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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Essensuals Bugis sucks

My 1st experience in March 2011 was great thus I went back for rebonding then colouring, which turned out horrible.

It is not catastrophically bad, like I became bald or something, but unacceptable as the results were bad considering it supposedly a very professional salon and not those neighbourhood cheapo types (plenty at my area which only charge S$50 regardless of length). Moreover I paid a surcharge fee for the director's service! To top the cake, they offered very lousy service recovery.

Yes, they were polite about it but basically the bottomline to me was "We are sorry your hair colour did not turn out right, just wash it more often and see what happens". Blaming the results on the condition of my hair instead of their skills, when it should be "We are sorry for botching up the colour of your hair. Come back in a few weeks and we will redo it for you free of charge and throw in some treatment to improve the condition of your hair".

I was whatsapping Yaya & Smallgirl on Tuesday night and both of them encouraged me to go back to the salon and see what they can do to fix it. Smallgirl was suggesting that I demand them to recolour my whole hair and offer at least 6 x free hair treatments until my hair is smooth and not dry like now or a refund of my money and go to her cousin's boyfriend salon at Kovan to fix the mess.

I am not sure on what to do, so I left an FB message on Essensuals Bugis page to show them how horrible my hair colour was and asked them how to remedy the problem. I took almost 2 hours to type the letter because I was contemplating if I should post it publicly on their wall, as advised by Smallgirl & Yaya, so everyone can see how lousy and horrible my hair was.. But I decided to be nice and post a private message instead..

I posted the message at around 1am (that's why it says Wednesday) and called them around 2pm to see if they received my message as I have not received a reply on FB.

The receptionist (yes, the blur & toot one) was working and it took her 5 times before she got my name right. It's JASMINE! Not JESSIE, JESSLYN, JACKY.. Seriously, they need to give that woman a tight slap or send her for some language courses.

Explained to her a few times on what happened and whether I can come down to look for Bryan to ask him if there's any solution for my hair. I keep explaining to her that I coloured my hair on Monday 20June but she misunderstands me and kept thinking I want to go down for an appointment to colour my hair!

Seriously, when a pissed off customer is trying to be nice but faced with an idiot on the phone, it really tests my patience. A lot.

I made an appointment for 11am today and arrived at 10.55am. Guess I was too early as the salon was not opened but a few of the staff were waiting outside the door.. went for a walk and came back at 11.10am.. still not opened. Waited until 11.15am before they opened the place.

So once I'm in, I showed Bryan my hair and he said it is really not obvious until he scrutinize my hair a small strand at a time.. He commented that the picture I showed him (which was in my previous post) is super obvious, but strangely it doesn't seem that way in his salon. And he also said that if he were to know it's that bad, he would not have allow me to leave the salon on the day itself..

But even if we know it was this bad, what could he have done on that day?

I told him it's the lighting of the salon.. too dim and it's not white light so the colour doesn't really show.

Advice to anyone who wanna go there and colour your hair.. Bring your own camera and take a picture of your hair with flash before leaving the salon. The first time I went I did that and the colour was nice. Big mistake not to do it the second time.

I asked him why is the colour so inconsistent, and he explained that because I rebonded my hair, the hair is more porous thus 'eats' the colour in faster. I then question him and ask why only the bottom part since my whole head was rebonded (by him, no less) and he said the ends are usually more porous.

I got a feeling that he is trying to blame the consistency of the colour on my rebonded hair.. but the thing was, I rebonded my hair 1 week ago at this salon and I was told I can colour it 7 days later and yes, I was informed I can only darken my hair but I wasn't told that the colour will come out to be so fucked up!

I don't proclaim myself to be a hair expert so I shall not argue much. Most importantly is how to solve the problem. He proposed a few options to me:
  1. Dye the top part darker
  2. Bleach the bottom part
  3. TRY and wash off the colour of the bottom part
Option 1 is out, as even the top part which appears brown in flashlight is a few shades darker than I initially wanted. Under normal light it looks black and only in strong sunlight or flashlight does it appears to be brown.

Option 2 is way out as the ends of my hair are super dry after the rebonding + colouring and I don't think it can withstand a bleaching session. I'll probably end up with melted hair that snaps everytime I comb it.

So we went with Option 3, which to me is kinda stupid. How do you even wash out a colour in 1 wash? So they tried washing my hair.. but I didn't have high hopes that the colour will even out.. which it didn't. And the person who washed it out for me was Nana, the hairstylist who applied the colour on the ends of my hair..

It's like double whammy. First she was the one who applied the colour and caused the whole problem, then Bryan who is the director whom I paid an extra $50 surcharge in the first place to help me do my hair who should do it 100% the first time but delegated it to Nana who then botched it up and when I go back again for a fix he again delegated it to Nana.

Fucking oxymoronic to the maximum.

I didn't wanna argue and just went along with whatever they say or do.. because the moment he asked Nana to come and see the colour without asking her why or how she did such a lousy job but instead asked her to wash the end I knew the problem will never be fixed and he's just paying me lip service that he will do his best to solve the issue.

