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There is a lot of buzz on the island about a hairdresser who is gaining quite a reputation as the girl to visit if you want a hair style you can be really proud of. Her name is Khun Kai and she has the Care for your Hair salon. The salon is immaculately clean and has a really comfortable atmosphere. The décor is very pleasing with large pictures of Wella models and having your hair washed here is more like having a relaxing head massage than simply being prepared for a haircut. We went to visit Khun Kai to find out a little bit about her, her salon and what she can and cannot do to your hair.
Where do you come from and how long have you been in Koh Samui?
I come from Nakhon Si Thammarat and I have been in Koh Sami for nine years
Where did you train to become a hairdresser?
Actually my cousin taught me, I have not had any formal training. I moved to Phuket many years ago and had the intention of going to school and becoming a tour guide. While I was there I stayed with my cousin and every day after school she would have me help her in her hair salon. She taught me everything there is to know about hair and when I started to get paid to cut hair I decided to stick with it and give up my plans of being a tour guide.
Fifteen years now. I have had this salon for a year and I had my previous salon for two years. Before that I was working as a hairdresser for other salons in Koh Samui.
You have many western customers these days; do you find western hair harder to handle than Thai hair?
No, not at all, in fact it is a lot easier to cut western hair, it is softer than Asian hair and it is a lot less resistant to the chemicals used to colour and perm it, so less can be used.
How long does it take to have your hair permed and how long does it last?
It takes between two and three hours, depending on your hair. A perm generally lasts around six months but if you have very tight curls it can last longer.
Can anybody have their hair permed?
It depends on the condition of their hair. If a client wants a perm I will do an assessment on their hair to make sure the condition is good enough not to be damaged by the chemicals that are used. I would never perm hair that is not in reasonable condition as the results could be disastrous and I want all of my clients to leave my salon feeling very proud of how great their hair looks. I have had some clients that have had a perm at a salon that will just do anything you ask them to do, regardless of the outcome. Often the damage that can be caused is irreversible and all you can do is cut the damaged hair off. Another important factor is after care, I advise my clients not to swim in the ocean for three days after they have had a perm.
If you hair is in bad condition is there anything you can do?
Yes, certainly. We have many conditioning treatments and we can do a hair detox that will rid your hair of chemicals. A hair detox with the steamer takes around half an hour and having a conditioning treatment takes around an hour.
Again it depends on the condition of your hair. However the chemicals used for colouring your hair are not as strong as those used for perming so your hair does not have to be in such great condition. It takes between two and two and a half hours to have your hair coloured.
What sort of products do you use and how many colours are available?
I only use Wella products. They are the best I have found. I have tried other products but Wella have always given the best results. The Wella company only do hair products and they really understand hair and the products give terrific results. I can mix the Wella hair colours as well, so there is literally no colour that I can’t produce.
Do you stock Wella hair care products?
Yes I do, I sell a wide range of Wella hair care products but I don’t sell colours as it is important to have your hair coloured by a professional. I personally perm and colour all of my clients hair, I have some fantastic staff but I like to do the colours and perms myself as I have so much experience in that area of hair styling.
Do you train your staff yourself?
All of my staff have come to me with hairdressing training and experience, however, I also put them through my own training as I want them to be of the highest standard with as much focus on customers satisfaction as I have.
Yes I can. Having had fifteen years experience I have a solid understanding of styles, colours and curls that will suit a person’s face and complexion and I am more than happy to suggest a new look that will give my client confidence and make him or her look fantastic. Some of my clients have a strong idea about the style they want and often bring pictures and I create that style for them. However if they want something that I know will not suit them then I will tell them. For example if you have a very round face then a very short cut might not suit you. I am very honest with my clients. For me it is not about taking money in the salon, it is about making my clients happy long term, not just on the day. I also focus on giving very good value for money and I charge fair and reasonable prices and unlike some businesses I charge the same price for everybody, whether you are Thai, an ex-pat or a tourist.
Can you do hair for special occasions such as weddings?
Yes I can. I do both hair and makeup for weddings and other special occasions. I am very busy in the salon so it is important to book in advance, especially if you would like your hair and makeup done at your hotel or villa.
No, I don’t. There are so many available on the island already it is not worth it. However if somebody wants something specific that they cannot get on the island then I can always order if for them.
Do you love your job?
It is not so much of a case of enjoying my job, the pleasure and satisfaction I get is not from cutting hair, perming it, coloring it or straightening it, it is from seeing my customers enjoying their hair and feeling good about themselves. I really want my customers to walk out of my salon feeling like a million dollars and that is what makes me really happy, it is such a rewarding thing to do. Everybody likes to look and feel the best they can and being able to give that to my clients is a fantastic feeling.
The care for your hair salon is about 50 meters past Baansuy close to Big C but on the other side of the road if you are traveling from Bophut. It is important to book an appointment well in advance as Khun Kai is in great demand. You can book by calling 086 270 8860 or by calling into the salon.