Female and visiting Tokyo for the first time? :-)
Apart from doing the whole Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea, shopping at Shibuya 109, ordering ramen from a vending machine and the usual touristy things, something you may want to consider putting in your itinerary (assuming you have some extra time and money) is a visit to a Japanese hair salon. In my humble opinion, getting bangs or having your fringe cut by a Japanese stylist is probably be one the best souvenirs you could take home with you. Even if you don’t intend to get your fringe cut, perhaps a change in hair colour or style will give you something worth remembering from your trip to Tokyo. The men may never understand, but it’s ok. *smile*
Back to the bangs. So if you have 2 crowns (hair “pusat”) and an occasional cowlick at the front of your head like me, you’ll probably agree that getting perfect bangs can be quite an impossible feat. Speaking from experience, the attempt of getting a fringe cut by a not-so-experienced stylist can be rather disastrous, especially when the cut is done on wet hair. I remember so vividly, an instance where my fringe was cut when it was wet; during the blow-drying process it just twirled back according to the crown at the front of my head, resulting in a rather embarrassingly uneven fringe. More like an odd slant. And you could tell it wasn’t a stylistic cut done on purpose. *laugh* In the end, the stylist blamed it on my hair and I hid under a cap for 2 weeks after that unforgettable day.
Anyhoo, bad experiences aside, I have had 2 rare instances of good fringe cuts, both of which were done by Japanese hairstylists. So if you’re blessed with “front head issues” like me *laugh* but still haven’t given up on conquering the bangs, Tokyo would be the perfect place for you to do just that.
DID YOU KNOW: In Japan, hairstylists require a licence to cut hair and typically undergo 2 years of hair school with training and examinations before they are issued that licence.
WHERE TO GET YOUR HAIR DONE IN TOKYO?
Since I last moved to Tokyo in 2009, I’ve had the opportunity to try out various salons in Meguro, Shibuya, Harajuku, Omotesando, Aoyama, Ginza and Shinjuku. You’re spoiled for choice in this fully equipped and highly efficient city, and so far, I’ve learnt that as with the food, you can’t really go wrong with salons in Tokyo.
I’m not sure about you but the things I look for in a salon, apart from having a pleasant environment and being in a convenient location include:
- The use of good quality products – I’ve been to salons that ask (as I’m lying in the chair at the washbasin about to get a hair wash) if I wanted to pay the extra for a “good” shampoo. I get that they try and keep your basic salon service cost at a no-frills low, but it just makes me question the general quality of the products they use across the board.
- Up to date with the latest hair-care technology – this will also mean that they have the corresponding equipment to support the latest trends (eg. For digital perms, scalp analysis, scalp detox, collagen infused hair colours, organic colouring, etc)
- Doesn’t try to sell you more than you need in terms of service, and relentlessly try to push you after-care products (which can be rather intimidating)
- Well-versed with all things hair-related and gives you a fully customised service (based on your hair/scalp type or face shape for cuts, etc) since there is no such thing as a one-service-fits-all when it comes to our tresses. It is also important that they treat your hair and head with respect.
There’s no better thing for a girl than to find a salon we’re comfortable with, so if you haven’t found “the one” yet, don’t worry. These things do take time, so keep searching, don’t give up and don’t settle.
This trip back to Tokyo, I decided to pay a visit to their Omotesando branch and the very first stylist from which I got my maiden haircut at Number76 in Kuala Lumpur years ago – Deji-san. Thanks to my Malaysian style guru, Amy (from the Bangsar 2 branch), I managed to get an appointment with the highly skilled master stylist Deji-san.
- To get a cut that will allow me to easily manage my hair with minimal styling, some layers to lighten my bottom-heavy tresses
- Trendy but on the natural shade of color
- Treatment for dry hair
THE WHOLE PROCESS INVOLVED
- Cut (layers) ¥6,480
- Highlights & lowlights - bleach + Sakura pink ¥8,640
- Full color – a special blend of an ice mint blue base ¥7,560
- 6-7-step treatment ¥5,400
- Blow dry & styling
- Total Cost: ¥22,464 (¥28,080 less a special discount of 20%, applicable to all of you too! *smile*)
- Time taken: 3.5 hours
- Stylist: Deji-san
- Appointment required: Yes, as they are usually fully booked up to a week.
- Special Note: Number76 has graciously extended the special 20% discount to all my readers so just quote this blog URL on your next visit. :-)
- Salon Name: Hair Salon Nalu
- Website: http://www.nalu-style.com/ | http://www.number76.com/
- Address: 150-0001, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 4-9-2 Jingumae MM Building 2F
- Telephone: 03-5786-1642 / Fax: 03-5786-1643
- Operational hours: 10am-10pm: Tuesday to Friday, 10am-9pm: Saturday, 10am-7pm: Sundays & Public holidays. Closed on Monday
Note: If you are using Google maps to locate the salon in Japan, it may help to copy and paste this address in the search bar: 150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前4-9-2 神宮前MMビル2F
Happy hair day! Mwah!