At Expat Living, we’re constantly on the hunt for the top hair salons in Singapore. One that is tried and loved by both expats and locals is Salon Kream, a cosy salon in Holland Village that has worked with hair of all types and textures – including blondes, brunettes and those with frizzy or damaged hair. We sent three lucky editors to the salon, where they each reviewed a keratin treatment for smoothening, a Brazilian Gloss treatment for anti-frizz and an updo for a special occasion.
Salon Kream reviews
#1 Keratin treatment, $435 (prices start at $380 depending on hair length), three hours
What I thought:
“With excessive bleaching, frequent pool-time and six months since my last treatment, my hair was in a sad state of affairs. I was half expecting to be declared a lost cause when I arrived at Salon Kream, but was grateful when Hair Technician Liz Lim spared me the hair shaming and jumped straight to it with an optimistic smile.
The journey to revive my frizzy mop began with an intensive deep-cleansing shampoo to strip the hair of residue. After 15 minutes of this in the basin, my hair felt alarmingly straw-like and coarse, but I was reassured that it’s all part of the process as the cuticles are cleared of impurities and prepped to properly retain the keratin treatment. Next, the Tibolli keratin treatment was generously and meticulously applied to my hair and covered with a wrap. I spent the next 60 minutes under the hair steamer, perfectly content in my comfortable chair with a ginger tea and personal iPad full of all the latest e-mags.
Once washed and dried, the keratin is sealed and shaped with a flat iron to lock in the treatment and protein.
The immediate result was silky smooth locks with noticeable shine – something I hadn’t seen in months! The colour was also a shade lighter – a side effect of the treatment that Liz pre-empted me on, but thankfully no brassy tones. After the recommended three-day grace period, I washed my hair and gave it a quick dry. I was thrilled to see my hair naturally dry into a frizz-free state; no tangles and plenty of volume.
Two weeks later, it’s still frizz-free and with a healthy sheen. Best part is, if I continue with my sulphate-free shampoo, I’m told these effects can last for at least three months!”
– Leanda Rathmell
#2 Brazilian Gloss, $258 to $278 (or $188 to $198 with a colour treatment), 90 minutes
What I thought:
“Willie is one of two stylists who perform the Brazilian Gloss at Salon Kream. He’s friendly and knowledgeable with a platinum faux-hawk that screams ‘I know my blondes!’ I take a seat in a leather armchair in front of a full-length mirror – nice touches – and estimate a good 50-year age gap between the expat teen on my right and the auntie on my left. Talk about a diverse clientele.
This treatment is designed to remove frizz, add shine and improve texture. Willie’s got his work cut out for him. I’m coming off a regrettable colour treatment following a long period of hair loss, so I’ve got new growth and broken bits galore.
First my hair is washed and the shampoo is left on for 10 minutes, which opens the cuticle, allowing the product to penetrate. The product (a special “in-house repair treatment from the US”) is left on for 20 minutes under a heating lamp. Then my hair is blown dry and flat-ironed to “seal in” the treatment. So much heat on my damaged hair is a hard pill to swallow, so Willie lowers the iron to 150°C. Plus, the treatment, he assures me, won’t affect my colour.
I have to admit, my hair looks better than ever. Even under unforgiving overhead lights, all the wispies are gone. My hair is straight and looks like I put actual effort into it, though a 10-second run-through with a brush is all I have time for these days. I didn’t wash my hair for two days, as instructed, and if I stick to sulphate-free hair products, the look should last for two months.”
– Monica Pitrelli
#3 Styling and Hair-up, from $55
What I thought:
“I was going to an event, so I wanted to look a bit smarter without taking a lot of time, and an updo at Salon Kream was the perfect option!
Normally, they’ll wash, blow-dry and then style. As my time was limited and I have curly hair (which is easier to manage when it’s not that clean), my hairstylist Daven skipped the washing and just smoothed it out with a curling iron. He pinned my hair together very loosely and then fixed it with hair spray. It only took about 20 minutes in total.
The final look was quite different to what I’ve done before at other salons, but I liked it. The top was all pinned back, so it had good height and volume. The pins didn’t last longer than the night, but it was a nice and relaxed yet sophisticated look.”
– Rebecca Bisset
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