Popular Malaysian 'Hair God' Shares Tips About Colouring Your Hair
Known as the 'hair god' among loyal clients, Glen Hew has blown up the Internet with his incredible hair colour transformations
As of late last year, he became extremely popular for his makeovers and insightful videos on TikTok, which garnered millions of views.
A name synonymous with the hairdressing industry in Malaysia, Hew is the Vice President of Asia Hair Designer Association (AHA) and Head of Education at Nekderx, where he spearheads the education programmes for global cosmetic brands such as Milbon, Lebel, La Biosthetique, Framesi, Goldilocks, K-Gloss, Olaplex, Framar, and Hikari.
While working as an educator, his popularity across Asia has led him to conduct over 1,000 hair courses, seminars, workshops, and shows in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.
Beyond education, he's also been invited to judge hair competitions and beauty pageants, as well as served as the official hairdresser for various fashion weeks, shows, magazines, musicians, and local celebrities.
We recently had a chat with Hew to ask him for hair colouring tips and how to deal with common coloured hair problems
SAYS: A common question everyone asks is 'How do I deal with dryness after colouring or bleaching my hair?' What do you suggest?
Hew: Besides adding hair treatment like Olaplex or keratin/collagen treatments into every colouring/bleaching service, I always ensure that my client's hair is maintained at its best condition with the right home care routine, from washing, conditioning, and using treatment and the right products to drying and styling with the right temperature.
I recommend doing the Global Milbon 360 degree hair care system monthly in the salon. It includes a smoothening/moisturising intensive treatment, four weeks of home care weekly booster treatment, and daily shampoo and treatment for maintenance.
Always use leave-in treatment/serum/oils for heat protection/humidity, and always use 160ºC and below if styling with hot tools.
SAYS: What hair colours can one do without needing to bleach?
Hew: For Asian dark hair, you can do brown, warm brown, cool brown, honey brown, caramel brown, red, copper, burgundy, and all neutral to warm tone colours.
SAYS: What hair colours suit darker skin tones?
Hew: To enhance (your skin tone), use warm colours, red, burgundy, copper, and etc. To neutralise (your skin tone), use brown, cool brown, beige, light colours, and etc.
SAYS: How do I pick a good hair colour tone that suits my skin undertone?
Hew: Always pick colours according to your eye colour, complexion, skin tone, and natural hair colour — you will never go wrong when you leave some of your natural hair colour as your colour base or shadow roots.
SAYS: Do hair treatments work? Which is the best hair treatment in your opinion?
Hew: Hair treatments always work best when you use the right one for your hair condition.
Example: Olaplex always works best if you've bleached your hair because it aims to rebuild your broken bonds.
K-Gloss Keratin treatment works best when your hair is frizzy and unruly because it tames your frizz, and strengthens and provides silky shine to your hair.
Milbon Japanese No. 1 professional hair brand understands Asian hair and always makes your hair smooth and soft.
SAYS: How often am I supposed to wash my hair once it's dyed?
Hew: It always depends on your daily habits. If you're a daily washer, please choose neutral hair colours like brown or beige, so the colours last longer.
If you choose to bleach your hair purple, violet, red, orange, blue, green, ash, blonde, platinum, or vivid colours, please reduce your frequency of washing hair to once in two days, three days, or a week.
These colours fade depending on the number of times you shampoo, so I recommend using colour safe shampoos or purple/violet/blue/other toning shampoos for home maintenance.
SAYS: What's the difference between lowlights and highlights?
Hew: When your current hair colour base is light, I always recommend doing lowlights, which will tone down some of the lighter base and give contrast and dimension to the hair.
Highlights is for most Asian dark hair because it creates lighter lines or stripes on a dark base for a dimension effect on the hair.
We can also use lowlights and highlights on our hair to contour our face shape with light and dark visual face-framing high/lowlights technique.
SAYS: How many rounds of bleaching can one head take?
Hew: It depends on the hair condition, texture, bleach type, peroxide/developer, and treatment added.
For example, healthy hair with thicker texture can be bleached five to six times with low bleach and lower peroxide/developer like 10vol 3% with Olaplex treatment.
I always recommend using bleach with lower peroxide/developer like 10vol 3% and Olaplex to bleach our hair for safety purposes. It takes a little longer compared to 9% and 12% peroxide/developer but your hair will still be left in a very healthy condition.
SAYS: What other tips do you have for colouring hair?
Hew: If you have virgin hair, meaning you've never done any hair colouring, always opt for bleach-free colours like balayage or highlights, and only use high lift (lighter) colours to lift up your hair with foil. This maintains your natural colour pigments and moistures your hair.
High lift (lighter) colours cannot lift yellow undertones for much cooler colours like ash, blue, violet, blonde, and etc, and it can't lift darker coloured hair, like black or henna. So there's no choice but to bleach the hair to remove the artificial colour pigments, and eventually this also affects the protein and moisture in your hair.
Got a special occasion or event coming up? Here's how you can create perfect hairdos in less than two minutes:
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