FEMALE Tries: Smartbond Treatment + Colouring by L’Oréal Professionnel

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Features & Lifestyle Writer Tammy tested the new revolutionary in-salon service and here’s why she thinks you should too!

Photo: Instagram, @lorealpro

Those who know me will tell you that I’m not the most adventurous person out there. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had the same type of hair colour: dark brown, copper brown, chocolate brown, chestnut brown… well, you get the idea. So when people tell me that I should bleach my hair pink (since it’s my fave colour), my answer will always be a firm no. My hair was a virgin when it came to bleaching and lightening and I intended to keep it that way. That was until I visited the Shawn Cutler hair salon in Bangsar for my treatment and colouring review last week.

Photo: Facebook, @shawncutlerfanpage

Shawn Loong, the owner of the salon and one of L’Oréal’s ambassador stylist in Malaysia, sat me down and filled me in on the treatment I was about to try. I’ve only ever seen Shawn in the Miss Universe Malaysia web series, so granted, I felt quite intimidated. Turns out, he was really chatty and funny, sweet, yet straight to the point. He took his time to slowly answer my questions and he was willing to hear me out when I said I didn’t want a lighter colour.

After we finally decided on a new shade, Shawn and his stylist, Zein, immediately got to work. First, a pre-lightener was applied (which involves backcombing the top bits of my hair so only the bottom part will be lightened) to get my hair into the desired shade before colouring. I was told that the Smartbond system consists of two steps and this pre-lightening process was Step One. This is because the Smartbond addictive solution (aimed to protect and strengthen the hair during the treatment) was already added into the lightener.

“Don’t laugh.”

Half an hour passed and it was time for a rinse. The lightener was thoroughly washed and next came Step Two. The Smartbond Pre-shampoo (meant to help get rid of all the residual chemicals) was massaged into my hair and left to do its magic for 10 minutes. When the time was up, Zein came back, gave my hair another rinse, shampoo and conditioned it as usual.

The colour was finally applied to my hair after I returned to my seat and in between letting the colour set, I got up to use the bathroom, scrolled Instagram and read a few more pages of my new book. It was close to 3pm and the salon was bustling with customers, the sound of the blow-dryer going on and off and the smell of freshly-washed hair filled the air. Shawn would still pop by every five minutes or so to check up on me, and we’d talked about generation gaps and how times have changed.

Owner of Shawn Cutler, Shawn Loong has been in the business for over 20 years now.
Photo: Instagram, @shawncutlerbangsar

Soon, it was finally time to wash off the colour, but not before emulsifying my hair. Considered as one of the most essential parts to hair dyeing, the emulsification process is essential to ensure the hair absorbs as much colour as it possibly can and it definitely was something I’ve never heard of until that day.

I got back to my seat, had my hair blow-dried, curled and voila! Notice the difference?

Before (left) – One year since my last dye job and After (right) – Matt Blonde Brown with Balayage backcomb effect

Click the next page to find out what I thought about this new L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond!

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