Author Archives: HIM Girls

Science and Style: Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio

The facade of the Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio

Science and style. Method and creativity. Logic and magic. These are Dr. Boy Vazquez’s mantra for his latest undertaking – the Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio. Yes, the owner of the unique Cafe Juanita has also ventured into the salon business, part of his personal vision of promoting well-being among his friends and patrons. Together with international celebrity hairstylist, Mr. Shunji Matsuo, they are creating a magnum opus that aims to make the “salon experience” – unique gratifying and pleasant.

The “Man Man” – Mr. Shunji Matsuo is a veteran in the international fashion world. He built his reputation while he was in New York, from the 70’s until the mid-90’s, where he worked with celebrities like Brooke Shields, Cindy Crawford, Uma Thurman, and Cristy Brinkley, to name a few. His hair creations have been showcased in fashion glossies like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar as well as on the fashion runways of famed designers like Oscar dela Renta, Yohji Yamamoto, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan. In 1999, he settled in Singapore where he established his very successful salons and the recent years witness his continued growth, with new salons being opened in Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam, and bringing his craft to Manila as well in Pasig City, he joined forces with the similarly artistic and creative Dr. Boy Vazquez.

A doctor like no other - Dr. Boy Vazquez

A retired OB-GYN in the salon business? Dr. Boy is no stranger in breaking stereotypes. “Ordinary” and “typical” are not in this doctor’s vocabulary. His idea of beauty goes beyond looks. He has been fascinated by Imelda Marcos, an icon during her time. She was not just as a patron of art and beauty, but one that oozed with flair and classic style. He believes that flair and confidence comes from within the individual and so he wants his clients to feel good while in the salon and hopefully he or she exudes that, when one leaves.

The extraordinarily beautiful interiors of the salon

Much like his restaurant, he wants the interiors of his salon to create an experience of beauty and the so-called Japanese “kimochi ii”, which roughly means “a good personal feeling.” The interiors is the doctor’s installation art, reflecting his moods and ideas. As one entershte salon, a welcoming living room meets the guest, adorned by colorful sofas, vintage center, and side tables, 50’s lamps and warm-colored carpets and luxurious chandeliers. As one settles down, the guest soon notices several pieces that add to the character of the place such as richly colored Thai and Japanese umbrellas, antique cabinets, gentle buddhas, and Thank monk statues. The doctor’s personal collection of antique tocadors often entice guests to sit, pose, and pretend to be a Grace Kelly. The ambience is intended to reinforce the experience of beauty, pampering, and luxury.

Creativity and technique - both mastered by the highly-trained stylists

Behind this experience of beauty and style – is a science. Stylists are chosen not just for their creativity, but at Shunji, they are also trained on Mr. Matsuo’s system and method. An international director is sent by Shunji to stay for at least for two years to lead the team of stylists in the salon. Mr. Aremond Yong, is the current international director. He is veratile in current trends but also uniquely understands clients who want to be a bit “conservative.” The salon stylists are regularly updated by Shunji Matsuo- Singapore’s director for its academy, Mr. Crhistopher Lim. He visits the manila salon every 3 months to update and continually train the local stylists who understand that there is a science behind coloring, perming, cutting, and styling. Stylists at Shunji also enjoy a unique benefit of being educated by a real hair doctor, in fact, one of only two medical (non-surgical) hair specialists in the Philippines – Dr. Jun Bormate, the second doctor of the house.

At the mezzanine of the building, the Adolfo Skin & Hair Clinic, is run by dermatologist, Dr. Adolfo “Jun” Bormate who happens to be the first Filipino dermatopathologist to be board-certified by the International Board of Dermatopathology. In this age of media-hype, he offers nothing less than honesty on the impact of products and treatments on one’s skin and hair. Botox, chemical peels, and other skin and hair treatments also done with a relaxing spa-like setting. Certainly, his expertise lends science not only to his skin and hair clinic, but also to Shunji Matsuo Hair Studo, to whose stylists, he also imparts important cautionary knowledge that other stylists do not even bother to think about. Indeed it is a good blend of science and style.


Get Hair Fit for a Queen

The wedding of the century has come and gone, and it’s left a lot of us in awe of its simplicity yet subtle grandeur. As with all wedding celebrations however, all eyes were on the bride as she went about preparing for a life of royalty and elegance, and Catherine Middleton, now Catherine Mountbatten-Windsor, Duchess of Cambridge, is set for a life in the spotlight.

Before the big day, the world waited with bated breath to see who was going to design her dress and style her hair. Now that the ceremony is over, speculation may end, because people can now emulate the very crowning glory that did not disappoint wedding watchers.

WHO did her look?

