Her hair and the red carpet: Lupita Nyong’O makes a political statement

Last Saturday, Kenyan-Mexican actress literally stormed the red carpet at the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with her stunning emerald and sequinned slashed-to-the-thigh Halpern dress; and mini afro.

That mini afro, styled in Nyong O’s natural hair texture, is a refreshing change from the usual (artificially) sleek and shiny locks of black women in the entertainmant spotlight. (Think Naomi Campbell, Nicki Minaj, Tyra Banks, Kerry Washington.)

Clearly, Nyong O’s preferred hairstyle is a political statement (which applies to everything else in Trump’s America these days), and a nod to her belief in propogating diverse definitions of beauty.

She had made her stand clear in an Instagram post in November, when she flamed Grazia UK for putting her on the cover but cropping out the kinky frizzy curls.

In her post, she wrote: “As I have made clear so often in the past with every fiber of my being, I embrace my natural heritage and despite having grown up thinking light skin, and straight, silky hair were the standards of beauty, I now know that my dark skin and kinky, coily hair are beautiful too. Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are. I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like. Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style, and texture. #dtmh”

The post has been liked by more than 270,000 on Instagram.

This is the typical I’m standing-up-for-myself Nyong’O style.

She rose to fame for her starring role in the 2013 political drama 12 Years A Slave. She is the first Kenyan-Mexican actress to bag the Academy Award, and has since been on a mission to dispel the stereotypes of beauty. Her immaculate sense of style – she has been dressed by everyone from Prada to Calvin Klein Collection, and the face of Lancome – has given her the advantage of being a true influence on Millennials who demand to be accepted as they are.

Here are more snaps of Lupita wearing her natural hair texture on the red carpet and fashion shoots to full effect.

Photos: W Magazine; Lupita Nyong’O Instagram @lupitanyongo

Pramasana Scalp Treatment at Urbanhair, Tangs Orchard

A healthy and clean scalp gives you lush locks, simple as that.

The hair follicles on your scalp are most likely clogged with dead skin cells, product build-up and excess sebum (gross, indeed) if:

  • you use plenty of hairstyling products or heavy conditioners;
  • your hair is often greasy at the roots;
  • your scalp flaky;
  • and a scalp-clarifying shampoo or scalp treatment is foreign to you.

An unhealthy scalp could then lead to dandruff, thin and lifeless hair.

(This follows the same logic as to why you get clogged pores and acne when you wear plenty of makeup but do not deep-cleanse the skin.)

So consider a simple, gentle and effective scalp-balancing treatment like the Pramasana Scalp routine by Aveda at Urbanhair (from $105 for men and $170 for ladies, 60 mins).

It takes just an hour, with no gimmickry (we’ve tried enough of those with infrared lights 😑, hot air treatment caps 😧, blood tests 😱, etc. )

The routine begins with a quick shoulder and neck massage, followed by a gentle massaging of the scalp with a special brush to loosen the build-up, and improve circulation.

The Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser, an exfoliating lotion is then applied on the scalp and massaged in with zig zag motions and soothing pressure-point massages.

The lotion contains seaweed extract to balance sebum levels in the skin, lactobacillus to strengthen it, tamanu oil to protect, and a babassu cleansing agent to deep-cleanse.

The cypress-neroli-grapefruit scent also relaxes the senses.

During the treatment, the solution leaves the scalp feeling minty and tingly. After 15 minutes, it is shampooed off, and your hair is conditioned based on its needs.

Next, the leave-in Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate is massaged into the skin to nourish, strengthen and protect the skin.

The session is completed with a blowdry.

My scalp felt completely clean afterwards.

Plus, seeing is believing. Under the camera that zoomed right to my follicles, the bottom of each hair shaft was free of any residue. And my scalp looked clear and translucent.

Call 6737 7813 to make an appointment.

His story: Roland Chow and Singapore’s early hairdressing scene

In the mid-1970s, when the teenaged Eugene Ong decided that he wanted to become a hairstylist, he looked to the prominent industry veteran Roland Chow as a role model. 

“Then, almost all hairdressers were women. And Roland was so glamorous, all my friends’ mothers were always talking about him,” recalls Ong, the director and founder of Urbanhair

“Women of a certain social standing all had their hair done by him.”

