When it comes to setting trends, the South Koreans have the Midas touch...
Take, for example, makeup artist-turned-entrepreneur Park Hye Min, better known by her Instagram name, Pony (@ponysmakeup). No one would have thought that pastel pink hair (usually reserved for wigs, movie characters and dolls) could work as an everyday style. Then she debuted the colour with a chic choppy bob, made it her signature look, and women everywhere started going pink.
The four members of the current darlings of K-pop, Blackpink, have ever-changing hair colours. They also have long, flowing hair, with waves other women dream of possessing.
Having the kind of great hair these celebrities sport – and having it every day – is possible. Even if it’s coloured and/or permed.
What’s the secret? It’s in your scalp and hair, which must be healthy so that colour stays vibrant and curls last longer. That’s why daily maintenance using quality products that suit your hair and scalp is important. Any hairdresser worth his salt knows that. Amos Professional, the No. 1 salon brand in Korea, certainly does.
The brand, recently launched in Singapore, is housed under Korean beauty giant Amorepacific. That means its product formulations are backed by the group’s expansive research team. The ingredients in its haircare products are similar to those made popular by K-beauty – green tea to inhibit inflammation; antioxidant-rich olive oil to moisturise; fermented grains enriched with amino acids and proteins to smooth and condition; and ginseng to stimulate blood circulation in the scalp.
Technology aside, the 40-year-old brand has serious street cred. It’s sold in more than 56,000 salons in South Korea. Its hairstylists work with celebrities like singer BoA and actresses Kim Tae Ri and Suzy Bae. It creates runway-worthy styles at the annual Seoul Fashion Week.
Another bonus? The brand says it understands Asian hair better, so its products, whether for in-salon or at-home use, tend to work better for us too. Robert Lee, global trainer for Amos Professional, breaks down the best ways to achieve and maintain the most popular K-style hair.
The iconic korean wave
“The waves you get from a Korean perm are versatile yet resilient because heat is used to set them. That’s why they look natural and smooth, and last longer than curls from cold perms,” says Lee. “The right haircut is also important. Layering the hair ensures that the curls look bouncy – Asian hair tends to be heavier, so this step gives it a softer edge.”
Here are four common K-wave hairstyles and how to maintain them:
• Chic, wavy bob – Skip silicone-based products that weigh hair down; apply a protein-rich mousse or essence on towel-dried hair to tame frizz.
• Natural, layered waves – Blow-dry hair upside down until it’s 70 per cent dry, divide into half, then twist the curls around your fingers as you finish blow-drying. This gives volume and adds definition to the curls.
• Romantic waves – Blow-dry at the roots, run a curl-enhancing cream from where the waves start, right to the tips, then air-dry.
• Textured waves – Blow-dry hair to 70 per cent dry, apply a lightweight curling essence, then air-dry.
Colour us impressed
“Asian hair is dark and its texture is heavy – which makes it harder to colour. Choose a colour that matches your skin tone, use a hypoallergenic shampoo for a week, and apply a soothing hair pack once a week to combat any damage caused by the treatment,” says Lee.
Amos Professional has almost 100 shades in its 2018 professional colouring chart, so it’s easy to find a shade you will like. The most popular colours this season?
• Purple Rain – a trendy purple with a tinge of brown.
• Pinky Pinky – a feminine pink brown.
• Ash Effect – a bold ash that leans towards grey.
• Olive Brown – a sophisticated green-brown.
The Green Tea range
This comprises three shampoos for different scalp types: Oily controls excess sebum; Dry intensively hydrates; and Sensitive soothes. There’s also an Intensive Moisture Pack, a wash-off treatment; Enhancing Tonic, a leave-in toner for scalp and hair; and Volume Mist, which moisturises while creating volume from the roots. From $50
Repair Force Therapy Essential Oil
This shields against UV damage, which causes frizz by making hair cuticles “open up”. Especially recommended for thick, dense hair. $45