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Monday September 20, 2010

Centro Hair Salon is moving on up

Centro Hair Salon is upping the shear-stakes in hair artistry.

FROM an unadorned shoplot in the pulsing cacophony of shops that is Sungei Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur, Centro Hair Salon is climbing up Rapunzel’s ladder to a luxurious premium space in Suria KLCC. Barely recognisable from its humble beginnings, the upmarket salon had at first moved to a space in The Gardens, Mid Valley three years ago.

With the change to a fancier address, the clientele list expanded to include the ladies-who-lunch, local celebrities and darlings of the creative industry, not to mention loyal customers who trailed their favourite hairstylists.

Creative director Kevin Woo reckons it’s a good thing, citing “change is the one constant thing in life”, and “to stand still is to be left behind”.

Although Woo is an advocate of change, the industry veteran of 17 years and his team have remained passionate about their craft, with an unwavering commitment to service and genuine warmth that is often lacking in other posh salons.

Shear genius: Kevin Woo working his magic on a model. After 17 years in the industry, he remains passionate about his craft with an unwavering commitment to service.

The L’Oreal Color Trophy Award-winning hairstylist believes the new KLCC address is testament to this philosophy.

“We didn’t have plans to expand at first but our good reputation prompted a recommendation to the management of KLCC which was looking for a new, dynamic partner and voila! Here we are,” he shrugs with a smile.

Opening its doors in June this year, the KLCC salon is modelled after the L’Oreal Professional flagship store in Paris. No surprise, given Woo’s association with the brand as artistic ambassador for the last two years. Although it’s a more intimate fit, the salon is definitely not lacking in luxury. Silvery wallpaper with fleur de lis print is reminiscent of the Paris store’s towering chandeliers, while the specially designed mirrors are almost identical to their French counterparts in their Bauhaus sensibility.

Coupled with the contemporary lighting fixture that is almost austere, and a scattering of Philippe Starck Ghost chairs, the effect is one of understated elegance.

“We wanted to have an environment that reflects who we are, one that hints of androgyny and artistry, and we believe it complements the clientele of KLCC very well,” Woo adds.

A cool, edgy haircut by Woo.

From walk-in tourists to office workers in the vicinity, Centro is getting a good chunk of the pie, despite a hike in the cost of services.

“We try to be true to the art of hairstyling. Sometimes, we get new customers who have had traumatic experiences with less expensive salons, and we have to work harder to help them regain confidence. So yes, it is a higher price point, but we offer excellent products and outstanding services,” he points out.

Colour me beautiful

The latest addition is the dedicated Color Bar, where customers can get personal consultation and test the season’s latest hair colours. Constantly updating the latest hair trends, Centro Hair Salon also has bragging rights as an official Colour Expert Salon; it has launched a campaign called Colour For All Nations that boasts a diversity of models, including local luminary, Amber Chia.

“Color For All Nations is our latest project, in which we showcase models with different skin tones and hair types in the season’s latest hues. We really do have colours that will fit every customer, and thanks to the Color Bar, our clients can take advantage of this service to try their preferred shade before taking the plunge.”

Beauty queen Thanuja Anathan and her flowing locks.

With nicknames like “Mane Maestro” and “Kevin Scissorshands”, there is no doubt that Woo and his team have worked out a winning formula which keeps their customers coming back for more; this latest venture in the city’s hotspot will only cement his unspoken status as Shear Genius.

For fall/winter trends, Woo is all for the “less is more” look.

“The short black haircut is dominating 2010 because its versatility sees anything from classic short styling to neo-rocker looks. And you can cut it in so many ways – with or without a fringe, as a bob, a short pixie crop – and it works with most face shapes and skin colour, so with the added asymmetric undercut, it’s the best look this year,” he explains.

For Centro’s campaign this season, the salon has once again roped in celebrities such as actress Vanida Imran, TV host Daphne Iking, beauty queen Thanuja Anathan and top model Amber Chia. Woo worked his magic to give them a glamorous new look to befit their star status.

Amber Chia showing off a wild, curly hairstyle.

For details, call 03-2161 6330 (KLCC) / 03-2287 7330 (Gardens) or browse