When financial consultant Tammy Lee, 32, walked past Korean hair salon Walking on Sunshine at Orchard Central a few weekends ago, she did a double take. The sun-lit salon resembled a garden rather than a place to get her hair done. She goes to a regular hairstylist but says, “I may come for a shampoo and blow dry to experience the space”.
Lewis Lim, co-founder of male grooming salon Sultans of Shave, spent $150,000 fitting out his outlet at Jewel Changi Airport with a dome-shaped ceiling. He has three other outlets and he has spent pretty much the same amount on the interiors for each one.
“The sum varies a little depending on the size of the space and the requirements,” he says. It is money well-spent as, “we aim to create a sanctuary for men to be pampered in a space created with them in mind, so that grooming isn’t a chore or an afterthought”.
While getting a quality haircut and shave is still the priority for clients, local beauty and grooming brands are increasingly spending more on designer-led interiors to set them apart from the competition.
It’s all part of creating a lifestyle experience that savvy consumers crave, and Lynda Wee, adjunct associate professor, division of marketing, at Nanyang Business School agrees that standout interiors are one way to do it. “After all, some people get hair done as a way to pamper themselves. A colour and cut can take up three hours, so if someone is to spend that much time doing their hair, a nice interior helps to relax and enhance the experience.”
But the real draw will still be the quality of the services offered. “While interiors enhance, the real litmus test is still the stylists’ skills, outcomes and products,” says Dr Wee.
Skills aside, here’s how some grooming spot have upped their own style quotient.