Merida-fied at Juro Salon

When I first saw the trailer of Pixar’s latest animation film, Brave, I was stunned. Not only did the plot remind me of my rebellious teenage struggles (sans the Scottish accent and exquisite Highland setting), but also seeing the female protagonist Merida’s crazy red locks was like looking into a mirror.

Photo from

“Look, it’s you!” family and friends would tell me whenever they’d see Brave’s trailer or see photos of Merida online. It fed my silly ego for months.

I was due for a haircut and coloring at Juro Salon in June when my trusty hairstyling duo Jude Hipolito and Rose Velasco asked me, “What color would you like this time?”

“Keep the copper tone. In fact, make it redder,” I said. Then I showed them photos of Merida in my iPhone. They explained that getting that exact shade of bright red-orange would make me look like I was wearing a wig. Rose picked a shade closest to Merida’s and one that would look the most natural on my Pan-Asian head.

A week later, I worked on an acting project with photographer and videographer, Paolo Ruiz. Here, my Merida ‘do and schizophrenia tendencies forever preserved on digital video:

I Love Portraits – Kate Alvarez from I Love Portraits on Vimeo.

Brave was finally released in Manila cinemas yesterday, almost two months later than the US release. My verdict: 5 out of 5 stars. But you know I’ve been partial from the beginning, so visit Rotten Tomatoes for a fairer review.

Now for some shameless plugging.

My friends from Preview and Cosmopolitan introduced me to master cutter Jude Hipolito and color specialist Rose Velasco in 2005, back when I was brainwashed by the Philippine media to believe that every Asian girl should have black, long straight hair.

Jude Hipolito and Rose Velasco. Photo by Toto Labrador.

For the first time in my life, I learned to embrace my natural curls and vowed to never have my mane straightened again. My relationship with Jude and Rose began. They moved from their humble Quezon City location to Rustan’s Makati in 2006 and opened a new branch in SM Mall of Asia in 2008.

Juro Salon Exclusif at 2D Kensington Place. Photo by Toto Labrador.

Early this year, they decided to stop expanding and focus on just one main salon that’s convenient for their loyal clientele. Juro Salon Exclusif opened its doors early this year and recently celebrated their half-year mark. It also marks my seventh year with this dynamic duo that’s helped me polish my signature look—my curls, which struggles to be fully accepted in a society that’s still obsessed with hair rebonding.

JURO Salon Exclusif is located at:
#2D Kensington Place
1st Avenue corner 29th Street (near Burgos Circle)
Crescent Park West, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Philippines
Tel. no. +632-822-5673

Leave a Reply