shunji matsuo

Hair Q&A with Shunji Matsuo

The hair experts at Shunji Matsuo offer the best solutions to your cut, colour, and styling issues.

The Expert Panel

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Mr Shunji Matsuo
Founder and Managing Director of Shunji Matsuo Salon Group. Based in Singapore at Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio[/column]

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Mr Justin Javier
International Director and stylist. Manager of Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio and colour specialist.[/column]

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Mr Chikuma Koyama
Tokyo-based veteran hairstylist attached to Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio in Singapore. Heads the Hair Fashion Design team.[/column]

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HOW DO I MAKE MYSELF LOOK YOUNGER? DO I CHANGE THE CUT, HAIR COLOUR OR GET BANGS?
SHUNJI: Choose a cut according to your face shape and complement with a suitable colour or perm. Consumers pay a lot of attention to fashion and hair styles, but it is important to remember that a good cut that fits the face shape is key to everything. In my salon, I make sure our stylists are put through structured training on cutting techniques. Only if they have a good grip of the techniques can they achieve the desired style that will not lose form.
CHIKUMA: Cutting bangs is recommended as it makes one look younger and can make the face appear smaller.
JUSTIN: A good hair colour can soften facial features and flatter one’s skin tone, making you look younger and more appealing

I WANT A NEW LOOK FOR THE NEW YEAR. WHAT TRENDS AND STYLES WILL BE HOT THIS YEAR?
SHUNJI: I would say short hair. Anne Hathaway proved that short is hot. She cut off her lovely long hair and in the process reinvented her look. Bobs and its variations have withstood the test of time and proven to be versatile. The short “Wedge Bob” haircut was created by the late Mr Yusuke Suga in the 70’s. Suga was my mentor and employer in New York. As such, bob cuts feature prominently among my salon’s signature services.
CHIKUMA:I see in Singapore having a movement towards more textured cuts complemented by natural curls . Alternatively, sport bangs and our signature medium bobs with gentle waves.
JUSTIN: For medium to long hair, Balayage colouring looks more natural and brings life to a well textured cut.

I HAVE COLOUR TREATED HAIR THAT IS PRONE TO BREAKAGE. WHAT TREATMENTS OR PRODUCTS DO YOU RECOMMEND THAT I USE?
CHIKUMA:Use a serum for coloured hair. Daily usage helps prevent colour from fading and try to do treatments between colour appointments for maintainence.
JUSTIN:Treat brittleness with strengthening treatments first till hair is strong. Then conditioning treatments for softening. Daily applications of leave-in treatments are a good way to maintain healthy hair. Ask your stylist to recommend a suitable professional salon brand. Every salon brand have their speciality product for different conditions. We carry Aveda; Arimino; Shiseido and L’Oreal Professionel in our salons. Between them, there are many star products suitable for variousconditions. Consumers should always consult their stylists because these are controlled brands and cheaper parallel imports may exist but it is difficult to vouch for their authenticity or freshness. It is safer to buy only from authorised salons.
SHUNJI: Consumers should remember that colouring exposes the hair (and even the scalp) to chemicals. So it is important to go to salons where safe products usage is practised. Consumers should inform their stylists of any sensitive reaction to certain colours. They should alternate heavy colouring with milder styles so as to allow the hair to ‘rest’. Many of today’s scalp or hair issues arise from overexposure to products that are too harsh or misused. Although they may even match the performance of better brands in terms of colour lift and durability, it is achieved through the use of stronger ingredients with unknown long term risks. Although we do not charge a premium price, I make it a point to ensure that we use only proven and safe brands. They are more costly but safer. Some products for colours and perms are temptingly cheaper but I do not allow them in my salons.

HOW DO YOU GET NICE, LOOSE WAVES LIKE THE HOLLYWOOD OR KOREAN STARS?
CHIKUMA: Perming would be the base of these styles, followed by curling iron to bring out your curls.
SHUNJI: Again, a good cut by an experienced hairstylist is essential before a good perm can be achieved. It is important to have a good cut before investing in a perm or colour otherwise the overall effect may be less than satisfactory. In Southeast Asia, consumers tend to underestimate the value of a good cut.

MY HAIR IS OILY AT THE ROOTS AND DRY AT THE ENDS. WHAT CAN I DO TO BALANCE IT OUT?
CHIKUMA: Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of oil and remove build-up. It is not recommended that you use it daily as it will cause scalp to be more oily or sensitive.
JUSTIN: Brush hair often with a cushioned paddle brush to distribute oil down the hair to its ends. Hair will also be shiny from brushing as cuticles are smoothened out. Use shampoos for oily scalp and remember to apply condition only to your hair ends, not on your scalp.

WHAT IS THE BEST TREATMENT OR HAIRCUT FOR FRIZZY HAIR?
CHIKUMA: Doing a lot of treatments will not resolve frizziness as light does not reflect cleanly off the hair. I would recommend a cosmetic type of straightening as it smoothens cuticles and relaxes the hair but does not hurt hair more than necessary.
JUSTIN: Textured cuts that plays with the natural frizzy or curly/wavy hair with the use of proper styling products. Leave-in treatments for smoothening out hair helps to prevent our humid weather from causing a lot of fly-away hair.
SHUNJI: Try our signature “Cosme-Straightening” which is a gentler and more natural alternative to re-bonding.

For more information, go to www.shunjimatsuo.com.sg