Feb 20, 2017

My Customised Hair Treatment with TK TrichoKare

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A lot of factors can cause one's hair to drop: genetics, stress, diet, and kids.

Well, the last part is not scientifically proven (yet) but after being a parent for 12 years, I can tell you there are times when the monkies drive me up the wall and make me feel like ripping my hair out!

But despite not having control over most factors, there are ways to put a stop to hair problems. Just as how having hair problems isn’t an overnight affair, different people require different solutions when it comes to hair care treatments. Because let's face it, not all hair care products suits everyone hair conditions.

Which is why TrichoKare prides itself in providing customised European herbal hair remedies for different hair and scalp conditions.

First things first, what is Trichology? Simply put, it is the science of the structure, function, diseases and care of the human hair and scalp and it covers the anatomy, chemistry and physiology of the hair and scalp, as well as nutrition, genetics and microbiology.

So what is the role of a Trichologist? He or she is a certified individual who understands the chemistry and effects of ingredients used in the manufacture of hair products, nutrition and lifestyle on hair and scalp.

And TrichoKare takes its business seriously enough that it is the leading trichological centre in Singapore that features customised treatments validated by certified trichologists with products formulated by a professional herbalist.

Everyone hair and scalp conditions are different, thus you need a customised treatment to get to the root of your hair problems.

All well and good... but one question remains - how healthy is my scalp?

Unfortunately, it wasn't too good as the scalp analysis in the above photos show. My scalp was rather greasy and had little flakes of dry scalp at certain parts. See the orange spots in the bottom right photo? Those are signs that the pores are blocked and if left further unchecked, it will result in more hair fall.


My TrichoKare Hair Specialist - who has been trained under the hands of certified Trichologists - recommended a suitable treatment programme tailored to my scalp needs: a detox session involving a mask, wash and treatment for the scalp.

TrichoKare only uses premium European herbs in its treatments so as to deliver a natural solution for its customers. So what goes into the masque is the healing herbal essences of Lavender and Melaleuca extracts, which is ideal for unclogging hair follicles by removing excess sebum and debris such as dandruff and other impurities from the scalp.

My scalp treatment was then topped off with a hair tonic rub and Infrared treatment, which served to improve the blood circulation beneath the scalp, as well as to ensure that the tonic was further penetrated deep down to my hair roots.

And then came the big reveal.

The after-treatment hair scan showed that the treatment was really effective in unclogging my follicles, and I have to say that I was impressed. Just take a look at the before and after photos of my scalp.

The left photo shows my scalp before the treatment and you can clearly see the clogged pores and greasy scalp. I guess you can pretty much tell the difference in the after-treatment photo then.

Clearly, the detox masque helped to remove dead skin cells on my scalp as well as opened up the clogged pores... which will help to encourage new hair growth. All these, after just one session! And it was not just through the photos... my scalp felt less greasy than before and come night time, it still felt remarkably fresh (and non-itchy).

Looks like I am just one of the many thousands of customers who TrichoKare has helped regain their hair and scalp health since 2004. In fact, many celebrities including Xiaxue, Mediacorp's Jaynesh and Anand, have visited TrichoKare to have their hair problems solved.

But perhaps the greatest testament to TrichoKare's effective customised hair treatments can be attributed to the numerous awards it has received in the previous year:

  • ELLE Beauty Treat List 2017 – Best Treatment For Hair Loss
  • Her World Spa Awards 2016 – Best Treatment For Damaged Hair
  • Harper’s BAZAAR Hair Awards 2016 – Best Sebum-Regulating Treatment for Oily Scalp
  • The Singapore Women’s Weekly Hair Awards 2016 – Best Anti-Ageing Hair Treatment

And to top everything off, Gladys (the hair specialist who attended to me) really knew her stuff and was very warm in the consultation.

So if you are looking to get to the root of your hair problems, GREAT NEWS!

