I don’t know about you, but I’ve always, ALWAYS loved going to the hairdresser. I grew up with short hair (Mom had no patience, and I didn’t mind) and my Mom’s weekly treat was a wash and blow at the neighbourhood hair salon. We lived in a small town so we took our luxuries where we could, and little PB would get a free trim now and then. There was something just magical about sitting in the high chair, with a huge sheet around little me, watching the hair scissors snip away at my fringe. I felt like such a big girl!
So, I grew up thinking that going to the hair salon regularly was a normal thing to do… until I moved to the big city and had to pay for my own haircuts and treatments of course. Ooh ouch!
We all know how hard it is to find a hairdresser and a hair salon that suits you. I’ve tried many over the years, looking for “The One” and if you’re fussy like I am, you’d know just how hard and stressful that is. At one time, I dreaded going for haircuts because I didn’t have a regular salon, and I’d always come out of each session feeling upset about the experience.
Happily, I’ve found The One and while I may entrust hair treatments and blowdrys to other salons, of repute or otherwise, I don’t allow anyone else to cut my hair. I did once, and while it wasn’t unpleasant, I knew I’d go back to my regular guy, the one to whom I can just sit in the chair and say “I need a haircut!” and he’d work his magic.
But today, it’s not about hair cuts or finding The One hairdresser. Instead, I wanted to know if you have any guilty pleasures when you go to a hair salon. Is it the plethora of glossy magazines to catch up on? Is it the tea and biscuits they serve you? Is it the “me time” that you get? What’s your favourite part about going to the hair salon? 😀
My guilty pleasure and favourite thing about going to a hair salon (other than getting my mane tamed, of course) is the hair wash and scalp massage.
Ooooh, I love a good long, scrubby hair wash, and I judge all hair salons by the head massage they give you. I love sitting in the chair while the shampoo girl or boy scrubs away at my head, and if they give me a nice, firm scalp massage, or better yet, bonus neck and shoulder massage, I am like putty in their hands!
From salon hopping, I’ve found that while a hair wash is de rigueur, a GOOD hair wash or scalp massage isn’t. From my limited experience, many “branded” hair salons don’t offer very good hair washes and head massages. It always feels like they’re just there to literally wash your hair, not make a whole spa-like zen experience out of it.
Sometimes, (quite often, in fact) it’s just a quick shampoo, wet hair, scrub and rinse and I’m sitting there feeling wanting. Sure, I get that their salons are popular and busy and they need the quick turnaround. So no lingering, girl. Just get your hair done and out of that chair so we can serve the next one! Needless to say, I don’t go to a branded hair salon. Few I’ve been to have made me feel relaxed and that, for me, is a major thing.
I treat a trip to the hairdressers like a trip to a spa (except it’s usually a bit cheaper and I get a tamed mane to boot). I want to enter stressed, with a throbbing headache, and exit feeling zen, choiffed and relaxed.
And at my regular salon, I get all that. I get a wonderful long head massage with neck and shoulder massage to boot, a lovely long hair wash that erases headaches and relaxes me and it’s bliss. I’ve not hesitated to let the boss know when their new staff are wanting, or if they’re good at the hair wash. That, for me, is 60% of the hair salon experience and if I’m not satisfied with that, it spoils everything.
So that’s my guilty pleasure. Skip the magazines or the tea or the snacks. Just give me a bloody good, firm, long head massage, and I’ll be all blissed out.
What’s your guilty pleasure at the hair salon?
Is it the piles of mags? That’s the only time I read the glossies! Or are you like me and sit there, eyes closed, wishing the head, neck and shoulder massage will never end? Tell me! 😀
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Hanny Daforcena says
Hello! I’ve been lurking for a long while here but I just had to drop a line at this!
Coming from a home where my mum is not very much concerned about hair and makeup, the act of going to the salon itself is a guilty pleasure for me.
I used to have this barber guy that I went to as a kid and since he just cuts hair, he charges very cheaply (about RM12 for adults). He’s so good that you can just bring several pictures to show him and he’d cut it for you, adapted for your features!
