Thanks to the exceptionally humid climate in Singapore, frizzy hair is a common problem for most types of hair. Expats often struggle with it when they first arrive, and even without rushing around or getting caught in the rain, it’s almost impossible to keep a hairstyle looking fresh all day here. To help tackle the problem, we’ve rounded up some of the top frizzy hair treatments, offered by our favourite hair salons across town.
Expat Hair Studio
After a few hair disasters elsewhere, I found Kat from Expat Hair Studio and I have been trusting her with cutting and keeping my hair blonde for the past 10 years. After my regular every-six-weeks salon treat, I was bemoaning how my beautifully smooth blow-dried hair would be back to a frizzy mess just five minutes after stepping outside.
Kat then invited me to trial a new hair-straightening treatment called Cezanne, which I eagerly accepted – what a game-changer! Not only is my hair frizzy, with age (and menopause) it’s become coarser in texture, so I was amazed and pleased how smooth and soft it felt after the treatment. The fact that it wasn’t limp and didn’t alter or fade my colour (done only the previous week) is amazing.
The real test, however, was going to be after I washed and dried it myself. I used the specially provided shampoo and conditioner then blast-dried my hair to 80 percent dry (something I could never do previously) and still no frizz! Because I like a little volume to my style, I finished off styling with a round brush and went about my day.
Even at the end of the day, my hair was smooth with none of the annoying frizz and flyaways showing up. That evening, I curled it and added a spritz of hairspray; the curls lasted really well all evening! I’m so happy with my new frizz-free hair and would definitely recommend this treatment to anyone who suffers from the frizzies, no thanks to the humid climate in this Little Red Dot!
– Jo Watering
Chez Vous: HideAway
With the lockdowns and social restrictions of recent years, I’ve become complacent with looking after my hair, so my usual frizzy mane was worse than ever. I headed down to Chez Vous: HideAway to try out their Bespoke Keratin Treatment, designed for women with natural curls and waves.
Tucked away on the 14th floor of a Ngee Ann City office tower, the salon lives up to its name and has a lovely private location and feel. I was warmly welcomed and taken through a secret door into a “quiet chair” area where I enjoyed a relaxing massage and hot tea before starting the treatment.
Next, I was shown to a private room (these can be booked ahead, subject to availability) where my friendly stylist Oscar explained that the treatment would take around two and a half hours and result in a smoothened look but still retaining some waves in the ends of the hair to allow natural movement. This was good news, as I’m not a fan of pin-straight hair. I was also pleased to learn that the treatment doesn’t contain formaldehyde and lasts for around three months.
The process consisted of five main steps: wash and dry (including your choice of heavenly scalp massage and scrub!), application of treatment and processing under heat for 30 minutes, blow-dry and iron, wash and 10-minute hydration mask, and final dry and style. There are various add-on services to choose from to help pass the time as well as a drinks and snacks menu, which are all complimentary. I enjoyed an Aromatic Candle Hand Massage and a delicious cinnamon latte.
At the end of the treatment, I was thrilled with the result. My hair looked healthy and shiny with a natural bounce and it felt super soft. After washing it a few times, it still looks great and it’s easy to maintain with a simple blow-dry and some serum in the ends to keep it moisturised.
The whole treatment, including add-on services and haircut, is priced from $298 (depending on hair length) which I think is really good value – I have paid $500 for similar treatments in the past – and the service was exemplary. I will definitely be back! Tip: The treatment does affect the colour so it’s recommended to allow at least a week before having a colouring service done.
– Juliet Keys
Chez Vous: Main Outlet
I’ve had several keratin treatments done over the years in my perpetual battle to combat the frizziness of my blonde mane. Some of these treatments resulted in ultra-smooth hair but some had little to no effect. I understand that part of it is the concentration of proteins that affect the extent of the straightening effect. More important, as Eugene from Chez Vous tells me, are the ingredients that are used to build a protective layer to coat and seal the surface of the hair.
