Hair styling in Singapore goes digital

Gail Chai
Singapore Showbiz
7 November 2012

In the first of its kind believed to be in Singapore, a website is able to match those looking for a particular hairstyle or coiffure with their desired hairstylist.

ZupaDo, a new online hair community that launched late last month, offers this service along with ZupaMatch, a clever search engine that connects members to the best hair stylists for their hair type and budget.

To help members quickly find the best hair stylists for them, ZupaMatch takes the information from other members with the same hair profile, and matches it to the highest rated hair stylists in their country.  The ratings are taken from the profiles and reviews of other members in the same area, with similar hair.

While customers benefit from the easy matching service, hair stylists and salons are also able to attract new customers, and build stronger relationships with their existing client base as well as connect with other hair stylists in the industry to raise their profile.

Members will also be able to ask for immediate feedback on their latest hairdo by uploading pictures themselves. Visitors, and members, will be able to 'show the love' by clicking on the hearts to indicate the hair styles they like the best.

Currently, 18 salons and 37 hair stylists are listed on the site.

Essensuals, Zona Felice and Shunji Matsuo are are in talks to get their salons linked up with Zupado. When these salons are listed, it will take the total number of salons up to 27 and the total number of hair stylists close to 60.

Founded by Englishwoman Julia Rowley, 34,  and Scot Gordon Rodger, 28, ZupaDo is the first in the world to operate such an ingenious system — a little like online dating but "hair dating" instead.

HOW THEY GOT STARTED

Rodger and Rowley moved to Singapore in November 2011 from Oman, in the Middle East, where they lived. They noted that it was always difficult finding the right hair stylist wherever they travelled to.

"It was tough finding a hair stylist in Oman and when I moved to Singapore last year, I was worried about not finding the right hair stylist for myself and there were hardly any websites with reviews or recommendations on the best hair stylists or salons to visit. Gordon and I had the idea of setting up ZupaDo when we left Oman and came to Singapore," said Rowley who spots a platinum blonde pixie cut.

"Also, both our families are in the hair industry so we understand the challenges hair stylists face. ZupaDo gives them a platform to promote themselves as well as the hair salons," added Rodger who has short brown hair and keeps a neat beard.

The couple picked Singapore because of her "massive technology hub, is cosmopolitan and is style conscious".

"It also has a great talent pool here, is small and easy to get around and the people here speak English," said Rodger.

FUTURE PLANS

The ambitious couple are currently rolling out the service in Dubai right now but have Hong Kong and London in their sights next year.

"We picked London because our families are in the hair industry there; it is a fashion capital and a hair capital… We love Singapore a lot but we also want to go massive and Hong Kong is big enough for that. It is also the biggest and nearest country from Singapore when it comes to fashion and hair so it is a logical idea for an Asian expansion," explained Rodgers.

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