It took a while to learn my go-to’s in Hong Kong but once I stepped foot in Salon Chandler in 2009 I have never looked back. The moment you exit the elevator into the salon you are enveloped in a room of rich textures layered with intoxicating smells and the sounds of cheerful chatter greeting your arrival. You are ushered to a plush chair without a moments delay and offered your drink of choice. The champagne and lattes are tempting but I stick with water and pick up the latest issue of Bazaar where I find my next haircut on the cover…more on that in a moment.
The man of the moment, and founder of the salon, Shayne Chandler, walks in surrounded by several assistants buzzing about prepping this and mixing that. They flit around me in a whirl of robes and brushes and before I know it I am all ready for the main event. Shayne always takes time to chat with his clients learning their lifestyles and what they hope to achieve in his chair. He knows I’m pathologically lazy when it comes to my hair so he always gives me a style that will grow out well knowing that it may be six months before he sees me again.
The Before Cut | Photo by Martice Milton
I started going to Salon Chandler in 2009 when another big name salon in town gave me a bonafide mullet the year I got married. I had left there in tears and days later found my way to Shayne’s tattooed shear-wielding arms. He straightened out the situation and has since solved all my hair problems from humidity drenched summer frizz, to when I decided to trim my own fringe, to when I lost nearly 50% of my hair post-pardem and had bald spots at my temples. Each time he assessed the problem and offered up a few fixes resulting with flowing locks upon my exit.
Photo by: Tom Craig
This time Shayne asks what we will be doing and I just point to cover star Rachel Weisz and say “How about this?”. He asks if I am serious and I tell him to go for it. Within moments I am watching and chunks of brunette fall into my magazine pages. I simply brush them away as I flip through the fall fashions. I rarely look up knowing that he has the situation handled. I never have to oversee a cut with Shayne. I know that the final results will look better than the picture I have in my head anyway.
After the cut and wash I’m covered full force in foils bringing back to mind the hours that I spent in salon chairs in New York and Georgia turning me into a “natural” blonde every 6-8 weeks. This didn’t take 3.5 hours like those visits did though. I was in and out in 1.5 hours which is a blink in beauty time. I’ve spent longer applying fake eyelashes.
After a wash, toner application, and another wash I am back in the chair. The usual hum of song birds on the balcony is drowned out by whirring blowdryers and in sooner than is typical of my hair, it is dry. Spritz, spray, curl, and fluff and I’m spun around to check out the final results. Perfect! The new look is much thicker than the hair I had previously been sporting and the color is better than I could have hoped with natural caramel streaks framing the face and melding in to the bottom.
As I thank him over and over for breathing new life into my look I can’t seem to stop shaking my strands and smiling. The walk out of the Salon is always the best part as you step out of the building back into the world again. Sunglasses are immediately employed and I strut through Central with a new found spring in my step. It’s amazing how much of a change a hair cut can make in how you feel about yourself and even the world around you. I can’t tell if everyone is just a little more lighthearted or if it is only my locks that have gotten brighter.
Monday- Saturday 8a-8p
14th Floor Tak Woo House
17-19 D’Aguilar Street
salon photos courtesy of Salon Chandler | All other photos by Sabrina Sikora unless otherwise specified