Make-Over #6: Curls Allowed: The Return of the Hippie Perm

“Hi HairInManila,

I landed on your blog desperately looking for a reliable salon in the city. Unfortunately, my hair got chemically damaged very recently due to a perming treatment. It has gotten very dry, frizzy, unmanageable and in other ways I never imagined. 😦 My hair is medium in length and I would dare chop it off just so I could get rid of it! Is there any chance you know of a treatment for such? Or a makeover that’s looking to transform a hideous hair into something very nice? Hehe. Hope to hear from you very soon for I can no longer have this thing hanging on my head. Thank you very much! – Pam”

How can I say no? As my first-ever reader-volunteer-model, I wanted to give Pam a fantastic make-over! I decided to set her up with one of my favorite salons owned by one of my favorite stylists in town: Philippe’s Salon!
With Becca accompanying her, here’s how Pam’s curls were rescued as well as an inside look at this chic salon that’s hidden away from the metro.

Perms are hard to manage, but with the right cut and products, its beauty can last!

* * *

Becca Rodriguez writes:

During the love and peace era of the late ’60s, Hippie long locks ruled the hairstyles of most women with the bohemian vibe going on. Ah yes, as the Rolling Stone song goes, “You can’t always get what you want/but if you try sometimes, well you might find/you get what you need.”

And this goes for 21-year-old fresh grad Pamela Bringino of St. Scholastica College. This I.T. consultant who works the night shift originally had long straight hair. But then, Pamela decided to get a perm hoping that her ‘do would be a wash and wear, no-frills and low maintenance. With her first perm, her locks were like Nora Jones. On the third go, she noticed that her hair turned frizzy and turned dry on most days.

It was Pamela’s turn to shine! So we headed over to Philippe’s Salon tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Makati’s CBD in Pasong Tamo extension

The salon is owned by Philippe Tordjman, Artistic Ambassador of L’Oréal Professionnel

This modern yet urban retreat salon takes inspiration from the commercial industry of San Francisco ─ its interiors with red accents and loft-type details feature a mini-golf area and flat-screen TV. Basically, everything a man or a woman needs to look his or her best is in this A-list salon without the snob factor, of course.

Reception wall with Kérastase retail products

Modern furniture in the waiting area

As a golf enthusiast, Philippe placed a putting green to keep the men busy

Dig this, Philippe has cut a roster of international celebrities like Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas, Meg Ryan, and local licks like Denise Laurel, Angel Jacob and Rachel Alejandro among others. But what is really fascinating is that this Frenchman was the only one who cut and style U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s hair while traveling in Asia.

Philippe’s photo with Hilary proudly displayed on his wall.

A very visible color bar so you can see your color products being prepared for you.

Perhaps what makes my salon different is everything really,” explains Philippe. “Even if the salon is in a hidden location, it is full everyday. Because we provide high-class hair styling and treatments, we are not at all snobbish and we treat everyone like A-list celebrities.”

* * *

Hair Cut

Aside from Philippe, another hair pro or guru is half-French and half-Italian senior stylist Pascalain Gianello, who was assigned to cut Pamela’s locks. As he led us to the super-serene VIP room with a waterfall wall, the place will send you off to a snooze mode instantly. While you are at it, you can order champagne to go with your treatment as well. Since everyone deserves a good, healthy haircut, Pascalain asked Pamela what her hair desires were from length, texture and even state. All Pamela wanted was to make her hair look shiny, trim out the edges with the hair texture to be soft and moisturized. So, he examined how her hair grows by combing and pushing the hair in different directions.

In this private room, a waterfall wall creates a calming atmosphere

Pascalain starts to reduce the weight of Pam’s lengths so that the curls can become lighter and bouncier.

Straightening out the hair first before cutting for exact precision

So, the cut this hair whiz suggested was to remove an inch or two of the ends in order to make it look healthier with a straight layer underneath and a variation on the sides for volume. As he worked the comb and scissors into her locks, with just a few snips, you could already see the difference with the right cut: Pamela’s hair shape has never looked better.

A digression: Pascalain describes himself as a “contemporary hair artist with more than 30 years of passion, dedication and experience who wants to bring something new and positive in this country.” His philosophy is to work with hair in its natural state, to treat hair as organic material, to shape and balance hair to reflect the individual and reveal their beauty.