The Supreme Sugar Hair Lamination is a smoothing treatment that’s unlike conventional keratin treatments in the market. It uses much less protein and a proprietary blend of sugar-based hair-strengthening actives. This is a game-changer as the treatment not only repairs and smoothens your hair but also allows concurrent colour or perm treatments without the risk of damage.
As my hair is coarse and bleached, I wasn’t prepared to compromise its condition by tampering with a treatment that relies on straightening chemicals and would leave my hair with little movement and bounce. I was assured that the Sugar Lamination treatment uses no chemical nasties, is nurturing and doesn’t result in stiff and pin-straight hair, so I could continue to style it as usual. Results are expected to last two to three months, but of course this depends on how often you wash your hair.
The immediate result was very rewarding – picture-perfect hair, smooth and silky, with no heaviness or nasty smell. As it happens, I got caught in a downpour later that afternoon when stepping out of a cab, which made me fear for my perfectly cajoled strands. However, the experience didn’t result in a return of the dreaded frizz. While the smoothness was compromised a little by the humidity, it was a lot less so than what would have been the case without the Sugar Lamination treatment. It’s now been a week since I got my hair laminated and I love how healthy and shiny it looks and feels.
– Karin Galley
Best hair care shampoo & conditioner?
K18 Haircare – when less is more
What makes these haircare products different is the patented K18 peptide technology. This involves a unique sequence of amino acids that travels deep into the hair’s core structure to fit in and reconnect broken polypeptide chains (keratin chains) responsible for hair strength and elasticity.
The brand’s signature product is the K18 Leave-In Hair Mask. However, there are now two new shampoos: K18 Peptide Prep pH Maintenance Shampoo and K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo. Both will also help to maximise the benefits and efficiency of the leave-in mask.
The two new shampoos take a less-is-more approach in their formulation. They employ only 17 ingredients plus the patented peptide – the average shampoo has about 40! The K18 Peptide works as a protective shield to reduce protein loss that can occur during washing to keep hair feeling soft, strong, healthy and clean.
The pH Maintenance Shampoo is made for frequent or daily washing. It’s a colour-safe shampoo that thoroughly cleanses hair and scalp without stripping or drying. The plant-based surfactants break down and remove dirt and oil for a thorough cleanse, and the optimised pH range of 4.5-5.5 helps maintain colour, minimises swelling of the cuticle during washing, and protects the hair’s natural moisture levels for a smooth hair result.
The Detox Shampoo is for less frequent heavy-duty washing. This is a colour-safe clarifying shampoo with skincare-inspired ingredients. Its non-stripping lather, powered by activated charcoal and salicylic, works to unclog hair follicles while getting rid of dirt, oils, metals and build-up – including 99% of product build-up, 95% of sebum and a 76% copper reduction after just one wash.
With a clean base, hair colour applies more vibrantly, K18 treatments perform more effectively, and styling products work better.
– Suveen Sahib, K18 CEO
I usually use shampoo, conditioner and then a leave-in serum as my hair is dry and curly (read frizzy). Initially, I was concerned that the K18 leave-in hair mask wasn’t strong enough on its own. But after a few weeks of using it, I think it’s working really well – and I have a nice sheen to my hair. Using the detox shampoo once a month to completely clear any residue and the pH shampoo and hair mask the rest of the time is working really well. I’m washing my hair more often now, and I think that’s been better for my scalp and hair quality too. And, it’s much easier just having two products to think about! – Rebecca Bisset
Sweenys Hair & Beauty Corner
Sweenys has withstood the test of time – 43 years, to be exact. This Singapore hair salon has been in the same spot in Holland Village Shopping Centre since it was started by Mr Shee’s mother in 1978. Today, the second-generation hairdresser runs the business.
Stepping into the hair studio made me feel like I was transported back in time – in a good way! I love the retro vibe and no-frills décor, on top of the warm hospitality. The staff, most of whom have been part of the team since the start, have absolutely no airs, so you’ll feel comfortable in no time.
