• 3

    sillygirl

    2 to 3 hours I won't get back.

  • 0

    heretoolong

    It's still a freaking joke that they're that expensive and take that long. Maybe that explains why I shave my head with clippers myself. Takes 20 mins and doesn't cost a thing. Must be rough being a woman here.

  • 0

    ukguyjp

    They are generally good and not necessarily expensive. My barber charges 1600 yen for a good cut.

  • 6

    Serrano

    In 25 years in Japan I've never been to a barber shop. Heck, a haircut there costs at least 3,000.
    I go to a salon where I get a cut, a shampoo and a massage for 2,600. It takes about 45-50 minutes. I like being pampered for 45-50 minutes. It's worth the 2,600 yen.

    @heretoolong - It takes you 20 minutes to shave your head with clippers? Heck, it takes the barbers in the military less than 2 minutes to shave heads.

  • 2

    Brainiac

    I always look forward to my visit to my neighborhood barber shop. It is two hours of pampering. Best of all are the cold shampoos and scalp massages on summer days.

  • 0

    gaijinfo

    I've never been. I can't imagine the service is worth the price. Maybe if they had cute girls working there, and the price was 2000 or 3000, and I KNEW I was going to get an hour's worth of service, then I might give it a try.

    But a barber shop filled with dudes that'll charge me 3000 for something I can do myself? No thanks.

  • 0

    cl400

    Less than 2 minutes to shave a head Serrano? The military must have the super bestest clippers in the world or they're doing a botchy job. Do they shave their own heads there? Takes me around 20 minutes too. Nice n smooth. Yep... one word springs to mind when thinking about hair salons and barber shops in Japan. Over priced!

  • 0

    Harry_Gatto

    My barber shop (in Tokyo) charges 490 Yen for a haircut weekdays and 980 on Saturdays. No frills of course but I get just what I pay for, a haircut.

  • 0

    zichi

    My wife has never charged me anything for a haircut. She's been cutting it for more than 10 years with careful guidance and training from me. Before that I went to good salons and tried to find the best hairdresser even if it meant paying more. I ever paid more than ¥5,000 which when compared to the prices women are charged, was a good price.

  • 3

    Stephen Knight

    Barber shops here are great, not cheap but a relatively inexpensive, full-service luxury that I enjoy. Been going to the same guy for years... tried QB House a few times, but the risk of a really bad cut and surly service just wasn't worth the savings.

  • 5

    zenkan

    In general, top notch in my opinion. Compared to the UK service, skill and cost are streets ahead. I go to QB now - what a boon! And they hoover your head. What's not to like?

  • 2

    lucabrasi

    I pay ¥3800 a shot, which is ridiculous seeing how little hair I' ve got left. But I can pop in any time I want and she trims my beard for free. No stubble in the sink at home keeps the wife happy.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    As with heretoolong I shave my head once a week or more using clippers, and sometimes go all the way using a razor after. It can be a pain in the butt, but given how long I've been doing it and that I've only been to the barber's a handfull of times in nearly two decades I'd say I've saved a large fortune.

    That said, I think the service in Japanese barber shops is pretty high level. It's more expensive than your typical old-school barber back home (though you have to tip if in NA) by about 1000 yen, but you can often get a free shave (only tried once and it felt like my face was being ripped off), shampoo, etc. Beauty salons and estheticians, on the other hand, are a rip-off, but since young women in Asia are basically force-fed the idea that it's a social must to pay thousands of yen (often tens of thousands) for even a slight change, well, everyone does it.

    Serrano: "@heretoolong - It takes you 20 minutes to shave your head with clippers? Heck, it takes the barbers in the military less than 2 minutes to shave heads."

    Have you ever done it YOURSELF? You CAN do it in a lot less than 20 minutes, of course, but the result will often be people at work, at home, or in public pointing out that you missed a whole lot, especially on the back. If you have no one helping you, you need more time to make sure you got it all, that it's even, etc. Not at all comparable to when someone else does it for you.

  • 2

    lucabrasi

    @smith

    I shave my head once a week or more using clippers, and sometimes go all the way using a razor after. It can be a pain in the butt....