Through serendipity, Ong’s first apprenticeship was with Christine Wah, Chow’s top assistant. 

“Christine would tell me how exclusive his salon was. Roland even had a drawn curtain around each client for their privacy.”

The curtains were also there for another reason. The hair maestro did not want observers to “steal” his skills; only the privileged few could watch  him in action, recalls Ong.

Eugene Ong, who drew inspiration from Chow

Born into the upper crust of Shanghainese society in 1926, Chow fled to Singapore in 1949 to seek refuge from the communists. 
Chow first made a name for himself as a fashion designer; he was often described as the “Mr Dior of Singapore” in the 1950s.

Later, he focused his career on hairdressing and supposedly became Singapore’s first Paris-trained hairdresser. 

He literally shaped more than the coiffs of Singapore’s high society tai-tais; Chow influenced their tastes too. He  was also a prominent columnist who often shared his thoughts on the latest fashion and lifestyle trends in the local newspapers and magazines. 

On January 12, 2012, Chow passed on at the age of 86. 

His life story came full circle with Ong’s when the latter recently received a call about Chow’s rich collection of books, lookbooks, photographs and sketches. Chow’s sister had kept them in pristine condition after his death.

Going through the collection at the Hair &  Cosmetology Association Singapore (HACOS) at French Road, Ong says, “These documents are so important for posterity. In this digital age, they would add so much depth into the learning process for young local hairdressers.”

Here, a selection from Chow’s personal archive.

The hairdresser, fashion designer, writer

Chow’s personal archive of inspiration

The early work of Aveda’s founder, Horst Rechelbacher
The Orient Express from The Vidal Sassoon Library
The original Five-Point Sassoon Cut from The Vidal Sassoon Library

A Japanese hair menu

Photograph proofs of Chow’s fashion show

How K-Wave Superstar Song Hye Kyo styles her locks

The goddess of K-dramas, and fever-ed K-Wave dreams, actress Song Hye Kyo’s locks are always perfectly silky-shiny with just the right amount of volume and bouncy curls around her shoulders.

Here, she shares how she achieves the perfect hairstyle with her Dyson Supersonic (and trusted stylist).


Step 1: Use the dryer without any attachments, and turn it on high heat and high airflow settings. This speeds up the drying of the hair.



Step 2:  To give the roots of your hair some lift, snap on the diffuser. Then use it to “brush” the hair upwards towards the crown.



Step 3: When hair is half dry, snap on the smoothening nozzle, and set the dryer on medium heat and high airflow. Direct the nozzle downwards. The strong airflow will help to seal the cuticles for silky hair.



Step 4: When hair is 80 per cent dry, snap on the styling nozzle for a concentrated airflow to create loose curls. Set dryer on high heat and high airflow.



Step 5: Finally, snap on the diffuser again to set curls with a cool shot of air and low airflow. This helps the locks to last longer throughout the day.


About the Dyson Supersonic:

Dyson invested £50 million in the development of the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer
1010 miles of human hair has been used in testing of the gadget
600 prototypes were made before the product hit the market
100+ patents pending
16 patents pending for the attachments alone
4 years in-the-making
103 engineers worked on it

Find out more about the Dyson Supersonic in my previous post.

Watch Song’s tutorial on her hairstyling routine here.

Photos: Dyson



TBG Interview: Marshall Lin, hairstylist, Frederic Fekkai

Marshall Lin’s story is the kind of story that makes you believe dreams do come true in the Big Apple.

Like so many others, he moved to NYC from Hong Kong with his family when he was 14.

At 15, he found himself apprenticing in a salon. He lied that he was 16 – afterall, age is just a number to be manipulated – just so that he would seem old enough.

“I was young, wild, active, creative; I love to meet girls. All the right elements to be a good hairstylist,” he says.

And meet girls he did.

Today, Lin has a long waiting list; and has groomed and styled A-listers such as Kate Bosworth, Olivia Palmero, Christina Aguilera and Coco Rocha.

With more than two decades of experience backstage and on editorial shoots, Lin is now known for his signature effortless #wokeuplikethis #coolgirl cuts.