TrichoKare is currently offering its award-winning Hair Fall Prevention Treatment programme for $42. This includes a detailed analysis, Hair Care Kit and Restorative Scalp Serum with a total value of $669!

Book your appointment online HERE.

Useful Details

TK TrichoKare
Velocity @ Novena Square #03-19 | The Clementi Mall #05-11 | nex #02-24 | orchardgateway #02-12 | CompassOne #04-10
Hotline: 6-3388-680
Website: www.tk-hair.com

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Feb 16, 2017

5 Things at Syonan Gallery that will Appeal to Families with Kids

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UPDATE (17 Feb 2017): The exhibition has been renamed to Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies.

Say what you want about the naming of the newly-opened Syonan Gallery but one thing is for sure, the new exhibition within the Former Ford Factory is full of riveting, compelling and sometimes outright depressing exhibits.

After all, this was the place where the formal occupation of Singapore started.

On 15 February 1942, the British forces led by Lieutenant-General Arthur E. Percival surrendered unconditionally to the Japanese 25th Army led by Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita at 6.20pm in the factory's boardroom.

A designated national monument and formerly known as Memories at Old Ford Factory, the building was closed for the past year for its contents to be revamped. Now, Syonan Gallery: War and its Legacies features refreshed content and sports a new focus.

Syonan or Syonan-to, meaning “Light of the South”, was the name given to Singapore by its Japanese rulers between 18 February 1942 and 12 September 1945. The gallery subtitle highlights a new area of focus for the exhibition by looking at the impact of the war and the Occupation years, including the immediate and longer-term legacies of this period on Singapore and the region.

The exhibition space is broadly divided into four zones and I will briefly introduce each of them.


This section tells the history of the Ford Factory and sets the scene in pre-war Singapore. Visitors will learn how the building evolved through the years, from its start as Ford Motor Company's first motorcar assembly plant in Southeast Asia in 1941 to being gazetted as a national monument in 2006.


On 8 December 1941, the Japanese dropped the first bombs on Singapore and World War II reached here. Visitors will be able to see the timeline as to how the war in Singapore unfolded, right up to the moment the British forces surrendered.

Here, besides gaining fresh perspectives on the fall of Singapore through three intertwining narratives on Japanese aggression, British defences and how civilians in Singapore were caught up in the larger forces of imperial struggle and war, the highlight of this zone has got to be stepping into the ACTUAL boardroom of Ford Motor Factory where the surrender took place.


After the British surrender, Singapore was renamed Syonan-to. The Japanese Occupation was a period of suffering and unfulfilled promises. Through the personal items and oral history recollections on display, visitors get the chance to find out about the diverse wartime experiences and the different ways people responded to these challenges.

The most shocking section however, deals with the Sook Ching Massacres where three days after the British surrender of Singapore, the Japanese carried out a mass screening of the Chinese community to sieve out suspected anti-Japanese elements, marking the beginning of a fearful period of state-sanctioned violence. Through oral history accounts in a video, we get to learn about the harrowing experiences of those who were screened and escaped the killings.

The final section showcases the fight that the resistance forces engaged with the Japanese army in a bid to overcome oppression and the gradual fall of the Japanese Empire.


On 5 September 1945, the British returned to Singapore, to relief and rejoicing amongst the locals. But the legacies of the war manifested on various levels: the British grand plans for decolonisation; the social challenges of postwar reconstruction; the people's political awakening. The exhibition ends on a contemplative note on how we remember the war and its enduring legacies.

For families with kids, one questions remains:

Is Syonan Gallery suitable for kids?

Most of the exhibits require reading so that one can understand the meaning behind the archival materials. Older kids who are interested to find out more about the darkest period of Singapore's history will not be disappointed. For younger kids, thankfully there are still pockets of oral history interviews and interactive elements within the exhibition to keep their interests piqued.

Here are some elements of the Gallery which will appeal to the kids:

1. Historical Walk

At the main gate entrance of the Former Ford Factory, it was where Lieutenant-General Percival started the walk of surrender together with other members of the British forces.

