Inspiration Alan Salon is arguably the largest hair salon chain in Sarawak. The founder and lead hairstylist Alan Ch'ng first started operations in Miri and, over the next 15 years, opened up 7 outlets in Sarawak and 1 in KL, teaching many up-and-coming hairdressers and earning multiple awards himself in the process.
Alan's base in Kuching is located at Hock Lee Centre. Prominently displayed at its entrance is a collage of photos featuring Alan's appearances at various hairshows, as well as photos of him doing the hair of Miss World contestants from a while back. (Gee, I sometimes wish I were doing those Miss World contestants as well.) With such impressive portfolio, I couldn't help but to entrust them in fixing up the same ol' hairstyle I've been wearing for the past 22 years.
The salon's interior design is enough to make you feel like a superstar walking into your very own dressing room. They make really good use of colours, lighting and choice of furniture to create that fantastic star-like atmosphere. The place not only looks great but it smells great too. A lot of el-cheapo hair salons out there tend to stink worse than toilets. Not Alan's.
In the center of the salon is the Color Bar. I pretty sure that has something to do with cashing in on the youth's penchant to change their hair colour these days.
LCD monitors are everywhere in the salon, some broadcasting MTV and others showcasing slides of the latest products by L'Oreal. Because you're worth it. :)
By Kuching's standards, Alan's prices is definitely the dearest I've seen thus far. I think its still reasonable because you do pay premium prices for premium services, and Alan Salon sure looks like they can deliver premium services.
This is me before my haircut. Scruffy, haggard and unshaven.
Everytime I go to hair salons, I'd opt for a Cut & Wash and there's a reason for that. After a hard week at work and barely getting enough sleep at home, there's nothing more satisfying than having your hair washed and pampered by a seasoned professional.
See, usually when you get your hair washed, the hair salon throws in a complimentary a head, neck and shoulders massage as well - and that's exactly what I'm after. Its true, getting your (upper) head massaged at the hair salon by some sweet young pretty sexy girl is the closest thing you can have to an affair, without actually committing adultery yourself!
Thank God for hair salons! I couldn't wait. :)
CHAO CHEEBYE THEY GAVE ME A GUY INSTEAD!
What the foot?! Don't they know that is a no-no to have a guy massaging another guy's head?! Yalah yalah, I know I'm lucky because at least he's massaging my upper head and not my lower head. BUT STILL! This is BLASPHEMY!
You know what the freakiest thing is?
He had the audacity to ask me, "So how? Is it hard enough for you?"
I almost ran away with shampoo still on my head.
To his credit, his massage was good. I'm not saying I enjoyed it. But its good lah ok? Got power.
I've seen people rate restaurants and movies etc like they rate hotels - ie, they give them how many stars out of 5 stars. I'm tempted to use the same rating system for the massage. But then I thought, it shouldn't have to be that complicated. In my opinion, a massage could only be rated into 3 grades:
(C) "Oi, you first day at work ah?!"
In this case, I'd say "Good." But since they used a guy instead of a girl, I shall demote them to "Average." Because they're worth it.
So after the shampoo I was led to a dimly lit room under the guise of "rinsing my hair".
Its partitioned. No one could see us. There's a place for me to lie down. And then it was just me, and him. I was scared. I should have worn double underwear.
Amazingly I turned out unharmed.
I noticed there's a menu on my table. Apparently Alan Salon serves drinks and snacks to their customers as well. I reckon that's a nice touch. All the items are reasonably priced. Their café latté for example costs merely RM3. I hadn't had my caffiene fix for the day so I ordered a latté without hesitation.
My appointed hairstylist is a professional called McPhee Vu. I was asked if I just wanted a straight haircut. Normally I'd say yes, but considering I'm paying so much for a premium hair cut, I replied "No lah. Feel free to do whatever you want to do with my hair. Be creative."
As soon as I uttered those words, I looked at some of the hairstyles the staff there are sporting. And I regretted almost immediately.
SHIT! If he made me look like that THEN HOW?!
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, the café latté I ordered was served. And I could not believe my eyes.
Excuse me... What is a plastic spoon and a straw doing in my hot coffee? Why is my coffee lukewarm? Why is it served on a juice glass? You think I'm ordering 'oleng juice' is it?! I'm sorry but this is the sorriest excuse for a latté ever!
Goddammit if you don't know what a café latté is, don't put it on your menu. Its like going to a restaurant to eat Peking Duck and they serve you KFC instead. DOUBLE BLASPHEMY!!!
Its a scary feeling having a haircut with absolutely no idea what I might end up looking like. My hair was at his mercy. Fifteen minutes later McPhee came up with a spiky hairdo - a drastically different hairstyle than the one I'm used to.
I'm not sure if I like it. I'm not even sure if I can get used to it. Its gonna feel odd not needing to comb my hair when I wake up in the morning.
Here's a comparison of the old Kenny versus the new Kenny.
I honestly don't know what to make of this new hairdo. On one hand I'm comfortable with my old hair, but on the other hand I wanted to try something new.
I reckon the new hairstyle looks funky. Too bad it also makes me look like a lala-zhai who spends 16 hours a day in arcade gaming centres. All I gotta do is dye my hair bright blond, wear a my shirt unbuttoned halfway, install some shiny silver accessories on me and I'd be well on my way to lalazhai-dom.
What do you think?