I always change up my hair at least once every two-three months. It’s just something that I’m used to doing. Wigs, braids, hair dye, etc. But over these last few months I’ve been really trying to grow my hair out. Not necessarily because I want long hair but because due to years of neglect, the health of my hair and scalp had steadily declined. I was wearing a wig for a little while when I first arrived, however towards the end of the first six months I noticed it was wearing away at my hair line. Thus I opted for braids and that was going good for a while but eventually I got tired of the constant undoing and redoing.
Then I slowly started to realize that the constant braids are causing my ends to become split. So I came to the realization in June that maybe it’s time to just let my hair breath… at least for a little while. After all I haven’t worn my hair out in it’s natural state for a while due to terrible insecurities but now I think I’m ready to try again. So I took it upon myself to start searching for a place (in Tokyo obviously) that does afro hair. Which was an ordeal. As I’ve said before many salons in Japan are pretty expensive and most salons that say “foreigner friendly” they don’t typically mean black people friendly. It’s heart breaking I know, but again there just aren’t that many of us in Japan to make a difference.
However thanks to some good suggestions I landed on Hayato Tokyo a smallish hair salon in Roppongi. It was much more high class than I expected and I was pretty nervous since everyone seemed shocked to see me despite making an appointment three weeks ago. I was also nervous because the woman I originally asked for had left the salon permanently, she apparently did the relaxers, sew ins, extensions, etc for all their customers of color. So I had to have someone else cut my hair.
I didn’t take any pictures just because I was really nervous about receiving a bad haircut. Despite all my initial fears, everyone in the shop was very friendly. My hair dresser Naoya, was very competent and spoke perfect English. Which was comforting since I didn’t want my hair to get messed up due to misinterpretation. I think a majority of the staff spoke at least basic English. Their prices are a bit high compared to American prices 7,000 yen for a hair cut but I say the expense was worth it. The atmosphere was really relaxing, good music, drinks, and a decent massage at the end of your session.
*If you go to Hayato, tell them I referred you so you can get a mini discount*