Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Is This a Spa or a Salon? The Magic of Leechard Prohair in Korea

Posted on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 @ 03:31 PM

            South Korea is a country obsessed with appearance. No matter what the occasion, Koreans always dress to impress and make sure their hair and make-up is immaculate, because apparently looking good is even more important than feeling good (I refuse to believe Korean girls legitimately enjoy the feeling of those 5 inch heels). While I do not share the Koreans’ attention to detail when it comes to my own appearance, I luckily was blessed with devastating good looks so it is easy for me to fake it. The chiseled features of James Dean combined with the rippled physique of a Greek god allow me to hold my own against even the suavest Korean gentleman.

            I know I need my hair looking fresh to complete my debonair image and keep the ladies swooning (and by swooning I mean vomiting). Luckily, haircuts in this country are ridiculously cheap, and are an immensely satisfying and enjoyable experience. I go to Leechard in Tanbang-dong (near exit 4 of the Tanbang subway stop) and I seriously cannot see myself going anywhere else for my ear lowering needs.

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            As soon as I walked into the place, I knew immediately that this was a step above your typical barbershop. The entire place is glimmering from the light of massive golden chandeliers hanging overhead, with black satin draped everywhere. There are beautifully framed paintings everywhere (original Monet and Van Gogh’s I’m sure), and polished marble (or at least faux marble) tables for you to sit while you wait.

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            The staff is equally beautiful, and for the most part dress like they are ready for a night of fist pumping at the club instead of a day at work. For the most part, their English proficiency is quite low. I legitimately had a 3-minute awkward interaction with one of the staff, who literally just wanted me to move from the waiting area to my actual haircut chair. Why she did not just point is beyond me (apparently her ASL is as horrific as her English). Luckily, my stylist Seung A has passable English, so with a combination of simple phrases and hand gestures, she knows for the most part what I want. The haircut itself looked perfectly fine, as I am not particularly picky when it comes to my hair. But the extra little perks are really what draw me back in time and time again.

            Before I even sat down in the barber’s chair, I had already been spoiled with a refreshing beverage (the blueberry-ade and lemonade are surprisingly good) and a hand massage. The only issue with the hand massage is that I didn’t really know where to look, since I did not want to just creepily stare at the girl as she kneaded my hand and snapped my fingers. I just looked around and smiled politely at her whenever we happened to make eye contact. Did she probably think I was a super creepy foreigner? Absolutely. Did I care? No. The creepy foreigner vibe is probably the strongest vibe that I project.

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            After the actual haircut, I was led to another room where I was treated to a shampoo session, something that I never actually had experienced back in the States. For this part, I was spared the crippling indecision of where to direct my eyes, but I still had to endure trying to speak a simple Korean conversation with the woman washing my hair. I don’t think they see many foreigners come through, so she seemed legitimately curious about my background.

            As if that were not enough, after the shampoo and hair dry I received a shoulder massage, since clearly my arms were tired after a strenuous half hour of pampering. The entire experience culminated with an unsolicited dollop of hair gel. For the whole kit and caboodle, I paid the grand total of 12,000 won. I felt relaxed, refreshed, and invigorated, not the typical adjectives I would attribute to the after effects of a haircut. Honestly, I get a haircut here more often than back home just because it is just such a pleasurable experience. It is just another way that a man can feel like a king in South Korea.

 

Patrick Sheridan grew up in the quiet suburbs outside of Boston but always knew he wanted to explore the world. Studying abroad in Denmark while attending Elon University did not satisfy this desire, so after graduating in 2012 he decided to join Chungdahm Learning and teach English in South Korea. He loves wandering through the various neighborhoods of his city Daejeon, sampling random back-alley restaurants and attempting to communicate with the locals in his horribly broken Korean. He embraces everything Korean and looks forward to seeing everything South Korea has to offer.

                        Apply here to teach in Korea! 


Tags: Korean culture, life in Korea, haircut in korea

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