Opinions about the hair salons in Japan are contradicting. Some love them. Some hate. That would of course be all different on the type of hair, style, salons, stylists and many more. So I decided to write this article that might help someone with desires/plans to get a hair cut and etc while in Japan. I will start from expensive option to a more budget ones.
Photo : David McKelvey on Flickr
To my impression, there is no place in Japan where one could not see at least some kind of hair salon. Depending on the particular one you choose, you might need to make an appointment. I often just walk in on a day and receive service. The prices vary from 4000 yen up to 10 000. The great part is that most places offer you a point card, so that a percentage of what you are paying gets saved. And once you reach the threshold, you can get a free service. It could be regarded as pricey depending on your budget limitations, but it’s totally worth it. Besides the standard shampoo-cut/coloring you will be given head massage and lots and lots of attention. This is especially great if you are looking for ways to practice the language :) I remember I was very surprised how polite staff is, even asking me if I’m not tired from the gentle and highly pleasurable head massage. During the cut process not only I could flip through the glamorous magazine, but was given a nice cup of herb tea. That would so “tire” anyone out!
Photo : Debs (ò‿ó)♪ on Flickr
In case you have a friend in Japan who could recommend you a good stylist, you both will get a discount. Some salons allow customers to choose the experience of stylist up to the top stylist. They can offer you a hair cut/color based on latest trends and your face etc composure, and you can also bring the photo of what you are looking for.
If you are a guy and do not have a strict preferences on a hair cut, you can easily find the 1000-yen salons everywhere, sometimes even without exiting the train station. Cheap. Fast. Efficient. As a girl I actually tried them too to have my split ends trimmed. Nothing bad to be worried about.
Photo : Shibuya246 on Flickr
Finally, there is a way to get a free hair cut. Technically, almost free. Register on cuttaloca website with your facebook account and choose your location, style you are looking for and the time you are available at. Then they will match you with the trainees based on those. The stylist/trainees will send you an offer. Once you accept it, you will be charged 500 yen for the matching. They might send you a message in case there is a time change. In my experience, this is only working in case you are looking for dramatic change of hair length and style. The service would not be as luxurious as a regular customer, but you still get your shampoo and cut. On top of the fact that you are helping people to improve.