Hair makeover at SP Cotis Hair & Beauty (19th December 2011)

Another rainy day here in Sydney - sigh, I moved from wet Wellington to what is supposed to be a sunnier city yet it seems to persistently rain here. I've not bought a new umbrella since the last one got binned and have been relying on the rain jacket I purchased in Sri Lanka to keep dry. Not working too well when it rains heavily :/ Like it or not, I needed to get (and get wet) to SP Cotis Hair & Beauty this evening as I've got a hair makeover appointment at 7pm. Just hope the rain would have stopped by the time I'm done at the salon!

Around 6.30pm, I arrived at the hair salon located on Clarence St. Shaking off most of the rain from my jacket and plastic bag covered backpack, I headed down the stairs to this basement shop. 
As I was early, I sat at the sofa and waited my turn, taking in the atmosphere of the place. Two hairdressers were busily tending to the four customers that were there - one getting a cut, another getting foils done and two others waiting for the hair highlight to 'process'. The salon was nothing like what I had expected. It was very basic, with no fancy design or furniture (the sofa I was sitting on probably came from the Salvation Army), making the place look more like a makeshift backstage area set up for movie sets. That said, I did only pay a mere $49 for a hair makeover which included a cut, half a head of foils, treatment, and a blow dry valued at $195 which I bought from GroupOn - for the price, this setting seemed about right though if the salon was trying to promote themselves via Groupon, they may wish to zush up the place. It doesn't look very warm or inviting...Photo taken from the sofa of the salon:

Around 7pm, the female hairdresser called me and I made my way to one of the rattan chairs where she has set up her mobile workstation. The hair makeover started with half a head of foils and I was shown a colour book of highlights choices to choose from. This was the first time I'm having foils done and frankly have no idea what to expect. I opted for a natural brown chestnut tone as I didn't want the highlights to be too obvious (in case it didn't suit my jet black hair). "Yes, I think a natural brown would be good for your dark hair," agreed the hairdresser and she started working on my hair. The foils were to be inserted between my hair along the top half of my head - my hair was separated in parts and a piece of foil was used to separate strands of hair which would be lightened. A lightener (a mix of hydrogen peroxide and dye pigment) was then applied to the strands using an applicator brush and the hair woven so that the whole strand fits into the foil which is then folded to protect the hair and surrounding area during the 'processing' time. The 'processing time' is what determines how light the strands would be (longer time, lighter colour). The size of the strands also affects the end result - the thicker they are, the more streaky the look. Watching the hairdresser working on my foils, the size of the strands looked small so it should be okay. Six foils on my head (generally the number of foils for a half head treatment) and I was left to wait for the dye to set in.

Some 40 minutes later, the other hairdresser (I think he's the senior hairdresser and owner) came to get me for my hair wash. Hmm, I like the head massage...pity it was brief and I was back in my seat, hair still dripping wet for my hair cut. The hairdresser took off quite a lot of the weight (yup, I've got lots of hair) by using the slicing technique on my hair. Ah, my head's so much lighter now! It felt however like a slightly haphazardly and hurried cut, snip-snip here and there, and the cut was done in less than 10 minutes. I was the last customer of the day and it was pretty obvious they wanted me to be on my way soon. I had both the hairdressers blow drying my hair, one tugging on each side of my head, the full service of the makeover completed within an hour. Definitely lack the personal touch and oh, they don't make you coffee or tea either. As I got ready to leave the salon, the senior hairdresser was explaining to me in great length that person who last cut my hair did a crappy job, getting rid of the weight using the thinning scissors which reduces weight at the ends thus making the ends look dry when in actual fact, my hair is strong and healthy. Right, I see...duly noted...

So, verdict of my hair makeover? It wasn't much of a makeover in the sense the length and cut were almost similar to previous, only I have a few highlights this time. On closer inspection in the mirror at home, the highlights weren't the chestnut brown I had asked for but a golden hue. I wonder if 40 minutes was too long to leave my hair in the dye mix which was how I ended up with such a colour (FYI: hydrogen peroxide is pretty potent and if you leave the dye for too long, you can lose that whole foil of hair). I guess I'll have to live with it for now :/ SP Cotis Hair & Beauty is the second hair salon I've tried in Sydney (the first was Soul Art Hair in Newtown) and neither of them provided the services I desire. I'm partly to blame because I went to them due to their cheap deals - cheap doesn't always guarantee quality style and service. I sure miss my hairdresser Kim from Cathy Davys in Wellington. Kim may be expensive and often lectures me for not styling my hair, she does a brilliant job and I always walk out happy. I'll just have to continue on my search for the right hairdresser. Oh hairdresser, hairdresser, where art thou? Photo of my new highlights:


  1. I think you should ask for your money back or at least get them to tone the highlights to the correct colour. If the stylist slags off your last haircut he's only covering up the shit job he did himself. A bad workman blames his tools. It rude to say negative things to customers.

  2. Hair is very important to all.Here is the best way to get nice &thick hair.

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