Yes, like you, I have dreams of having beautiful ashy blonde tresses like those influencers currently ruling social media. But I also have nightmares of spending half a day in the salon, getting my hair bleached multiple times to a frightening crisp, and ending up with locks that look less Kristen Leanne, more chao tah Ah Lian.  

Enter Chez Vous Hair Salon, which promises ashy and dusty hair colours without over-compromising the integrity of your hair. How they achieve this is so sneaky, so ninja, you have to clap. Basically, they trick your hair, and you, and everyone else, into thinking you have full-blown full-bleached ashy locks, by trickily pre-lightening (ie. sort of a slightly gentler form of bleaching) only selected hair strands. Less hair bleached, less damage, right? Through a compound hair highlighting technique, skilled hair colour technicians actually combine two to three hair colours that are more easily achievable than actual ash colours (which are notoriously hard to get and fade quickly), and the result, when the different coloured hair is mixed together, is the optical illusion of ashy, dusty tones. Ta-da! Ashy hair with minimal bleaching and minimal damage. Are you clapping yet?

So there I was at Chez Vous’ cosy-glam salon at Takashimaya, eager to trick my hair and the world into think it had been ashed. But first, I had to be subject to the #Rightcolourmatters test. It’s where sheets of reflective coloured paper are held up to your face. According to Chez Vous brand director Eugene Teo, because your hair is right next to your face, the colour tones in your hair will reflect onto your face, casting certain reflective glows onto your mien that can be flattering or unflattering. Because of each person’s unique skin undertones and even facial features, generically slapping a warm or cool tone on someone’s hair based on their skin colour as seen by the naked eye is no longer acceptable. For example, for someone with red blemishes on his or her face, getting red hair, so popular among Asians especially during CNY, will only serve to enhance the red spots. For those with pinkish eye bags, hair colour with an olive or greenish undertone will act as an automatic colour-corrector, making the face look fresher and brighter. And even if you have your heart set on, say, an ashy colour, there are myriad undertones in ashy shades that can work wonders for your complexion — suffice to say, it’s all about the undertones, baby.

Eugene first holds a green sheet under my face, then nods approvingly. Apparently, the green brings out my features, making me look fairer and slimmer. Yasss. No, I’m not getting green hair, I’m just getting a hair colour with green undertones — these are two very different things. To prove his point, he holds a pink sheet under my face — too pink; I looked like Peppa Pig. Yellow makes me look like Little Miss Sunshine, but was that too much? “It’s also about the vibe you want to project,” explains Eugene. “Do you want to look bright and cheery, and, ahem, maybe a bit Ah Lian, or do you want to give off a cooler vibe?” Cool vibes, duh! He tried a blue sheet, and we have a winner. The blue made my complexion brighter and fairer, and, um, not Ah Lian. This method of actively demonstrating to the customer the effect of various colours — specially developed for Asians by Chez Vous with hair colour brand Goldwell Singapore — is great, as it’s participative and lets us see the results for ourselves.

After all this prep, Shawn Chia, associate salon director, finally gets to work. True to their promise, my hair is only bleached once, and only selected strands are meticulously picked for the pre-lightening. Four hours later (including a haircut), my hair was ashy-grey with blue undertones, and still felt silky and soft. In comparison, a friend who got a lavender-grey do sat in a salon chair for six hours, endured two rounds of bleaching and left with very fried-looking locks that got progressively worse. To keep my #Fakeash hair fresh for as long as possible, Chez Vous gave me a purple colour-depositing shampoo, essential for combating the dreaded fade. I love my ashy bob, which reflects gorgeously onto my face, making it glow with brightness and fairness. Obviously, I am now an influencer. Okay, I may have made that last part up. Fake it, or #Fakeash it, till you make it, right?

#Fakeash and #Rightcolourmatters is available at Chez Vous Hair Salon, #05-05 Ngee Ann City Podium, Takashimaya, Tel: 6732-9388; www.chezvoushair.com. Prices are $299 to $399 for colour diagnosis, colour service and haircut, and includes free hair treatments.

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