What is it like to get a haircut in Tokyo?

Did you know that Japanese hairdressers are among the best and most technically skilled hairdressers in the world? In Japan, hairdressers are shown in fashion magazines where they present their skills and the latest haircuts – that’s how popular they are. Maybe you’ve even considered going to a Japanese hairdresser’s salon. But the language barrier is a problem. Do not worry! Today, I would like to introduce a hair salon in Tokyo where all staff speak English.

The “SHINKA” hair salon chain has two branches in Tokyo: one in Azabu-Juban and one in Roppongi. The Roppongi Salon is a 4-minute walk from the exit of Roppongi Station. The salon was actually very easy to find.

This is the entrance on the 2nd floor of a building in a quiet back alley

Since at “SHINKA” all hairdressers are not only technically skilled but also speak English, the hair salon is very popular with foreigners living in Tokyo. 40% to 50% of the guests are foreigners. Out of these, about 30% are tourists!


Meeting Kaori, manager and receptionist of SHINKA, at the entrance

The salon has a natural touch and is bright and beautiful. Here and there, you will see plants and aquariums with small fish and crabs. Right at the entrance, there is even a rabbit barn with a rabbit called “Ururu”! How cute!


Meet Ururu the rabbit!


Professional consultation

Chihiro was my hairdresser for the day. Chihiro had worked as a hairdresser in Japan for years when one day, she decided that she wanted to improve her skills. She went to Great Britain for 2 years to learn more about European hair and new techniques. At that time, she spoke hardly any English at all and had to learn the language first. Wow!! Chihiro is a great, brave woman!


Hair talk with Chihiro

At first, we started with the consultation. Chihiro asked me the usual hairdresser’s questions about my hair structure, the desired length, and hairstyle. But then she asked me: “Are you staying in Japan, or will you go back to Germany any time soon?” What an unusual question! I answered that I would be staying in Japan. Chihiro said: “In that case, I cut your hair so that it looks good when you wash it with Japanese tap water.” People with light hair like me often have a big problem in Japan. After washing my hair with the Japanese soft water, it gets very fluffy and difficult to control. If I were a tourist, Chihiro would cut the hair that it would still look good after returning to Germany and washing it with hard water. Incredible! You won’t have to worry that your new hairstyle will look strange after returning to your home country.


They have iPads with English magazines for you to read

My first Head Spa experience!

This time, I didn’t come just to get my hair cut. I wanted to try the very popular “Head Spa” for the first time. Chihiro had a close look at my scalp and said that she could see small red dots. Red dots can be caused by stress. A “Head Spa” is a mixture of a scalp massage and hair care. That’s perfect for me and everyone who needs some relaxation!


Head Spa: before and after

You could choose between a 20min, 45min, and a 60min Head Spa. The haircut was 6,250Yen and the 45min Head Spa was another 4,400 Yen (without tax). Chihiro explained everything in detail and showed the prices before starting.


This is Eri, washing my hair while giving me a relaxing head massage

I lay down on the shampoo chair. Huh? What’s this? The back of my neck felt warm. The Japanese shampoo chair had a built-in heater! Assistant Eri put a cloth with a nice scent on my eyes. I felt like in heaven!

How did I like my Japanese hair salon experience?

I liked “SHINKA” very much. It was a great experience. I felt that my hair stylist Chihiro understood the shape of my head and type of hair well. The actual result is very nice.

I liked head spa very much, too. An American from Boston was sitting on a chair nearby. I heard her saying: “Today, I wanted to treat myself with something special. That’s why I booked the Head Spa for the first time!” I felt the same. A Head Spa isn’t very cheap, but after the treatment, you feel much more relaxed and awake. For a special occasion, I would definitely recommend a Head Spa (and it’s also a great gift for a friend!).


Summer is real in Tokyo. I wanted a bob hair style with fun short bangs…this is how it turned out!

Why don’t you make a reservation for a Japanese hair salon on your next trip to Japan? You won’t regret it!

SHINKA (Roppongi)

HP: http://shinka.com.au/roppongi-en/
Address: 2F Roppongi Five, 5-18-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel.: 03-5575-6767 (English)

Mon to Fri 11:00 〜 20:30
Sat / Public Holidays 10:30 〜 18:30
Sun / 2nd & 4th Mon Closed

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I was born and raised in Kiel/Germany. When I was 16 I came to Japan for the first time. I fell in love with this beautiful country, so I returned after my university graduation. Since then, I have been living in Tokyo - and I don't plan to change anything about that ;-) My hobbies are taking a stroll around the city, taking photos and drinking coffee.

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