    You're doing it all wrong.... : )

    >

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please.

  • -1

    TheInterstat

    I really like the hair dressers here. I go to a really great place, and while it is expensive (about 7000yen each time), I get a very professional cut, with massage, great shampooing, etc.

    As a foreign, white man in Japan, I can honestly say that having a good hair cut, done by a professional sets you apart from the countless shaved head 'gaijin' who do it by themselves. A good haircut adds value to a person's looks, and is worth more than the money spent.

  • -1

    philsandoz

    The best thing about barbers here is that almost none of them can speak English, so I can get my mane shorn without any stupid questions about where I went on holiday, who I fancy for the cup, how I like the weather, and what about that Simon Cowell, eh? As the old Greek joke says, "A man went into a barber shop and the hairdresser asked how he would like his hair cut, to which he answered, "In silence!" Perfect.

  • 0

    Meguroman

    Have a place nearby that does cut, shampoo, shave & really thorough massage (shoulders, neck, hands & lower legs). Plus eye brow, nose & ear hair trimming - all for ¥2,600. The shave is awesome, good for 2 days - I always fall asleep during the post-shave relax mode with towels on my face. They give tea before and after, too. To top it off , it is a cute woman who always smells great. . Every 3-4 weeks, it is as close to being a metrosexual dandy as I'll ever get. The only thing I skip is the ear wax removal - just feels weird.

  • 0

    kimuzukashiiiii

    As a foreign girl ... its very expensive. Looking at 1-2 man for a cut and colour. BUT necessary, I think, if you want to look half decent.

    If you go to a regular Japanese place, they will destroy your hair, and they have an unhealthy fascination with bleach here... ><

    Also I have natural spiral curls, and very different hair texture to Japanese people, so I go to a professional who actually knows what they are doing with my hair type. I went to a Japanese salon once, about 5 years ago. Never going back ...

  • 1

    cleo

    its very expensive. Looking at 1-2 man for a cut and colour. BUT necessary, I think, if you want to look half decent.

    It takes you 1-2 man to look half decent? Either you're being ripped off, or....??

    My hairdresser is also a personal friend, and she'll willingly spend a whole afternoon shampooing, conditioning, cutting and setting/drying, plus a massage, coffee and cakes, all for the price of a cut and blow-dry. Not to mention a good gossip. She knows my hair well and knows how to deal with its little idiosyncrasies, texture, quality, natural kinks and the fact that the left side grows faster than the right. I wouldn't go anywhere else.

  • -1

    falseflagsteve

    Skinhead number 2, done at home, for me and the wife. Costs nothing except the initial expense of clippers. The batbers charge too much and the places often smell.

  • 4

    marcels

    As a foreigner male living here, I can tell you that the barbers are very proffessional, and give good value haircuts ,personal shave by hand ,hot face wash towel,and shampoo, they even trim off my excess nasal and ear hair ,all for 1500 yen. Bloody good value, and done in around 25 minutes,on a weekday of course...

  • 2

    Nessie

    Interminable. I was so glad when those 10-min., 1000-yen places opened.

  • 0

    Brian Sutton

    They just have some funky @#$ names

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    lucabrasi: "You're doing it all wrong.... : )"

    How do you figure?

    falseflagsteve: "Skinhead number 2, done at home, for me and the wife. Costs nothing except the initial expense of clippers."

    Exactly. I bought mine in Den-Den Town, Namba, Osaka, when I first came to Japan, and while they were 10 times the cost of those at home they still work amazingly and I have more than gotten my money's worth. I still even have them in the original box, though it's badly falling apart.

    Anyway, I meant to add that while a lot of the places here are really expensive, they seem quite fashionable, and the staff are definitely such (I mean the beauty salons, not the barbers).

  • 1

    BurakuminDes

    Agree with Marcels - I like them. 1050 Yen - outta the chair in 15 minutes (my hair is short), ear trimming and all! Back home in Sydney I'd be paying double that for a dodgy haircut!

  • -1

    Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land

    There are too dang many of them. You can't throw a stone around here with hitting a hair salon or barber shop.

