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Getting a Hair Cut in Japan

From the moment I stepped onto Japanese soil, my hair has not been the same. There is just something about Japanese water or Japanese hair products or even simply the Japanese air that makes my hair turn into some kind of frizzy, broken, straw-like mess. And while battling to simply make my hair as it was back in England, I had almost forgotten about how long it had gotten, and indeed the severity of undyed my roots.

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Communication is the biggest issue when it comes to haircuts. Quite simply, if you can’t communicate with your hair stylist, you aren’t sure what you’re going to get, or indeed how much it will all eventually cost. But surprisingly, it is actually not too difficult to find a hair salon in Japan with English speaking stylists, although some are wildly more expensive than others. I entrusted my first haircut in almost a year to Hayato Beside, located in Harajuku. With stylists trained in New York and London, they understand that Japanese hair is wildly more behaved and predictable than most foreigner’s hair, which, if yours is anything like mine, can range from greasy straight to fluffy to frizzy over the course of a single day.

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And I have to say, not only was it one of the best hair cuts I’ve ever received, it was also probably the most comfortable I’ve ever been in a salon, if you disregard how scared I was when, for the first time ever, someone took scissors to my dry, unwashed hair. In England, I never understood how getting a haircut was supposed to be relaxing, but being able to actually lay down on fully reclinable seats whilst getting my hair washed, rather than sitting up with a sink stuck half way down my back, was insanely relaxing.

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Not only was my hair cut and dyed from dark to light brown, but I was also given a deep conditioning treatment, my hair was blow dried, styled and curled for under ¥9,000. For 3 hours of work and an entirely different look, this is a ridiculously good price.

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Hayato Beside, Harajuku Stylist: Eri Fukaya
Address: Ranzan Annex 3F., 1-8-25, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-6432-9080
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm, Sundays: 11am – 8pm
Regular Holidays: Tuesday
Access: 5 minutes walk from Harajuku (Meji-Jingumae) station. (A small street off Takeshita Dori). Website: www.hayatobeside.com/salon/harajuku.html

 Article by Hazel Taylor

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