The bride was styled by James Pryce supported by Richard Ward, while the bridal party was styled by the Richard Ward team of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa, a L’Oréal Professionnel salon in the heart of London’s Chelsea that also uses Kérastase. This salon has been Kate’s favorite hair salon for the last eight years.

At the forefront of British Hairdressing, award-winning hairdresser Richard Ward has cultivated a unique team of talented experts, renowned for their outstanding technical knowledge and creative abilities. Ward is famous for his innovative yet wearable couture hair, while Pryce on the other hand specializes in precision and designer cutting of both long and short hair.  Having stayed in the hairdressing industry for over 15 years, he gained extensive knowledge from working in salons such as Trevor Sorbie and Daniel Galvin, with his hair philosophy being that a great look lies in the cut.

WHAT was her look?

Princess Catherine’s bridal look is called the ‘demi-chignon’, an up-do style which combines a classic bridal look with a regal, couture finish.  The focus of the style was her unique halo style tiara lent by the Queen Mother for the special occasion, set back from the hairline and which eventually determined the finished look. A bridal hairstyle totally in line with her beauty and personality, the demi-chignon allowed her to show her luxuriously soft and shiny hair all day.

HOW to do it?

The front part of the styling is done in a very natural way, opening up her face to enhance her pure, beautiful face. The hair stylist has created a classic volume on the top (with or without pads or hair pieces) and set in a classic chignon base that allows fixing the precious royal tiara. He has created a guide line from ear to ear for the level of this base.

The back part of the styling is completely inspired by the natural falling of her hair. The movement is achieved thanks to natural curls of different sizes (curling iron) which give more volume and texture to the hair. The look is finished fixing a long‐lasting spray.

WHAT do you need?

For Construction 

  • L’Oréal Professione Full Volume: a blow ‐dry volume mousse that creates big boudoir hair and overall volume.
Php 714.00, Available only in L’Oréal Professionnel salons
  • L’Oréal Professionel Liss Control: an intense control and smoothing serum that gives 24-hour anti-frizz protection and adds natural shine
Php 897.00, Available only in L’Oréal Professionnel salons

For Shine

  • Elixir Ultime Kérastase: a beautifying oil enriched with a complex of four precious oils that perfects the look as well as ads soft and shine to the hair.
Php 2,215.00, Available at all Kérastase salons

For Fixation

  •  L’Oréal Professionnel Elnett: professional hair spray with microfine diffuser to hold the hair and keep it smooth, manageable and in excellent condition.
Php 680.00, Available only in L’Oréal Professionnel salons

Hair’s to the New Year Makeover Winner!

Hola HIM!

Boy, has it been a long time! We apologize for the blogging hiatus the past months, but worry not, because we’re back and ready for more hair-raising action!

We welcomed 2011 with a dare to change your look for the New Year, and one lucky girl did just that. Read on to find out more about our makeover winner:

Dear HIM,

My name is Irene and I’m a big fan of Hair in Manila. I love reading your reviews on different salons and everything about hair! And quite helpful too as I’m very indecisive as to which hairstyle to wear and where to go.

After learning about the Hair’s to the New Year Hair Make-over contest, I got so excited and the first person that popped in my mind was my very good friend Dionie.

Dionie is turning 26 on February and yes, she has never had a boyfriend since birth! She’s the bread winner to her family. Very smart and pretty. But her pretty face is just not enough. Her looks need character and that extra oomph. Before, she used to have very long hair. Our barkada advised her to do something new with her hair as she wore the same style for so long. She tried perming it which was okay until it became dull again. So to break away from her usual long, boringblack hair, Dionie decided to cut her hair short. I was expecting a stylish bob like those of Victoria Beckham, Katie Holmes or Paris Hilton, but unfortunately, her haircut turned out to be something that made her officemates and friends tease her as the Going Bulilit child star “Chacha”. This “Chacha” look went along with her small, “pa-cute” voice, and I think this image has left an impression on men that she was “childish”, hence no boyfriend since birth. I find this an unfair judgment for someone as responsible, mature and nurturing as Dionie. That’s why I wanted her to get a makeover because she has great potential to be as stylish as the Hollywood A-listers. I believe all she needs is a little more style and color in her hair and she will certainly make men regret why they never took notice of her.

More power to Hair in Manila!



Thanks to Irene’s letter, this fashion emergency was turned into an exciting New Year makeover for her friend Dionie.

Our lucky makeover winner was invited to Regine’s Salon, located at The Link in Makati, for her luxurious salon experience. The façade displays not only the very inviting and stylish interior, but also boasts of its professional expertise in the hair color of the future, INOA.

Regine's Salon, Makati

The elegant reception desk, adorned with patterns and a chandelier

Meet Dionie

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Hair’s to the New Year CONTEST!