But as I grew older I started my venture in finding THE ONE and ugh prices are terrifying. It doesn’t help when the more established places now charge by the stylist and not by length, which doesn’t make $$ sense for a short-haired girl like me.
I recently got my hair done in my suburb and it was wonderful. They had vats of ice lemon tea, Beyonce in the background… and the best thing of all? Dyeing, a scalp treatment and a trim only cost me about RM 200 more or less, WEEE!
Omg, would you mind telling us where is this wonderful salon of yours?? Hehehehe… Am so desperate for a good scapl treat,ent, mine is just… In a really bad state right now.
Paris B says
Hey Hanny, yes it’s quite scary looking at salon prices isn’t it? When I started out, I thought that the more expensive it was, the better it should be. Oh boy was I mistaken! Got some of my worst haircuts from some of the most expensive salons in KL! But gosh, now you have all of us wanting to know your wonderful salon! Share? 😀
I used to like going to salons for the massage too! But for the last few years, I realize I always check my watch. Takes SO LONG just getting a cut and treatment and I’ve been lacking patience. So now, I only go when necessary, and I get my massage at a proper spa!
Paris B says
Aww maybe your time is now at a premium? I still love going to the hair salon. Maybe it’s because I don’t do hair treatments or colour. I get bored with those coz a lot of the time you’re just sitting there. So for me, it’s a good wash, cut and blow and I’m done!
Mind to share which salon you go to or at least the mall (I’ll try to figure it out with the window and shops opposite, hehe)?
I am long overdue for cut and color. Since moving to Malaysia a few years ago I had to cut going to the salon by once every 2 months because of the steep costs to have anything done here. Back in Manila (where I’m from), going to the salon is a weekly experience to get everything done within budget; hair, nails and foot spa all in one trip. I have yet to find a salon here where you can get everything done with quality and a happy wallet. 🙂
Paris B says
Hey Crystal, this picture was taken at Miko salon at Pavilion, but it’s not my regular salon. I go to Headline at Low Yat Plaza 🙂 I have to agree that going to a salon can be quite expensive here, especially a good one. I’ve heard that it’s amazing in Manila! A friend told me about how you can arrange to have good massages every week at a fraction of the prices here. Sigh.. what wouldn’t I give for a massage right now!
Other than chocolate and reading, going to hair saloon to get my hair wash and scalp treatment is my heaven on earth! Like you said, it’s like going to spa but at cheaper rate LOL I love everything about the hair wash – from washing my hair to massaging (scalp, head, neck, shoulder and even back!) to brushing my hair and lastly, the blow dry 😀 I’m still have love-hate with treatment because the heat thingy that they use to make the treatment product get absorb better but I love the end result, haha.
My two favourite experiences was at same hair saloon. I guess because the location is at a neighbourhood area not at busy mall so it’s more relaxing. The first experience was when two guys did blow dry my hair at same time – felt like a royalty, haha. Second was when this one new girl was in training to do hair wash and she was the longest I ever had to wash my hair because her massage took pretty long. I was also so sleepy due to lack of quality rest so I kept nodding off while she washed/massaged me LOL
The only sad thing about this hair saloon is it’s very difficult to find one that can cater to people wearing hair scarves like me, at least in my area. My favourite hair saloon unfortunately doesn’t have a hidden area but I make do with this one spot that sort of block from most people to see my uncovered hair. There are recommendation for hair saloon that my friends said muslim-women-friendly. One hair saloon closed too early for me to go after work, uhuh. While the other one, I had bad experience of hair wash (the lady got nerve to lecture me that her rough way is the right way!) and guys still freely go in.
Paris B says
Yes! A good head massage trumps everything I swear. Sometimes, I don’t really care about a full body massage. I just want a good head, shoulder and upper back massage and I’m blissed out 😀 Oh but I don’t do any hair treatments or colour so I don’t spend as long at the salon. I hate that hot air thingy too! Always feels like my head is about to melt 😛 Hmm as for muslim women friendly salons, I came across one recently but I can’t remember where it is! Gosh… If I remember I’ll drop you a line
I saw a muslim women friendly saloon advert in Bangi but as I live in Sarawak, I guess I have to make do with my favourite saloon (the only time I have to take off my headscarf in public that men are around). But thanks for offering to find the saloon, I appreciate it 😀
I love head massage during hair wash!! Me too….I am still finding “The One” that could give me good pampering. I had a particular hairdresser I went to because he knows me and my hair. Best part – no pushy sale like upgrade for treatment etc. He always advise me to do my own at home. Whenever I went there and told him i wanna cut my hair, he just did and my hair is easier for me to maintain. (That’s me being so lazy!)
