Behind the scenes with MarvinWritten by Hayden L
Marvin Lin of Hong Kong’s Shhh Salon, opens up about her latest haircare line that has attracted everyone from celebrities to overseas lifestyle magazines.
Marvin Lin, creative director of Shhh Salon, never plays by the rules. Dressed in a dark blue open denim shirt paired with a distinctive cross chain on top of a plain white t-shirt, she carries a sense of pride in her appearance but also in everything she does. With a playful attitude yet serious tone when talking about her work, she surprises us with just how unpredictable she can be. On most mornings (if the weather permits), Marvin heads to Repulse Bay or Sai Kung to surf before the sun rises over Hong Kong. On the days that she’s not riding the waves, she may go for a swim or a run, or indulge in her other passion for extreme sports – none of which are the type of hobbies you’d expect a conventional salon stylist who previously attended fashion weeks in New York and London to have under her belt.
The idea for OMG started thanks to Marvin’s frustration about the lack of good quality hair products available on the market that addressed the wellbeing of one’s hair – in much the same way a fitness regime or skincare system might do for your body and face. After 20 years in the business, she decided to redress that balance, creating a salon standard, professional haircare system that makes the results of a high quality, in salon treatment into your own bathroom.
With her quirky gestures and jubilant demeanor, Marvin may seem happy-go-lucky in her approach, but when it comes to talking about her OMG range of hair products, she is anything but relaxed and instead, very particular. Finding the right team to work with took 5 years “It was really difficult. I almost travelled all around the world, except the North Pole! We tried Hong Kong, London, Paris, Japan, Korea, Stockholm, Sweden, Spain – there were many trials and errors because we needed the product to be just right,” she says. Eventually, she settled on a laboratory 200km north of Tokyo who she felt could make her vision come to life. “It’s all about the right people – engineers, nutritionists, the right team.”
Still, that vision took time to encapsulate, and the results are found in a haircare system designed to better the very quality of your tresses by nourishing, revitalising and cleansing. There are 4 key ingredients to Marvin’s proud OMG line; argan fruit stem cells which carry anti-aging qualities, hydrolysed keratin protein and collagen to fortify and replenish every strand of hair, and sea minerals from Canada and Japan for nourishment. “There are so many things about ‘OMG,’ for example the PH balance, the formula, the healing ingredients” she explains. “And the product had to work with Asian weather such as Hong Kong’s climate, but also fit that of some European countries too.”
All of this is part of a wider quest Marvin has to create products that push the boundaries. Citing Elon Musk as an inspiration, and mentioning Apple and Windows as other examples of brands that deliver products in a way she wishes to, it’s clear her references are far from those of your average beauty brand. Less far from the norm, was the establishment back in 2016 of her own Shhh Salon on the Hollywood Road in Hong Kong. Acting as an effective outpost for her already popular products, the salon quickly garnered a great deal of attention, including that of local Hong Kong celebrities and overseas lifestyle magazines. Still, it hasn’t all gone to Marvin’s head. When asked where she sees herself in 10 years time, she told us it was with, “more wrinkles! I don’t really plan things – I’m not a planner. Just 10 years ago we were introduced to the first generation iPhone. 10 years is a long time. I think just more wrinkles and great hair!”
Address: 94 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2915 1001