Elevating the standard wash and blowout to stellar heights, Korean head spas stand in a league of their own.
In these hushed, hallowed realms, expect your locks to be worshipped and nourished back to life. Here, every step of the Korean head spa journey is geared at pampering stressed heads. Gone are rough and tumble shampoo aunties who use their nails for added—ahem, exfoliation.
The hair conditions that warrant a Korean head spa
With your scalp a natural extension of the skin on our faces, it’s natural to experience the odd malady that might send us to a head spa in the first place.
From dry, flaky scalp, to taut, tense or even oily, thinning scalp, all conditions seem to find respite after a session of targeted care in the hands of these masters.
What to expect
Putting the ‘spa’ in Korean head spas, each treatment is designed to be as calming yet results-driven as possible. Each session begins with an analysis using a microscope, helping your therapist to ascertain the health of your scalp. Is your scalp itchy, clogged and inflamed? Are your locks experiencing product build-up, weighing it down and clogging pores that threaten potential hair growth? How often do you wash your hair and with what products? How late do you sleep and do you eat oily or spicy foods—are just some questions your therapist may ask before determining a treatment plan. Prepare to be honest in this confessional portion of the treatment: your therapist just wants the best for your hair.
And once the hard part is over, you’ll be invited to kick back and relax as you enjoy a multi-step cleansing, exfoliation, treatment and hair mask accompanied by often a toe-curlingly delightful head and neck massage before the finale: a fabulous, salon-worthy blowout.
At Vogue Singapore, we’ve taken the guess-work out of finding the right head spa for you.
1 / 4
Time Foret Head Spa, $350 for 70 min spa + 20 min blow dry at Jo:Hwa Hair & Living
I’ve had my share of deeply relaxing head massages in my lifetime, however I was not prepared to melt into the head spa bed as I did at Jo:Hwa. To the uninitiated, a head spa may seem like a glorified head wash with heavy emphasis on the massage but a trip to the Stamford Road-based salon proved it to be so much more.
Since its launch in 2022, the buzzy Korean salon has gained a cult following with this covetable, often booked-out treatment. At Jo:Hwa, not just anyone can perform the Enforet Head Spa. In fact, head spa managers need to be professionally trained and certified in Korea before being able to administer the Chrono-Beauty technique—and that makes all the difference for its clients. An anti-ageing treatment for scalp and tresses, the programme stimulates blood circulation, relaxes the fascia and back muscles while truly relaxing the senses.
The 70-minute Time Foret Head Spa, the most indulgent of its three head spa offerings, begins with a one-on-one consultation with a trained spa manager who will determine, diagnose and prescribe a treatment for your scalp type. Whether you’re experiencing sensitive and fragile scalp, or problematic and dandruff-laden locks, rest assured that the solution is within reach.
Once the scalp is cleansed and exfoliated with Italian formulated products, hair gets treated to the pH02 ultrafine particle hydrating mist machines by Japan’s Takara Belmont, a global leader in anatomy-based spa technology.
Perhaps the most unforgettable part of the multi-step process, other than the extremely relaxing hanbang-inspired massage which stimulates acupressure points in the head, was the fact that it also included kneading of the back and lower back. Not merely confined to the head or neck, this singular gesture of kneading the back and legs elevated the top-to-toe experience to stratospheric heights. There is in fact, rarely a moment during this treatment where you are not being massaged in some form.
You’ll soon discover once your hair is dried and styled by your head spa manager that scalp woes such as build up, itchiness or flakiness are a distant memory, as hair is left glossy and healthier than ever post-treatment. — Alli Sim, beauty director
Johwa Hair & Living, 15 Stamford Rd, #01-64/65 Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Singapore 178906. Tel: +65 8860 6741
2 / 4
The True Care Head Spa Service, $120++ for 60 min at Walking on Sunshine
Relaxation is at the forefront of Walking on Sunshine’s priorities. The salon at Orchard Central is an enclosed space filled with lush, dense vegetation; a haven awash in neutral hues and botanical elements that feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of town. Upon entry, I am escorted to my seat and served a cup of floral tea. It is clear from the get-go that meticulous thought is placed into every aspect of this treatment. The chair I am shown to is padded with buttery-soft leather; a welcome indulgence considering the lengthy processing times for most hair and scalp treatments. Tea is served from the salon’s attached cafe, which boasts an extensive food and drinks selection incorporating Korean-favoured flavours such as ginseng, sweet potato and kimchi—though it is recommended you opt for something herbal to fully enjoy the comforting and soothing nature of a head spa.
