Thursday, January 25, 2007

What a hack job!

So, I've been in Korea long enough to need two haircuts. My experiences at the Korean hair shops can be summed up to miscommunication.

There are so many hair salons, beauty shops, and barbershops that competition is fierce. Men's haircut and shampoo is as little as 5,000 won ($5).

For my first haircut, I went to the salon on the first floor of our building. They immediately ushered me to a chair and before I had a chance to mime what I wanted the lady had hacked off my sideburns. I like(d) my sideburns. Just because Korean men can't grow them, doesn't mean you need to cut mine off! She gave me the Korean No. 1 cut. It included shaved down to the skin along the hairline with a bushy mess on top. I kept asking her to go shorter on the top and all she could do was giggle. Eventually, we compromised and this was the result. She had never cut an Americans hair before.

My second experience took me to Hair Change (emphasis on the long E vowel at the end - Hair ChangEEEEEE.) This was slightly more expensive at 11,000 won but several of the employees spoke some English so it was worth the added expense. I was foresighted enough to bring a picture with me (Thank you Men's Health subscription.)

Both cuts included a shampoo and a vigorous scalp massage. The scalp massage is a little weird. I'm not going to lie. You feel uncomfortable but at the same time it is very relaxing. At the end the poor girls didn't know how to put wax (gel) in my hair. My style is just to mess it up. She was too tentative so I had to take over and show her how.

Eventually, I'll have them trained on the proper techniques of cutting American guys hair.


Anonymous said...

That's funny! :) I like the phrase "I'm not gonna lie" seems to me like I say that sometimes! Bet ya can't guess who this is! Ha Ha!!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I think this would be one of my biggest issues as I love my side burns as well, but it does look like you have them back so it is all good.

Your fellow sideburn wearer. JJP

Anonymous said...

As a Korean living in the US. US salons have absolutely no skill what so ever. From the 30 dollar haircut to 80 dollars, in the 13 years that I've lived here, my haircuts did not even come close to your pictures. To compare the other side of the story...