Experiencing 0 yen haircut in Japan
Have you heard about haircut services for free right in Japan before? If not, let me share my own experience of getting a 0 yen haircut for the first time!
Last month, my friend introduced me to Minimo app which allows finding hair salons in Japan. I heard that sometimes they find hair models for a free haircut on the app, so I gladly downloaded it to save money since the cheapest haircut in Japan does cost 1000y.
Surfing on the app for a while, I saw a lot of places finding hair models and I chose the place closest to me at the earliest time (usually after 19:00 when there are no customers, this salon is available from 17:00) and with the almost least experienced hairdresser - 2 years of experience.
"It's just a haircut, it'll be okay" - I consoled myself
I made an appointment on the app and the hairdresser contacted me through the app's message section. The app will notify you on that day to remind you about the appointment. When choosing a salon, besides basic information and address, there are also some requirements from the hairdresser, for example, this time:
- Allow taking before/after photos
- Allow cutting 2-3cm
Be noted in advance that since they "borrow" your hair to practice, so don't be too strict or expect too much.
I chose Chicca キッカ hair salon
This is a hair salon chain and it looks quite luxurious. Even though it was a free cut, I was still a guest and was still treated very gently.
After checking my temperature and disinfecting my hands, I was invited to take a seat and fill out a customer survey. After completing, the hairdresser who contacted me named SM - came out to say hello and provide services according to that form, and then confirm the requirements of cutting hair and taking photos.
When I described that I wanted to cut a length of 10cm but could still tie the hair, with no bangs..., she came to discuss it with another more professional hairdresser. After that, the lady returned to confirm with me the hairstyle that I wanted?
When everything was confirmed, she also advised me to curl the ends of my hair otherwise, it would be flipping out. Actually, SM did ask about this, but I said no as I didn't quite understand what SM meant until the lady came to describe it to me. Of course, I also asked again if I have to pay for it since I only do it if it's free.
I was given 2 catalogs to read. As soon as I just texted a message, I saw her cutting half of my hair off. I thought: "Oh, damn, it's a bit shorter than expected! I should have asked her to leave a longer length so I could find somewhere else to fix it".
After a quick cut, I went to wash and rinse the hair. Since my hairdresser is an apprentice and I am also a foreigner, there were several mistakes along the way, but as I said above, everything takes time, so I have no opinion on this.
What I liked best is that SM only focused on trimming every millimeter of my hair, so I didn't have to talk. Talking to clients so that they don't feel bored can be a nature of doing service, but for me or the foreigners I know, we don't like this section very much, especially when going to the hair salon to relax.
After finishing, another experienced lady came to ask for my permission to check if the result was good or not
I overheard that SM seems to cut my hair a bit short. She should take 2 sides of the hair to the front and adjust the length until the client is satisfied with it, and then pull it back to avoid overcutting. Regarding the cutting lines, they seem to receive compliments, but several places that need to be fixed so as not to be "stepped". There were also comments on how to hold the hair, trim the back of the neck, and so on.
The best thing I picked up that day was to use a comb to part my hair without revealing bald spots. I came in at nearly 18:00, finished cutting, and started drying + curling (without chemicals) at 19:30.
Luckily, they use a lot of Refa products here: dryers, curlers, and so on, which is very impressive. Finally, take a photo after finishing everything. SM was not only taught how to do haircuts but also received instructions for photography including sitting angles, modeling, and hair adjustment,... to have the best pictures.
Two of them saw me out the door. SM was a bit surprised when I gave them a box of Vietnamese bánh cam made by me
Actually, my husband already advised me that I should have something to thank and encourage them since it's a free haircut, so I made them cakes ^^. When I got home, my daughter complimented: "Mom, your hair is so pretty". Of course, because I just came back from the hair salon, daughter.
The app will send a short review of today's haircut later, including a review of the hairdresser. I gave her 5 stars with words of encouragement. But to be honest, even for hairdressers with experience, not only this time but the two previous times at famous hair salons, I still feel that the haircut was not as delicate as what I had back in Vietnam. Maybe because this is Japanese style.
Anyway, it was a really fun experience, I'll go again some time!
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