ABOUT URBANHAIR
& Founder Eugene Ong

  • VISION

    Since 1988, Urbanhair is a people-orientated salon that focuses on quality service using premium products. We cater to the different needs of our diverse patrons, from Singapore and the rest of the world.


    FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR
    EUGENE ONG

    Eugene is very passionate about what he is doing and his willingness to share is topped with humour. A very welcoming and friendly individual. He is a highly inspiring person. Eugene is now actively involved in educating and nurturing the next generation of hairstylists. Hair is more than just work to him; it is art. his formula for success is simple; learn more, do more.


    INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE

    Eugene has been working in the hairdressing industry since 1978. He had his training in London at the Alan International School and Jingles Hairdressing School. After working in London with various salons, he went to Australia for a short work stint before returning to Singapore in 1988.


    FASHION PUBLISHING

    Eugene also has a strong reputation in Singapore's fashion publishing scene. He has done countless covers and fashion editorials for Harper's Bazaar Singapore, Marie Claire Malaysia, Her World, Female, Glam, Nuyou, amongst others. Some of the celebrities he has worked with includes Michelle Yeoh, Joan Chen and Christy Chung.


    NURTURING THE NEXT GENERATION

    Eugene is now actively involved in educating and nurturing the next generation of hairstylists.


    THOUGHTS FROM EUGENE


    Use 2 words or phrases to describe your creative style pertaining to your hairdressing.

    Minimal fuss and clean cut lines.


    How would your friends/customers describe you?

    I have received comments from friends saying that I am a person who shares, am passionate about what I am doing and know what I want. My customers mentioned that I understand the connecting element in different individuals. I make an effort to break the ice and get to know them. This includes observing what they wear, their lifestyle, likes and dislikes.


    What's your favorite past time?

    Taking ample rest and reading magazines.


    What are some of your most memorable experiences in this line?

    I remember vividly when I first started as a junior hairdresser in London, I was assigned to this lady and I made some mistakes. I looked back at what happened, learn from the mistake, improve from it and move forward. The other memorable experience was the time when I did a cover shoot for FEMALE magazine in 1990 which I personally find it nice and it sold well. Since then, I have been taking care of the hairstyles for the magazine's cover.


    Can you give us some advice/words of encouragement for the younger generation who plans to enter this industry?

    Before you start, you have to answer these two questions: who you are and who are you. It's to different answers, and you have to understand youself well. Be an all-rounder, learn everything. Ask questions to clear your doubts and you gain knowledge. The formula for success is simple: Learn more and do more.


    Share with us the initial years of your hairstyling career.

    I was an interior designer. I belonged to the era where men are frowned upon if they aspire to be hairstylists. One fine day, I was dragged to a salon by a friend. That time, perms for men were considered fashionable and I had one at the salon. When I looked at it after it was done, I was appalled. I refused to step out of the salon and requested for 'salvation', which took hours. During that time, I observe how people work and the passion just set in. With my mother's support, I went to London to learn and stayed there for 7 years. i then flew to Australia and got my PR. Something happened and I came back to Singapore. I knew what I wanted, and worked at a salon for a year. This is how my hairstyling career started.


    Tell us how you overcame one difficulty.

    I find difficult customers challenging, it makes me want to understand them more and meet their high expectations. When their expectations are met, they will be glad and so do I, with a sense of achievement.


    Can you remember a time where you feel like giving up? What happens next?

    People question me: Don't you feel angry, jealous or upset when your staff leave and open a salon themselves? I don't. I realize that staff do come and go, it's part and parcel of this industry. In fact, I am proud and happy to see successful staff. Everyone has a future of passion to suceed in life.


    How do you keep yourself updated with the lates hair trends when you’re so busy?

    I'll spend some money and invest in books, magazines and videos. They are assets. When I have the time, I will use the Internet for research. I make it a point to attend seminars to upgrade myself too.


    Was there someone who inspires you? What motivates you.

    I would like to give Redken credit for this. years ago, I was invited by Redken to join as facilitator and educator. I am highly inspired by Sam Villa (Redken global performer artiste), and I am very honered to stand on the same stage as him in Singapore. It was a great opportunity and experience for me, because from him, I learnt how to be a professional facilitator in education, how to pull crowd and draw attention; a challenging task when there is many people around. The other person who inspired me was Linda Choi, who is personal trainer on hair-related matters.


    What do you mean by “less fortunate”? How did you help?

    Each individual has a different style of learning, and most of us learn faster through hands-on session. When you lend a helping hand, never ask for anything in return - that's my philosophy. I helped in an Institute of Technical Education (ITE) as a facilitator and educated the younger people. I also did my part in helping a Malay Community Centre to set up classes for those who have a passion in hairdressing, but have financial problems and are unable to pay for classes. Whenever I teach, I would encourage the students to ask questions because in my dictionary, no questions are considered 'stupid'. With each question you ask, you gain another unit of intelligence. each little step alleviates the hairdressing industry in Singapore for the next generation.