The thought of doing everyday things in a foreign country where you cannot speak the language can be quite frightening. For instance thoughts of where to find a reliable dentist or how to open up a foreign bank account can become quite stressful. Being a woman, doing my hair was on the top of my list of worries and priorities! When I became a teacher in Korea I was especially concerned of the salons in Korea since most people have black or brown hair. Horrifying thoughts of bright orange hair cluttered my brain from terrifying stories of other traveling buddies who had hair disasters in Asia.
Finding decent foreign hairdressers in Korea is pretty difficult, especially one who knows how to cut foreigners' hair. Although cutting is important, it becomes the least of your worries when you need to take care of those outgrown roots or the re-dyeing of your tops and ends. Even for men, cutting can become a problem since finding a hairdresser who doesn't cut your hair 'K-pop' style is taxing. The best advice any foreigner living in Korea will give you for finding a decent hairdresser, is to go on word of mouth and searching the internet and Facebook foreign communities. I have spoken to some foreigners who have suggested the top 2 salons in Seoul and the top salon in Busan to help you out with all your hairdressing needs and worries.
1. Lucy Hair (Sinchon, Seoul)
Lucy Hair is a very popular foreign hairdresser in Sinchon, Seoul. It is located on the green line at Sinchon station, next to the Hongkik University stop within 3 minutes walking distance from exit 1. Lucy, the owner, lived in the U.K. for some time while working for world-renowned Tony and Guy hair salon. From this experience she became an expert at cutting and styling foreign hair. But most importantly, majority of her clients are blondes. Lucy is known for being very good with blonde-coloring and highlighting and from my own experience she has retouched and done my highlights better than her Western competitors. Lucy is also surrounded by brilliant stylists who have cut friends of mine, men and women’s hair, and they have been greatly satisfied and have returned on numerous occasions. Lucy Hair is a bit more pricey than Korean hairdressers, but you can never go wrong with her and it is worth the travel for people who live outside of Seoul. Make sure to book at least two weeks in advance if you need to go in on the weekend.
Phone Number: 02-325-2225. Directions: Line 2 to Sinchon Station take Exit 1. Walk straight ahead until you reach Natuur Ice Cream shop and turn right. Approximately ½ block down on your left is a T-World building Lucy Hair is on the 2nd floor.
2. Hair and Joy (Hongdae, Seoul)
Hair and Joy is another highly recommended hair salon in Hongdae, Seoul. Like Lucy Hair, they are bilingual and have hairdressers who have gained experience working at Tony & Guy and Vidal Sassoon both in Korea and abroad. What I have heard is that the owner, Johnny, is very friendly and extremely welcoming to foreigners. Their prices are very competitive with Lucy Hair, and I have heard that Hair and Joy's clientele is very satisfied with their unique styles and coloring. A really good friend of mine has been using Hair and Joy for the past two years and she is very happy with their service, including her cuts and dark hair coloring appointments. Hair and Joy is easy to find at Hongkik University station near exit 8 on Line 2.
Phone Number: 02-363-4253. Directions and more information available on website: www.hairandjoy.com. Located in Hongdae off Line 2 at Hongik University Station Exit 8.
3. Two Two Hair Salon (Haeundae, Busan)
Two Two Hair Salon is located in Haeundae, Busan and according to good sources it has had more than 30 years of experience in the hairdressing industry . This salon is famous for curing damaged hair and has fluent English speaking stylists who are very helpful. A friend of mine said she got her hair cured with a special traditional Korean mask treatment and afterward her hair felt almost fully repaired and less dried out from the long Korean winter.
It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people. After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on teaching in Korea!