• Shannon Dawson

Olaplex Treatment & A Subtle Balayage From Japanese Hair Salon, Sozo Hair Design

Neatly tucked into the buzzing Wyndham Street, Sozo Hair Design provides a myriad of bespoke hair services ranging from cut, colour and blow drys to manicure/pedicure and eyelash extensions. Founded by Yoko Lane, a Tokyo-born hairstylist who perfected her craft at one of Tokyo’s best hairdressing schools, followed by a few stints with the top salons in Sydney and Hong Kong, Yoko opened Sozo in January 2013. Yoko and her exceptional team of stylists combine first class services with a personal touch. Shannon Dawson arrived at the salon for a Balayage and restorative Olaplex treatment.

Image courtesy of Shannon Dawson | Cha Siu Papers Times

A subtle retouch


After my loyal stylist left Hong Kong over a year ago, I struggled to find another salon that could tailor to my fine, frizz-prone tresses. As a self-proclaimed “wash and wear” kind of girl, I always opt for styles that require low maintenance and luckily for me, Sozo specialise in Balayage treatment which is perfect for those who, like me, prefer little to no upkeep.


I settled myself into the salon chair before being handed a menu with a selection of tea, coffee, wine and spirits. After seeing my hair in the sobering salon light after a year of near-neglect, I almost opt for a wine, but sensibility kicks in and I pick a latte.


My stylist for the day was founder Yoko and as she sat down with me to determine the colour and style I was after, it was clear that I was in good hands.

Image courtesy of Olaplex

She began with a light trim of my hair—keeping the length at my request, before applying the colour. Olaplex is the weapon of choice at Sozo, and is a step-by-step process designed to alleviate chemical damage to hair during the colouring process. Yoko applied the bond multiplier along with the colour treatment, followed by the Bond Perfector shampoo.


After a second application of colour, I made my way to the basins for a final wash. One of the stylists rinsed my hair before providing a ten-minute head massage which sent me to another dimension, easily the best massage I’ve had in a salon.

Image courtesy of Olaplex

As I made my way back to the salon chair in a euphoric, post-head massage state, I could see the colour had taken shape and I was ready for the final reveal. Yoko applied the Bond Smother and Bonding Oil to my hair to protect my hair from the impending heat of the blow dryer and as I flittered through the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, I couldn’t help stealing eager glances of my hair coming together.

Image courtesy of Shannon Dawson | Cha Siu Papers Times

The end result, well, I think the photos speak for themselves! I look at my before photos and wonder how none of my friends have dragged me into a salon earlier. My new hair is exactly what I was expecting but better. Yoko’s attention to detail is unmatched, she took the time to listen to my hair woes and gave me a subtle but elevated look which requires little upkeep from my side. Not only this, but after the Olaplex applications, my hair felt impossibly soft and bouncy, I had to physically stop myself from shaking my hair like those women in the Herbal Essences commercials.

After spending a year trying to find a new stylist in Hong Kong, I think I may have found the one. Whether it’s a hair refresh, a manicure, pedicure or eyelash extensions from their sister salon at Glorious Gorgeous, located on the floor below, Sozo Hair provides a truly bespoke approach to styling and I’ll definitely be returning, although this time I certainly won’t be waiting a year.


Sozo Hair Design, 3/F, 34 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2353 5025, sozohairdesign.com


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