We’ve all had haircuts before, but have you ever experienced a Japanese haircut? It is truly a cultural experience. Personally, I have had my haircut in a number of different countries, but none them were as good as Japan. This judgement is not made just based on skill, but the whole experience from ease of booking and quality of service to price and final outcome. If you are feeling a little courageous, or you really need a haircut, following these few steps will guarantee a great experience.
There are literally thousands of different hair salons in Tokyo alone. Picking the right one might be a little difficult. If you speak Japanese, walking in and calling to any salon is easy, but don’t worry if you don’t speak Japanese. All the workers at any hair salon are kind and welcoming. If you find a place that you’d like to try, just go on in and make a reservation in person, sometimes they can help you immediately. However, if you want an English speaking stylist, Assort a famous hair salon in Japan that conducts business in English and Japanese. It’s easy to make a reservation in English here as well.
If you speak Japanese, you should try using Hot Pepper Beauty which is the biggest online reservation website in Japan. From this website, you can browse different salon profiles that show hair styles, stylists, and what the salon looks like. Of course, prices are shown here as well. You can search for salons using a number of different filters such as location, price, style, men/women only and so on.
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Address : 2-10-28 Rihei Bld. B1, Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061
Phone : (+81) 03-5772-6461
Open Hour : Tue. – Fri. 11:00am ~ 9:00pm / Sat. 10:00am ~ 8:00pm / Sun. & Holiday. 10:00am ~ 7:00pm
*Closed on Mondays
Website : Assort
Checking in is a simple process. When you get to your salon, make sure to go to the front desk. The information you need is your name and your reservation time. If you are unable to communicate this to the worker, you can always show them your confirmation email/page. First time customers usually fill out an information card to let the stylist know what you want to do. If you are having a difficult time, you can always refuse to fill out this card.
The stylist will most likely ask you a few questions to figure out what style or color you want. If you can explain, that’s great. If you cannot, you can always bring a picture with you. If you didn’t bring anything, don’t worry, there are a number of magazines available at any salon that will surely have a style you like in it.
After picking a style, the stylist will walk you to a chair and depending on what you chose, the stylist will begin cutting or shampooing your hair. They will also bring reading materials, but if you don’t want to, you don’t have to read them. Playing on your phone or talking to stylist are acceptable alternatives.
Done / Pay
Photo Credit: Mainstream@flickr.com
After the haircut, the stylist will always confirm that you are content with your haircut by showing what it looks like. This is the time to let the stylist know if you would like to change anything. If you are satisfied, you can go back to the front desk again and pay. No tips needed. Sometimes you check in your jacket or purse at the front desk, make sure you don’t forget those. If you would like a commemorative picture with your stylist, don’t be afraid to ask. They will never say no.
Coming to a Japanese hair salon is a great experience. The overall service at Japanese hair salons truly highlights Japanese hospitality. It is a level of customer service that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Next time you are in Japan and if you are looking for a new cultural experience, try a Japanese haircut.