a hairy adventure

February 12th, 2013 / by / in: travel / 3 Responses


Finally, here’s my haircut update. I went to HEYKEL in Harajuku and got my hair cut and dyed. I’d never been to a Japanese hair salon before, so it was an interesting experience. The best part was probably the extremely long washing/head massage part, which I think is standard at most Japanese hair salons. My hair is normally a dark reddish brown, but I’ve been dyeing it almost-black for awhile now. (The stylist proclaimed it 黒, black.) I didn’t really care what colour it was dyed, so I asked for their osusume (recommendation) and ended up with hair almost exactly the same as my original hair colour, reddish highlights and all. (My mom will be pleased.) Actually, it’s maybe just a little bit lighter than my original hair — which is kind of amazing to me. I think that Japanese hair dye contains a bit of bleach or magic, because I don’t know how else you can dye already-dyed black hair significantly lighter. I was very happy with how it turned out, because I missed my old (lighter) hair, but didn’t know how to get it back without resorting to bleach.

I considered going to a salon where they speak English — I’ve seen Watanabe and Dude mentioned as foreigner-friendly, English-speaking Tokyo salons, but I didn’t want a foreigner hair cut, or a foreign-trained hair stylist. I know people often complain about Japanese hair salons and how the stylists aren’t trained to work with Western hair… but I don’t really have Western hair, so I figured a Japanese salon would work out better for me than the average foreigner.

But! Mike had his hair cut too, and it turned out well. Even though he’s the whitest guy alive and (obviously) doesn’t have Asian hair, he has super thick and straight hair, so that probably made a difference. Much to his relief (and my slight disappointment), he did not leave the salon looking like a J-pop star. ALSO! Speaking of Mike — he made the reservation over the phone completely in Japanese. I was impressed.

Anyway, I would recommend HEYKEL, but only if you speak some Japanese (they speak zero words of English) and have Asian/thick hair. Which… is probably no one who will ever read this blog.



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