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On our recent trip to Korea, as part of our efforts to broaden our expertise and to bring back the best of hair & beauty trends to you, we also made a visit to Lee Ka Ja Hair, an established hair salon that’s also known for working with stars in the entertainment industry. (They count pop superstars like Big Bang, 2NE1, Wonder Girls, Park Jin Young, Epic High, Lee-Hi as their clients.)

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Other than giving their services a whirl (and having a lot of fun in the process!), we also had the chance to chat with Pete Kang, the 30-year-old creative director of Lee Ka Ja. Starting out in the trade at the age of 17,  attended the Vidal Sassoon academy in London and is a strong believer in the VS philosophy as well. Read on for more insider info on hair and beauty trends in Korea!

What are the more popular hair colours in Korea right now?
 
Now, natural brown colours are in trend, but we will match the right shade of brown to each customer based on skin tone. For example, khaki brown, orangey brown, brown with violet tones to suit different skin tones. 
 
Is short or long hair more popular for Korean girls?
 
I strongly believe that there isn’t a huge preference – but that said, almost 70% of my clients have short hair. I feel that it doesn’t really matter if your hair is long or short as long as it’s healthy. You can have long hair but if it is dry and damaged, it won’t look nice, and in that case, you might as well keep it short. Koreans invest a lot in getting hair treatments. Before and after any chemical procedure, getting a hair treatment is essential for them.  
 
 
How is it like working with celebrities in Korea? 
We are like friends – we hang out and wind down together after a long day. Working with celebrities is good as it trains your eyes to know what kind of colour to achieve under different lighting. For example, I did a light pink tone for an artist’s album cover shoot – she loved it greatly but knowing that at the photography studio, with strong white lighting, the effect of this colour will have to be a more intense pink to get the best result. Having worked with celebrities for almost 5 years, I now have the knowledge of what colour will look like under different forms of lighting.
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Album covers Pete Kang has worked on

Is there a kind of everyday styling that you recommend? 

Investing on a good hair cut is really important – there’s no point in getting a stylist that is not as skilled in cut but good in styling. There are many stylists in Asia who believe strongly in styling only – but you’d only look good for a day, because styling will only last you till your next wash, but a good hair cut can last you for months. With the right cut, every movement of your hair will look great. I strongly believe in a good foundation cut with a good cut and minimum styling – and you are ready to go. With a bad cut, you’d need so much time just to style your hair to make it look good.

 
What do people usually request for when they walk into your salon?

People usually come to me for a good cut as well as treatment of hair – Korean woman really take care of their hair, hair treatment is important to them. Lots of celebrities also have their hair bleached and change their colours often, thus they regularly get good treatments done.

Lastly, what hair tips can you share?
 
Drying your hair before going under the sun is important. Letting your hair dry under the sun is  damaging to hair – especially because of the UV rays!

For more information on hair care:

  1. Ask Hairloom: What am I missing in my hair routine?
  2. Ask Hairloom: How do I care for coloured or permed hair?
  3. Ask Hairloom: Why do I need hair treatments?

Also, check out our post on Korea Travel and Beauty tips here.

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