I went to a branded hair salon recently, their service is what you paid for. You spend pretty long hours there getting your hair wash, color etc. But I just didnt like the hair cut because after I washed my hair, I couldn’t get back the look when I leave that salon. Grrr…
Paris B says
Ooh yes! I hate it when salons try to push me to buy stuff. A salon I used to go to previously would charge me extra for using Redken shampoo for washing without telling me! Goodness! I was pissed but I kept going back because he knew my hair. Then I moved out of the area and it gave me the opportunity to find another. Lucky for me, my present one doesn’t bother making me buy anything. Even when I ask where to buy shampoo or a good hairdryer, he’ll just tell me to go to those shops that specialise in hair products LOL! I’ve never had much of a good experience getting a hair cut or even a wash in a branded hair salon, sadly. They may be good for their treatments, since they do use good products, but otherwise, service side is I feel a little more lacking
Stephanie Chee says
I would say that the fact that you could entrust your only crowning glory to a safe hand is already priceless, not to mention the enjoyment of their auxiliary services that make you feel like you have the requisite mood to conquer the world once you walk out the saloon, that itself is enough to convince me that the indulgence of going to the saloon is irrelevant of anything near to guilty. Well, if splashing out can buy me trust, good moods, and the likes, that’s I would deem as sheer blissfulness, priceless indeed.
Paris B says
Oh absolutely, Stephanie! The trick is to find a salon that has a hairdresser that can work with your hair and the back up services. Happily I found mine, but man, it’s not an easy task! I don’t pay that much in comparison to a branded salon so I’m not too fussed about it 😉 After all, a lot of the fun of going to a salon is in the pampering!
I like a saloon with staff who don’t attempt to strike a conversation with me ^_^ sometimes i am even too lazy to do anything so i just stone. i might look bored but i definitely am not feeling bored. LOL! If they try to upsell me or keep talking, I’d never return!
Paris B says
Fortunately for me, I can’t communicate most of the time 😛 So talking is out of the question LOL! I hate getting any upsell or hard sell. Always makes me feel too pressured.
I love the aftermath especially when my hair is blown nicely right after the cut or treatment! And a cute hairstylist is a bonus! 😛
Paris B says
Hahaha I’m sure that is a bonus alright! I’ve never been that lucky though! LOL
Tine @ Beautyholics Anonymous says
OMG YES. The head massage and hair wash. Sitting on the chair for at least 15-20 mins while the lady does her magic on my scalp = bliss. It really stinks that this isn’t available here. You want blowdry? Go straight to the basin and get your hair washed right there and then. Hate it, especially when I have to pay so much for it. But back in Malaysia, oh I’d go for it at least once a week even when I was still living there. It was my weekly indulgence which I happily paid for. Believe it or not, I only paid $10-$15 for it back then. 😀 😀 😀
Paris B says
You know, just before I was going to graduate in the UK, I treated myself to a salon cut. It was usually so expensive in the UK that I never cut my hair, until I got home in summer 😛 Poor student, what to do 😛 Anyway, I thought that with the price I was paying I’d get a nice wash and massage and a nice cut. I got a decent cut, but washing my hair bent back at the basin shocked me. I was like where’s my head and shoulder massage?!?! We’re so spoilt here, we don’t even realise it! LOL
I still haven’t found the one and I’m 28 🙁 I think I have spent half of my life looking for a hair salon to suit my needs. I hve baby fine hair that is prone to shedding in winters (and autumns too!) I get stressed out when I see large heat tools (remember, baby fine hair) and I hate shocks (3 inches on the floor! Whaaat! I just wanted a trim!)
