While some might assume that internationally acclaimed social media stars may be cold and aloof because of their soaring social media standing, Irene Kim (also known by her Instagram handle @ireneisgood) proved to us wrong. Flown specially from her hometown of Seoul, Korea to Singapore for the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Gen Fashion Award 2017 held at Adrift by David Myers in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands last week, the affable super influencer who’s known for her ever-changing hair colour demonstrated her personality that was very much like her crowning glory – colourful, bright, and charming.
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How do we know that? Well, the 29-year-old Instagram darling with a reach of 936k (and counting) sat with us in her room at Fullerton Bay Hotel last week while she was having her hair and makeup done (for a special project with BAZAAR – look out for that!) and had a casual chat with us about her hair must-haves, hair secrets, what song she would play if she was in a hair commercial and more. You’ll be surprised with what she has to say about her hair care tips!
Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore (HB): What are your top bathroom shelf must-haves for your hair?
Irene Kim (IK): My must-have at-home hair product is from that brand that Jen Atkin does… OUAI! I really love their dry shampoo — I use that. I took that with me to Mongolia when I couldn’t wash my hair for 5 days and it kept it like very…
HB: Nice and fresh?
IK: Yes! But still… It was like 5 days (laughs). But the stuff smells amazing and keeps me fresh. Sometimes I just put it in my hair just to make it smell good because I don’t really use expensive or strong-smelling shampoos.
HB: So you try to keep it as minimal as possible?
IK: Yes. In fact, I use Aveeno Baby in my hair. I can use it on my body AND my hair. I like to multi-task my products.
HB: Cool! So we all know you have your hair dyed all the time. What’s your secret to keeping it healthy?
IK: I dye it all the time so I go to the salon quite often to get hair treatments. But if I don’t, I’ll do like hair masks at home.
I’ll mix a good body moisturizer – not expensive, it could be like Cetaphil or Aveeno – and I’ll mix it with a hair conditioner… And then I’ll wet it and wrap my hair in a saran wrap. Then I’ll leave it in when I’m watching TV.
HB: That’s an interesting tip. So if there are moments where you’re pressed for time but you still need your hair to be perfect, what’s a quick solution to get your hair on fleek in a jiffy?
IK: I’ll just spray some dry shampoo and tie it in like a half bun… It’s easy!
HB: So which hair products are always in your make-up pouch?
IK: Nothing! I know that my hair is really colourful and it seems high maintenance, but I just do basic things to make sure that it’s moisturised. Whenever my hair feels dry, I’ll just smooth it out with some lotion. Honestly, I don’t like products in my hair – I like my hair feeling natural and healthy. I know that sounds funny because it’s so colourful! (Laughs)
HB: Is it because it’s always colour-treated that you want to keep it as low-maintenance as possible?
IK: Yeah! I’m really low-maintenance with my hair. I don’t do a lot with it. Maybe because it is so colourful that I don’t like to do anything too much or too crazy with it daily.
HB: That makes sense! So what are some of the ways to pamper your hair luxuriously when you have the extra time?
IK: Going to the salon and getting a hair treatment because they’ll spray all these protein stuff in it and they’ll steam my hair in this big machine.
HB: Any special treatments that you love?
IK: I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s like a 3-step treatment which I do in Korea. Like, Korea has the best hair salons. My best friend who is my hair stylist does my colour and everything. He does a really good job at maintaining it.
HB: We all know that your hair has gone through so many different phases. So what is your favourite hair moment today?
IK: It’s so hard! I think when it was like in a rainbow ombré like 2 years ago (see below)? If you Google “Irene Kim Hair”, you’ll get like pretty good amount of pictures, I recently found out. And then I really liked this pink one here (see above). And also when I had a short rainbow bob!
HB: So girls these days are probably inspired by you, sporting all these delightfully bold and colorful hair. Do you have any simple tips for them to really have fun with their hair?
IK: I think just not being afraid to experiment and try whatever cut and colour you want… And find the look that you really like!
For me, colouring my hair is a way to express myself and my personality and it just really puts me in a good mood. Especially when I step out of the salon and seeing the results after getting it freshly coloured. It’s like a manicure for my hair!
HB: Okay, so you know how those shampoo scenes where they make the model’s hair all nice bouncy to some music? If you were in that position, what song would be playing and why?
IK: Maybe Wild Thoughts by Rihanna? (Laughs) Because it’s like kind of fast… but also kind of slow and it’s really playful!
HB: Finally, if your hair had its own Instagram account, what would its handle be and why?
IK: Well, I actually made a hashtag for my hair which is #HairAlwaysInTheFace because every time I would get photographed for street style, my hair will always be in my face. I’ll show you the hashtag. Lots of people started doing the hashtag too. There’s like a thousand pictures now!
So to answer your question, I’ll probably give the handle @hairalwaysintheface for my hair if I could!
HB: Okay, awesome! Thanks, Irene! It was lovely chatting with you!
IK: Thank you!