Vanity can be a virtue sometimes. In Dave Teng’s case, it was what fueled him to pursue the craft of hairdressing. “I like pretty things. If something doesn’t look nice, I’ll find a way to beautify it.
I admit I’m vain — I like to dress up and look good,” said the owner of the six-year-old Hairfolio Luxury, a boutique hair salon at Stamford House.
With appreciation for all things beautiful, Dave started channeling his inner ‘Edward Scissorhands’ at the tender age of 14, apprenticing at the hair salon of his father’s friend.
Since then, he has worked with celebrity hairstylist David Gan for 12 years as well as going for stints in Taiwan and Hong Kong to pick up the tricks of the trade.
Fresh from his special award win at the prestigious Tokyo Etoko 2008 Hair Competition, the astute yet humble Dave said that a willingness to learn and having pride in one’s job are keys to self-improvement.
He also credited his friends for helping him set up Hairfolio by offering him monetary gifts and teaching him to run his own business.
According to Dave, the hardest part about running his business was finding staff that were both talented and passionate about the job. Without drive, there was no desire to push for excellence and no business can afford uninspired employees.
As with every craftsman, using the right tools were pivotal to the end result. His weapon of choice was a limited edition, half-ceramic, half-metal pair of scissors made by a Japanese company, which produced a sharper cut.
This attention to quality extended to other areas as well. Hairfolio used hair quality products without harmful chemicals though at a higher cost. Dave explained, “If the product achieves the desired effect without negative effects, it is cheap. If it doesn’t, even a free product isn’t cheap at all.”