Here, kids can take a step back in time by re-tracing the path taken by the surrender party.

2. Surrender Room

Kids will be able to step into the actual boardroom of Ford Motor Factory where the British forces surrendered on 15 February 1942. The photo displayed on the screen should be familiar to all those who have studied Social Studies in school, no?

Through the use of archival footages and records, visitors will be able to witness the events leading up to the surrender. While the surrender table in the room is a replica, the four chairs in the room are original chairs used in the Ford Motor Factory. Even the electrical sockets in the room have been faithfully preserved!

3. Poignant Exhibits

Personally, I feel the third zone 'Becoming Syonan' houses the most compelling exhibits. It is here where some of the most vivid Sook Ching accounts are presented through oral history accounts in a video. Listening the accounts sure beats reading through pages and pages of history books!

Expect to see other authentic exhibits too, like this Overseas Chinese certification of registration.

During Sook Ching, those who were screened and allowed to leave had the word 'examined' stamped on their arms or clothing. In addition, kids will be able to experience how big (or small) the actual cell size was for the Prisoners of War (POW).

More heartbreaking are the displays of various letters that family members wrote to the POWs, like this one from a POW's daughter.

4. Interactive Elements

With kids being kids, I have always come to expect them to come with itchy fingers. Fortunately, there are a few interactive exhibits within the Gallery which are highly educational as well.

I love the idea of having visitors guess how much a dozen of eggs cost from 1942 to 1945. Due to the rapid depreciation of the 'banana money' currency, the same number of eggs cost a whopping $432.60 in September 1945 compared to just $0.60 in February 1942!

Another interactive exhibit not to be missed is 'Choices' found in the third zone. Visitors can pick 1 out of 3 characters and make a series of decisions during the Japanese Occupation.

Here's one example:

What will you do?

There are certainly no easy choices. Kids will be able to put themselves in the shoes of suffering Singaporeans during the Japanese Occupation and make some pretty hard decisions. And more often than not, the outcome may not be pretty.

5. Syonan Garden

After you are done with the exhibits, do not hurry home because the experience does not end there.

Tucked beside the Former Ford Factory building is the Syonan Garden, where visitors are able to find a variety of food crops that were widely grown in Singapore during the Japanese Occupation.

Crops such as tapioca, sweet potato, yam, banana, and coconut were planted by many people in order to survive. Kids will be able to learn about the creative and ingenious ways in which people used these crops to deal with scarcity during this period.

There is also a Tsuda pump (developed by Tsuda Kijiro in 1920) on display. A manually operated water pump, it was used in Singapore back then and offers visitors a glimpse of how life was in the 1940s.

Another interesting exhibit on display in the Garden is a disused railway signal which was originally located along Jurong Road. It serves as a reminder of Former Ford Factory's link with the nearby Bukit Timah Railway Line in transporting goods and resources for the assembly of motor vehicles.

What I love about the exhibition is it features contributions from several archival materials, many of which have never been displayed before and they all warrant an intriguing look. So while it is tough to expect the kids of today to fully understand the tough living conditions back in the days of the Japanese Occupation, Syonan Gallery serves as an important reminder that we should never our peace for granted.

Useful Information

Syonan Gallery: War and its Legacies
Address: 351 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588192
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 9am – 5.30pm | Sundays, 12 noon – 5.30pm
FREE Admission for:
- All Children under 6
- Singaporeans and permanent residents
- Singapore student pass holders
- Museum Roundtable members
Others: $3 per person
Getting there: Visit HERE (On-site parking is limited)
Website: www.nas.gov.sg/syonangallery/

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Feb 15, 2017

With 2 playgrounds & minimal crowds, Changi Beach Park is our fave chill spot in Singapore

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The monkies love to spend a day out at the beach every now and then, but my main gripe is popular beaches in Singapore like East Coast Park and Pasir Ris Park are overcrowded with people on weekends. Even non-beach parks like West Coast Park is no exception.

