, some of these salons have good hairstylists and colorists too. Just that instead of just focusing on design a cut or coloring, they could also be doubling up to shampoo and blow dry your hair.  I’ve even seen some doubling up as cashiers!  And that’s probably one of the reasons why we don’t have to pay so much too!

Share your neighbourhood hair salon experience
So do you go to a neighbourhood hair salon or an upmarket hair salon? What services would you go for at a neighbourhood salon and what was your experience like? Me? I’ll stick to highlighting, coloring and hair treatments. Other than that, I’ll visit my usual hairstylist in town.


  1. pf1123 says:

    I actually don’t mind neighbourhood hairstylists. However, I got way too many bad haircuts at neighbourhood salons when I was growing up. (Half the time, people thought I was a boy. The other half, people thought I’m my younger brother’s mum) I came to a conclusion that my hair requires more professional help.

    I really hate it when the neighbourhood hairstylists cuts my hair with gusto! I have very thick and unruly hair…and they seem to enjoy themselves very much chopping them off….

    I would not mind going for a trim if I have “normal” hair. But since I rebond my hair, I can’t do a trim any old how…as my hair would go haywire after that. So, I have always waited till my hair grows out (9 mths for long hair or 5 mths for medium length) before going back to do rebond, cut and/or colour.

    So, I have been using the service at Kimage for >10yrs. Right now moved to Kimage prestige. No regrets! ?

  2. SLIV says:

    I’ve always enjoyed the neighborhood salon, but I find as soon as I become comfortable with a stylist they end up moving somewhere else. Stylists tend to move about more than say a doctor or dentist…the nature of the business I suppose!

  3. Jyoan says:

    I do an alternate between HDB and famous salons, because each time I go, I feel disappointed with both. So the next time I would tell myself, Hey, the HDB is no good, I shall try proper salon. The next time I will say, oh, so expensive and I am still utterly disappointed, just go to a HDB salon will do. hahaha.

    But I think my hair cut this year is not too bad. Did it at HDB salon. Previous year, I did it at expensive salon in M’sia. Also very satisfied.

    I just can’t stand Monsoon or its subsidaries that’s all. Totally fed up already.

  4. Isabelle says:

    I guess what really matters is to find a really good stylist that suits you, and stick to him/her.

    My regular hairstylist is a neighbourhood stylist in Jurong with a shop that’s like a hole in the wall. Although I live on the other end of Singapore, I’ve been going back to her for the past 5 years.

    She took her time to really find out my lifestyle, my hair type and the type of “look” that I like. And everytime, I walk away from her salon satisfied, and I remain satisfied 3 weeks after the hair cut/colour/dye/perm.

    I think that sort of comfort level is something that I could never find in any other salons – upscale or neighbourhood.

  5. Vonvon says:

    Yes, I go to my neighborhood hair salon for everything, cutting, highlight, dyeing, etc…. so does my hubby and my little girl also gets her hair cut there every month…she likes to keep her fringe short, can’t blame her, or she would get all sweaty on her forehead in our weather.

    Price-wise OK, service good, so why fork out more money for the name?

  6. pf1123 says:

    Actually, I am not ALL THE TIME satisfied with my old time salon hairstylist haircuts as well. She can’t replicate cuts that I like. But, can’t blame her. I, myself, don’t do things exactly the same all the time.

    But yeah….now that I found a very experienced hairstylist, I leave him my hair with no instruction. Just merely, short or leave it to grow long. Low maintenance cuts. I pay for rebonding and I expect my life not to be complicated by a new hairstyle.

    Yes…but that comes at a high price. Sighhhhh….what to do. ?

  7. JanetChew says:

    hmm .. i’m not particular about who cuts my hair really, so i guess that puts me in a tiny group of ladies who doesn’t go to a regular stylist.

    It’s a case of a $10 dollar cut for my case and whoever’s available then.Time is of essence to me and i don’t fancy an hour’s wait to get my hair trimmed and primed.But it helps to carry a photo along to help them,help you ?

