Thursday, July 12, 2007

Time for another four-some

Yep, it's definitely time for another. Time to go to the hairdressers.

Last time I went to the hairdressers I really wanted a cut and colour. The cut is no problem, the colour however is a little more difficult. I can only use semi-permanent dyes, which are very rare over here. It makes sense, as most of the population have black hair, so if they are going to colour their hair brown, or the red that I desired, for example, it needs to be bleached first. The lightened hair is then dyed the desired colour. There is no real point in getting bleached hair dyed with a semi-permanent.

I thought I would try though. It took a lot of broken Japanese to get my point across, but once they understood, I was told that no, they didn't have such a dye. "Oh well," I thought, I'd just get a cut.

The hairdressers in Japan lavish their customers with attention. The particular salon I had chosen was run purely by men. Male hairdressers don't have the same gay stigma they do back home and are usually straight. Straight and very funky. I was treated to a lovely scalp massage while having my hair washed, but the best was yet to come. While cutting my damp hair, my attendant played with it. With each snip, my tresses were caressed with great tenderness. I melted in this man's hands. Now, I should point out here, that this isn't an isolated experience, but rather one I have come to expect from hairdressers in Japan, male or female.

While drifting in bliss (can you drift in bliss?) in the back of my mind was the small regret that I would then have to go home and colour my own hair. I had brought a number of boxes of dye back from Australia on my previous trip. Tentatively, I asked the delightfully funky man playing with my hair, "If I bring in my own dye, would you put it in my hair for me?" After thinking for a little bit and consulting with the manager, he said that would be no problem. He finished cutting and I raced home with wet hair.

The box contained two bottles of chemical that needed to be mixed and instructions in English. The hairdresser had never seen this sort of dye and asked me lots of questions. Once confident that he knew what to do, he mixed it and started to apply it. Curious, the manager came over. The dye was more liquid than the paste they were accustomed to. He took a comb and started applying it on the opposite side to the first hairdresser. Ahh... it was heaven, not one, but two cute funky men playing with my hair. The third guy in the salon had no customers, so came and joined the other two. I had two applying the colour and one combing it through, but all three playing with it at once.

Once the colour had been rinsed out, I was treated to another four-some, this time, two with hairdryers, one with a brush. Upon paying I was presented with a large bottle of treatment all beautifully wrapped with a bow.

I floated across the road to the shopping centre where I ran into my husband in a book store.

"Your hair looks great" he told me.

I smiled and told him "I had a four-some."

He laughed and said "That's good. You look like you enjoyed it."


Alice said...

This is something I've been wondering about! I'll be coming to Japan next year (Osaka area) and I'm terrified about haircuts/dye.

I have that baby-fine blond hair, so different in texture from Japanese hair, so I'm really worried that they might not know just how to cut it.

Has texture been an issue for you?

melanie said...

Hi Alice!

I also have very fine hair. The hairdressers will sometimes freak out about cutting it, but once they do, they do an amazing job. If it's straight it should be no problem, a friend with curly hair finds it difficult though.

As for hair dye, that can be a problem, you may want to bring some colours over and do it yourself, but other friends have it done regularly over here and are happy with it.

Once you get over here, find yourself a good hairdresser and stick with them. They'll look after you really well.

Kadhine said...

This comment is really late, but I had my first Japanese haircut experience recently and two girls dried my (waist length) hair. It was such a flickr moment but alas, my camera was in my bag, in their cupboard...