Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beautybrick Hair Art Studio: a one-man show

Paid a visit to Beautybrick Hair Art Studio yesterday with My Bibe as it's been around a month already since my last haircut.

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It's always a pleasure to see this little fella greeting you at the salon entrance:

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The salon is owned and run by a Korean I've simply known since, like, five years ago as Mr. Shin. I have no idea what his full name is. That's him in the left side of the photo texting in between haircuts.

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The salon has about six seats or so, you'll think there are several stylists around. But Mr. Shin is a one-man show. Seriously, he's the only stylist at the salon and I don't know where he gets his energy from. From opening till closing, Mondays through Saturdays, it's just him.

Saturdays are the most jam-packed that they finish way beyond their 9PM closing time. And if you want to book an appointment on a Saturday, do so at least a week in advance. And don't be surprised if they try to convince you to opt for a weekday schedule instead. Given that there's only one stylist, weekdays are actually the best time to visit.

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So how does this Korean manage to serve all his clients? He employs about half a dozen assistants to help in shampooing, blow-drying, coloring, digital perming, and everything you can think of, sweeping the floor included. This has always been the case ever since he put up Ark Salon.

A bit of history here. Ark Salon was his previous endeavor that ran for a couple of years before he left for Japan (he trained there under Tony & Guy in Tokyo). He brought in another Korean stylist in his place, a lady this time. Didn't like her, though. From what I've heard, the staff weren't happy with the way things were run under the Korean lady either.

More than a year later I was happy to receive a text purportedly from Mr. Shin announcing that he's back and that he's opening a new salon along Jupiter St. in Makati. This salon is Beautybrick. And this salon was much bigger than the old one. Let me take you on a quick tour.

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The waiting area. Upon entering don't be shocked with the entire staff greeting you "Good  morning/afternoon/evening, Ma'am/Sir! Welcome to Beautybrick..." in chorus. Seriously.

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Hordes of magazines you won't understand are available for your reading viewing pleasure while waiting to be serviced. While some local magazines are also available, the selection is predominantly Korean. But I enjoy browsing through Korean GQ, Esquire, Areana, Status, etc. nonetheless. Needless to say, I only look at the pictures, admiring their sense of style and looking in great envy at how good everyone's hair seems to be.

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The shampoo area.

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The counter, where a handful of Korean products are also available for sale. Tips are centralized at the counter. And if you do tip, don't be surprised if the attendant announces to everyone else that you've given a tip and a chorus of Thank you's erupts. But I suppose you won't be shocked anymore after that grand welcome earlier.

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Mr. Shin in action, working on My Bibe's hair.

Mr. Shin hardly speaks any English. So how do you communicate? Through this lady:
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Her name is Deborah, Mr. Shin's trusted right hand ever since those Ark Salon days. She doesn't speak Korean, though. So they communicate in Japanese instead. I've always thought of her as stylish, with a Japanese influence evident. Just look at her here:
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And her footwear, which she says were from Marikina (a great find, I must say!):
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So how was my haircut? Here goes...
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For more information or to book an appointment, you can call Beautybrick Hair Art Studio at (+632)473-5108. They're right beside Red Ribbon along Jupiter St., Makati City.

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