  8. Sherry says:

    I don’t like go salon they will tell you add this and that for your hair. then the bill end up alot

  9. JacquiA says:

    I have stalked….errr “followed” my stylist for years! He has moved on and opened his own shop now however he is so far away but I still go to him. No one else can come near my head!! I have severe hair loss problems and he is the only one who has never gone on and on about the latest and (quite often) most expensive product that supposedly will help my hair grow literally overnight! He has gently given me advice and guidance on taking care of whatever I hair I have left;)

  10. Stephanie says:

    Haha =#k8SjZc9Dxk~#k8SjZc9Dxk= (chuckled) at your reply with last post.

    I normally DIY hair dye, but I have went to some neighborhood and upscale salons to get highlights/ extreme hair color like bright pink since those colors are harder to get right unless you get it done pro.

    But neither neighborhood nor upscale could give me the exact haircut/haircolor that I wanted!

    So for the past couple years I’ve been cutting my own bangs, and I also cut my husby’s hair too.

  11. sesame says:

    Oh you’re with Kimage! I was a bit intimidated by their image when I was younger – think funky haircut.

    But what you wrote about neighbourhood salon is true…their cut is more than often, less than satisfactory. Sometimes my end up looking like an auntie’s! So now, I won’t even go to them for a trim. Either I go to my hairstylist or I just live with what I have.

  12. sesame says:

    I guess…you’ve got to be ready to move with them if you really like them enough.

    Btw, please take note of my comment policy. SEO names are disallowed and I typically delete those comments. Appreciate if you use your own name when commenting.

  13. sesame says:

    Actually even my haircuts are not always consistent. Sometimes my hairstylist do a great job and then subsequently, I may not be so happy with the cut too.

    Never tried Monsoon. I can’t stand Reds. Had a tiff with the boss before because he cut my fringe so short I looked like an idiot.

  14. sesame says:

    It’s great you’re able to find someone you’re totally comfortable with and go to her even though she’s so far away. I’m usually happy with mine, just that sometimes, it may take 3 weeks later when the hair grow longer! Haha…

  15. sesame says:

    It’s good you have a neighbourhood salon that suits you and your family. It’s true…if you’re happy with the service, then there’s no need to move around too much.

  16. sesame says:

    Don’t know about you but I find a guy cuts a lady’s hair better and vice versa. May not always apply but based on experience, seems to be the case for me.

  17. sesame says:

    Oh you’re good then cos it’s one burden off your back! At least you won’t have to go through the hassle of making appointments, travelling to a certain destination and then waiting for your cut. Not to mention, fork out more $$$.

  18. sesame says:

    You reminded me that the neighbourhood salon actually tried to get me to sign up for a tiny package. But I decline. I don’t get this at my regular salon. Maybe it’s because I know my hairstylist too.

  19. sesame says:

    Okay, I know exactly what you’re saying cos I had the same problem. I don’t have a lot of hair but I’m not losing hair. So everytime I go to a new salon, they’ll be pointing at my scalp and going like “tsk tsk, so little hair!” and that’s really really annoying! Then, they’ll do their sales pitch as usual. ?

  20. sesame says:

    So you’ve not found someone who can give you that wow factor yet. But it’s good you’re able to cut your own bangs and your hub’s. I used to cut my own bangs years ago too.

  21. pf1123 says:

    Yes. Kimage gives the impression of funky haircuts!

    However, they don’t style their customers like they do to each other. Hahahaha….I’m sorry to do a bit of raving here…but I can’t help it!

    Ben Fong from Plaza Sing Kimage Prestige was the first move away from my long time hairstylist at one fo the regular Kimage.

    I went to Ben to do rebonding, colour and haircut. I reached at 6:30pm. As I have exceptionally thick hair, he and an assistant had to blow dry my hair for abt 15-20mins each time.

    I wanted to cut my hair short. Ben spent more than 30mins at it!!! Not the usual chop chop layer cuts I get. And the haircut STAYS IN SHAPE for 6mths!!! None of my cuts was ever like that. So, I went back to him again.

  22. pf1123 says:

    Oh, the first time he did my haircut and finished at 1145pm….didn’t cut corners (pun not intended) even though it was so late.

  23. Gwen says:

    Once you find a good hairdresser, stick onto him/ her like a leech!