  • 0

    Pidestroika

    For many years I had problem with hairsalons here in Tokyo and dreaded going to one. They never understand what a simple male haircut mean and they have to ask dozens of questions like: "How short do you want them? Fairly short please (keko mijikai)" "Eeeehhh, how many centimeters? No idea, don't have a ruler on me"
    "Eeeehhh, when was the last time you cut them? Don't remember, stop asking me" Anyway, in the end I used to get a decent haircut but only after they've bust my coconuts.

    What's up with that ridiculous "spootsu gari" style of the early 20th century that is so popular in Japan? And why do they shave the heads of young kids? Is lice such a big problem?

    BUT, recently I discovered the best Japanese barber EVER. Old, traditional, doesn't use an electric razor and he understands immediately what I want. Cheap too. 1,000yen for 10 min. Absolutely no complaints.

    Don't you guys have problem to explain how you want them in Japanese?

  • -2

    Tessa

    As a foreign girl ... its very expensive. Looking at 1-2 man for a cut and colour. BUT necessary, I think, if you want to look half decent.

    I hear ya. So few stylists get "our" hair right, and I can tell the cheap ones just by looking at the nasty perm jobs on their customers (most of whom aren't gainfully employed, fortunately, so we don't have to look at them on a daily basis). If you find a good one, hang onto to him, even if it costs you! My favourite stylist moved to Tokyo, so every six weeks I hop on the shinkansen to get my hair done by him. Not cheap, but well worth it.

  • 2

    cleo

    So few stylists get "our" hair right, and I can tell the cheap ones just by looking at the nasty perm jobs on their customers (most of whom aren't gainfully employed, fortunately, so we don't have to look at them on a daily basis).

    Your comment about 'our' hair is valid; it isn't so much price as whether the stylist has had much experience with non-Asian hair. My hairdresser has been doing my hair for going on 20 years, and if she moved to Tokyo (Heaven forbid) I would also hop on the train.

    .... but you couldn't resist another dig at women who don't share your 'career woman' lifestyle, could you? Not sure if it's insecurity or envy or something else, but it isn't very pretty. Even with good hair.

  • -2

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Cleo, first you said ...

    It takes you 1-2 man to look half decent? Either you're being ripped off, or....??

    or... what? Im really, really, horrendously ugly? Not so bad, but just a very difficult hair type to cut. And I need a colour because Im going grey. Heaven forbid.

    And then you said...

    our comment about 'our' hair is valid; it isn't so much price as whether the stylist has had much experience with non-Asian hair. My hairdresser has been doing my hair for going on 20 years, and if she moved to Tokyo (Heaven forbid) I would also hop on the train.

    Whaa? Well which one is it ... is it okay to spend money looking nice, or not? Your comments seem to conflict each other?

  • -5

    Tessa

    I don't think Cleo's comments are contradictory, I just think that she doesn't understand the pressure of life in a big city, especially for working (taxpaying) women who are expected to look perfect at every turn. It's not only hair that has to be perfect, it's nails - including toenails, in summer - eyelashes, eyebrows, shoes, bags, wallets, and even hankies. I'm sure we would all love to live in the kind of nirvana in which none of this stuff mattered, but that's just not realistic in this day and age. And we are the ones who keep Japan ticking, thank you very much.

  • -1

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Yeah... I understand Tessa,

    I am a working mother too, (one of those awful women who have to continue to work in order to help support my family, meaning therefore I must be also a selfish, career driven cold old wench who doesn't care about my children) so having good hair, which has been cut decently can be a lifesaver in terms of time. Its the difference of being able to leave it to dry naturally at night, and being ready to go in the morning, or waking up an hour early just to do my hair.

    Not all of us have hours free to spend doing make up and preening ourselves in front of the mirror in the morning. Time = money.

  • 0

    dracpoo2

    I think they need to learn more about non-Japanese hair types.

  • 1

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    They take too long, they wash your hair too much until the natural oil of the hair is removed, plus they put this hot towel under your neck which I can feel makes my blood boil and my brains are about to burst!!! I prefer the 1000 yen cut that have near my place..no need of shampoo as well and out in 15 minutes feeling new and contented!

