A Hair Story

It’s been about thirteen years since my first hair rebond treatment. For about a year or so now though, I’ve been keeping my hair untouched just to see how it would look like in its natural state. As these things go, my hair’s natural state turned out to be as wild as a prehistoric planet. It came as no surprise that my mother – who isn’t the most obsessive person in terms of trends or fashion – subtly dropped me a line telling me that she really liked my hair at my nephew’s christening two years ago: short and rebonded.

To solve this dilemma – and because life was stressful and I needed to take a break – I went to Beauty Brick in Bel-Air, Makati with the intention of getting my hair curled. I’ve been trying to get a treatment there forever, but every time I drop by Mr. Shin – the manager and chief hairstylist – is always overbooked. This time though, I made a proper appointment.

The moment I walked in, the staff looked at me and I could see the hesitation on their faces. My ex-hair would have given anyone a migraine. (Too bad, I didn’t get a picture of it.) Mr. Shin was thankfully very no-nonsense though. He never once berated me for not taking good care of my hair. He just told me how to take better care of it:

#1 Wet hair can worsen sun damage. Go out of the house preferably with perfectly dry hair so no dust particles will stick to your hair strands and ruin them.
#2 Apply serum to wet hair, then dry hair. Start from the middle, then the tips, then the top.
#3 Maintain hair every three weeks. This is not just for curls.
#4 Home treatments are okay. In fact, they’re recommended.
#5 Don’t tie your hair wet.

All in all, great experience. The staff was very nice. One ate gave me a recap of the last week of ABS CBN’s Two Wives. (Victor, it turned out, had died. How convenient.) As I’ve said, I’ve been having rebond and relax treatments for thirteen years, but none of them felt as short or as efficient as this one. Three people were pulling my hair at one time – the most I’ve experienced was four – but this time they felt like they were really “in the zone”.

The best part was that they customized the treatment for me. In my previous salons, the hairstylist would just put medicine on my hair and make me sit there for four hours. This was not Mr. Shin’s style. Instead, he constantly checked on my hair to see if the medicine was working. If it wasn’t working yet, he would tell his staff to extend. And they would promptly respond – in a pattern I’m sure they practiced together, given they’re so precise – “Yes, Sir” or “Yes, Manager” with admirable efficiency.

[2015.03.12] Haircut

Also, I liked how they gave me a massage, gave me a legitimate consultation – actually knew what I wanted, even though all I did was point out Maki Horikita’s hair on a magazine I saw near the front door – and made sure I was comfortable without trying to pin me down with small talk. I wanted my hair done, I knew how I wanted it to look like, and because I didn’t know how to achieve that, I was properly guided.

After I got my rebond treatment, I was walking down Makati Avenue on the way to the MRT and people were staring at me. I thought it was my hair – I was so sure my hair was beautiful. But then I eventually realized – probably when I was already back in Quezon City – that it was not my hair, it was my smile. I was smiling broadly, because I knew I had beautiful hair, and that made all the difference.

Beauty Brick
Bel-Air, Makati City

How to get there via MRT: Alight at Buendia Station. From the Mercury Drug-KFC junction near the station exit, ride a Bel-Air/Washington jeepney (pay PhP8.50). Get off at Makati Avenue, at the Petron Station across the Pacific Star Building. Walk across the Petron Station towards Jupiter Street, and with the Pacific Star building behind you, turn left. Walk about a 100 meters – past a local KFC franchise and a cooking school – to find a shop front with the words ‘Vintage Shop’ something or other. (Okay, you can probably tell I’m awful with directions. This is the best I can do.) Go straight inside, the first door you’ll see is Beauty Brick.
What it’s known for: Digital perm.

Chosen treatment: Natural rebond, which is rebond without the pre-cooked pasta level of straightness. I specifically asked for a treatment that would make my hair look like a normal part of my body, with volume and all.
How much it cost: PhP5,800. That’s inclusive of the random trims Mr. Shin made when he felt my hair wasn’t falling the right way, the cost of the L’Oreal medicine and the collagen treatment, the massage, and the review about the last week of Two Wives.
Perks: If you’re an old customer, you get 10% discount.

Favorite bits: The staff is very professional and considerate. They don’t try to sell you additional so-and-so treatment. And Mr. Shin is the man.
Not-so-favorite bits: Pricey for a student budget.
Am I going back? Hell, yeah, I’m going back.

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