Express Hair Studio
35 Aguirre Avenue, Unit C-D
BF Homes, Paranaque
Tel. No. 553-7989
Open from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays and 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays to Saturdays
(SPOT.ph) Express is up-to-the-minute, urbane, and inviting-just like its owner. Chase Tinio, chef, tennis champ, and former MTV VJ and TV host, beams as he welcomes us to this new salon-his latest entrepreneurial endeavor-smack in the middle of BF Homes' busiest district. He makes us feel at home with a quick assessment of our hair and the services we can avail. But the true star of the beauty hub is Shun Tsutsumi, whose cuts and techniques are the gold standard for celebrities and socialites in Kyoto and whom Chase had especially flown in from Japan to take the post as his salon's creative director. "Everything he touches just turns into a work of art. He is able to create, transform, and emphasize real beauty," says Chase. "We settle for no less than his meticulous work ethic."
And so we are handed over to Mr. Shun to rework our dry, overgrown and traumatized-from-a-previous-haircut locks. We decide to get a cut, a treatment, and some highlights before giving our usual hasty instructions ("Do whatever you want, just nothing drastically short, angularly choppy, or with ultra-bleach-y streaks."). He begins dry-snipping existing layers into blunt ends, which made us panic at the sight of long, choppy chunks of hair fluttering to the floor. But then he proceeds with lots of vertical cutting, layering in sharp angles, and graduated tiers, all to minimize excess volume and make strands sit well whether straight or curly. The result was a wavy and bouncy cut, which made us feel like a modern-day Farrah Fawcett.
As we sip our complimentary cappuccinos and look around the glass-encased area, one can see actual styling results plastered as posters in various corners-all showcasing everything the salon does best, from technical hair straightening to digital perming (which renders the ideal big curls) and precision haircutting. Mr. Shun cuts through our daze, coming back with dye dishes and aluminum.
He does the coloring himself, suggesting that we add three shades of highlights to our auburn brown hair. The salon calls this ombré, technically defined as "the process of using the gradation technique of sectioning and application, which creates textured and layered coloring," beams Chase. "It is the biggest trend in Hollywood supported by stars like Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, and Kim Kardashian, to name a few. Express owns the rights and trademark for Hollywood Ombré in the Philippines." After some 30 minutes of application, our hair is rinsed, shampooed, and treated with intensive conditioner and shiner, before getting blown out to sexy, soft, and swingy perfection.
We stepped out feeling like superstars. More importantly, our layers perfectly fell into place even the next day, after our normal shampoo and air-dry rituals, so in our book, the cuts here pass the "morning after" test.
Express Hair Studio: Precision Cutting (starts at P350), Technical Hair Straightening (starts at P1,300), Digital Perming (starts at P3,000), Ombre (starts at p4,000)