To get a haircut in Korea.

Sooin Moon

Once you are here in Korea, it’ll be pretty tough to adjust into this society, especially if you are from somewhere out of Asia, and unprepared. However, you’ll start to be able to make some friends, get along with, hang out in some exotic places, and even go to some other countries nearby, like Japan. As the time flow, you will feel like you can handle living in this country, and the experience totally is not some horrifying thing that you probably have thought of, as you were back in your home, packing and preparing for the worst case scenario. Then, here comes monthly activity that you have to do no matter in what country you are in, which is getting a haircut. For guys, it’s about a month, and for ladies, maybe more than a month, but after that you all need some haircut. Hence, you will start to look for and ask around some good barber shop.

Just as all the other money-spending-activities, the definition of a good haircut would highly depend on some aspects you think is important, which is why I came up with two main points that most people would like to consider while finding a good barber shop.

First, it’s about price. If you want some place that is cheap, and can cut moderately, too, I’d recommend “blue club”. This is one of the cheapest hair salon for male, in Korea. Its main target is a male, who needs only an average haircut and doesn’t like spending much in haircut, hence doesn’t care about anything other than the haircut. The price is, 7,000 won, in average, and considering how most other barbers cost you about 20,000 won, it is really cheap. The result might not be something that you can get from good salons, but is quite acceptable. Personally, I’ve been to one of these franchise, and got a haircut for my military requirement. It was quite nice to get a cut at such cheap price, and didn’t care much about the result as it was a really easy cut. The problem, or to say, the exotic experience you would get, from cheap price, is that you would have to wash yourself, after getting a haircut.

The process will be something like this,

  1. Go into one of the Blue club franchise shop
  2. See if there’s an empty seat, if not, go to the sofa and seat and wait for an empty seat.
  3. Go sit on an empty seat, which most likely, the barber would call you and ask you to seat.
  4. Then tell the barber whatever you want for the style, while keeping in mind that if that is some complex haircut, then you probably won’t get the result as you expect
  5. When done, go to the washing place
  6. Bend over, turn on water, wash yourself.
  7. Get the towel, which most likely is placed on the shelf, above the tap

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The other factor would be quality. Of course, there is top-quality salons in Korea, but I’ll be focusing on somewhat more affordable level of quality salon for average university student. So, for such salon, I suggest “JunoHair”. This place is another franchise, but with some wonder set of high quality service process, which is going to be like this

  1. Go into one of the shop, and they will greet you, and ask if you have made an appointment or if not, you have a barber assigned to you.
  2. Say no, to both question, and then they will ask you to wait, if there’s a lot of people, which will be the most case, and then will ask you to follow one of the staff.
  3. The staff will lead you to a locker room, where you will take off your coat, and wear haircut-wear, on top of your shirt.
  4. Then, you will be led to hair washing quarter
  5. You will be asked to sit on a lying chair, and relax, while the staff begins to wash your hair
  6. He or she, will start to talk to you, depending on how lucky you are or on your personal taste. But in the beginning, the staff will ask if the water is warm enough, and then if you are comfortable. I’d recommend to just say yes, unless you are uncomfortable. Try not to make a joke, as I’ve tried and only got a lesson, that they really don’t care or listen while asking that question, because they already know that it is in good temperature, as I was 30th customer that she washed on that day.
  7. And the BEST part comes. He or she will massage your head while washing your hair, and rest be assured, that will be the most comforting thing that you would experience in that place.
  8. After finished, the staff will ask you to sit up, and then the staff will get a towel, cover your head, and make a turban-ish form
  9. Then, you will be asked to stand up and led to the haircutting seat, though beware of some stairs as most of the hair washing quarters tend to be located slightly above the floor level
  10. At the seat, the barber will ask you what you want. And then he will cut. The result will be quite satisfying.
  11. When, done, they will ask if you want some wax or essence products on your hair, which doesn’t cost you anything, so I usually say yes.
  12. After this, depending on the stylist, you will be asked to get one more wash, or to go to the front desk, to pay.

The cost will be around, 25,000 won, for female haircut. However, when you are a curl, or color your hair, the price will spike right up.

From my experience, I got a male hair curl on the front of my hair, and sides, with a haircut, and the price was about 300,000 won. And, yes, I was stunned, and also yes, I paid and realized that, a good haircut is kind of out of my option, if I want to have more than 2 meals per day. Which, however, as I was so satisfied by the result and the barber, I revisited, and had to eat 1 meal per day for a month. Well, but I have to say, it was a really good result. In my opinion, it’s like wearing a thin, yet a really good looking shirt on a slightly cold weather. You will suffer, but you will be nodding your head whenever you look yourself in the mirror.

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