Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chops and trims in Korea

I sat in the chair, worried. I watched her closely via the mirror as she dipped her hands into my wet fro and began to part it into sections. If this experience was new to her, she wasn’t letting on. Her movements and slightly flared nostrils indicated she was frustrated with me after our longer than necessary conversation about if I wanted my hair ‘trimmed’or ‘chopped’. Then again, we were having this conversation in broken English/Korean. I still liked this hairdresser.


Split ends finally sorted!
Section, comb, snip. Section, comb, snip. As she worked, I spotted staff in the background watching us. I also spotted them watching my mate Keisha who was next to me. Keisha, being the braver of us two, decided on a big chop. I kept thinking, 'FINALLY, we're getting our hair cut in Korea'.
Before striking gold with Leekaja Hairbis, we had walked into another hairdresser just down the road. Shooo… that can only be termed a complete eyeball experience. When I was called to sit in the chair, I whipped the band from my hair and let my mane burst free. The Korean hairdresser looked at my hair, and according to Tarryn and Keisha, the look on her face was priceless. In a panic, she walked away to her colleague, they discussed a few things in low tones and she came back saying in Korean and English, “No, no, sorry, sorry.” Willing to try anyway, I said in English, “it’s ok! We can try. I will show you.” Show her? Really Nadia? As if I’m skilled in the art of trimming and snipping hair the size of mine. Slightly disheartened, I pulled my hair back into a bun and we left.
The second hairdresser we tried, did not hesitate for a second. Our bags were placed in a locker, coats hung up and we were led to the wash area. My hair was washed and conditioned with a FANTASTIC head massage thrown in. Bless you Korea for that…Bless you. I then got a cut/trim. Even though they didn't moisturize or style my hair after blow-drying it, I don’t fault my hairdresser for this. I reckon she deserves a round of slow clapping considering she was willing to try. Hair-care here in Korea has been a concern for me as an expat. It was exciting to find someone ready to try after I had finally put my nerves and concerns aside.



The lovely Keisha before her big-chop.
Big-chop success!

 
Will I go back? You bet your split ends I will. Both Keisha and I paid 20000won/R200/$20 each for the cut. Should you decide that the time has come to trim/cut/chop, here are their details:

Take the Orange Subway Line to the PNU (Busan National University) stop. Come out exit 3 and turn right. Take your second left into Busandaehak-ro. Leekaja Hairbis is on your right.

Salon details: 413-16, Jangjeon- 3 Dong, Keumjung-Gu, Busan-Si, Korea 
051.583.1060- 1006.

There is a branch opening in Deokcheon! Walk straight out of exit 9, and it’s above the Starbucks.

Do you know of any other places that attempt to cut/trim/treat/style afros in Busan or around Korea? Let me know! 
Nadia