Tokyo Blond Is Not Porn
Tokyo Blond is not a porn blog, about hair or even, as one pithy friend remarked, a micro beer or late 1980s glam metal band ("Dude, I just saw Skid Row and Tokyo Blond opened and played a killer set").
The purpose of this blog is to chronicle my experiences in Tokyo - poignantly, visually, irreverently - for fun.
Anybody can tag along...that is if I like you. This blog will endeavor to be entertaining and honest and frequent enough to keep those following interested including me.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Yes, I'd Like a Haircut with my Massage
When he handed me his card I'm pretty sure he indicated he wanted me to call to confirm before coming.
Russell tried to do this Friday afternoon. After ten minutes of consternation, Russell hung up in agitation. "Are you sure you made a reservation?" I replied, "Are you sure you did? I guess we'll find out tomorrow."
On Saturday we presented ourselves at the salon. They were all smiles and so were we. They took our coats. They directed us to sit. We did, still not sure we were in. After a few minutes a very nice Japanese guy in his twenties, with great hair, came and took Russell away. He came back a few minutes later and introduced himself as Kazuki and handed me an English version of Vogue. Nice.
Then a few minutes later he came back again and shook my hand. This was encouraging until he began to try to ask me what kind of haircut I wanted. While the handshake gesture was western the speech was not. He didn't speak English very well at all. I was prepared for this and pulled out a hand drawn version of what I wanted my hair to look like. It was a crude rendition. But what the heck, it will grow back, right? He smiled and bowed. I felt he understood.
A few minutes later another very young, very attractive Japanese guy, also with great hair, came and collected me. He took me to the back to where the sinks were. As I walked to the back I noted Russell and I were the only two western people in the salon. I also noted every one was looking at me. I checked to make sure my blouse was buttoned. It was. The young guy gestured to me to sit in the shampoo chair. And wouldn't you know it - the shampoo chair was electric, and automated. Of course it was. No abrupt recline here; just a slow easy repose.
And there, in the automated shampoo chair, in the back of the salon, the very young, very attractive Japanese guy, with the great hair, gave me the best head massage of my life. His hands were warm and slow and experienced, hot towels on my neck were involved, sweet intoxicating scents of product being professionally administered, warm water flowing..... In the process he also washed my hair. My hair, heck my head for that matter, had never been so clean.
He delivered me into the hands of Kazuki. At that point he could pretty much do anything to my hair; the massage alone was worth it. Other than being absolutely straight, my hair is nothing like Japanese hair. It's very, very fine, like baby hair, and it's very, very blonde. And if you make a mistake it shows glaringly. I used to cry every time I got my haircut. But then I finally realized, no matter how bad the butcher job, it does grow back every time. I assumed there wouldn't be any crying this time considering the Japanese perfect everything they do and they all seem to have great hair.
Kazuki did an excellent job. He took his time and was very technical in his approach. The part that was interesting and different than my regular American stylist, who I love, is he was very careful. He assiduously combed my hair out after it was shampooed. When he blew it dry, he was very deliberate and gentle. My American stylist has actually cut my ear with her comb because she was working so fast. The results of his ministrations were comparable to my usual haircut, well, except I don't get an incredible massage in America.
When I was finished Russell had already paid the check. The cost was only twelve dollars more than what I pay in America. I usually pay $60.00 for a cut and blow dry. This cost $72.00 but with a massage. I asked Russell, "What about tipping? Shouldn't we be tipping the shampoo guy?" He reminded me there's no tipping in Japan. "But what about the massage guy, I mean the shampoo guy?"
I looked longingly to the back of the salon. I didn't even get his name......