Lin talks all things hair with The Beauty Gazette.


What, in your opinion, does a good hairstyle look like? 

A good haircut should show off and frame your bone structure, this includes the bone around the eye socket, the cheek bones, jaw line and collar bones. The angle of the cut should highlight and flatter the contours of your face. A good cut can also strategically soften the features you like less. For instance, the shadow of a mid-length fringe can hide a razor-sharp cheek bone, while a bob that ends at the jaw line can make a round face look more defined.

A good hairstyle and a good haircut are two different things. A good hairstyle makes you feel confident with the way your hair looks so you’re not afraid to show it off.


Which is better? Sticking to a signature hairstyle that defines you? Or experiment all the time?

Always try to have fun with your hair.

As a professional hairstylist, I always keep two things in mind – beauty and trends.

I always consider what looks good on the person sitting in my chair because not all trends are suitable for everyone. With that said, trendy elements can be important to help one look fresh and fun.

Any tips on how one can get a good hair day, everyday, but without too much fuss?

Many people apply tons of haircare products, but still complain that they don’t see any results. One reason is the condition of their hair cuticles. Think about the pores on your face, and how you would apply an astringent toner to tighten them after you’ve washed it.

Similarly, after you’ve washed your hair in the shower, rinse your locks with cold water to seal the cuticles, so that your hair will retain whatever conditioning products that you’ve used. I guarantee that you’ll notice silkier hair.

Also, find a styling product that works for you. If you hair needs more texture, find some good light wax for that extra touch. If you want more volume, look for a good dry shampoo or light hairspray for more lift.

That said, less is more. If you have a good haircut, you don’t have to fuss too much over your hair. So be loyal to a good hairstylist. And love the natural texture of your hair.

As Diane von Furstenberg once said: “What makes you attractive is being yourself, being natural, being unaware.”


Who are some of your best celebrity clients? And why do you think they have stuck with you when there are so many good hairstylists in NYC?

This is a tough question because I love all my clients. But I’ve developed a really deep relationship with model Selita Ebanks. I’ve been cutting her hair for many years, and she never lets anyone else near her hair.

A good hairstylist has mad skills, including people skills. Each time you see them, you’ve got to make it seem like it’s the first time you are meeting them. Keep them informed about what you’re doing with their hair. Also, listen and remember everything that they’ve told you about themselves. It’s all about the connection and trust. I would even go so far as to say that one’s relationship with a good hairstylist is as important as their own marriage. Because they can ensure that you will never have another bad hair day.

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Which are some of your favourite hair care and hairstyling products?

I love my products to feel clean and fresh, never heavy; products that create a lot of movement and texture without too much build-up.

Frederic Fekkai – Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo, and Full Volume Mousse.
Oribe – Dry Texturizing Spray, and Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste.
L’Oreal – Elnett Satin Hairspray


Find out more about Lin at www.linmarshall.com

Photos: Marshall Lin

© The Beauty Gazette

Dyson Hair SuperSonic hairdryer

Say hello to the game-changing hairdryer.

Dyson – maker of (literally) the coolest fans and some of the most powerful vaccuum machines around – has launched its first hairdryer.

And it has that signature negative space – a circle for this gadget- that makes it so coveted; at least in our books.

Because you need to look stylish even when drying your hair.

Here’re the other reasons we think the SuperSonic is revolutionary:

1) The design is ergonomic. The motor is tucked into the handle of the hairdryer, instead of the head/ near the nozzle. The weight of the dryer is balanced in the grasp of your hands, so you will find it easier to perfect that blow dry.

2) It is a multi-tasker. The gadget distributes negative ions to reduce static, keeping hair smooth and slick.

3) Super-powerful. Though small, the motor’s impellers are cut from aerospace-grade aluminium. It moves over 13 litres of air at high-velocity and high-pressure through the gadget. So you can dry and style your hair quickly.

4) So easy to use. You can make the fanciest gadget out there. But if its bells and whistles are too complicated, there’s no point. The SuperSonic has straightforward settings: three levels for air flow, and three levels for the temperature setting. Each option is indicated clearly by LED lights. There is also a press-and-hold cold shot button, next to the on-off switch.