  • 0

    Laguna

    Hair care is another realm where it's nice to be a guy. I've gone to one of those hole-in-the-wall places for over a decade where the barbers all have terrible hair themselves, but they're used to my gaijin 'fro, so "いつもどおり" is sufficient for a decent cut at 1,200 yen. (Used to be 1,000 yen - I don't begrudge inflation.)

    If you're a guy, find a good spot and stick with them.

  • -1

    flammenwerfer

    A extravagance.

    Luckily my wife's friend cuts and colors her hair at "mates rates" As for me once a week in the shower (easy clean up) with the 1mm comb on my Panasonic clippers does the trick. Saves on shampoo too.

  • -1

    tokyocrawler

    I Love Japanese Barbers, when i lived outside of Tokyo my local guy only asked how I want my hair once and he considered it his duty to remember....he hardly said a word and only used scissors even to cut even as short as 2mm...this skill takes some training! In fact he would ask me what the lengths I wanted in millimeters on the occasion I initiated conversation with a new request. Several hair washes ,a shoulder rub and the hot towel on the face at the end., its great....and it was a pleasure to have a shave with a cut throat razor done by such professionals. he charged 3000yen in the 90s. I guess these kind of places are almost gone...

    I like short hair so nowadays choose the chain stores that charge about 1600yen and the professionalism is a lot watered down also but still satsifactory, polite and quick too but I have a lot of respect for those that approach their trade as an art as much as a sushi chef does.

  • 1

    cleo

    kimuzukashii - the 'you're either being ripped off or...' comment was meant as a joke. I can see how looking drop-dead gorgeous for a big occasion might take a coupla man, but everyday 'half decent'? Really??

    is it okay to spend money looking nice, or not?

    Of course it is. What's not OK is making snide comments (not you) about being fortunate to not have to look at the nasty perms on the heads of people who are not gainfully employed, and needing to look perfect at every turn to *keep Japan ticking'. As if the Japanese economy were built on the hairstyles of its single, childless career women.

    Tessa - I know all about the pressure of life in the big city, been there, done that, found it's a mug's game, which is one reason I choose to do my working (and taxpaying) in the inaka where life is more civilised and ladies aren't judged on the nastiness of their perms or the state of their toenails in summer.

  • 0

    Cos

    Really, there are plenty of great salons. In Kansai, we have everything. Just browse your fav' brand and you find lists of dozens of salons using it , with their staff trained at all the techniques (even if they have to deal with red hair, super thin hair, etc). You can pay a lot if you do tons of stuff like brazilian, passing from black to nearly white hair, etc, all the extreme changes you can see in the streets. In the same hip salons, they announce cut + styling 3500 yen and whenever I go, it's 2500 yen day + free samples as they only charge full on week-ends and busy season. And they do what you ask. I bring a photo so they don't make me into Ayu Hamasaki . They know how to do anything I ask. Still, I don't go much as I don't like that. I prefer DIY and using natural products (some salon have that now). I go to the pro's in case I've missed my cut or color, but I've really progressed.

    ladies aren't judged on the nastiness of their perms or the state of their toenails in summer.

    "Ladies don't have toenails at work, it's girls that go to do baito in sandals." I was lectured about that years ago. Anyway, I don't see who would care that your toe nail decoration. From what I see, in Osaka, any hairstyle goes. Gaijins are even expected to be sauvage rather than kokeshi dolls, so we don't need ironing our mane every morning. Nobody needs, being neat and classic is enough for most day time jobs. Then personal choice...

    As if the Japanese economy were built on the hairstyles

    That's a possibility. Abe's brushing seems to have an incredible effect on the yen.

  • 0

    volland

    I have been watching happily that in Japan too finally the european tendency to open more an more 1000 Yen haircut shops are offered. The prices charged at "normal" shops are a bad joke.

    It is totally fine with me, if people want to go to work to earn money to spend it on 5 or 10 thousand yen deals.... I prefer to use my money differently.

  • -1

    Serrano

    "No stubble in the sink at home keeps the wife happy"

    lucabrasi, how about taking 15 seconds to rinse out the sink? lol

  • 0

    choiwaruoyaji

    The bitchy comments among the ladies on this thread are hilarious. I can almost hear the cat-like snarls, hair-pulling and sharp nails scratching... who would of thought that hairdressing could rile up the ladies so much! More please!

    As for me, I don't go to the barber so often.

    The thing is, I have wavy hair... it's waving goodbye to my head.

  • -1

    cleo

    Mr cleo tried a ¥1000 place that opened near us...once was enough, he said. The place was dirty (the guy doing the cutting didn't have time to sweep the cuttings off the floor between customers, there were shampoo etc spills all over the place, nothing got wiped up) and the cut looked like the hair had been hacked off with a breadknife. He's back at his usual place.

  • 0

    SamuraiBlue

    cleo

    Most 1000 yen barber shops like QB house does not offer shampoo.

    The place I go is located within a "Super Sento" so after a haircut I head towards the tub.

  • 0

    cleo

    SamuraiBlue - maybe they would have more time to clean up and give a good cut if there was no shampoo.....either way, he won't be going back.

  • 0

    Serrano

    I like the place I've been going to for the past decade, even though the person who actually cuts my hair has changed three times. For those who don't speak any Japanese and need to get a haircut at a place where they don't speak any English, if you don't mind it short, all you need to know is "Mijikaku shite kudasai."

  • -2

    Tessa

    Want to share a really nice story from a few years back ... I went to see my friend off Kansai Airport, and while waiting for his flight we took a walk in the surrounding area (ghastly place, deep dark inaka, nothing but farmhouses for miles around). All of a sudden, in the middle of nowhere, we came across a trendy hair salon, and my friend decided to go in for a cut, using me as an interpreter. The young owner and his smiling, helpful staff were incredibly unfazed by our sudden appearances, and incredibly polite to us, and despite being visibly tired at the end of a long working day, gave my friend the best haircut of his life! They even served me coffee while I was waiting. They didn't have to be so nice to us - we obviously weren't going to be repeat customers - but they were anyway. My friend went back to Shanghai with great hair, and I went home with a fresh appreciation of Japanese service culture at its best.

  • 0

    cleo

    ghastly place, deep dark inaka, nothing but farmhouses for miles around

    What's ghastly about farmhouses? Way better than nothing but concrete and asphalt. Are you sure it was Kansai Airport? Coz that's on its own little island and the surrounding area is rather wet, not a good place for farms... The excellent service even to people who are likely never to return is one of the things about Japan that I love.

    • Moderator

      Stay on topic please.

  • -2

    Tessa

    The excellent service even to people who are likely never to return is one of the things about Japan that I love.

    Yes this, and the palpable sense of pride that people take in their jobs. It's something that my overseas guests always comment on, with great admiration. (Kansai Airport is connected directly to the mainland, precisely to a down-at-heel city that is currently trying to sell its own name to raise money. My friend was staying in a hotel there. Izumisano City.)

  • -1

    Tessa

    You can pay a lot if you do tons of stuff like brazilian

    Are you talking about the hair on your head?

  • 0

    sidesmile

    Barbers shmarbers. DIY for me. On the other hand, I went to pick up my wife from her salon the other weekend. She drops 20~30,000 everytime and it takes close to 4 hours to do fuctifino what. As I sat there watching the heads of seemingly already perfect hair go in I couldnt help but think to myself....cashcow.

  • 0

    Spanki

    I use a 1000jpy cut place, I like my hair short and simple so they can do it in 10 mins, 15 if having a chat! I think theyre great, i like the vacuum on the head and wet tissue finish! If I wanted my hair in some fancy style then I would probably use a salon but there just isnt any point paying the extra at the moment.

  • 0

    Cos

    Are you talking about the hair on your head?

    I thought you were a woman, Tessa. I guess many dudes have never heard about Brazilian blow out, surely the 1000 yen places don't propose it but 1/4 of Japan has on their heads these days. That's a chemical straightening stuff and no need to do brushing/ironing during 3 months (the ad says) and maybe 1 or 2 months in reality. That costs a few man. Then the girl says "but it's worth it, I save one hour every morning... ".

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