Spiders, rats and going to the hairdresser -- these three things are likely to appear on any woman's "scary list." Spiders because they're creepy, rats because they carry diseases, and going to the hairdresser because you never really know what's going to happen to you (or your hair).
Hairdressers can literally ruin you with just one too many snips of their scissors (dramatic, yes, but true), which is exactly why so many of us are adverse to trying someone or something new.
Luckily, there's finally a hairdresser in Hong Kong that we can wholeheartedly recommend -- someone who knows his stuff, isn't scissor happy, and most importantly, won't pressure you into anything you don't want to do.
Pronounced like "Eric", Marek Wan has over 20 years of experience as a hairdresser in Hong Kong. Starting out as a trainee assistant in 1987 at Le Salon Orient, he later went on to set up Salon Esprit in Hong Kong and Shanghai before becoming the director of Il Colpo Group from 2003 to 2009.
These days, Wan handpicks and trains all of his staff personally at his Wellington Street salon Marek Art of Hair, which offers everything from simple hair cuts to colouring, perming, and hairdressing for special occasions.
With a list of celebrity clientele including Hong Kong top models Rosemary Van Den Broucke and Alice B, you know you're in good hands.
Atmosphere: Located next to Yung Kee restaurant on Wellington Street, Marek Art of Hair is perched high above the congested street traffic with a clean and modern black and white theme.
The staff are all dressed in black and white, but have the freedom to wear what they like. From the looks of it, most of them are young, trendy, professional and courteous. And while most of the staff are local, you won't find anyone who resembles a Mongkok triad member here.
Treatment: We went to Marek Art of Hair not knowing exactly what we wanted (the most dangerous state of mind to be in) and started with a personal consultation with Wan himself and a stack of magazines.
"So, what do you think we should do?" we asked, hoping to get an expert opinion. Instead, he turned the question on us, explaining that he couldn't dictate a hairdo on someone he didn't know (yet). A slew of questions followed, ranging from whether we were high or low maintenance, had time to do our hair in the morning, preferred short or long hair, and more.
Twenty minutes later, we had decided on a loose, beach waves perm (seen from a magazine) that would give our otherwise stick-straight hair some much-needed movement.
Prefer straight hair? Check out our review of the Brazilian blowout instead.
Verdict: From the outset, it was clear that Wan knew exactly what he needed to do to replicate the hairstyle seen in the magazine. The cutting was quick, efficient and prepared our hair for the perm to follow, which he used different sized curlers for to give it that natural and effortless look.
By the end of it, we had a head full of wavy hair just as we had hoped for -- nothing more, nothing less. We admit, we played it relatively safe since it was our first time with Wan, but now that we know what he's capable of, we'd be comfortable taking a bigger risk with our hair the next time.
The best part is, Marek Art of Hair has a "satisfaction guaranteed" policy where if you're not completely satisfied with your hair, you can go back within 10 days to have it fixed. Now, where else in Hong Kong can you find that?
A standard haircut at Marek Art of Hair costs HK$480.
Marek Art of Hair, 2/F Winway Building, 50 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2191 2222, www.marekartofhair.com