So… My only guilty pleasure would be the protein treatments I rarely find the time to get from an actual salon and not out of a tub :p
Paris B says
Aww I’m sorry to hear you haven’t found a hair salon that suits your needs. Have you tried asking friends? After stumbling around and getting horrible cuts and treatments, I actually found the first decent place from my aunt’s recommendation. When I moved out of the area and it became too inconvenient to get to, I found my current place through a friend of a friend. Not everyone can work with my hair either, and it’s so important to have someone who understands your hair and not just want to make a quick buck!
Exactly like yours!! Tee hair wash and scalp massage is my favourite part!
If it’s done right it feels orgasmic (for the lack of a better word)!
Paris B says
You said it! 😀 😀
Swati Murti says
wow, you actually do get that long on the basin!! its just wash and go here. there would hardly do a 1-2 min massage to scrub off dirt in the first shampoo. the shampoo is just lather and rinse and then condition for 2-3 min and then wash and off you go 😀 but, i actually do not like getting a hair wash at any salon. its an awkward position to sit and i always fear that water would trickle down the back and make my clothes wet. i would rather prefer a 30 min non-stop massage during a hair spa. and, i do love the high-frequency treatments they do. not sure how much effective they are but i love the tingling sensation 🙂
Paris B says
No Swati, you sit in the chair and they go at your head for at least 20 minutes if you’re lucky! Hehe… then it’s off to the basin for a rinse and condition and maybe a mini massage before heading back to the chair for a blow dry/cut. I thought hair treatments would be more luxurious in India, for some reason. Maybe the hair spa is like what we get here for a wash? Ah… just thinking of it now makes me want to go for a good wash and head massage! LOL
Can you believe that I’ve just started to get my hair washed at the hair salon until I went to a more expensive one?
I don’t have many experience with hair salons here in my city but I guess most of the expensive ones only wash your hair and gives a really little scalp massage. However just the fact of getting my hair washed by another person relaxes me and that’s what I like about going to cut my hair.
Right now I’m letting it grow so I’m not experimenting with haircuts but just go and get the ends trimmed makes me feel better.
Paris B says
Always a first time for everything Efrain! It’s nice isn’t it? Not having to do it yourself LOL!
I live in Zurich, Switzerland and just had my first hair wash and blow dry…and nope, no massage for scalp or proper wash like you would get in some salons back in KL. In fact your hair is washed at the rinsing area. More effort and time is spent on blow drying with really good results. Maybe is this particular salon and I only paid CHF46.50 (RM199). Perhaps if at a more upmarket salons where you pay CHF70 min onwards there will be the massage. Not sure whether I will try it in the future :-). And yes, the massage (scalp and neck) is what I look forward to as well, plus how great one will look after a nice blow dry!
Paris B says
First, ahhhhh Zurich! I’d love to visit one day, one of my dream countries to visit, except the cost is so prohibitive! But I remember when I was in the UK and went for one of my very rare hair cuts as a student, just before graduation, I also had my hair washed at the sink! I was so disappointed! I wonder if it’s a Western country thing to not offer a head massage? This is certainly food for thought!
Like you, I also cut my hair at trusted salons but washes or treatments can be done pretty much anywhere because how could a hair treatment ever go wrong? Well recently, I was on holiday in KL and visited A Cut Above at Midvalley Mall. I walked in wanting to indulge in a hair treatment with RM300 being the most I’m willing to spend. I clearly told them what I wanted and my budget for it but as soon as I was seated, the hard-selling began and I ended up spending RM1000+ on some so-called keratin hair treatment with a shampoo and conditioner to bring home. Oh, both bottles are expiring very soon too, I should have checked earlier. They also told me that the treatment will tame the frizziness with results lasting up to 4 months without affecting the beloved soft perm that I currently have. Fast-forward 2 weeks and I realized that they pretty much rebonded my hair straight because I don’t see the waves anymore and now I have to book myself for a new perm next month. Sigh.
Since I’m not a Malaysian, I was surprised to hear from a friend that the salon that I went to was a famous, top-brand salon. I’m one of those rare people who don’t view hair salons in a positive light and experiences such as these cemented that. Maybe I need to be more firm with myself to avoid being taken advantage of but I hate getting stressed out with telling off people who can’t take ‘no’ for an answer and I always have this fear of sabotage when I don’t do as I was told.
