From Straight Hair to Curls: Nobu Hair Salon at Citywalk

In my last post, I recommended Anna Wijaya Salon for hair spa. Today, I’m going to share my hair perming experience at Nobu Salon in Citywalk mall.

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After the perm – Ivana and I with our new curls.

I’ve had straight hair all my life and have longggg wanted to go for a perm but never had the guts to do so. My hair is awfully thick – if not maintained well, I’ll totally blend in with a troop of lions. And so I always had this fear that perming my hair would make me more lion-ey.

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Farewell, straight hair!

But…I finally got down to doing it last Wednesday. I guess it was now or never.

Many of my friends cut their hair at Nobu Salon and have nothing but praise for the hairstylists there. By the way, all their hairstylists hail from Japan. The local workers only assist/support them and help out with the hair washes.

My visit to Nobu Hair Salon started off with a hair consultation. My hairstylist, Manabu, advised me to thin and layer my hair before perming so I won’t end up with a beehive (think candy floss/Pomeranian dog). He also said I had to straighten the top bit of my hair. I told him I wanted natural-looking curls and he said digital perm would suit me best. I went along with his suggestions. 🙂

The Digital Perm Process

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Embarking on a digital perm.

A digital perm is a perm that uses hot rods; the temperature is regulated by a machine with a digital display (hence the name digital). My hair was first soaked in perm solution. Following which, sections of my hair were rolled into curlers and plugged into the heat generating machine. The time required for a digital perm is usually shorter than that of a regular perm.

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Hair all rolled up in curlers and plugged into the machine.

In between all the waiting, you may want to get a manicure/pedicure done. Nobu Salon provides normal and gel nail services at pretty reasonable prices. 🙂

After some time, my hair was given a neutralizing liquid. Once the liquid was spread evenly throughout my air, Manabu opened the rollers one by one. BOOOOOOM. My hair had turned from straight to currrrly!

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About to open the rollers for Ivana’s hair.

After the final rinse, Manabu taught me how to blow dry my hair daily. The routine involves a lot of inward twirling, bouncing and hand work. I am so glad my hair didn’t turn out (too) big. It looks kinda natural, you think?

Here are some before and after pictures:

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AFTER: Curly hair and Freckles.

Nobu Salon issued me a membership card for free; I was entitled to a 10% discount for my current bill and future bills. The cost of my haircut was IDR 500k, the straightening was IDR 250k, and the digital perm was IDR 1,800,000. After the 10% discount, the total bill came up to IDR 2,295,000.

Here’s the bill for your reference:

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My total bill for cutting, straightening, and a digital perm.

One Week Later…

My curls had almost disappeared after 5 washes *sobs*. I’m not sure if it’s because I had previously straightened my hair and it was therefore resistant to perming?! Ivana’s hair, in comparison, was still very curly.

I made a trip down to Nobu again for Manabu to check my hair. He said he’d thin my hair even further (seeeee I wasn’t exaggerating about my THICK hair) and re-do the perm for me. So I sat in the salon chair for another three hours and went through the entire digital perm process again. And TA-DA…now my hair looks like this:

Thank you, Manabu, for re-doing the perm for me ever so kindly and readily. I hope it stays with me this time round! *fingers crossed*


Nobu Hair & More Citywalk
Citywalk Sudirman 2nd Floor #23
Jl.KH.Mas Mansyur 121
Jakarta
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Of Hair and Beauty Salons in Jakarta: Anna Wijaya

So the weekend went by and Adeline came and left. It’s always nice having familiarity around. No need for introductions or small talk; we can simply start from where we left off and delve into deep girly talk.

Adeline wanted to do a few things in Jakarta, one of which was hair treatment/ hair spa. I usually do my hair treatment at Anna Wijaya Salon in Grand Indonesia. (Due to the not-so-ideal air in Jakarta, I find hair treatments quite a regular necessity here). However, due to time constraints, we decided to check out the Anna Wijaya Salon in Ambassador Mall which is nearer to where I live.

Exterior-wise, the salon at Ambassador Mall looked slightly oldish compared to the one at Grand Indonesia. Another difference is that hair treatments are done in a private room at the Grand Indonesia outlet (more exclusivity for a maximum pax of 4). BUT…there was quite a big difference in prices. Same treatment options. Same products used. Same procedures. Yet the price difference was about Rp 100, 000 (!!). I am totally going to the one at Ambassador Mall from now on. 

The hair treatments at Anna Wijaya make use of Kérastase products which are pretty good. After each treatment, I can feel an overall difference in my hair – smoother, silkier, and more healthy-looking. Back in my home country, hair treatment using Kérastase products would cost double to even triple the price. *perks of living in Jakarta*

I opted for the “fibre reconstructing hair treatment” targeted at dry, damaged hair which has been treated before (i.e., rebonded, coloured, permed, etc) whereas Adeline opted for “colour hair treatment” meant to bring out the colour in her hair and make it more reflective. I used to choose the “nourishing hair treatment” not knowing that it was actually meant for dry, damaged and UNTREATED hair. Sigh I blame it on my lousy command of Bahasa Indo back then.

The entire hair treatment process took about 1.5 hours and started off with a hair wash. After the hair wash, the treatment was applied to my hair. While waiting for the products to set in, I got a head, neck and shoulder massage (very shiokkk). Adeline was very pleased with her massage, saying she felt very “de-knotted” haha.

 Most hair salons in Jakarta also offer other (legit) services. For example, eyebrow trimming, manicure/ pedicure, foot reflexology, etc. Why not, right? Since our hands and legs are free. I decided to get a pedicure done while Adeline chose a relaxing foot reflexology.

After steaming my hair, I got it washed again. At this point, you can either choose blow dry to IBU-STYLE (at an additional cost) or normal dry. Of course, we chose the former option. We were in Jakarta, after all. 🙂

Here are some end-product pictures:

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After-treatment hair (prior to this, I had loads of flyaway hair).

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My newly-painted nails.

My pedicure turned out so-so only but I’m not blaming them, After all, they’re a nail hair salon. Just in case anyone is interested in the breakdown costs, I’m posting the bill here for your reference.

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Bill payment for my visit to Anna Wijaya salon.

Anna Wijaya Salon aside, I’m sure there are many other hair salons that offer the same services with different price ranges. I’ll be checking out another salon next time round!