Today, I got my first professional haircut I’ve had since I was 15 years old, so I was a bit nervous and excited.
I went to Hair Salon Nalu in Omotesando in Tokyo. I found out about this place from Rachel and Jun’s YouTube video. I made my appointment using Hot Pepper Beauty and got a 20% discount. I got a haircut, a damage-free straight perm, and full makeup.
My hair is naturally very curly. If I let my hair air dry, it looks like the picture to the right. It looks nice, right? As long as I don’t brush it after it dries, it’s fine. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible for me to go the whole day without brushing my hair.
If I don’t straighten my hair, and brush my hair like I normally would throughout the day, I end up looking more like the picture on the left. Because of this, I usually spend a lot of time straightening my hair before leaving the house. On days I oversleep or if I have an event where I want to look good, this can be troublesome in the mornings.
To make my life easier, I decided to try a Japanese straight perm.
The salon is about a five minute walk from Omotesando Station. The salon is over a cafe, and it’s not so obvious from the street, so I actually passed it at first.
The staff were very friendly, and several of them speak English. They seem to be popular with foreigners, as several other English speaking customers came while I was there.
First, they washed my hair and put some chemical that smelled like ammonia (possibly deep treatment?). Next, they cut my hair. Then, they put in a straightening cream before straightening it with a straightener. Each time they put cream in my hair, they put a giant slowly spinning heater behind me.
(My reaction the first time they pulled it out).
After the haircut and straightening were finished, I was surprised to receive a massage from the stylist. According to her, this is standard in a Japanese haircut, but most foreigners are shocked and are afraid that they are going to be charged extra for the service.
Finally, they did my makeup. I told them I didn’t have much experience with makeup, so they did natural looking makeup. The woman explained every part of the application process and where I could buy the products they were using if I decided to start using makeup regularly.
At the counter, they instructed me not to wash my hair for two days (not including the day of the service). Then they gave me some special conditioner to use when I finally washed my hair. They gave me an additional 500 yen off because I promised to write a review for them. The total came to 24,550 yen (around $245.50)
As you can see, they properly exercised my fuzzball. The straight perm was expensive, even at a discount, but I’m very happy with the results and will likely do it again in the future.