* * *

Hair Care

After the cut, it was now time for Pamela’s hair treatment. Philippe and Pascalain suggested the Oléo-Curl Intense masque from Kérastase which is ideal for thick, curly hair. This product has the highest concentration of moisturizing and softening lipids ever in a Kérastase product, and it will breathe life back to the curls and make it smooth, supple, defined and detangled, which is exactly what Pam was looking for.

Intense, but not excessive. This rich masque has all the benefits of nourishing lipids without the heaviness.

The hair technician spends a good amount of time massaging the masque into the hair.

Pam dozes off to la-la land while the treatment takes effect and while having a head and back massage

* * *


As soon as Pam’s hair was rinsed, its time for Pascalain to apply the finishing touch by using styling products from both Kérastase and L’Oréal Professionnel.

Oléo-Curl leave-in conditioning crème further defines the curls, while Play Ball Motion Gelée gives a flexible hold and a lot of movement to the hair.

Pascalain scrunches the products into her hair while the Rota-ball dryer was turned on.

A little blow-dry to set everything in place

And there you have it! Beautiful, bouncy, light-weight curls!

From a frizz fest, Pamela is now best-tressed. Just like French actress Marion Cotillard ─ in one Dior party earlier this year, she showed up in a playfully chic ‘do, springy, well-moisturized locks. With curls that want to have fun, which were a thing of the Eighties, they are back in glam fashion.

Besides, there is nothing being a femme fatale with a very good hair experience, indeed.

* * *

Photos by Pranz Kaeno-Billones

Philippe’s Salon is located at 2295 Jannov Plaza Building 3, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City (830-3030 or 864-0658; e-mail or

* * *


As a special surprise, I want to share with you some photos of an event I did in Philippe’s back in 2008 🙂 The salon was very new back then, and I was launching a new product called “Kérastase Noctogenist”, which is an overnight regenerating leave-on treatment. I decided to transform the salon into a bedroom party, and with Rogue magazine as my partner, we created an amazing experience for everyone!

Recognize the waiting area?

We removed the styling chairs and placed sofas! The orange light is really the salon’s light behind their mirrors! Coolness!

The whole salon became a cocktail lounge! And with free-flowing Belvedere vodka, it was a blast!

The private room with the waterfall became a bedroom! This was my photo-op wall with everyone jumping on the bed and having pillow-fights

Some of the guests

Me and little miss bonnie


22 responses to “Make-Over #6: Curls Allowed: The Return of the Hippie Perm

  • kc

    Thanks for this! The exact same thing happened to me with my perm from hell!

  • Kriselle

    Good job! from flat and dry to soft and bouncy..
    ANTM’esque hair.. Love the interior of the salon too..

  • Maqui

    Nice post, birdie. what is the private room for? can clients rest there while waiting for their turn?

    • Birdie

      Hey Maqui 🙂 Clients wait in the reception area with the putting green. The private room is either for customers who want hair care treatments, or if you request for privacy 🙂

  • Ingrid Lorenz

    Dear Pascalain, thanks facebook, I always can follow your activities, you did not change at all, you are still so much involved in your art and I am missing the time that you where closer to me here in Europe, the time that I always could get YOUR precision hair cut and shapes and also the way you always again created extremely feminine looks. Unfortunately, I never, ever found anybody like you again with this incomparable touch! All my best wishes for you in Manila and if one day I should go to the Philippines, I will visit you and get again your hands on my head! PS – I envy now all beautiful Filipina women !!! Ingrid

  • Pamela B.

    Hi Birdie and Becca!!! It has been over a week since the makeover and all I hope is to keep Pascalain as my hair stylist and those Kerastase treats in my loot! Seriously, one session can work wonders! I couldnt be more grateful for this opportunity (and i’ve always wanted to experience a makeover) that put an end to my torture of having a Bad Hair (every)Day.

    To KC: I also juggle a number of hair products from Schwarzkopf and Elseve serums to Vitress and gels. Haha hope I can save up for the Oleo creme as well!

  • imee

    how much is the cut and treatment?, thanks!

    • Birdie

      Hello Imee!

      The rates for the cuts vary: Philippe is P1800, Pascalain is P1200 and Senior stylist is P700. The rates for the oleo treatment: P1400 for short hair and P1820 for long hair.

  • kristin

    Wow! Very Janis Joplin. How much is their digital perm? I’ve been wanting to have the same waves like Evangeline Lilly in Lost.

  • Rue

    I read about Frizz Be Gone at this salon. Any idea on the rates for men? Thanks!

  • Birdie

    Hello Rue, sorry don’t know eh 🙂 best to call up their phone number as listed above.

  • Andi

    Does anybody know where to get a decent perm (that won’t cost me an arm and a leg)? I’m trying to get that natural beachy look similar to this woman’s hair:

    I’ve heard a lot about those digital perms, but I’m not sure I’m gonna get the curls I want from that treatment. Can anyone help me? 🙂

    • HIM Girls

      Hi there Andrea,

      Just to let you know.. Digital perms can cost from P6000-P8000. So, I’m not sure if that’s worth an arm and a leg to you. Hehe! But if that’s way off your budget, to get the beachy look, depending on your hair type (straight or wavy), you may do some tricks that can make your hair wavy at least for the day.. There’s the curling iron, of course. Or in my case, I usually try applying mousse on towel dried hair, and then dry it using a blower. With that, I tie my hair in a bun for maybe 30mins, and when I let it loose, I get some waves. I use hairspray to keep the waves there longer. 🙂

      That’s my trick. I’m sure if you check other sites online, they’ll have more tips on how to get waves without losing an arm and a leg. Hope that helps, Andrea! Good luck!

      XOXO Maita

  • marlboro T. cosmopolitan

    hi,i have a long hair that im planning to go for a perm on the last week of this month..but im still hesitating though i really really love to get this curled!! at this point im already decided to have it done at philippe’s salon now in sofitel…i actually booked an appointment to them but im still u think i made the right decision to go to this salon?? please help me to decide coz im scared to damage my hair and formost,this is,as i’ve found out,an expensive salon to take a risk for..please help…

    • HIM Girls

      Hi HIM reader!!

      First of all, thanks for writing in. Now, about hair concerns.. Such as good changes like this, you shouldn’t be too scared. Instead you should be excited!! Hair after all is a great way for us to express ourselves.

      Now on your inquiry, Yes, Philippe’s is okay with perm. We’ve gotten good feedback from them. Another good salon for perming in the Makati area would also be H&M Salon in Glorietta 4. You may want to check them out too.

      For digital perm, the curls are really just at the bottom of the hair. 🙂 If you really want to go full head curls, you would have to go for the regular perm indeed. 🙂

      Good luck on your curling adventure and let us know how things turn out 🙂

      XOXO, HIM

  • marlboro T. cosmopolitan

    PS::: i decided to go for a regular/cold/normal (or however u call it) perming,NOT DIGITAL..coz with this i figured i can still style my hair whether i like it straight one day,then i can still iron it,or just leave it wavy,curly and style it..and i know that its not gonna be possible for digi-permed hair..and with this “digi” thing,i hate the fact that it won’t get to the top of ur head since the rods are so hot and i like my curls to go all the way,from my root—-to the tips..,hope to get a possitve response from u about this salon..and if not,please give me some advise of where would be the best salon i can get my hair done..maraming salamat HIM girls…

  • Frances Anne

    Hi! I had my hair permed last year, it’s currently reaching its first year. but I wanted to get my hair straightened again. I usually have a wavy hair, and then tried to get it rebonded, and the latest is I get it permed. Do you know a salon that would not cost a lot to make it straightened again? Can you give me range of price if possible. Thank you!

    • HIM Girls

      Hi Frances!!

      Boy you’re one adventurous girl!

      For straightening:

      Rebonding- depending on length and salon..
      Starting price would run for 3000 up.

      Relaxing- depending on length and salon..
      Starting price is about 1500 up.


      Hope that helps!

  • naoi

    hi i have a super long hair..and i dont want to cut it… but i am thinking of having it digiperm without cutting it…. I am amazed with the makeover…. do you think it would work on me??? can you please email me and make wonders on my hair…. thanks

  • bev

    Hi! how much for the overall make over of pam? the cut and the treatment? 🙂 thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: