Hair today, gone tomorrow

Today was a big step forward for me. I overcame one of my deepest fears about living in Japan.

I got a haircut.

This was such a deep fear for me because even in America I had a hard time getting a good haircut and I was able to fully communicate with the hair stylist, barber or whoever. Unless I went to Supercuts, then all bets were off as most of their employees don’t speak English either.



Finally my hair had gotten to the point where it simply could not be ignored. I had sprouted feathery wing like objects and to a certain extent resembled a botched Dorothy Hamill from the side. Like mid 80’s Dorothy Hamill. The amount of gel I had to use in the morning was getting to the point where it was adding extra weight and making it difficult to bike to school. Although with all that hair spray I had a fully functional crash helmet.

I also am rarely satisfied with any haircut I get because no matter what I do to my hair, I still kinda look stupid and round. I can’t hide the massive bug eyes with hair styles, only distract. Not to mention I have to get in front of 60 to 90 students a day and not look like I was fighting gardening equipment in my spare time.

You may now be able to sense my trepidation with the upcoming battle I was going to have with the language barrier.

I went to a place that is really close to our apartment called Hair & Make. That is their translation, not mine. The gentleman running the front desk there didn’t speak English but I had spent a good 30 minutes before I left preparing with Google translate some key phrases that hopefully would get me through unscathed.

They were fully booked so they told me to come back at 4pm. A stay of execution so to speak. I made sure I had all of the phrases I needed and went back. A delightful Japanese woman sat me down and said in English, “Hello, my name is Naoko.” Double take! “Oh my gosh, do you speak English??!!??”

“No so sorry, no English.”

Ugh. My hopes were up and then dashed like so much spice. (Ms. Dash that is). I went through the phrases I had on my phone and showed a picture of my neckline from my wedding hair cut and proceeded to sit in nervous apprehension. Japanese hair stylists are apparently very “snip” happy meaning they like to make many small snips rather than larger cuts. Fine by me.



When she was done snipping away my hair looked pretty much like it was supposed to after a fresh cut. She went the extra mile and started shaping my bangs with a hair dryer and gave me the “Japanese boy band” look. Look up Sexy Zone or Arashi and you’ll see what I mean. Regardless of the extra unnecessary flare I got exactly what I asked for and I finally feel like a human being again. I just hope she doesn’t take a vacation next month.

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