Well, that was until I stumbled on to this part of Singapore, otherwise known as Changi Beach Park.

Changi Beach holds the distinction of being one of the only two remaining natural beaches in Singapore – the other being Sembawang Beach - AND also the unsavoury reputation of being the site of the Sook Ching massacre (search for the World War II Memorial Plaque if you are there).

Okay, but that was a loooong time ago.

As one of the oldest coastal parks tucked away at the northeastern tip of Singapore, Changi Beach boasts stretches of pristine white beaches dotted with coconut palms, BBQ pits, park benches and shelters.

For me, the best part of Changi Beach is it is free from the usual crowds that its East Coast Park cousin is famed for. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and everyone at the beach had at their own private spot, enjoying the shade of the trees.

Changi Beach Park still very much retains that kampong ambience, perhaps thanks to its close proximity to Pulau Ubin which can be viewed from the most northeastern tip of the park.

Everything about it is just so laid-back and relaxed.

The park is 3.3km long so the relatively short distance makes it a great place to bring the kids for some cycling, scooting or roller-blading.

In fact, Ale learnt how to cycle at Changi Beach Park over the weekend. Woohoo!

I think it was partly down to the fact that the park is less crowded so it did not feel as stressful (for Ale as well as me!) learning how to ride a bicycle along the cycling path.

We rented our bicycles at the park's bicycle rental shop in case you are wondering. Rates are pretty reasonable: $4/hr for a small bicycle, $6/hr for a medium one and $8/hr for an adult-sized one.

Other than the white sandy beach, Changi Beach is also home to two playgrounds for kids. One is situated near to Carpark 4 and is pretty much standard playground equipment for younger kids.

But if you have kids who yearn for more climbing and adventure, then the playground closer to the northeastern tip of the park (near Carpark 1) will be the one to gravitate towards.

Sand playgrounds are increasingly rarer to find in Singapore nowadays. And this huge playground with a nautical theme was what the monkies clamoured to play in after first catching sight of it from a distance.

Kids can climb themselves silly at the spiderweb-like structures and wheeeee down from a 3-storey tube slide. My personal fave has got to be the wooden castaway raft at the playground. The raft is built on springs and comes with a huge oar - which all points to plenty of imaginary play for the kids!

Or for a real sea adventure, kids can try to catch the big waves that slam on the coastal walk during high tides. Wet, but fun!

With more than adequate activities to keep the kids occupied, and coupled with barbecue pits and pavilions, Changi Beach is ideal for weekend picnicking. And we did just that.

Or if you prefer not to pack your own food, you can dine at Bistro @ Changi, an alfresco cafĂ© beside the bicycle rental shop, which serves food ranging from light snacks to main courses. In addition, nasi lemak haven in form of Changi Village is only a pedestrian bridge away.

The park also has toilets, vending machines, water coolers, changing rooms with lockers and showers.

I reckon the beach is also a great place to watch the sunset and since the beach is really close to Changi Airport, one will be able to catch glimpses of planes flying overhead while on the beach – a highlight if your kids are crazy over aeroplanes!

I think we have found our favourite beach in Singapore so yes, we will definitely be back really soon. Because even though Changi Beach Park is agonisingly far away from our home, I daresay that this park is your best bet if you want to escape the maddening weekend hordes of people.

Useful Details

Changi Beach Park
Address: Along Nicoll Drive and Changi Coast Road
Parking: Five carparks along the Park stretch. Carparks 1 & 2 are closest to the bicycle kiosk, bistro and larger playground.
Public Transport: Bus Number 9, 19 & 89
Bus stop ID: 99171 (Changi Beach CP 2), 99161 (Bef Changi Beach CP 3), 95071 (Changi Beach CP 4), 95081 (Changi Beach CP 5), 95091 (SAF Ferry Ter)
The park is also walking distance from the Changi Village Bus Terminal, so it is accessible by any bus terminating its service there.

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