Having a Haircut in Korea – a Travel Story


A Korean Haircut

What do you do when you are in a foreign nation exactly where you do not speak the language but you have decided that you definitely need to have to get your hair reduce? When this occurred to me, it all came down to hand gestures and a driver’s license.

I really like lengthy hair. I really like how it appears and I really like how it provides you so a lot of styling solutions. I do not, nevertheless, usually really like lengthy hair on me. Every single now and then I try to develop my hair out and inevitably when it reaches a specific length it gets flat and tangly. In theory there are numerous methods for me to style my lengthy hair, but in reality I’m all thumbs so finish up with just two types: straight and down or up in a plain ponytail.

When I set out on my initial trip about the planet in 2012 my hair was previous my shoulders. I had made use of a drugstore box dye a handful of weeks ahead of to go dark brunette and my hair didn’t like it at all, becoming really brittle and tangly. Rookie error. Box dyes are evil. Now I primarily trust Aveda for my colour.

Mel in Dubrovnik | SuitcaseandHeels.com

The strategy was to commit five days in Croatia, two weeks in South Korea, then three days in Tokyo ahead of circling the globe to come property once more. 3 unique nations, two continents, and a lot more hours spent on dry airplanes than I care to assume about.

On best of solution harm, dealing with my fine hair in a new climate without the need of my usual shampoo (this was ahead of I found GoToobs and decanted my at-property merchandise) or styling tools was driving me to the brink of madness. It was frizzy, but limp. Anytime I attempted to brush, I’d finish up with so a lot broken off hair in my brush that I was worried I was going to go bald.

The wind and saltwater in the course of my days in Croatia didn’t aid matters. I primarily kept my hair in a ponytail for that component of my trip and attempted to lessen the aggravation. I travelled on to South Korea, exactly where following a couple of days, I snapped.

I woke up one particular morning and believed, “I have to get it chopped off right now.” I couldn’t go one particular a lot more day with the tangled, dry mess. A spontaneous haircut would’ve been fine except I was in Korea. Not only that, but I was in a little city in Korea going to my then-boyfriend.

I didn’t speak Korean.

Koren hair salon

That didn’t deter me. I attempted to Google for regional salons but couldn’t actually make heads or tails of the map benefits considering that the location names had been all in Hangul. I did study that you can spot a salon by the spinning barber shop style pole outdoors with a image of a cartoon girl on it.

If you see two striped spinning barber shop poles, hold walking. It is not what you are hunting for. Trust me.

My strategy was to just stroll about Gunsan and hold an eye out for the cartoon girl. Certainly I’d come across one particular. I suppose I could’ve asked one particular of my guy’s female co-workers exactly where they went, but that would’ve been as well uncomplicated.

So a wandering I went.

As I was sitting in Dunkin Donuts in a small outside purchasing complicated obtaining my breakfast I occurred to appear up via a window and bingo! Salon! Effectively, that was uncomplicated.

Just after finishing my sweet potato latte, I tentatively walked inside and saw that there had been two ladies functioning but no buyers. Hmm… sketchy? I decided to go for it anyway considering that I only wanted a uncomplicated bob.

I pulled out my friend’s battered Korean phrasebook and awkwardly stated “ee-bal? 이발?” The two ladies seemed confused so I began miming cutting my hair working with my fingers as scissors. Oddly adequate I had been obtaining a excellent hair day on the day I renewed my driver’s license so I pulled out the card and pointed to it as the instance of the reduce I wanted. They looked at the photo and back at me, nevertheless miming cutting hair with my finger scissors. At some point they figured out what I wanted, smiled and stated, “Ah! ok! Ok!”

Now I was committed. Possibly I should’ve been committed rather. I just sat nevertheless with a little nervous smile plastered on my face whilst they draped me in a cape and began spritzing water on my head. I actually hoped they wouldn’t butcher my hair. I got a bit nervous as a lot more and a lot more hair fell to the floor but it was as well late to alter my thoughts.

Korean haircut

In the finish, it was a excellent reduce, if a small shorter than I wanted and a bit blunt. A slightly angled bob that fell above my shoulders. No a lot more tangles! My head felt so light.

I had neglected to come across out how a lot they charged ahead of I sat down so I was actually pleased when one particular girl rang me up and the total was 10,000W (about $9.30 CAD). This reduce lacked some of the finesse and layering that my guy back property does but it was also about $50 less expensive. I bounced out of there, swinging my hair with a large grin on my face. I felt sassy.

It was a little issue but I was so proud of myself for managing such a pedestrian process in spite of the language barrier. Often it is the little victories that matter when you are traveling abroad. If I can get a haircut in a Korean salon with no English, I can do something!

I assume the ideal assistance I could give for somebody else in the very same scenario is to have a photo of you with the style and length that you want. Subsequent time you get a haircut that you like, take a handful of pictures from unique angles and shop them in your telephone. That way you will have a reference if you are in need to have of a trim whilst overseas.

Have you ever had to take care of anything abroad that you do not assume twice about at property?  How did it go?

A Korean Haircut


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