A signature service is the Anthocyanin Treatment, a repairing protein treatment suitable for all types of hair. Affordably priced from $60 to $100 depending on your hair length, the two-hour treatment uses a plant protein to nourish hair shafts. From helping your fresh colour to last longer to restoring overly bleached hair (me!) and taming frizz, this is an all-in-one strengthening treatment for anyone who wants healthier locks.
The first step is a shampoo, which left a refreshingly cool sensation on my scalp. Then, Mr Shee sectioned my hair and sprayed on the treatment, which had a mild and pleasant scent. After a quick blow-dry, he meticulously applied a protein cream section by section, wrapping each up in a paper strip, before placing a professional heating contraption over my head to activate and seal in the nutrients. Thirty minutes later, my hair was washed, blow-dried and styled with the B.boss Dual Treatment Leave-in Hair Reviver as a final step to condition my damaged hair.
I left the hair salon with uber smooth and shiny locks. My hair felt so much stronger and hydrated, while my dry ends seemed less frizzy too. This treatment can be done on its own or together with a colouring service, which is what I’ll try the next time I return!
– Anthia Chng
#03-28 Holland Road Shopping Centre, 211 Holland Avenue
Hairdreams Couture Salon
I’ve had hair extensions from Hair & Soul before and loved them – they somehow tamed my frizzy hair by having strands of naturally straight hair interspersed amongst my fine, fluffy locks. I wasn’t great at maintaining them, though, so after a while I went back to trying to smooth my existing hair. I didn’t want super straight, flat hair, but also, with too much “body”, my hair looks scruffy and has a lot of flyaways.
The Hot Pack treatment at Hairdreams Couture Salon at Cuppage Plaza isn’t permanent, but it is a deep-conditioning treatment – safe for those with hair extensions to use and anyone else who wants smoother, healthier hair as well. My hair was washed then lathered with a treatment made by mixing two HairDreams products together – a serum for healing dry ends, and a deep regenerative conditioner. Hot, wet towels were wrapped around my head and I lay there, almost dozing, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Just as the towels were starting to cool off, they were removed, and my hair was rinsed, then blow-dried to smooth perfection. My hair (normally oily at the roots by day three) lasted a straight (pun intended) five days before needing a wash. If I have a busy work or social week, this would be a great way to minimise daily hair taming.
– Danielle Rossetti
When I was asked if I was keen to get rid of my much-hated frizzy hair, I didn’t think twice! I got to visit a beautiful salon called The Parlour, which is owned and run by the lovely Jessi; she’s originally from the US and has a very long and extremely impressive CV when it comes to anything hair! I also got to meet hairstylist Sylvia, who is the sweetest newlywed I’ve ever met. Judging from their Instagram account, these ladies know their craft, for sure, so I trusted that I was in good hands.
I was recommended the Cezanne Treatment, which is a frizz-fighting, smoothing treatment designed to leave the hair soft, silky and manageable. It tames unruly and hard-to-manage curls without completely losing them, and cuts blow-dry time down by 30 to 50 percent!
Depending on the length of your hair, the treatment can take a while; mine took two hours. The procedure is roughly as follows:
- Hair wash to ensure your hair is clean before applying the treatment
- Treatment application
- Waiting 30 minutes for the treatment to work its magic!
- Blow-dry and then sealing of the treatment into your hair using a flat iron
The treatment didn’t smell of anything really, and it’s safe from any harsh ingredients, so if you have a sensitive scalp then this is the way to go. Just a note: this treatment doesn’t use keratin. It will, however, last about four to six months depending on how you take care of your hair. If you are a busy mum like me, then the Cezanne Treatment is the way to go.
I have to be honest; I was excited about the promise of no frizzy hair but at the same time, I was apprehensive about having straighter-than-normal hair immediately after the treatment. After two days and only washing my hair once, thankfully, my hair looks super silky and shiny – and not dead-straight!
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
This article first appeared in the May 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
Liked this story on frizzy hair treatments? See more hair salon options
Get the latest events, stories and special offers
sent to your inbox.
By signing up, you'll receive our weekly newsletters and offers, which you can unsubscribe to anytime.