“You look like you could use a haircut, how ‘bout it?” my editor asked me. “Sure, I’m game.” “Great! There’s a hair salon I want you to review. English speaking hairstylist from Australia.” And just like that, I was sent off to meet with Hong Kong born, Australian raised hairstylist Ray Chan.
The hair salon company, Kraemer Paris, is a French brand with around 200 salons worldwide and 50 salons in China including 5 top level ‘by hair culture’ salons. To open a ‘Kraemer Paris by hair culture’ salon in Hangzhou they specially asked Ray Chan to be part of the team. Ray had been working at their Hong Kong and Shenzhen locations for around 5 years.
Ray gave me a friendly greeting when I entered the bright white salon and we sat down for a chat. While he was studying marketing at university, he did a part-time job in a hair salon in Sydney and found out that hair styling was his true calling. He loved the feeling of working with hair, using his hands to create something beautiful. He left marketing and never looked back.
He listed off some of his achievements, “… trained at Vidal Sasoon in London, 20 years’ experience as a hairstylist, opened his own hair salon in Sydney, hair consultant for HK TVB channel’s programs in Australia, hair design director for beauty pageants such as Miss Australia Chinese, hair stylist for Gucci and Vivienne Westwood fashion shows in Hong Kong, …”
The list went on but he needn’t say anymore. I was sold. My humble hair would be honoured to be styled by him. I let Ray decide what should happen to my hair, giving him carte blanche. I told him my main requirement – that I want an easy to manage hairstyle– then I put my hair in his capable hands and sat back.
Ray decided that he would give me highlights instead of colouring my hair fully. That way, I could let my hair grow out without worrying about re-colouring. He would use 2 colours to make it more natural, burgundy in some areas and a deeper brown for the rest.
While Ray applied the colour dye and wrapped sections of my hair in foil, I was served complimentary fruit, snacks and tea. We let the dye set in for some time to do its work, and then soon my hair was ready to be washed.
His scissors flew around quickly and gracefully like a delicate metal bird dancing around my head. With precise snips he sculpted my hair transforming it from a blocky mass to a shapely form. My hair felt lighter, forming a frame around my face, settling at just the right places around my shoulders. Best of all, without me having to say anything, he knew to make my fringe feathered instead of the blunt, thick fringes that some hair cutters leave me with.
Ray had created for me a new hairstyle that was more sophisticated and stylish but still subtle and natural. It felt true to who I am and I was immensely happy with the results. I came in feeling drab and mousy and walked out feeling like a lady.
Prices for a haircut starts at 270RM (depending on hairstylist), hair colour 550RMB for short hair and highlights 650RMB for short hair. There are other services like perm, hair straightening and make-up. A wash, blow and style starts at 148RMB. I know where I’ll be going for a styling before my next party!
Ray is at the salon every day except Tuesday and reservations are needed. You can connect with him via his WeChat.