I am also asked to choose from a small selection of essential oils, which are either relaxing or invigorating in nature, before the treatment commences. I opt for the Refresh option, which is used in a light neck and shoulder massage before my therapist moves on to my scalp. The first step comprises a minty gel from Korean label, Naturia, which is deftly massaged into my scalp and is designed to soothe inflammation as well as remove any form of impurities and sebum. A Forest Bath comes next, where a thick sleeping mask is laid over my peepers to facilitate a sense of escapism and full-body relaxation—with the situated space at the back of the room ensuring that no sounds of hair drying or styling bleeds through. The solution is then washed out of my tresses before I am given another thorough massage along my head, neck and shoulders.
The final step: a soothing and hydrating aqua mask that leaves tresses feeling baby-soft and smooth; the perfect canvas for both a blow-dry and styling session. The effects of this treatment persist for over a week. I experience no bouts of itchiness or flaking despite long days out under Singapore’s relentless heat and humidity. The final push I need to incorporate head spas within my monthly pampering regime? No doubt about it. — Emily Heng, associate beauty editor
Walking on Sunshine, 181 Orchard Road, #03-07 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896.Tel: 8877 8800
3 / 4
Aqua Revival Hair Treatment, $260++ for 90 min at Suchehwa by Ted Salon
As someone who often chooses to go ‘wild’ with her hair colours every few months, the unfortunate reality of dry, bleached strands is hardly a foreign concept to me. It’s the reason a trip to Suchehwa by Ted Salon for its Aqua Revival Treatment is more of a necessity than a mere pampering session. That’s not to say the pampering you receive at Ted Kim’s salon is any less, however—expect to sink into heavenly bliss at this unlikely Fort Canning gem.
With its beautiful botanical-inspired interior, a sense of calm washes over you once you step in, aided by the convivial team of staff and stylists who greet you upon arrival. After requesting my drink preference (a stellar menu of refreshing tea variants and delectable coffee options were available), I am escorted to a seat behind a privacy wall—away from the chatter and understandable bustle happening just beyond. Soon after, not only does my drink of choice arrive, it also comes with a mini tea stand of savoury sandwiches and a fluffy cream cake. Midway through my treatment, the in-house manicurist comes by to offer a manicure. The plan, it seems, is to keep me thoroughly satisfied, be it filling my tummy or satiating my aesthetic desires. Needless to say, however, it is the indescribable indulgence my head and tresses are met with that renders this a stellar experience.
To start, my hair is moisturised and hydrated; I’m told the salon uses water from the pristine mountains of Quebec in its formulations. This process of opening up the scalp roots and wetting the locks is only the preface to the delight that comes after: the shampoo and true pampering session. With deft, nimble fingers, my therapist performs an exquisite head and shoulder massage; each stroke is controlled and carried out with a perfectly trained amount of pressure—just enough to let all my daily stressors melt away. After another gentle wash, my moist head of hair goes under the misting machine to let the hearty mix of meadowfoam seed oil, Shakran Sacran (or freshwater algae), delta-lactone and shea butter settle in. Afterwards, a nourishing serum is gently massaged into my hair to revitalise it and leave my mane with a silky smooth and radiant appearance.
While the blow-dry and styling session that comes next is a joy to bask in, my gut tells me it’s the natural bounce, refreshed scalp and visibly healthier tresses I will be left with that will truly send me to the moon. — Azrin Tan, digital writer
Suchehwa by Ted Salon, 9 Penang Road, #02-01, Singapore 238459. Tel: 8831 979
4 / 4
Ayurveda Head Spa, $180++ for 75 min at Bada Hair
In contrast to most addresses in our compact city, Bada Hair offers the luxury of space with an expansive salon in Mandarin Gallery. That certainly made a difference with the experience, alongside the added finesse of lush foliage and a lounge area for guests to have a cup of tea. My mind and body are now perfectly primed for my Ayurveda Head Spa treatment.
It begins with a little aromatherapy before the therapist lulls me in further with a massage that starts from my shoulders, goes up to my neck and ends on my scalp. I am then strongly urged to leave my phone behind before being guided to the reclined seat; yet another reminder that no one needs incessant buzzing to draw you away from the experience and that your eyes should stay closed during the entire treatment. A soothing warm eye mask makes sure of this, while the therapist starts a languorous comb from the top of my head to the bottom. It is a step that is deeply relaxing with just the right amount of pressure and one I wish could last forever. Then, amla powder is sprinkled throughout my scalp—laden with antioxidant properties and a critical ingredient that helps strengthen and condition the tresses. After which, she washes it off thoroughly while kneading my head with a claw-like device.
The dedicated pampering extends to my hands while she sheathes each of my fingers with an individual silicon-like slip—a finger nail mask, which happens to be a beauty routine known to be ubiquitous in South Korea. To finish, my hair is lathered with a treatment from Japanese brand Viege, alongside an essence to nourish and repair. By the time the blow-dry process commences, there is no doubt in my mind that I am leaving with a bouncier, healthier mane, one that would ripple over the course of the following days. — Janice Sim, digital editor
Bada Hair, 333A Orchard Road, #03-13 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238867. Tel: 8133 0818