After putting it off for as long as I could bare having may hair looking like a scruffy rag I finally took the plunge and went for a haircut.
Back at home getting a haircut is of course no big deal but here in a country where I don’t speak the language and have hair about as different to theirs as possible I was more than a little nervous about letting someone loose on it with a pair of scissors. Not to mention the fact that Japanese people tend to either have one of two hair cut styles... long or short... both of which have fringes that hang in their eyes.
Nevertheless 6 months without a haircut wasn’t doing me any favours and so after driving past a hair salon everyday both to and from school I finally forced myself to actually stop in on the way home from school yesterday to face my haircut fate.
I was a little dubious seeing as I have never actually seen anyone in the salon getting their hair done but was greeted by a friendly guy who seemed more than happy to have a go and my untidy mane.
My Japanese managed to get us through the awkward first questions like ‘can you cut it now?’, ‘how much will it cost?’ etc but as soon as I sat in the chair and he started spraying my hair with bottled water the old fashion way my heart began to sink as I pictured myself walking out with hair no better off than what it was when I walked in.
So here I was freaking out slightly trying to figure out if it was a blessing or not that I couldn’t see myself in the mirror clearly (I had to take my glasses off and the chair was just that little bit too far from the mirror for me to get clear vision). The guy had next to no English and so my Japanese was put firmly to the test as he asked a whole range of questions from ‘how much do haircuts cost in NZ’ through to ‘where have I been in Japan’ etc.
Before I knew it the cut was over and he was telling me to put my glasses back on. I was sure only about 10 minutes had past and sure enough when I looked at my watch it had taken him a mere 13 minutes to cut my hair which was well below my shoulders to just above my chin. After a short intake of breath at how short he had cut it (I had asked for it just above my shoulders) I started to get up out of the chair to take off home to hide with a hat on.
“Would you like it shampooed? It doesn’t cost any extra”. At this point I really felt I had nothing to lose so followed him over to the chair. Next thing I knew I was being tilted back by an electronic armchair and then covered with a blanket, my face covered with a fragranced face mask and headphones playing music put into my ears. This is where the whole “it’s way too short” shock miraculously evaporated from my mind as I relaxed into the most amazing shampoo I have ever had – all done by an electronic shampooing machine! I kid you not it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced at the hairdressers! I lay back with music playing in my ears, my face covered in a face mask and all the while my head and hair were being massaged by varying water pressure – which I was given a remote to control. One word – AMAZING! What’s even better is that it went on for 10 full minutes!
When I was forced to come out of my relaxing shampoo coma I was then led back to my chair where he set about blow drying what little hair I had left. I truly felt sorry for the guy as he had no idea just how long it takes to blow dry my thick head of hair! He started off on the lowest setting and every few minutes he would increase it confused as to why my hair still wasn’t dry! I got the feeling if he had known it was going to take him 15 minutes to dry it he wouldn’t have bothered. But seeing as he still had no other customers he then decided to style it for me. So it was back out with the hairdryer and a whole array of brushes and he spent the next 20 minutes curling the ends under so it sat perfectly from front to back.
And so... while I still think I look like a mushroom I don’t hate it as much as I initially and will most definitely be going back - if for nothing else than an amazing shampoo!
I do however dread to think what my hair is going to look like tomorrow when I’ve washed it – as we all know it never ever looks as good when you do it yourself!