The Blue Hostess. Host and hostess hair in Kabukicho.

After an exhausting and crazy two and a half weeks, I’m back home..and have AT LEAST 2 weeks worth of posts to unfurl. Stores and brands I discovered, fab people I met, bands I saw, adventures I and my friends had, trends I noticed, helpful stuff about Japan and Shinjuku to share….

But for now I want to share something I had on my list to do, that I didn’t attempt til my last night. Living in the heart of Kabukicho, you can’t but notice all the hosts and hostesses around the streets, and indeed see the clubs themselves everywhere.

The males especially, strut around the place like peacocks in their natty shiny suits and pointy crocodile shoes, usually with mobile phone glued to ear. Note the plumage, as David Attenborough might say; the carefully tufted style is the work of experts. I told these dudes how good they looked, and they were happy to pose for me 🙂

This subject needs a post all on its own, actually; the entertainment district has within it many businesses that cater almost entirely to the host/hostess industry, which are not always obvious to the casual observer. For the clubs to run and their staff to look impeccable, there is a mountain of behind-the-scenes services.

Such as 24 hour hair salons, where those divine looking gals and guys go to get their hair perfected.

I had this crazy notion to front up to a salon and see if I could get my hair done hostess stylee.

Getting my hair washed and blow dried was a necessity anyway, since getting blue hair dye all over the hotel bathroom wasn’t something I wished to repeat.

So on my last night I ventured out and saw a sign indicating a salon on the 2nd floor. In Tokyo you have to look up, as most things are on upper floors, and you’ll miss a lot if you don’t!

I take a deep breath, a bit nervous. A blue-haired gaijin coming into a Kabukicho hair salon isn’t something that happens everyday, I expect, and I’m not sure if I’ll just get stares and total incomprehension.

I walk up the stairs and after excusing myself with “sumimasen”, I ask for a shampoo and blow-dry. Sadly, I discover that this place only does hair sets, not having basins etc.  I turn away, a little dejected, and head down the stairs. As I walk down the road I hear footsteps running after me.  I turn around, and one of the girls indicates she’ll show me where I CAN get my hair washed and done. Relief!

Not only that, she walks me there herself…to another salon on the 2nd floor that I may not have found on my own. We walk in, and everyone smiles and seems to think my hair is cool. Even better, I end up with 3 cute guys working on my hair!

Long-haired Ryo is assigned to wash my hair…and it turns out he lived in Australia for 3 years, in Queensland and Western Australia.  So his English is good, and we chat about barbecues, the Barrier Reef and Ningaloo, as I get a great head massage.

Ryo asks me what style I would like and shows me a few magazines. I opt for wavy curls with high hair at the back.  After blow-drying, another 2 guys intermittently help out – teasing the crown of my hair high, using curling irons for the ringlets and so on. It was hairsprayed to within an inch if its life, I tell you 🙂

I decide a few in-process snaps would be cool..and here they are.

Of course, the guys had to ham it up for the photos.
And the result?
When they finished, it was 10pm..and the place was packed, as you can just see on the left below. But they had hours to go of their shift yet; the place runs 24/7 on the weekend.
And all for 3,000 yen…or less than $40. Thanks Ryo! I was now ready to continue getting ready for Midnight Mess…but that’s another post…so that’s all for now.

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Comments

  1. Love the hair; you look great.

  2. Very cool!

  3. Hey, nice cut!
    The hostess with the mostest!
    I must confess I always go to the 1000yen place on the station platform for a hair cut.
    Hey, check out the names of these hair salons I've spotted over the years:
    http://gaijintonic.com/2008/01/23/curious-hair-salon-names/

  4. I LOVE your hair, I can just picture in an Ageha shoot! I totally loved the story behind it too, it sounds like you had such a great time <3

  5. Siouxsie and Steph – thanks!! It's very different and girly for me…but not something I'll be doing all the time 🙂

    Chris – your post was really funny! I've enjoyed your blog for a while but missed that post.

    Violet – hehe, they had Ageha in the salon, and yes, it is quite hime with the high crown, eh? Thanks for reading; it was a hoot, once I got over my nerves.

  6. OMG you looked like you had so much fun with your guys! My ladies are nice, but not as fun as these guys looked.

    Was your place FAN? I need to track that down! I'd love someone else to wash AND do my hair. It's so nice to not have to do even simple things sometimes 😀

  7. It was the sister salon to Fam…I did get the card but don't have it right now (will have to look through all my Japanese boxes). I will defo find out and let you know! I may have to return to Fam and ask them again. Of course, I'd love to go back there 🙂

  8. Wow, which salon is it?**

    • Ooh, I’d have to go through my pics to look it up and explain where it is, as I can’t remember the name. I did go back a trip after this, but Ryo wasn’t there then 🙁 I can’t believe this was over a year ago now.