How To Get The Haircut You Want In Japan

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When I first needed a haircut, I first thought "Hmmmm... It should be pretty easy to get a good haircut in Japan, seeing as these people cut hair just like mine on an every day basis". It sounded like a sure thing. So I went into a barbershop in downtown Kumamoto, where the barbers are used to giving other styles of cut other than "bowl".
What a dumbass! It was my own damn fault. If I had taken a look around, I would have noticed that everyone has bleached shaggy haircuts. Or shaved heads. Or dreadlocks (cool, but too high maintainance, and would take me too long to grow out my hair). Or a bowl cut. Or a bad comb over. Or a salaryman doo. Or they simply have their mother/wife/girlfriend/daughter cut it.
So I walked in with my Japanese-English dictionary and made crude specifications for my haircut. This turned out as a crew cut, despite my protests during the sesh, and took about one hour to complete, costing 4000 yen.
And even after bringing pictures for the "stylists" to look at, they couldn't reproduce them, and I gave myself better haricuts using some clippers and two mirrors. What should I have done?
The answer, as I discovered, is to ask the recommendation of the "stylist", after showing them the picture. This is like a pat on the back, and makes them feel good. By asking for their expert opinion, their training and wisdom is validated, putting them the state of mind that you want them in while giving you a cut. And that is how I got the haircut I wanted from someone other than myself over here. However, be advised. I tried that same thing in Thailand and got a bad haircut. Hey, 50/50 is infinetely better than 100 percent pure disappointment.

3 Comments

i 'm interested hair cuting and want more information about training.Japan is a great leader of a lot of new fashion hair cutting in my opinion so i would like to go there for travel and training.

I am looking for a video which shows how to realise a geisha hairstyle, because I would like to make it for a friend of mine.

can you help me please ?

Thank you in advance

JF CLERCQ

I'm not a hair stylist, but here's what I came up with. First of all, the wareshinobu (AKA the Geisha hairstyle) is not easy to do. Here is a webpage that shows how to prepare the hair:
http://www.hanamachi.de/html/body_frisieren_einer_wareshinobu_fr.html
(in German)
But usually the Maiko or Geisha will simply wear a wig. This is the easier of your options:
http://www.nipoweb.com/japon/geishas/maquillaje-peinado.htm
(scroll down)

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This page contains a single entry by Adam published on November 16, 2003 4:49 PM.

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