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Going to the barber, or do it myself?

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Going to the barber, or do it myself?

Postby ThePacster » Sun 10.18.2009 12:12 am

Hey there guys, I'd like to get some opinions from anyone who happens to be living in Japan now or may be familiar with the pricings of barbers there.

I plan on going to Japan next year in the summer, and if things go well I will be studying there for at least two years to finish my degree. And being a college student on a budget, I am plotting, planning, and find anyone ways that I can to cut corners and put a few dollars in my pocket, and a haircut may be one of them.

I am a guy with ethnic (or African American) hair, so I'm sure that is one thing barbers there do not see too often. Not only that, but because of the way I grow my hair it has to be cut in a certain way, not that it is difficult to do, that is somewhat beside the point. What I am more concerned about, however, is the cost of getting a haircut at the barbershop. As far as I can tell reading around, barbers tend to charge around 4,000 yen (about $40) for a haircut, which is pretty expensive considering I usually go twice a month.

I have quite some time until I go to Japan, so I believe I could learn to do it myself, but I wouldn't mind going to the Barbershop if getting a haircut wasn't really that expensive. 2,000 yen would not be so bad, but 4,000 is way too much. :shock:

So what would you guys do? Learn to cut your own hair, or pray to find a Barber that isn't so costly?
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Re: Going to the barber, or do it myself?

Postby burstandbloom » Sun 10.18.2009 1:40 am

Where in Japan? That could be somewhat important, they are everywhere around where I live and since I'm in an area with an international school and students from all over the world there are many small barber shops that I've seen with signs that read, "Foreign Students Welcome" and the price is around 2,000-3,000. I got my hair cut when I got here, but I had a friend do it so I really don't know what its like.
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Re: Going to the barber, or do it myself?

Postby becki_kanou » Sun 10.18.2009 7:13 am

I'd be careful and only go to a barber that has experience with your kind of hair. Most Japanese barbers and stylists aren't familiar with black or white hair and you might end up with a disaster on your head. The first time I went to a Japanese stylist they shampooed my head the way they would for a Japanese person and I got left with a tangled rats' nest that took an hour to undo with a fine tooth comb.

If you're going to be in a big city you should be able to find a stylist who has experience with non-Japanese hair, but otherwise I might think about learning to do it yourself.
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Re: Going to the barber, or do it myself?

Postby Mike Cash » Sun 10.18.2009 7:39 am

With the never-ending Japanese recession we have seen a huge increase in the number of 1,000 yen no-frills barber shops. You take your chances on experiencing firsthand the old "you get what you pay for" maxim, though.

For about 3,000 you can get yourself a pair of electric clippers (with attachments) and do your own tonsorial work at home. I've been doing my own haircuts for the last 10 years. Of course, I'm an old married guy who would still look like crap even with a 10,000 yen haircut, so what the end result looks like really isn't important to me, just so long as it is shorter.
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Re: Going to the barber, or do it myself?

Postby keatonatron » Mon 10.19.2009 1:27 am

If you want something simple (e.g. cutting it all to the same length) the 1,000 yen places are great for a student on a budget.

And if you're really worried about your hair and have specific requests, a good enough barber (er, hair stylist) should be able to work with anything you give them, even if they don't have specific experience with foreign hair. However, it's important to express your concerns before they start, and force them to spend some time feeling your hair and thinking about how it will be different before they do anything to it. If washing it like Becky said will cause problems, wash it yourself right before you come and explain to them that they don't need to do it.

The stylist I always go to has never done foreign hair other than mine... and it was no problem for him the first time, because he's a talented, smart stylist :wink: Although, you really do get what you pay for.... my guy costs 6,000 yen a pop :shock:
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