Let’s get this out of the way: I’m very particular when it comes to who touches my hair. It’s a life lesson I’ve gained following countless hair faux pas that have befallen me after salon-hopping for years. As a beauty blogger, I still do try out a few salons now and then upon invitation, but it’s only when I truly like a particular salon that I find myself going back (as a paying customer!).

A place I’ve recently tried and already returned to three times is this new Euro/American-style salon tucked away in a corner of Makati: Design Studio.
The interior of the salon is sleek, modern, clean, and relaxing. The staff members are courteous, attentive, and very knowledgeable on the services they offer. I’m quite a persistent and curious cat when it comes to new services and treatments—so much so, that I even ask about the ingredients of the products, all the way down to percentages. I was surprised to discover that even the stylist’s assistant knew about these when I asked her!

Another thing I love about this place? Co-owner Chiara Echiverri is present at the salon 95 percent of the time to make sure her customers feel at home and are treated to the most comfortable experience possible.
My agenda for the day was to get the Haircut, Color, and Treatment Package featured on Deal Grocer’s Beauty Category at the moment. First things first: color. I’m quite particular with this (fine, I’m particular with everything!). I only ever go for ash brown—lighter or darker, it doesn’t matter, as long as the tones are ash. Not copper, not mahogany.
To be honest, very few salons can get ash right. For people with Asian jet black hair, it takes especially long to achieve the color without bleach (I don’t bleach my hair and I curse the person who sneakily added it to my hair color before just to achieve the shade). For my hair, it took almost a year of gradually “upping” the lightness of my hair color to get to this point.

Keep reading until the end of this post to see how Design Studio managed to bring out the ash brown I prefer!
Love how the salon has this see-through section in their cape, which lets you check your phone between treatments.
This is Ms. D, one of the few hairstylists I entrust my hair to!
Time to rinse out the hair color and start the hair treatment! I always like to get a hair treatment after coloring my hair to lessen the damage of the dye. Nourishing my hair this way helps prevent further breakage and frizziness. For this session at Design Studio, I got the Keratin Treatment.
They let the treatment stay on my hair for a good 20 minutes or so with a heater.
While the treatment is ongoing, I got a complimentary back massage!
Ta-da! There’s my new hair color! Ms. D nailed the beautiful shade of ash brown that I envisioned in my head.
Time for my haircut! I didn’t really want to go shorter; I just needed a healthy trim to cut off my split and damaged ends. I asked for a blunt cut with soft layers.
Are you ready to see the complete reveal?
I’m extremely pleased with my new hair. I was finding it hard to maintain my previously blonde color, so I like that Ms. D suggested I go a few shades darker while still keeping the ash tones. The Keratin Treatment also helped manage my damaged hair, which I color constantly. Finally, the haircut complemented the aftermath of the treatment, making my hair appear healthier, with all the split ends trimmed away.

This being my third time at Design Studio, I’ve already gotten to know the owners of the salon, Chiara and Chase Tinio. Honestly, they are always at the salon! I admire their passion and dedication for making sure women (as well as men) get the professional salon experience they expect and deserve. It’s the best.
If you’re looking for that salon to always “go back home” to, I highly recommend Design Studio, located at Arnaiz Ave. MetroBank Building (in front of Greenbelt Residences). Don’t forget to avail of this Deal Grocer Beauty Deal the exact package described in this post!

Designer Haircut, PHP780
Dia Chroma L’Oreal Hair Color, PHP2,780
Organic Color Revive, PHP1,780

Address: 908 G/F Arnaiz Metrobank Bldg. A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), San Lorenzo Village, Makati City
Phone: (02) 832 5508 OR 899 9977
Mobile: (0919) 999 7622
Operating Hours: Daily, 9AM to 9PM

Photos by Shari Macainag