Saturday, October 31, 2009

The First Cut is the Deepest

One thing I've been both excited and anxious about since arriving on the island is getting a haircut. This may seem like a very simple thing to many of you reading this blog, but it is, in fact, a very nerve-racking task. How do I find a good salon? How will I let the stylist know what I want? What if I end up looking like this girl?!?

I ended up doing some research online about salons that other Americans have tried and ended up deciding on one that got great reviews - Earth Salon. Located only about 10 minutes from our house, the salon looked clean, modern, feminine- and took appointments. When I returned for my cut the following week, I was given a price list by the very friendly receptionist. This is not unusual. 99.9% of the people you meet here in Okinawa are the most upbeat and happy people you've ever met. From what I gathered, a women's cut was 3900 yen, and if I wanted a more senior stylist, it would be either 600 or 1100 yen extra. I asked for the highest stylist (1100 yen extra), because I wasn't taking any chances with my hair. After they informed me that there were no "top senior stylists" (I'm making these titles up, of course!) available, I agreed to let the "middle senior stylist" (600 yen extra) do the cut. I only had to wait a few minutes before a male stylist came and greeted me. He took me over to a cute little locker area right off the reception to lock my purse up - I got to bring the key with me to his station. I'm not sure why or how, but even with the obvious language barrier, I immediately felt at ease with this stylist. Maybe it was his high fashion clothing, maybe it was his seniority at the salon, or maybe it was because I brought in a picture of Jennifer Aniston and a small paragraph of instructions translated into Japanese using Babelfish... Either way, I could tell I was in for a great experience.


Decor, decor, decor! Let me tell you about the decor! I loved it! Not only was it sleak and contemporary, which is what I like in any salon, but it was also G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S (I've got that Fergy song in my head right now!). I'm sure guys get their hair done at Earth Salon all the time, but it definately had a girly ambiance to it - beaded dividers, giant rose wallcoverings, chandeliers...all done very tastefully. After being told that it would cost me 500 yen extra to get my hair washed (huh?!?), I decided to go for it so that I could experience everything the salon had to offer me, and I was throroughly glad that I did! First stop: choose your own aromatherapy shampoo scent. I sniffed my way through about 30 different scents before selecting "raspberry peach" for myself. Second stop: reclining wash station. I got to put my feet up, lay back and relax while my stylist washed my hair with my selected shampoo. They pull out all the stops as well - the scent was a treat, but I also got one of those silk sleep masks over my eyes, and my stylist spent about 15 minutes massaging my scalp. Third stop: neck massage. After my hair was up in the towel and I was sitting upright once again, I was all ready to return to my stylists chair when I was pleasantly suprised with a neck massage. My advice to anyone getting a haircut at Earth Salon - pay the extra 500 yen for a wash - it's well worth it!

Reception Desk:

Styling Stations:
Color Stations:

Kid's Room:

VIP Room- Don't ask me who this is for exactly...

All in all, my first Japanese haircut was not only a success, but also a great experience. My stylist did exactly what I wanted. He even took his time blow drying and styling my hair with a flat iron. The whole experience took about an hour and a half, and ended up costing me 5000 yen (about $50). Unlike Matt, who gets his haircut every week, I only get mine cut once every few months, so I thought the price was fair considering how much they do and how great the service was. I will definately be back!

The best pic I could get of me with my Japanese freshly cut hair:



  1. Cute Cut! The salon looks very contemporary. One thing seems out of place, howeve. Over the reception area, the chandalier dosen't seem to fit in with the rest of the decor. What's your thought...since you are the professional? What, no pink spike! Hugs! xo

  2. Hi Leanne! Thanks for all the comments - There are other little contemporary chandeliers in other areas of the salon with black crystals on them that work well, but I agree about the chandelier in the reception. There's a way to make chandeliers work with contemporary decor, but I don't think they should have done that one there if they already had some other modern light fixtures over the desk. The two don't seem to go together too well. Thanks for the compliment on my cut - it is so humid here that this was the first time my hair has been really straight since we've arrived! xoxo