< class="pagetitle">Posts Tagged “haircut”

I normally wouldn’t post about something about as simple as a haircut. However, in the span of an hour, I recently went from having the longest hair of my entire life to having the shortest hair of my entire life.

Looking in the mirror post cut, my first thought was “What have I done!”, followed closely by “Wow, the temperature out here is suddenly tolerable,” which is why I did it in the first place.

I’ve discovered a few other gems too, like not having to use conditioner. I still use a little shampoo each day, as opposed to soap, because I don’t want my hair to dry out. And last weekend I learned how wonderful it feels to be able to put your head under a faucet on a hot day at the park.

I don’t think I’ll keep it this way, but it’s good to know my head isn’t horribly misshapen under the hair I’ve always had covering it.

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I just had a man run his hands through my hair and tell me my hair color was beautiful.

One of the things I worried about when I came to Japan was getting a haircut, because I knew I wouldn’t know enough Japanese by the time I needed one to describe how I wanted it done. I realized it was getting about that time a couple of weeks ago, but wasn’t quite sure how to address it. While procrastinating though, my hair was getting longer, and I was getting more anxious.

Bringing in a picture of a model from a magazine or something just seemed silly, but then someone suggested I bring in a picture of myself with my hair cut the way I like it. I thought that was a smashing good idea, and realized that the head shot I took of myself when I was applying for jobs in Japan was taken right after my last haircut in Vegas.

Ms. Semba magnanimously agreed to let me print a full page of color from the office inkjet, and once I got over the name, I decided to visit the hair salon closest to my apartment. Yes, that would be “Hair Studio Rookie.”

I have never paid more for a haircut than I did for this one- but let me tell you, for the services I got, and not knowing how these things work in Japan, I was literally prepared to pay twice what I did. It was relatively painless showing the guy the picture and getting started. He knew enough English to get through without too much fuss, and actually complimented me on my hair color at one point (hence the lead-in). Rather than writing a paragraph about it, I’ll just give you a bulleted list of the services I received:

  • Shampoo & Condition
  • Scalp massage
  • Facial Mask (with “Bitamin Shee”)
  • Light facial massage
  • Old school shave (involving a hot towel, a boar’s hair brush, & a straight razor)
  • Forehead shave (??) (with slight eyebrow edging)
  • Haircut (obviously)
  • Neck shave (also with the straight razor)
  • Neck, shoulder, and upper back massage with an electric massager
  • Hair rinse (presumably to get rid of the clippings)
  • Style and gel

This was my first shave with a straight razor, and with my head flopped back on the chair, I was seriously hoping the man with the very very sharp knife at my throat was not a fan of Sweeney Todd (or epileptic for that matter). I also found out later that a forehead shave with a straight razor is normal with your haircut in Japan. Does that seem weird to anyone else?

Every time he asked me if I wanted something (I invariably said yes), I wondered how much more I’d have to pay for it. I had almost ¥10,000 (about $100) in my pocket, and was wondering where the closest ATM was in case I needed more. As you’d expect, he was very friendly and personable. Oh, and straight- his wife and their infant were also in the salon. I told him I was a teacher at a nearby English school as his wife was ringing me up, and he apologized for his English. I told him he was far better in English than most of the rest of the city, and he seemed happy.

Keeping in mind that you don’t tip in Japan and that I didn’t need to hit the ATM, how much do you think I paid for the best haircut experience of my life?

Give up?

Â¥3300 ($33)

Yes, that’s $33. And I got a punch card that earns me a free piece of low-end jewelry of my choice after ten haircuts. Not that I need a gold-plated rope necklace, but still. Can you believe it??

I know where I’ll be going for my haircuts while I’m in Matsuyama. 🙂

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