Random Ramblings: Beijing 101 (Century Square)

Touting to have about 40 odd years of experience, Beijing 101 ‘promises’ to grow back you hair', but how true it is really up to you to decide and it is really a topic that is subjective. 

According to Wikipedia, “Alopecia areata (AA), also known as spot baldness, is an autoimmune disease in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp due to the body's failure to recognize its own body cells and destroys its own tissue as if it were an invader”

And that was one of the main reasons I chose to go to Beijing 101 at Century Square. This would be the second time that I’ve encountered this condition, and the first time it happened was some ywars ago and to remedy it at that time, I went to the National Skin Centre for steroid injections which thankfully worked and the hair did grow back. 


This time I decided on something more ‘organic’ and so Beijing 101 it was. I just walked in for a consultation on a weekend and it so happened that they (the staff at the Century Square outlet) were preparing for their annual company dinner that evening. After a quick diagnosis, which consistent of a scan and some resistance testing, I was told what treatment was recommended and when I should start. This is when it got gritty, the consultant strongly recommended that I go for the S$12,000 package (which spans over 2 years and consists of hair masks, massages, tonic and hair washing for about 6 months thereafter it would be maintenance of massage and wash), rather than the S$6,000 package which last for only 6 months. I have to say the consultant was pretty effective in her sales talk and unfortunately I bought into the S$12,000 package and still have to pay via installments for 2 years (bad idea).

About 6-7 months into the ‘treatment’, my hair started to grow back and it was black too. This was when they tried their sales pitch again by trying to convince me to extend by topping up some more money for the hair masks to stabilize the condition, ampoules to promote more hair growth and further stabilize the hair condition and/or see their in-house Chinese physician to see what I lacked and buy their supplements (they should have included this when I went for the analysis on the first day – sales fail). Each time I went for the ‘treatments’, I would be attended to by different people some good some a little too rough with their hair washing skills, but all with the same goal in mind – to sell me more ‘products’ (which I did not buy anymore).


While I might (maybe?) be happy with the results (the hair has grown back and the patches are filled), the way in which they conduct their sales and their methods really disappoint and scare me at the same time. They are persistent in their convincing and do not take no for an answer. The only good point about them is that they do not ostracize you when you say ‘no’, it only motivates them to sell you their products even more. One of the consultants told me that their products are what they really earn from; their services such as massages and hair washing are really of no value (i.e. they earn nothing from them).

Most of their clientele seem to be (more mature) folks who have the time and money for the ridiculous package prices. Majority of the consultants are either from China or Malaysia looking for an income, so a sense of company ownership and belief in the company is a little biased because they want a better life for themselves and their families (who doesn’t?). And that usually entails earning more money. So needless to say, you should be able to guess how enthusiastic their consultants are to sell you the more ridiculously priced packages and how amicable they will be.

In addition, I find their mode of operation to be too ‘old-school’. They fail to realize that services are an intangible product that actually adds value to their ‘package’ rather than detract from it. And the cost of their packages are honestly... ridiculous especially when they cannot guarantee anything. Usually when people have problems with their hair would they think of visiting such a place, so that mindset no guesses on how desperate the consultants are to sell their packages and charge as much as they can out of desperate customers wanting results. With the money in hand, whether or not there are results is no 'real problem' to the company. They can always say it was due to genetics etc... 

Well, I hope they are not one of those companies that charge exorbitant prices for their packages and take it from their customers at one go, only to close and abscond with the money (nobody knows what will happen in the future – even a 10 year old company that had a reputable reputation can do that); nothing is really guaranteed.


Verdict

Skills-wise, while their massage skills might be good, their hair washing skills are sub-par compared to your regular salon hair washing. Definitely not worth the money they are currently charging for their packages. So my verdict would be, if you are suffering from Alopecia areata and want to grow back your hair, you could try Beijing 101. But don’t be taken by their sales approach and never take the expensive packages (i.e. faster go in and get the hair growing, faster come out). Oh and go only if you really are desperate, though there is no guarantee but it is still better than nothing (i.e. better than getting steroid injections). Otherwise, please give this place a miss and save your precious money (that's probably my buyers' regret doing the talking).
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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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