Watanabe Hair Salon in Harajuku.

I don’t like going to the hairdressers, it stresses me out a lot. I’d place going to the hairdressers right up there next to going to the doctors in Japan/going to immigration as my least favourite things to do, and things I try to avoid as much as possible.

But, I couldn’t put off having my hair cut any longer, it had been approximately one year ago I last had my hair cut and for a really long time now, I’ve been saying “I need to get my hair cut”. I’d even contemplated cutting it off myself, but I do remember my ill-fated attempts at cutting my fringe back in University and I’m not eager to repeat that look.

Why do I dislike going to the hairdressers so much?
Actually, I’m not that fussy about my hair style, it will always grow back anyways. I dislike going because I guess, I’m trapped there. You are stuck in the chair, and in my case, as I have to remove my glasses, I can’t see anything, which is equally as stressing.

So, there I am, desperately needing a hair cut but where to go??

The last hair cut I had at a Japanese hair salon wasn’t bad but she ended up putting too much product in my hair. I guess she just didn’t know how to work with my hair type, which I hear is a common complaint amongst expats living in Japan, as Asian hair is usually thicker and courser. And there is the language barrier, my Japanese is a bit meh.

I asked a couple of friends and one suggested Watanabe’s in Harajuku. After I checked their Hot Pepper page and saw that a few of their stylists had worked in London, I booked an appointment. My friend would say she doesn’t speak any Japanese, so I knew the language barrier wouldn’t be a problem with this salon.

I nearly ended up being late for it, but I made it in the end.

Located in a basement along uera-harajuku, without googlemaps I can easily see how you could over look this place. Once inside though, you are greeted to a rather airy open space. I booked my appointment with the Hot Pepper app, and used one of the coupons for a cut and head spa.

I try to speak as much Japanese as I can, so once I arrived I spoke with my stylist in Japanese and somehow managed to tell him what kinda style I wanted. Well, I did only want more volume and to get rid of the damage…but still, I’ll take any victory’s I can get. Big or small.

As with British salons, after the consultation, it’s hair washing time. Where I’m lead over to the sink, glasses-less. I’m surprised I didn’t trip and fall, knowing how clumsy I am.

My hairwasher that day was very sweet and spoke to me in English, which I didn’t mind at all.  The whole hair washing process felt like it took a long time, so I presumed it was including the head spa too, since she was washing my hair pretty thoroughly and it felt very spa like.

It’s pretty usual to have your eyes covered while washing your hair in Japanese salons, I was offered a flannel but through my own error I didn’t get it even though I did actually want one…I never know where to look!? She also placed a soothing scented warm cloth on my neck which was just amazing.

But after sometime and feeling insanely relaxed (I could have fallen asleep right then and there), I was lead back to my chair and given the spa part of the treatment, which included a massage. I have no recollection of this being a popular thing in UK salons, granted, I haven’t been to many high-end salons but I don’t remember ever seeing it as an optional extra.

Throughly pampered and relaxed, my hair cut began. My stylist, Shige was very friendly and we spoke a mixture of Japanese and English. It was nice to talk to a Japanese person, who doesn’t condensecendly praise me for saying my name in Japanese. I felt that he was very patience and considerate.

And the results..

I am very happy with it. Even 3 weeks later, I’m still happy. It has volume and body and I think this might one of a handful of times, I have actually been completely happy with my hair.

Anyone else hate going to the hairdressers?

Thank you for reading.



Add yours →

  1. I LOOOVE going to hairdressers!!! I’d go all the time if I were allowed to dye my hair!
    (My small town doesn’t want teachers to dye their hair any shade too different from their own.)
    Even though I have typical thin, fine hair the two places I’ve gone to seem to do a pretty ok job with it. The only thing I don’t really like is when they dry it, the place I most enjoy going to tends to curl my hair and touch it too much making it seem a bit greasy in the end. :/


  2. that was super funny!, me too!, i have the same 3 stressful things to do in Tokyo!, i’m cutting my hair by myself for almost a year…and i have to go to Immigration next week, that sucks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like going to the hairdressers for a wash and cut as I love people touching my hair! I just hate the way it takes so long and you are sat there looking at yourself in the mirror awkwardly!

    I like your new hair though, it suits you 🙂 let’s hope you have found a nice salon in Japan!

    Dannie x


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