Combat break up blues: A hair transformation


Breakups are never easy, no matter if it’s a short or long term relationship, or who broke up with who. These circumstances can bring on a big dose of self doubt for any girl. I know it’s certainly not been easy for me! I’ve recently come out of a long term relationship of 8 years, ending it felt like loosing an arm and emotionally it’s been a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs. In a situation like this where I felt like I had no control, I started to actively taking control of smaller things or tasks and make some radical changes. So I started from the top, I started with my hair!

A haircut after a breakup sure sounds a bit cliched, but it does work and it’s actually a habit I got into during high school. Though this time I felt I needed more than a mere cut, I needed a transformation. I had a very specific cut in mind, a lob, aka long bob. I’ve had similar hairstyles before and even shorter cuts like pixie, so at least it wasn’t a big scary decision to make.

Armed with a bunch of photos of lob hairstyles I found on Pinterest, I turned up to the Tony Curtis hair salon on Sydney’s lower north shore, where Suigo Australia was taking over for a day. When I arrived a few other girls were already in the process of getting their hair coloured by Suigo’s technician, Brett. I took out my prints to show Brett and he immediately understood the kind of cut I wanted and suggested to cut my hair to just below my chin to best suit my face shape. Brett got to work and pretty soon strands of long hair started pilling up on the floor. I couldn’t help but take a photo to mark the special occasion. Seeing all that hair made my heart feel lighter, like I’m closing one chapter and opening up a brand new one.


With the haircut out of the way, it was onto the main event of the day, colour with Suigo Extra Wetlight, a salon range of permanent hair colouring products that are gentle, restores shine, conditions and protects the hair while capable of creating vibrant colour. The range also contains natural plant essences, is low in ammonia and is free of phenylene diamine.

My idea for colour was to have a layer of it underneath my lob, so you wouldn’t even notice it except from the front. There’s also the bonus advantage of a flash of colour with every flirty sway and twirl of my hair. Brett suggested a pinky violet shade to complement my natural black hair. A custom blend was made and meticulously applied. I’ve only had my hair coloured a few times before, but I know it’s hard to gauge the result with Asian hair, until it’s been washed, blown dry and you see it in the mirror that is. The final result was something between purple and red and it was perfect for my hair and skin tones.

I walked out of the salon feeling a million bucks and ready to take on the world. Such is the incredible power of a hair transformation. It was an important exercise for myself, a doorway that I had to step through in order to move on from my breakup. But you know what, I’d do it all over again in a hear beat just to keep hearing all the ‘Ohhh’s and ‘Ahhh’s I’ve been getting from every single friend I bump into!


By Xiaohan Shen, photographer, Vogue Spy Style Network member and founder of XSSAT.

Xiaohan’s haircut and colour courtesy of Suigo Australia. Suigo is a Japanese botanical haircare brand with laboratories in Australia, Suigo focuses on the use of naturally derived active ingredients in its products, such as argan oil from Morocco, sandalwood from Australia, orchid root extract and many more. Suigo has a full range of products, from in salon colour, straightening and perming products to at home haircare, treatment and styling products.

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