5) It is made to protect the hair. The air from the dryer will not be heated above 150 degrees celsius. Because apparently, when hair is heated to temperatures higher than 150 degrees, it becomes irreparably damaged.

6) Its versatile nozzles. You’d want to get the most out of an investment like the SuperSonic. This baby comes with a stainless steel body with magnetic nozzles. So all you have to do is click them into place, and they can be rotated 360 degrees. There’s the Smoothing Nozzle (for regular drying), Styling Concentrator (made for creating the waves in the direction that you want), and Diffuser (for volume and curls).

One thing to note though: because the body is made of stainless steel (hence, the gorgeous metallic pink)…it can become incredibly hot after use, so be careful to not touch it. Let it cool on the silicon pad that comes as part of the set.

Priced at S$599, the Dyson Hair SuperSonic hits shelves Aug 5 at local department and electrical stores.





How to never have a bad haircut again

1. Choose wisely

Do your research. Get word-of-mouth recommendations. Read the credits of your local beauty and fashion magazine spreads; the best in the business are usually engaged for such elaborate shoots.

The last thing you should do is just pop by any salon and expect a miracle to happen.

2. Be willing to pay

This sounds like a no-brainer. But when it comes to your hair, you really do pay for what you get. Why do you think the salons that offer cuts by apprentices let you pay as you please?

The best in town charge a premium because they can deliver. The salon director’s fees are the most because he or she has the most experience.

(But then again, be wary of those who are super overpriced. I really don’t think a haircut alone should ever ever cost more than US$200. Unless you are a celebrity.)

2. Do your homework everytime

Create a look book. Even if you cannot find that perfect look online, create a collage of the different looks and colours that you love. A good stylist will be able to combine and recreate the inspiration so you get the look. 

These pics (nicked off Instagram: @rubyrose @sora_ppp / Shu Uemura) below were my tearsheets for my latest hair makeover. And my stylist (shoutout to Eugene Ong of Urbanhair!) nailed it.

The cut…

The colour…

3. Be yourself
But remember, that cool cut you love on Ruby Rose may not look as good on you. Simply because your features are different. So never insist on copying a style you saw on someone else to a T, unless your experienced stylist is confident that you can pull it off. So give him the inspiration, but let him do his thing so your cut will suit you.

4. Dress up

I usually get my hair done on my day off, but I wear a full face of makeup and don a cute outfit when I go see my hairstylist. Because I want to inspire him, and help me him envision how my final complete head-to-toe look should be.

4. Be loyal

I am not perpetuating stereotypes here. But hairstylists are sensitive creatures. They need to know that you trust them so they will give you their best. And the experienced ones will always know when someone else has touched your hair.

But more importantly, once a stylist is familiar with the texture of your hair, how it grows out, the shape of your face, or even the shape of your head… That’s when you get the most awesome styles.

So build a relationship, so your stylist can plan your hair looks for the long term.

5. Focus

Don’t play with your phone or read a magazine. Watch him snip away. So you can tell him to stop when you feel that things are not going the way you want to.

It will be too late by the time he is done with the cut, and you look up from the phone or magazine and realise that you hate it.

7. Pamper
It never hurts to bring your stylist goodies or give him a good tip. So he will always give your locks that extra TLC.

8. Take pictures

If you absolutely love that cut, remember to take pictures from every angle. Especially if he is at the top of his game, your stylist has plenty of customers and he wouldn’t be able to remember how your hair looked the last time you left his salon. So to recreate that same look, it would be handy to flash those pictures to jog his memory.

©The Beauty Gazette

O&M Conquer Blonde Silver Shampoo

Bottle blondes, this shampoo will help keep cool tones (that include greys, ash blue etc.) salon-fresh for longer.

Pour this into your hand and you get a deep iodine blue shampoo that foams up easily. The true blue formula prevents the hair colour from turning brassy, especially for Asian hair with warm undertones. (Nothing I hate more than brassiness in light hair, makes the colouring job look cheap.)


I have done my research on O&M, and they are one of the few haircare brands that understand the intricate science of hair colouring, and the need for formulas that are not chemical laden.

Their products are always innovative and one-of-a-kind too.

In Singapore, O&M products are available in Sephora and selected stores.