11 August, 2014

Re-entry shock at the hairdresser

I got a haircut this morning, in English. Wow, I didn't realise how comfortable I'd become with doing it in Japanese. I fumbled around in English trying to answer the hairdresser's questions. It is more than three years since I had my hair cut short and it is only the second time I've had it cut in Australia. I simply wasn't sure what to say.

Despite the challenges, I'm pretty happy with
the result.
Never mind we got through. But here were some cultural differences:

Having my hair washed was painful, my legs were too short so hung awkwardly out there, additionally the chair seemed too low for the basin, so the basin dug into my neck too.

In Japan the chairs they use (at my hairdresser, anyway), are like dentist chairs, they go up and lay you back, so comfortable you can almost go to sleep. Additionally they cover your face, so you can close your eyes. They also frequently ask you if the water temperature is okay. I was never asked, I guess I was supposed to be assertive in my opinion? (The water temperature wasn't a problem, by the way.)

Japanese hairdressers are very conservative, when you ask for five centimetres off, they are likely to cut only three. Today when I asked for the front section of my hair to be shorter, she had no hesitation in jumping in and doing so. In Japan I might have had to send them back two or three times to get the same amount cut off.

In Japan they usually finish a haircut by blowdrying my hair completely straight and with no volume. Today I was asked what kind of final result I'd like.

Oh, and I got to read and English-language magazine (surprise, surprise). I have in the last year begun taking a book or my kindle to the hairdresser in Japan, it saves me stressing over the how the haircut is going and how I'm going to ask them to fix it.

No comments: