Well, in case you’ve also stumbled your way here from the Tripzilla link, you might wanna know that there’s a SEOUL EATS PART 2.
Other than eating at my fave places when in Seoul, I also like chilling with friends at MAKGEOLLI BARS, so check ’em out too. And, you can click HERE for ways to drink soju and beer the Korean way *BURPS!*
Of course, the vacay life in Seoul is not all about eating well and making merry, ya? I know many of us girls also like to check out how come the Korean beauty rituals and secrets when we’re there, ya? I know this for a fact coz one of the most popular reads on my blog is THE POST ON EYEBROW TATTOO OR EMBROIDERY.
But but but… if there’s one thing that I’d recommend for a Seoul trip, then it’s gotta be an outing to the hair salons there.
I’m someone who really really really hates visiting the hair salon. In fact, i even dislike fussing over my hair on a daily basis. This is also why I tend to stick to the most fuss-free of style, wash-and-wear is the best for me.
But even for someone like me, a trip out to the Korean hair salon is not as painful! They do it quite differently, so the experience is quite unlike what we’re used to here in Singapore.
Most would have a locker system. So you get to put your barang-barang into a numbered locker and they’d pass you a key with the locker number for your own safekeeping. This way you don’t have to lug around your stuff when you go for wash, or be worried about someone stealing your stuff or whatsoever.
And instead of just wrapping those funny cape-stuff over you, most Korean hair salons will actually help you into a very thin, waterproof salon robe.
Their techniques and equipment also look somewhat different from what we have back home. And this could be completely groundless, but I kindda think their techniques and products are better, coz hair doesn’t seem to look or feel that dry and damaged.
Quite a few of the Korean hair salons also have a large communal table at the centre or tables lined along the windows so that patrons can hang around and make themselves comfortable whilst waiting for whatever magic to take place in their towel-wrapped heads. If you’ve gone with a friend, it’s also nice to sit together to catch up as you wait for the chemical to take effect on your hair for 10 or 20 minutes. Or if you’re alone, you can always flip through the magazines, surf the net or just sip tea.
Very relaxing and very chill sessions, hair salons over there in Seoul. Unlike in Singapore, where it can get quite busy, noisy and yes, annoying.
And oh, as though the fact that the salons can do a fantabulous job of styling your hair ain’t exciting enough, you might wanna know that prices tend to be lower too!
The Korean hair salons here in Singapore tend to be pricey, but you can rest assured that prices in Seoul are very reasonable. In fact, even comparable to those non-Korean salons here in Singapore.
They’re quite transparent with their charges, usually listed in some boards or service menus. And you can, in fact, you SHOULD ask.
My experience with all that I’d gone to is that they will actually take care to inform you when a service requires extra charges and ask if you’d like to go ahead before they do.
Now I would imagine that for those of you who can’t speak Korean, the biggest worry would be the communication with the hairstylists. Well, to be safe, you can always use those that have English speaking staff like JUNO HAIR, which is a famous chain with many branches all over Seoul, including MyeongDong, Edae and Gangnam.
Many in Myeongdong and Edae would be familiar with foreigners by now, what with the influx of foreign holidaymakers and Kpop fans, so basic communication in broken English should work.
Even if all else fails, fret not!
If you have something in mind, just bring along photos of the style and show it to them. They’re quick and very good at what they do, and would be able to let you if that’s something they can do for you and how much. Most of them would have look-books or iPads loaded with many, many hairstyles so you can browse through and pick out what you like.
Anyway, body language is universal, remember?
And I recommend that you try the Korean fringe, the Korean perm… and their treatment’s fab too!
JUNO HAIR SALON
I’d mentioned Juno earlier. I believe they have English-speaking staff in most of their branches with high foreigner footfall. There’s also quite a number of bloggers who have shared their Juno experience.
You can check out LITTLEBOWGIRL’s BLOG POSTS too, she has gone to the same stylist at one Juno branch a couple of times, and has been more than satisfied each time.
Personally, I’ve also had friends who had used Juno and are happy with the results. Their only ‘complaint’ is that Juno’s prices are higher than the other salons.
CECICA HAIR SALON
Edae is an area in Seoul. It’s short for Ehwa Women’s University, coz the uni is there. This area is famous for the bustling shopping scene. Coz of the competition and also coz of the profile of the shoppers there, there are quite a number of good hair salons there too. So you can also check out Edae to find something you like.
(Updated: They apparently have an outlet in Singapore now wor… Prices are still significantly cheaper in Seoul though.)
It’s a really cool looking salon, although the setup is somewhat different from the other salons I had been to in Seoul, The decor here is loads edgier, but the staff’s warm and friendly. I remember they have one or two staff who can speak simple English.
They apparently have like six or branches in Seoul, but the MyeongDong outlet is their headquarter. If you visit their website (all in Korean), the first number you see if the MyeongDong one, just call and make an appointment. And yes, better make coz that outlet’s pretty popular.
Hee, as far as I can remember from the visits in the past few years, they’re always having some sort of (very attractive!) promos happening, so don’t miss out! The nice thing is they charge the same prices whether you have short or long hair.
You can get there via Exits 1 or 2 at Myeong Dong subway station. This is opposite Uniqlo, and yup, where my fave Two-Two Chicken outlet is, hee! Kimbap Cheonguk and Isaac Toast are also on this side of the station.
Exit 1 or 2?
Either one is fine, but I’d recommend you take the exit with the escalator, haha! Anyway, once you’re up on street level via Exits 1 or 2, you should be able to see Pacific Hotel right in front of you. Facing Pacific Hotel, turn left and just keep walking until you come to the hair salon.
And… if you’re a enthusiast of all things Korean, then you might already be following blogger Shanna. You might also wanna check out her blog post on Korean hair salons HERE.
So now, go go go!