Sunday, 17 March 2013

Visiting Hair Salon in Tokyo: Complete Guide On How to Get a Hair Cut in Japan? Part I

(Update: Please also check out my Facebook page Japan Travel Tips on everything and anything you need to know about visiting Japan!!)

Tokyo is definitely one of the world's most fashionable city! So why not hit the hair salon for the latest style when you are in Japan? However, most people faces their main obstacles - where do you go for hair cut and how to communicate with your hair stylist? Being in Tokyo countless times, I always try to squeeze in a hair appointment whenever I can. I'll share with you some of my tips on how to pick the right hair salon in this post. I will do more posts on how to book the appointment, how to communicate with the stylist, how much it generally costs, what to expect in a Tokyo Hair Salon, and all my other tips in upcoming posts! Stay tuned!

[Edit: Part II: How To Book An Appointment & Communicate With Your Stylist is already up so please check it out :) Thanks!]

How to Pick the Right Hair Salon

Here are 3 main ways I pick my hair salon in Tokyo or other major Japanese cities (I also had my hair done in Osaka before): Japanese fashion magazine, Japanese hair sites, and hotel concierge.

Japanese Fashion Magazine

This method gives me the best results so far. I found the hair salon that I love most and keeps returning to via flipping through Japanese fashion magazine. Before you start, you need to know which type of style you like and go for the appropriate magazine. Afterall, there's no point looking for a hair salon that doesn't fit your style. E.g. magazines like "with", "Cancam" and "JJ" are for woman in their 20's looking for feminine style fit for university or work place. Magazines like "sweet" and "Cutie" are for more girly look. If you want a sexy mature look, goes for "Glamourous" magazine. Check out "Cawaii" or "Popteen" for gyaru look, etc etc.

Most magazine would have a section on hair style and they normally have the info of the hair salon as well! Most of the time they only have map and phone number so you need to do a bit of research online to look for prices and email, 'cuz those 2 will come in handy when you decide which hair salon to go to. Don't worry if you can't get your hands, most Japanese fashion magazines have extensive website. For example, check out "With" website for the hairstyle section. Their website has different styles:

Once you see somthing you like, click onto the picture to find out which hair salon and some basic info of the salon, eg. name, map, and phone # (see what I circle in red):

Note them down to google the website of the salon for price and email, which will come in handy when you book your appointment. I normally email to book an appointment before I arrive in Tokyo. I will talk more about how to book and things to keep in mind in the next Tokyo Hair Salon Guide post.

Pros & Cons of this method:

  • You will have a very good idea the style of the salon based on the magazine it is in and the sample hair cut in the magazine
  • You are almost guaranteed good quality haircut; the Japanese fashion magazine market is very competitive, they won't feature a creepy salon on their magazine to affect their credibility

  • Takes time to do your own research
  • Not all hair salons you picked and emailed to book for appointment will get back to you
  • Language barrier of browsing through Japanese magazines and booking via email
  • Most Japanese fashion magazine focuses almost entirely in Tokyo and it's very difficult to find a hair salon featured in the magazine that's outside of Tokyo (e.g. Osaka)

Japanese Hair Salon Website

One of the most popular Japanese Beauty Site is Beauty Navi. Here you can find all you need for hair salon and spa in Japan. The website is entirely in Japanese, here's some basic steps:

1) Select the area on the map. If you have going to Tokyo, choose 'Kanto' which I circled in red below. Otherwise you can go directly to the 'select salon' at the bottom which most of the time at hair salons in Tokyo:

Then select Tokyo:

Select the area in Tokyo you like. From my experience, some areas I like includes the following which I circled in red:

Pros & Cons of this method:

  • You can select based on location convenient to your travel schedule
  • You have a wider range of hair salons to choose from as compared to magazines, which means more styles and wider price range to fit your budget; whereas the magazines featured salons tend to be more expensive
  • Takes time to do your own research, even more than browsing through magazines
  • Similar to the first method, not all hair salons you picked and emailed to book for appointment will get back to you
  • Even greater language barrier of browsing through website

Hotel Concierge

This is the easiest and most fool proof way to ensure you find a salon that is 1) decent quality 2) can speak English if language is your barrier 3) decent price range. Just speak to the concierge at your hotel, which if you are staying in major city such as Tokyo, I am sure they can speak English and can communicate with you pretty well.

Pros & Cons of this method:

  • Least amount of research required. You can book when you arrive in Tokyo
  • Your hotel can also handle all the bookings for you plus give you directions on how to get to the hair salaon. It's the most worry-free way. Just show up!
  • You are limited to the taste of the hotel staff and their selection. Always ask them for a website of the salon so you can check out the style, price, pics of the salon, etc, before they book it for you

From my personal experience, I would rate checking Japanese fashion magazine as the best method because this give me the best results. Of course you have to do your own research and takes some time which I discussed in the pros and cons. At the end of the day I think it's more a personal preference. I hope you enjoy this post about how to get a hair cut (or even color, or perm) in Tokyo. Check out my next post on how to book an appointment for your Tokyo hair cut and most importantly HOW TO COMMUNICATE with your hair stylist! If there is anything in particular you want to know please leave me a comment! Stay tuned!!


  1. thanks for the tip! its very useful ^_~

  2. This is sooooo useful!!! Thanks for writing it out :D

  3. Thanks for the info! ^_^

  4. This blog impressed me and over exceeded my expectations. You know how to involve a reader and increase his curiosity to read more. Many congratulations!



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