Stepping up with confidence
Looking for your dream assignment? TFCS Hair Mentor Ash Loi says the key is to keep working to gather the experience you need before your big break comes along.
“Hair plays such an important part of a person’s confidence that it gives me great satisfaction to change someone’s look and turn them into a more confident and prettier version of themselves. I believe there are no ugly people around,” says TFCS Hair Mentor Ash Loi, known for his show-stopping hairstyles that are right at home in the fashion magazines he has been working closely with.
For this hair veteran, working for himself was the most natural step for him to take after working with a list of who’s who clients, from major retailers such as Orchard Central to luxury and fashion brands including Bvlgari, Puma, Gatsby, Reckless Erika and more. He has also worked with personalities such as fashion influencer Aimee Song of SongofStyle fame and Korean makeup personality PONY.
The down to earth, straight-talking hair guru shares with TFCS how he built a little black book of loyal following who are fans of his flamboyant style.
TFCS: How did you get started in the fashion and beauty industry?
Ash: I started as shampoo boy at a salon called Platform Hairdressing, before I became a colourist for 2 years. Then it was off to learning how to cut and style, which I continued doing over the next 13 years. Apart from running my own home salon, I also do freelance work at ATELIER Hair & Beauty at Shaw Centre.
How would you describe your style?
Ash: My style is about messy looks that are not too “done”, which are wild but also “organised chaos”. I specialise in wash and wear styles, as well as blow drying with hands more than a brush.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Ash: All kinds of things, from watching people go by on street, at concerts, on holidays, reading different magazines all add to staying inspired. To me, everyday is a new day of experience, especially for hairstylists as we get the chance to work with different people daily.
What’s the one product you can’t live with at a shoot?
What challenges did you face in order for you to get to where you are today?
Ash: The most challenging aspect of my work is to convince people to believe to accept my suggestions of the hairstyles that suit them. After many years in the business, I still encounter clients who insist on their way even though what they like may not be flattering for them.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone who wants to break into your industry?
Ash: Be humble, listen to others’ advice and grab every chance that comes to you. Take each job as a learning experience, instead of just looking at how much money you can get from it. When you’re just starting out, focus on building your skills and network and the experience you can gain from every job.
Photos: Instagram (@ashloihomesalon)
Follow Ash on Instagram @ashloiHomeSalon and check out more of his work @TheFashionCollectiveSG. Check out Ash’s portfolio for more of his works. Keen to come on board and start building your portfolio, or interested in collaborating with us? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.