Makeover #11: Homme My Gosh!

Hello Readers! Maita here 🙂

As you all know, HIM is going through some big changes. So for this blog entry, I opted to do something a little different.

Okay, so a large part of this blog has been dedicated to make-overs. I mean, true enough, what kind of a hair blog would this be if it didn’t feature hair make-overs, right? So staying true to that, HIM has featured about 10 wonderful make-overs throughout its existence.

But wait, have you noticed something??? Try to go through the 10 entries and see…

>>Makeovers #1 to #10

Yeap! All girls. We’ve only featured girl make-overs in this blog. So to make this entry a little bit out of the ordinary, I chose a lucky BOY to undergo the make-over.

Meet Jose Gaerlan. He had just returned from a 3-month internship in Hyatt Regency Tahoe in Nevada, and is looking forward to a new semester back here in the Philippines, where he’s currently a Junior taking up Culinary Arts in Enderun Colleges. He came back from Tahoe looking like this—hair already too thick, and quite long in some sections.

So to help him out, I decided that he’d be the perfect candidate for Make Over # 11: Homme My Gosh!

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HIM Is Now Hers

Hello HIM readers!

It’s been awhile. How have you all been? Any crazy new hair adventures since our last post? 🙂 With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to experiment on super cool hairstyles to go with your awesome costumes!

Because it’s been so long since our last entry, it seems like there are just so many new hair things to catch up on—new hair treatments, hair products, hair salons and what not. But before we kick-off this new chapter in the Hair In Manila blog, we would like to make a few announcements.

Firstly, notice how we are using “we” now? That’s right! New HIM bloggers are in town. We’ll be taking over for now! Who are we, you may ask? Well, allow us to introduce ourselves to you. 🙂

New HIM Girls

We are Nikki, Jords, and Maita—the new girls of HIM. Yep, that’s us! From left to right. So from now on, we will be joining you in your hair adventures. So feel free to write to us, post comments, and introduce yourselves to us (but only if you want to, of course :p).

Secondly, BIG and EXCITING changes are in store for HIM. For one, we will be featuring more make-overs and more contests. And that means… more prizes too! Also, we will be having an all-new layout, so watch out for that. In fact, maybe you guys can give us suggestions for the new layout! We want HIM to be as much yours as it is ours. 🙂

Looking forward to hearing from you all. We’ll be posting a new entry sooner than you think. 🙂

Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Nikki, Jords, and Maita

The new face of HairInManila

Hello friends and readers 🙂

It’s been quite some time since I wrote here, and I guess its time for me to say my goodbyes.

Flashback to April 2009 – I attended a Why Not? Forum and one of the speakers was Anton Diaz of It was really amazing how a community gathered together around his blog about food.  Readers wanted honest and helpful information about restaurants, and Anton gave it to them. Before long, his blog and his readers have been helping big and small restaurants all over the country get exposure to the hungry mouths out there. Today, we have awesome events like the Awesome Ultimate Taste Test with over 1,000 foodies gathered together.

I started thinking about this blog back in August ’09. Working in L’Oreal for the salon division, one thing I noticed is that there was no where anyone could get information about salons and their services. No one was reviewing them, comparing them, and sharing stories about them. What was available were stories in your favorite magazines; but the problem with that is that the information isn’t easy to share with others, unlike posting it on the web.

So with the help of my colleague, Joanna Ruaro, we decided to create a blog that would be the go-to place for salon reviews, salon services, and generally everything people want to know about hair fashion. We wanted it to be useful, interesting, and well-produced with great writers, photographers, and hair styling talent. We wanted readers to be able to connect with other readers or with the salon itself.

Me and Joanna

With P1,500 and absolutely no experience at all with WordPress and blogging, Joanna and I had to learn the ropes really fast. After much trial and error (especially with grammar checking; some posts would have up to 10 revisions after posting due to grammatical errors on my part), we eventually got the hang of it and felt more confident in posting more regularly. We celebrated and gave each other a pat on the back whenever someone would post a comment or if our daily readership went up.

Thank YOU for visiting our little slice of the net; it really means a lot to us! 🙂

But now, the time has come for me to pass on the reins of this blog to new blood. I would like to properly introduce Ytwo Villanueva as the new moderator of HairInManila! And I hope that you can continue to help us in building this blog to become more useful for all the people out there asking what hair cut fits them, where the best place is to get a perm, what product should be used to repair damaged hair, how much is it to get a rebond, etc etc.

If you ever have any suggestions, questions, or if you want to volunteer for a make-over, just drop us a message at We love getting email from you!

Birdie and Ytwo (yes, we have the weirdest nicknames)

So there, that’s my goodbye.

Snip snip! See you around!

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