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In the ultra competitive hair industry, having a pair of deft hands and being able to snip, cut and design a new hairdo for customers is already the expected norm. Nowadays, the wow factor is heightened by the level of service provided.

I was invited for a free haircut at one upmarket hair salon in Orchard Road today.

Keeping an open mind and not wanting to pass any favourable judgement based on the brand name itself, I was sufficiently surprised at first sight how the hair salon seemed to resemble a spa retreat more than a typical hair salon, what with the choice of dark timber hues oozing a warmth, homely feeling. Perhaps this was the impression the hair salon wanted to project – that coming for a snip, cut or treatment was akin to coming home to the familiar.

The moment I stepped into the interior chambers of the hair salon, I knew I was in for a treat – a treat tantalizing enough to excite the different senses.

Visually, all the stylists were immaculately dressed in classic white and black. It was as if they all walked out from a fashion shoot. Even the shampoo boys too were dressed in the same manner. This needless to say was the corporate identity in this upmarket hair salon. Watching them attend to the other customers was a visual delight as while the stylist sat cutting hair, his assistants stood at arm’s length observing.

Kinesthetically, I felt more than welcome. Beyond the bright chandelier lights, vastness of space and brightly lighted haircut service points was a service lady, who surprisingly despite her age, spoke very good English. I was impressed. She too was dressed in white and black! Drinks were on the house and I could order anything from the menu. Less than one minute later, she returned with my drink and further asked if I wanted biscuits or male magazines to read while waiting. I smiled.

Auditorily, from the snatches of conversations, bantering and small chatter generated across the various haircut service points, it was obvious both the stylist and customer were creating small talk. It wasn’t just the normal small talk about how you wanted to cut your hair or whether you were going to try the latest hair spa. Rather, it was reminiscent of conversations between old classmates, best of pals or the chummiest of friends. Perhaps this was one of the ways this upmarket hair salon used to build rapport between stylist and customer.

Soon, it was my turn to be consulted. But before that, I would need to get my hair washed. In walked a shampoo boy who led me to the wash basins. My hair was washed, conditioned and rinsed and tousled dry by the hairdryer. Then he left me to wait for the stylist to work his magic on my hair.

As the stylist walked over in his hues of white and black, I knew I was in very safe hands. Not only would he be skilled in his area of expertise, so too could I expect him to chat with me as if we were the best of friends. And true enough, he did just both. Instead of the normal using of the razor at other hair salons, the stylist took my hair inch by inch and snipped away patiently. In between snipping, trimming and cutting, conversation flowed both ways.

About half an hour later, with a new haircut, I walked out of the hair salon. My new haircut aside, what impressed me most was the level of service quality accorded to all customers - new or old, which encompassed so many enriching life lessons. This was a big lesson I personally learnt today :)
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The annual dinner and dance is always seen as the highlight of any organization as everyone gets to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. In the same vein, the dinner and dance is also the event to look forward to for undergraduates as it marks an important milestone in their varsity life. 

An annual tradition for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Hall 6, the dinner and dance offers all Sixians a time to bond, catch up and have a fun-filled night to remember.

But what is a dinner and dance without some glamour and excitement? Taking the form of 6 pageant contestants, that naturally became the highlight of the evening held at Mandarin Orchard Hotel. Themed “Revisiting Retour Aux Classiques”, I was invited on board as one of the main sponsors of the pageant. 

There were 5 titles up for grabs and these included Hall King, Hall Queen, Mr Hotbod, Mr Charismatic and Miss Personality. 

Being able to strut your stuff on stage in front of an audience already makes one a winner in life as not many would have the courage to do so. What more when taking part in the pageant is not just a day or night affair but one filled with photoshoots, rehearsals and more rehearsals.

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Besides sponsoring the sashes that the winners received, I also sponsored all of them a ticket to attend my grooming workshop.

Watching the winners walk into the room today, I was very happy to watch their transformation from ordinary undergraduates into extraordinary pageant kings and queens. 

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Sharing with them what would help them make the leap from good to great post-pageant, it was another life-changing experience that many would hold dearly in their hearts. After all, confidence is something we all possess. We just have to let it surface and we can definitely do that visually and verbally – through upping our image quotient and choosing the right forms of communication with others.

Already winners in their own right and now equipped with these skills, I'm very sure the pageant kings and queens will only soar to greater heights in their lives :) 

 

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