Wednesday, January 21, 2009

First haircut in HK with a Japanese stylist

Despite having spent such a substantial time in HK, I have never ever had a hair cut here before in the past.

Reason being, I am such a cheapskate...I didnt want to pay such a large difference in hair cut price.

Just cut and blow alone, I can get a very good hair cut @ REDS in town for about SG$40 (HK$120) for an experienced stylist vs average HK$400 (SG$80) for their junior stylist in HK salon. So explain to me, how can I bear to pay double the price just for keeping my hair neat? Come on, its just hair right? I'm not a model or going for some fashion show, so I will never want to fork more than necessary for a hair cut. Treatment to hydrate the hair maybe, but never a cut. So in the past, I have stubbornly kept my hair long and wait till a return trip home to get it trimmed.

However, seeing that I wont be making a trip back to SG any time soon, I decide to relent and try out a salon here. Yet, I still refuse to pay HK$400, and adding one more condition, I rather choose a Japanese Hair stylist. Why? Well simple, have you seen a bad haircut on a Japanese lady (excluding those who deliberately have it "mangled") ? No right? So I presume Japanese stylist must be relatively proficient. So I googled.....there is sooooooo little information out there but finally I found one in causeway bay!!!

I chanced upon this salon called Hair-do. It is a franchaise brand from Japan ( I am assuming the Japanese stylist in HK comes from the main salon in Japan as well. Hairdo has 3 salon in HK and the only country they venture out of Japan it seems. The one I tried is located at Soundwill Plaza (location)at Russel street, with Japanese hair stylist Asami. (Random choice). The price is also within my acceptance level. HK$320 for normal stylist and HK$390 for Top stylist.

So today I went to get my hair trimmed. I didnt want to do too much since I am going to ski this coming week and I need to bun up my hair when wear my ski cap and mask. The whole experience is pretty different from that in Singapore.

After feeling my hair and looking at it, and affirming I just want a simple cut, she started to trim off the excess bit by bit. I cannot describe it but its just different from the ones in singapore where they seem to "fly thru" the process. Here, I observe every hair stylist takes each cut careful constantly measuring the balance on each side. Then they have a washer boy as well. As they do in japan, they have a seperate towel for leg and upper body, and they will cover your face (eye area) with a white soft towel (to protect from splashing).

I have never had such gentle wash in a salon. It isnt weak, it is gentle. For once, I didnt have to tell the washer person not to scrib so hard, or tug my hair. My hair felt "loved". Silly i know. I even had a warm towel place under my neck as I lay there... felt so shiok.

Then after the hair treatment ( it was on 30% discount from HK$530, so I gave it a try) which made my hair really soft and smell goregous, the washer guy spray some stuff on my head and it was time for massage! So he started with the temple, the head and proceed to the neck and upper shoulder. I was thinking, wow! massage!

When he was done, here comes the difference. Unlike in singapore where it is always the washer boy/girl doing the hair dry, here, the hair stylist would blow dry my hair. As she dry it, she observe how the hair fall and finally when it was dry, she further trim it to finish the cut. It makes sense for stylist to blow dry since she/he is the person who knows what the final look should be.

As I was looking around, I saw this top stylist guy doing the hair for this Japanese girl. My god, her hair was beautifully cut and curled to perfection! I have never seen a long hair cut and curled so gorgeously! It was truly what u see on those Japanese artists. I was very very impressed!

When I was paying the bill, I was given 10% off my hair cut so it came to about HK$288. I was also given a set of week's worth of treatement tube for continuing home care for the treatment session i had. Cool! I wasnt sure why there was a discount on the hair cut, maybe because under referrer I indicated their Japan website? I was also give some discount coupons for next visists, and some namecard to recommend to other friends that comes with 10% discount as well.

All in all a very statisfying experience for my first haircut in HK. The good thing too about Japanese hair stylist, they dont attempt to talk to me. So for once, I get a very peaceful session where I am not obliged to talk and talk. Instead, I was more intent in looking at all the different hair stylists at work. Most of the stylist there are very young. Even the top stylist isnt very old, maybe about early 40yr+? The rest of the crew look about mid 20s++, all very hip and easy on the eye, decked in Japanese style hairdo.

The HK hair stylist next to me of course will chat with their client. I think its some chinese thing that is suppose to cultivate relattionship i guess. I hate it though. I hate having to chat when I am cutting my hair. Nothing against the hair stylist, I like my stylist. I just prefer to space out and relax than make small talk...bordering on the verge of gossip.

Well guess that's it. Just thought I would write my experience in and about a Japanese salon in HK since there are so little info about it.

Update Oct 2011: My fav Japanese hair stylist have left Hairdo and opened his own. check here for adress and phone contact, as well as updated photos of my permed hair by Ito san


dreams come true said...

Hello, I just wanna attest to the genuineness of the procedures of the infamous visit to a Japanese salon! It's true everything from the towels (esp the hot towel - it's heaven!) to the massage! The salon that I just went even had a range of shampoo fragrances for me to choose from!

After being so spoilt & pampered here, I can't stand having my hair cut in Singapore, or perhaps anywhere else in the world. The last time I was back (in Sep), I really regretted having my hair cut back home...the service was horrible even though I paid $200 in all.

a shell said...

Hi. I was searching for any review of the Hair-do, since I could not make my mind of going as I have a long hair, permed long time ago. I am not usually happy with some of the stylists I have encountered here in HK after tried out several of them. Most time for trimming, but I am tempting to go for a slight change over as for cut from long to medium long. I don't know if I am more fussy about hair than you do, I would hate to go back to a hair salon again and ask for retrimming which happed to me before. But I think I should be more confidence to take the risk at this salon after reading your blog. Having said this much, it is just hair, isn't it? Cheers.

keko lin said...

hi just wanted to ask which hair-do did you go to in hk as theres around 3 of them so wanted to see which one is the recommend salon. Thanks