I decided my hair was driving me nuts and as women we know the minute that happens you can't get to the salon fast enough. I knew of two people that tried the Aveda salon next to our building that had okay experiences, so I went ahead and made an appointment. Why I was nervous I had no idea - it was a hair cut for crying out loud and if it didn't turn out as I wanted it to, my hair would grow back. I check in at the desk and they said I had to go back outside and downstairs, I thought it was because I wasn't Japanese. I never figured out why, they cut hair upstairs as well. I had a few pictures picked out from a Japanese hair magazine and showed it to my person. I had no idea how much English she could speak. I was showing her layered short cuts, she said 'bob.' I said, 'Yes, but with long layers." as I am touching my hair and trying to show her what I mean.
Another woman then escorted me to the hair washing station and after a lot of gentle adjusting, hot towels and covers she began to massage my scalp - which I thought was just a really nice shampoo. But after 15 minutes or more she applied the shampoo. Bonus. I could now justify the cost of this haircut as it wasn't just a haircut, I also got a massage. Almost a half an hour later she thanked me gracefullyand gave me a little bow, "Arigato." They do that. They thank you for EVERYTHING, even if you should be thanking them for their service. Where can the US get some of that?
Next, the chopping chair. We agreed on a length - don't need to speak Japanese to do that. She finished and yes, I had a 'bob'. I said, "Hmmm, layers? more layers?And again started grabbing the ends of my hair." I imagine I looked a little worried. She brought over another woman for me to explain what I wanted. She said 'Ah, no layers, ah, your hair too thin.' I said, 'Thin? No. Hair thick. Something at the bottom, not straight...texture, long layer...' If I return to the states and don't speak in full sentences, please be patient. So we agreed on something, I don't know what, but she spent another half hour snipping at this angle and that. I was happy, maybe I didn't look like the picture, but we never do.
As I went over my experience with some seasoned expats, they recommended Fabio at another salon. He'll do a fabulous job, speak English and he's easy on the eyes. I'll bring my camera.