Asian Hair is unique and with the right hairdresser it can hold amazing shape! The biggest misconception about Asian hair is that you need an Asian hairdresser, however you just need a great hairdresser. About 35% of our clients have Asian hair.
Asian hair is just like any hair type that we look after – it requires understanding of the client, how they live their life and what they want from a hairstyle. The rest is talent and experience.
Read on to find out some great advice on which haircuts suit, and what works best when styling, Asian hair from Lily Jackson’s Sydney Hairdressers.
Interesting Facts About Asian Hair
- Asian hair strands are thicker than Caucasian hair strands.
- Asian hair has twice the diameter and a much thicker cuticle than Caucasian hair.
- Most hair types have around five layers of cuticles while Asian hair has closer to ten. This makes Asian hair stronger, more resilient to damage and less prone to hair loss than other hair types (but is not totally indestructable!).
- Expect high colour maintenance when lightening Asian hair, unless you go for balayage or ombre colour placement.
- It can be tricky to add body and movement into Asian hair if it is not cut by a professional into a style that will allow it to have shape and texture.
- Driness and split-ends can be an issue for longer styles of Asian hair. This means Asian hair can begin to look lacklustre if not cared for properly.
The elements of a great haircut for Asian hair
You need a professional stylist who can sculpt shape into hair. This type of hair needs strong direction in the haircut so that it can actually take shape. If this happens the results are amazing!
A lot of European stylists struggle with this aspect particularly if their education has been to just cut texture into the hair to create shape. Some Asian hair will require texture to be cut into the hair if the hair is very thick, but mostly the texture of Asian hair will do the work in a bluntly cut, strongly directed haircut.
Often people of Asian decent have small head shapes that can lack the occipital roundness that you see at the back of European heads. Again this requires strong blunt shaping and geometric knowledge in order to be able to create shape to appear in the haircut.
Just like any haircut, the best ones are created by a hair artist who understands shape, structure, geometric design and what their client wants. Just the kind of stylist you’ll find at Lily Jackson Hair & Make Up!
What does the impact of having thick strands do to a haircut?
Asian people who have thick hair strands as part of the makeup of the hair require a blunt haircut. A typical mistake hairdressers make is to thin out the hair. This will just tend to make it fly-away and difficult to manage. However, cutting blunt texture can help this hair move and take shape while lightening the weight-load on the haircut and enabling the shape and design to emerge. The thing we’ve noticed is that most stylists don’t know how to cut weight out of the hair without thinning it too much or losing the bluntness of the style.
So many of our clients with Asian hair are delighted that finally someone understands how to create a beautiful hairstyle for them.
Balayage for Asian Hair
Because Asian hair is normally dark brown to black, the process required to lift the colour out of the hair and replace it with the desired shades and tones can be quite involved, especially if you want healthy hair at the end of the process.
Balayage, one of the most common colour requests we get from Asian clients, is totally achievable on Asian hair. If you haven’t read this article about balayage or this article about hair contouring, the term balayage refers to the technique of painting on colour to the hair strands to achieve a sun-kissed look.
But Balayage has morphed into so many different looks and colours that popular colours include purple balayage, grey balayage and of course achieving balayage on Asian hair!
Steps we go through to create Balayage for Asian Hair
- Send us a selfie of your hair now – you can do it now in the chat box on the bottom right hand side of your screen!
- Be honest about whether you’ve been colouring your hair – it affects what we do in the colour processing to create the Balayage look.
- Gather some images of the type of balayage hair colour you are looking to achieve.
- Come in and see us for a complimentary consultation where we discuss all the options available to you. You might have had your sights set on one type of balayage for Asian hair, but because we do it so often, you might be inspired to try other types of balayage.
- More often than not we will do a strand test on Asian hair. Why? Because while Asian hair is strong, it’s not invincible! A strand test will tell us how much colour processing your hair can withstand. It will tell us how close to your target look we can get in the first visit. That means even if you want platinum blonde Asian hair, it’s totally achievable, but it might take two visits.
- We provide you with a quote and a full outline of what we are going to do. We aren’t the cheapest salon in town but we are the best for Balayage on Asian hair that stays looking healthy, beautiful and where it belongs… on your head!
Caring for Asian hair
- Have regular haircuts with a professional stylist. Strong styles, even long ones, eventually lose their shape. So, take your stylist’s recommendations on how soon they’d like to see you back for a haircut.
- Ensure you use a good cleansing shampoo, and always shampoo twice. The first wash only removes the first layer of hair product and environmental pollution. The second wash cleanses the hair and scalp more deeply.
- Use a moisturising conditioner on medium to long hair each time you wash your hair, concentrating on mid-lengths and ends. The extra cuticle layer needs and can take a lot of nourishment.
- Replace your usual conditioner for a treatment conditioner about every third time you wash your hair to allow for deep penetration of moisture and/or protein.
- A repairing conditioner is great for colour treated hair or hair that is heat styled with a blowdryer or straightening irons regularly, as it will help to smooth the hair cuticle and prevent breakage and split-ends. This can be your treatment if you need more repairing rather than moisture. Not sure which you need? Come and see us!
- If you use straightening irons or blowdry regularly, then make sure you use styling products with heat protectants – otherwise your hair will become coarse, porous and damaged.
- Use a smoothing oil on wet or dry hair such as R+Co Tinsel Smoothing Oil, which is rich in argan oil and vitamin e, to add shine, prevent dryness and breakage.
Styling Asian hair
Styling requires its own approach as it does with any person on earth. Everyone’s hair is unique and requires an individual approach. Often the hair is so straight its like bending glass to get movement into the hair, so products that use technology to support heat styling are really important here, such as the Oribe and R+Co ranges. On shorter hair it’s important to be careful not to weigh the hair down with heavy waxes or clays, and instead use something like Oribe Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray or R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray to create body, then lightly finish with a spray wax or hair spray.
If you have Asian hair remember that:
- Maintaining a blunt textured haircut will make all of the difference to adding style, shape and beauty to your hair.
- Slight colour variations, such as foil highlights, balayage or ombre colour are great options to add contrast and dimension to your hair.
- An extreme colour transformation will require a lot of maintenance, so make sure you are committed to the colour and its upkeep before taking the plunge.
A great professional haircut, easy to maintain colour, tailored at-home haircare are the answers to having beautiful Asian hair. So what are you waiting for? Come and see us at Lily Jackson Hair & Make Up for some great suggestions to liven up your look. Contact us or call (02) 9360 8708.