What’s peculiar about them? ‘He’ keeps long hair while ‘she’ prefers it to be as short as possible. Yet the style suits them, and it also shows their signature style of hairdressing.
Well known in Kuching, Sarawak, and also throughout Malaysia, this dynamic duo — alongside their team — are reputable for their skills in hairdressing. In short, they are the ones to look for to perfect the imperfections.
Since 1997, the duo have gone through almost everything together including furtively studied hairdressing courses during their university days from Kuching, Kuala Lumpur and to London.
Husband-and-wife team, Lewis Fong and Jacqueline Chang, have recently made Kuching proud as they were awarded the Most Glamorous Celebrity Hairstylist Award and Most Excellent Hairstylist Award respectively at the Malaysia’s 100 Supreme Hairstylists Prestigious Awards Ceremony.
The ceremony was organised by Malaysia Hairdressing Association and was held on March 18 in Kuala Lumpur.
New Sarawak Tribune managed an interview with the duo at Jacqueline’s salon located at Jalan Song, Kuching under the name Essentials Hairdressing, a salon branch under Cutting Edge.
Humbled by their wins, Lewis shared that experience is everything. During their studies, Lewis who majored in Finance disclosed that he had studied under Minas Hair Salon and Academy, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and then later, they both studied at Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon Academy during their studies in London.
Returning in 2000, they realised that instead of doing what they studied for, they opted to open a salon named ‘Cutting Edge’ at an old shopping mall located at Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, Kuching.
Throughout the years they had opened at several locations, however, at current, they maintained only two locations namely at Jalan Abell, Kuching (Cutting Edge) and Jalan Song, Kuching (Essentials Hairdressing).
Jacqueline who majored in International Marketing expressed that they have gone through numerous hardships and challenges till today, but, “We pakai parang (wield machetes) and fight back!” she exclaimed.
Laughing it out loud as they reminisce on those days, they both disclosed that their parents, being conservative Asians, were not happy with their decision.
Lewis said, after being a parent himself, he now understands that: “Our parents just wanted us to have a stable career in life.” Whereas Jacqueline is afraid that her daughters will grow up doing things behind their back just like they did.
Despite all that, the duo still encourage individuals to obtain a certificate first before following their interest. “Don’t ever leave your studies! Because the things that you studied will help you a lot in the future.”
Time proof that their effort in hairdressing was worthwhile as at presently, they both are successful hairdressers that style VIP clients such as our TYT’s wife Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib and even our Malaysian Hollywood superstar, Tan Sri Dato’ Michelle Yeoh.
Apart from that, Lewis also specialises in makeup. “During dinners, I would be Jacqueline’s personal makeup artist,” he chuckled.
As a hairdresser, Lewis focuses not on the current trend, but whether the hairstyle suits his clients or otherwise. While Jacqueline said that the important thing for her is to make her clients pretty every day.
They both agreed that they wanted their clients’ hairstyle to be according to their lifestyle, and whether or not they can maintain it. “You cannot be walking out of the salon looking nice, but once you get home, it becomes a different story,” Lewis voiced his concerns.
The special trait of both is the ability to determine what style suits their clients best. “So usually, they would request to style them according to what suits them,” said Lewis, to which Jacqueline commented, “It can be quite stressful in a way you must deliver what you describe. Hence, experience and training are important!”
Nonetheless, retiring is not an option for both in the near future. Feeling responsible for his clients’ hair, Lewis shared that whenever he joked about retiring, his clients would tell him not to. “So whenever I hear their remarks, I feel very appreciated and that drives me even more”.
Having loyal clients for many years since, Jacqueline’s main concern would always be what if she retires, and her clients have nowhere to go and would have dishevelled hairstyles.
Jacqueline shared that during her pregnancy, she stopped hairdressing for a year, “And when I returned, there are customers who waited for me, and they didn’t even cut their hair for the whole year!”
To know more and see more works from the charismatic duo, those interested can visit Lewis and Jacqueline’s Instagram pages at @hairbylewisfong, @makeupbylewisfong, @jac_quelinechang, @cuttingedgekuching, and @essentialshairdressing.