Paris B says
Yikes, A Cut Above is one of the more expensive and what I’d term “branded” hair salon here. To be honest, I never really had a good experience there which is why after a couple of visits back in the day, I’ve never gone back. The whole idea of paying X for a “junior” and Y for a “senior” just didn’t sit well with me. I’m so sorry to hear of your experience 🙁 I actually feel you about the sabotage too – especially like with hair cuts when we’re at the mercy of the hairdresser, so many things can go wrong, so we suck it up 🙁 We shouldn’t!
Beauty Bee says
I’m a little late commenting on this post (I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but sometimes I save new blog posts, so I can read a few at once when I have some free time to myself hehe) but I also love trips to the salon!I go to the salon regularly, every 5-7 weeks. It just makes me feel refreshed and like I’m looking after myself, even when everything else has gone mental! I’m luckily that I’ve found a trust worthy salon very close to my home (out in the suburbs of Sydney – a haircut in the city would probably be the price of a small, old car lol).
I looove head massages and washes also and I do wish my salon gave extended versions even for a small fee. I used to love reading through the trashy magazines, but lately their selection has gotten old, so maybe I should buy myself one or two before going in (it sounds like they don’t offer a lot, but they are soooo lovely and my cuts and colours are always on point, which is def the most important factor!). I also just like the fact that I can sit there for a few hours and nothing is really expected of me lol! I can just people watch (I love watching how other people get their hair done) so it really is about the time out 🙂
Paris B says
Actually, I often comment on old posts too! I don’t read blogs everyday but if I feel the need to comment on an older post, I do anyway. After all, I know every comment is appreciated by the blogger, as I do yours, Sylvia! 😀 Ah salon trips – the most blissful experience outside of a body massage! I’m actually intrigued that it’s more affordable going for a hair treatment in the suburbs than it is in the city, because you know what? It wasn’t true for me! I used to pay more when living in the suburbs than I do now, in the city. KL is a weird place I tell you haha! Oh and what’s a salon trip without trashy mags? 😉 It’s the only time I flip through to find out what’s happening in the world of the who’s who!
Beauty Bee says
Oh I’m so glad that you also comment on older posts AND reply to new comments on older posts also (that’s sometimes rare for bloggers 😉 ). It’s really lovely how thoughtfully you reply to comments <3
That's so strange the you payed more for salon services in the suburbs! KL sounds like a very, very strange place… haha I kid of course! I've often wondered if going to one of those super fancy salons which cost a bomb, is worth it… I'm guessing probably not, but I will wonder!
From now on I will have to buy a tashy mag or two before going in for my regular appointment 😛
Paris B says
Thanks Sylvia 🙂 I actually try to reply to most, because people take the trouble to leave the comment, it’s the least I can do! Also, I have been tardy with replying to comments so I am a little more generous with the age of the post that I reply on. It used to be about 2 weeks, but now I give it up to a month, unless there’s a pressing question. But comments on posts that are years old, gosh! Those are hard! Haha
Philippe Bijnens says
My guilty pleasure is getting those scalp massages and actually falling asleep during.. they never notice until I get cold water on my scalp and I snap out of it. Thank God I don’t drool or talk in my sleep.
Paris B says
Any massage that can send me to sleep is a good one!
Came across your post whilst searching for a good hairdresser in kl that does short hairstyles. I noted that you recommended de headline in bukit bintang stylist thomas in low yat plazaz I tried looking on fb- its now called gg hair salon. Is this the same one you are going to?
I will be travelling to kl this october looking at getting a haircut. Apart from le headline any where else you would recommend?
Paris B says
Hi Leesa, it’s still called de Headline but moved. The number remains the same and I still go to Thomas (I don’t stray with my hairdresses so I don’t know of others to recommend!) That said, there are many around that I see people go to – A Cut Above, Centro, Miko Salon, Number 76 are just some of them with an online and instagram presence that you can check out. No recommendations because I don’t use them 🙂