    I can count the number of times I’ve gone for a branded salon on my one hand. It’s nice to give yourself a treat once in a while but I often get the feeling that they’re too “posh” to care about me.

    I’ve been going to Gerald at Oops in Bishan for years and he always does a great job. O’Color at Marine Parade Central is also good for colouring.

  24. nora says:

    I go to salon to rebond & trim/cut my hair. I’ve tried the HDB salons before too. Some are good & others not so great.
    However, the big salon that I’ve gone for few years now, is getting on my nerves by pushing me to buy all these hair treatment/products. I just hate it.
    The big salon is posh with good ambience & even serves green tea to each client but being pushy is driving me away. The service is just ok.
    I thought of changing salons or just go to the HDB hairdressers which are without any frills.

  25. sesame says:

    Wow, 6 months is impressive! Mine is 3 months at most. But like Ben, my hairstylist takes pain to cut my hair too. Sometimes up to 45 mins. Just that he doesn’t advice me to do anything more to my hair like perming. Now I’m thinking of growing my hair a little longer…wonder what he’ll say.

  26. sesame says:

    Yup…but my hairstylist is growing old and I wonder how many more years will he want to continue cutting hair.

  27. sesame says:

    Oh they push you? I hate that! I think I’m lucky that my hairstylist never does that and doesn’t encourage his assistants to do that. So I’ve been pleased going along wherever he went. Just that for some places, it was more of a pinch.

  28. pf1123 says:

    I’m also growing my hair long since Ben gave me a cut which kind of allows me to grow my hair. Once I grow out my hair, I’m gonna cut a short bob. Haha….just to make a statement! ?

    Oh, I don’t do haircuts at neighbourhood salons also because I have seen the rebonding jobs done in those salons. Totally spoilt the hair for some girls. I’m always satisfied to do rebonding at Kimage because even after 6 or 9 months, the hair is still straight. Just that the new grown parts are a bit messy. In fact, some people who only know me after I rebond my hair thought I had straight hair all along.

  29. Priscilla says:

    I used to patron Kimage until their prices reached a sky high price of $300 for just a simple hair dye which I think it’s unreasonably steep. I can get a hair dye together with highlights at less than $150 in neighbourhood salon but of course the color is not that lasting as compared to Kimage.

    Now i will just buy my own hair dye at probably the most $20 since neighbourhood salon skill is not that good either. As for normal hair trim, I will just go to neighbour salon but if I intend to have a major hair change, I will rather go back to Kimage on the safer side.

  30. pf1123 says:

    Hair dye at $300 is very expensive!

    I just did dye and highlights at $200. But thats at Kimage Prestige. Normal Kimage should be cheaper, isn’t it?

  31. Sherry says:

    my friend told me her relative working in salon can get cheap price. I don’t see it cheap as she still paying alot in end for the products stim, treatment, oil, etc.

  32. sesame says:

    I think for neighbourhood salons, it’s still best to get some references cos if they’re inexperienced, they can ruin your hair too. Luckily the colorist is very experienced and her explanations made sense.

  33. sesame says:

    Wow $300! ? I’m already griping at $200+. But actually, at that price, I don’t find the results that much longer lasting for me.

  34. sesame says:

    Ah…with all the add ons, probably more expensive…

  35. sharon says:

    I’m more particular about who cuts my hair then where. However, if I am on the hunt for my hairstylist, I do go for a reputable hairsalon and then will follow my hairstylist wherever she goes.

    Hair colouring is expensive in Singapore, I would only colour my hair if the salon is reputable in its products and management of hair colour.

  36. sesame says:

    Yes, agree that hair coloring is expensive. I’m now just coloring my roots to save some $.

  37. wandy says:

    hello viva woman.
    sorry I am deaf, I want to be working?? I could salon ..
    we respectfully
    wandy last post is: Tips to share: 3 tips to get more from your sunscreen

  38. Serene says:

    Hi Puf1123,

    Do you know where us Ben now? He has left Kimage ?

  39. Patricia Evans says:

    Although coloring is expensive I think it does by Amateur people. They even think about cost.
    Patricia Evans last post is: Top Ten Cafes to Visit in Toronto

Leave a Reply