In my mind I was telling myself to be calm, polite and just leave and not come back.

Before I left the salon, Bryan advised me to use Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo which has "colour stripping properties due to it's tear free formula". Since I happened to have a small bottle of it at home and tried to wash the ends of my hair with it just now and guess what happened?

My hair ends become like this. A fucked up mess.

Than I suddenly remembered Bryan saying something to me when I went for colouring, like "Why your hair like that? You use baby shampoo ah? Haha!" when he tried to comb away my tangles. During that time I did not use baby shampoo, but it was tangled because it was dry after the rebonding session.. (Their treatment not good enough).

And now he asked me to use baby shampoo to wash my ends and I'm not sure if the colour did come out cos the foam was white, but it became more tangled.. Sigh.

I shall have to live with my horrible hair.. let it rest for a few weeks than go and recolour it.

And now, let me show you a picture of my hair now, after their 'genius' idea of washing out the ends..

I used yellow lines to partition my hair to show you the colour differences.. It's not really jet black but it is black instead of dark brown.

Day 2 // Day 4 after 'professional washing of hair ends'

If you can spot a difference, you must be super good at games like "Find Wally" or "Spot the difference", because no matter how I look at it, it still looks the same. Ugly, inconsistent and messed up.


I would not be quite as upset if in fact:
  1. It did not cost me $180+
  2. I did not pay $50 extra for the DIRECTOR of the salon to do it but he only oversee 50% of the process
  3. The "treatment" included in the price is a lame 30second application
  4. The colour was not 3 shades darker than what I expected
  5. The colour contrast is not that obvious
I am always nice and polite to people working in a hair salon because I don't want to offend someone who is carrying a sharp scissors on them! You never know what they can do to your hair.. So my demanding attitude which I always extend to useless & rude service staff is never shown in a hair salon. Lucky for them, woe for me. So no matter how unhappy I am, all I can do is grin and bare it and find other ways to complain (like in my blog) and find way to fix it (alternative salon).

I have rebonded my hair countless times and have coloured it after rebonding but honestly this experience is considered my No 2 worst. The first few days after rebonding, my hair looks great.. but now after colouring it became ultra ultra horrible.

The honour of No 1 worst hair experience was at Tampines Mall's Jean Yip 4 years ago where they chopped off 4 inches of my hair because they left the chemical in for too long and the ends melted! They even dared to pester me and ask me to sign their stupid package. But at least their rebonding was S$190, which was less than what I paid at Essensuals Bugis -- S$263.43

Seriously, like when I look at the mirror now, there's not much difference than 2 weeks ago before I rebonded my hair.. just a wee bit straighter. Also, now the ends are drier and splitting like mad! When I go to other salon for rebonding, the treatment always involve those O2 machines where they wrap your hair in the mushroom thingy and leave it on for minimum 30minutes! Over here, I had a 30second treatment where the hairstylist Nana apply the so-called treatment than washed it off. I was so confused that I actually asked her why she is blowdrying my hair before treatment than she said she has already applied it while washing my hair than I realized the 30seconds cooling sensation was the "treatment".

As for the colour, I rather have my black roots growing out from my hair than have black hair ends and brown hair on the top which is fucking ridiculous.

Imaging paying almost S$500 to have your hair that looking much worse than before?

I understand that people do make mistakes. Previously in my job at the travel company, I do make mistakes but the important thing is not only to learn from them but to do service recovery and ensure the customers that you acknowledge your mistake and will do anything possible to make it up for them and to ensure they have a positive experience.

I forgave the salon for doing a lousy colour job on my hair and did not post on their wall publicly or demanded for a refund. But their 'service recovery' is simply laughable.. A free hairwash?! Utterly insulting and stupid. I am going to boycott Essensual Bugis for life. No matter what they do or say, I will never be going back and paying good money for lousy services like this.

It is a pity because Bryan seems really friendly and nice and on top of that, strictly no hard push of nonsensical 'packages' like Jean Yip. I regret that the positive relationship with my new found hairstylist had to end like this.

To quote Amanda who commented on my previous entry:
"Look at the number of bloggers the salon sponsored! They overcharge paying customers to fund and sustain their business and the sponsorships!!"

Damn fucking true.

Just do a simple google search on the salon and you may see that it has a lot of fans raving about it.. but look closely and you will realize that 85% of them are paid or offered free services to sing praises of the place.


Anonymous said...

this salon is famous as they re good at sponsoring those famous blogger and they need to blog good stuffs about them but the fact maybe not be true.

Anonymous said...

hi jasmine,
thanks for sharing your experience, i had a really bad experiences with HAIR NOX STUDIO, my hair is serverly damage, causing me hair loss and part of my hair is balding. pls do not go there in the future.

Jasmine Tay said...

Yea, famous doesn't mean it is good. And I will avoid Hair Nox Studio. Thanks for the advice!