Painting your own story: In conversation with Clayton Sim of Palette Hair

A quintessential part of grooming, our hairstyles are as much a visual performance as they are a part of our character – and what we choose to present. As we grow and develop our individual styles, visits to salons and our favourite stylists start to differ according to our preferences, inadvertently giving us a trove of experience, however subjective, by the time we reach adulthood.

To answer the myriad of questions we have after years of caring for our crowns differently, we speak to Clayton Sim, founder of Palette Hair salon, to find out more about her story, what it takes to become a hairstylist, and quick tips on how to care for our hair.


, Painting your own story: In conversation with Clayton Sim of Palette Hair


Could you share with us how Palette Hair came about?


It actually isn’t my first venture. I’ve been in the industry for more than a decade now. Throughout my journey, I’m fortunate to have learnt a lot from really supportive superiors, who never stopped pushing me towards greater heights whenever I feel like I’ve achieved a new milestone. A habit that’s since stuck with me – I’m still learning every day – I started looking to build something of my own with some partners. It eventually failed, but I picked it up as a lesson and continued working towards my goal.

Palette Hair is the result of a journey where I had to start all over again with my current business partner, challenging myself and creating my vision of a culture where colleagues and customers alike will always feel comfortable, happy, and satisfied.


Did you always know you were going into this line?


To be honest, I did not. When I was 18, I started out as an apprentice receptionist and assistant at a salon, very much at a loss as to what my future would be like. While there, with some hard work put in, I managed to pick up some new skills. Coupled with the encouragement of my superiors, I went for more advanced hair-related courses to upgrade myself and from there, I just kept going and have never looked back since.


, Painting your own story: In conversation with Clayton Sim of Palette Hair


What made you enter a salon at the beginning?


It was mostly peer influence. At the time, I really didn’t know what to do and which direction I wanted to head towards. I only knew that I needed a way to earn money and to pick up skills for a livelihood.


How would you advise a youth who tells you they’re interested in pursuing this career?


I’d say to not give up too quickly. There’s definitely going to be hardship, even failures – but if you know what you want to achieve, be persistent in pursuing what you set out to do. Nothing is ever too late. I’ve always been inspired by the late Colonel Harland Sanders and how he found major success after the age of 60 with KFC.


, Painting your own story: In conversation with Clayton Sim of Palette Hair


What are some common mistakes or misconceptions about haircare that we should avoid?


A common mistake is in the use of hair shampoo. For example, many people still tend to use shampoo meant for dry hair wrongly. These shampoos tend to contain silicone and should be applied starting from the ends, instead of from the scalp. In fact, that’s one of the causes of hair fall.

Regarding the use of scalp shampoo, what many people don’t know is that they actually also cause dryness to the hair, because of their deep cleansing effects. So if you do need to use scalp shampoo, it’s best to complement it by applying hair mask on your hair ends at least twice or thrice a week.


What about effective tips that everyone can apply, even when busy or at home?


One of the most important things to note is to completely dry your hair after a shower. Leaving your hair damp may cause issues brought about by a damp scalp – which includes the formation of dandruff. For ladies with longer hair, I’ll always advise them to apply leave-on treatments that protect their hair against UV rays and environmental effects.


, Painting your own story: In conversation with Clayton Sim of Palette Hair


Tell us more about the most common differences between hair treatment options in salons.


The two most common variants of treatment in salons are keratin treatments and scalp treatments. Keratin treatments aim to revitalise your hair by introducing protein to your hair. A common misunderstanding is that keratin treatments also help to straighten your hair, but that’s not really the case. Most keratin treatments will include an ironing process as it helps the protein penetrate your hair cuticles. In reality, they’re more anti-frizzing than straightening. Collagen and keratin treatments are generally similar.

Scalp treatments are about fighting hair loss and deep cleansing. The most common cleansing scalp treatments are re-balancing treatments, which are suitable for all hair types. Scalp treatments targeted at hair loss usually involve a long process and may not work for everyone.


For those looking to pamper their hair this season, here’s an additional piece of good news: To celebrate their first anniversary, Palette Hair is currently offering almost 50% off their Keramimic Treatment package!


For more information on Palette Hair, head over to their website here.