Who doesn’t want that healthy, glossy hair that causes passersby to turn their heads in envy? When it comes to upkeep for our hair, a quick shampoo at home just won’t do anymore these days. Especially when living in a humid and polluted city environment such as Hong Kong: on top of our regular trims, hair masks and steams, it’s even more imperative to give your hair a regular detox with a deep cleaning hair and scalp treatment.
We recently headed over to Muse Hair to try their signature hair spa services. Tucked at the leafy end of Duddell Street just under the flight of historic steps, the salon blends into the easygoing, comfortable vibe of this quiet corner of Central. It also has two branches in Tsim Sha Tsui and Yuen Long.
You know you’re in good hands here, with Muse being one of the choice salons of celebrities and models for concerts and high-profile brand events in town. In addition to a full range of cut and colour and styling services, hair health is the star of the show here, with a menu of trichologist-certified scalp care featuring products by Italian botanical haircare brand Medavita.
Awash in white and light, summery woods, Muse might as well be a showroom for Muji with its clean, modern aesthetic. Clients here for scalp treatments are often led into the spacious private room, depending on availability. It’s one of the most decked out salon private rooms I’ve ever seen, with a sci-fi sink-and-seat combo that allows the client to be simply swivelled into the sink on their left side, with no need to step away for a rinse.
Once I robed up, my hair therapist used a Shiseido hair trichoscope to analyse my scalp quality deep within my roots, snapping photos at angles from the sides, top and back of the head. It’s always unsettling to peer into the magnified jungle of tresses, not knowing what you’ll find. Mine turned out to have quite a heavy build-up of dead skin cells, product and grease (in my defense, this was my third day without washing, god knows how much dry shampoo was dredged up in there).
It also turned out that the skin near the nape of my neck had rather severe redness and irritation — with angry red capillaries peeking from under my skin. On top of my head, I also unhappily found that my middle parting line also showed some minor thinning (a phrase no one likes to hear), with hairs spreading out further apart compared to what was ideal. The hair here was sparse compared to the lower half of my head, where some follicles were even bursting with multiple hairs. After assuring me that it was very minor and not yet anything to worry about, my therapist got to work applying the Medavita suite of salon treatments.
To help release all the build-up, she first brushed the Cutis Pura exfoliating scalp emulsion onto the skin through sectioned hair, carefully painting lines from the front to the back of my head. Once covered, she then firmly massaged my scalp to incorporate the cream throughout; during this step, I promptly melted into my seat. My only small complaint was the chair back — designed to be able to tip the client’s head back into the adjacent sink — wasn’t high enough for my 5’6″ frame, making it hard to relax.
Lying down fared better though. Swivelling me over to shampoo, she continued with massaging motions that lulled me into a deep wave of sleep. A hydrating, “ultra-conditioning” cream containing jojoba oil was used to nourish and revive my dry, bleached ends, before ending with a finishing ampoule to give extra moisture for the scalp, a last step before blowdrying.
My hair at its natural state has always been some kind of Hong Kong mullet: flat up top, and crazy frizzy at the bottom. But once my hair therapist switched off the blowdryer and I woke up from my daze of relaxation, I looked up to find slick-smooth hair that finally behaved, and each strand showed depth and plumpness from within, unlike the cloying heaviness you feel after too much product at the end of a salon styling session. I felt unused to the soft, silky texture that my hair took on, which admittedly smoothened down the top of my head to what was flatter than I’d have liked. Perhaps I just needed a haircut then, to bring back the layers and volume to the top of my head.
Going through the results on the trichoscope once again, it was evident how much had been cleared up: no more white flaky build-up here, with pores and follicles looking clean and happy. Some redness remained near the back of my head, an indication of prolonged irritation, but it looked sedated compared to pre-treatment.
Like a facial treatment, my skin was cleansed, brushed, massaged and ultimately primed and moisturised for instantly healthier results. I emerged feeling like my hair was healthier and more nourished, unlike the fleeting hours after a haircut where it’s styled to a ridiculous gloss and sheen that goes away once you wash your hair. Now equipped with the knowledge of my problem areas, I could carry on with apt self-care rituals at home.
Muse Hair recommends 1-2 treatments a month for regular upkeep, and more for clients bothered by severely itchy, oily and irritated scalp problems.
An individual scalp treatment is priced at HK$680 for first-timers only. Muse Hair, Shop M3, Baskerville House, 13 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong