Japanese Beauty Survival Guide: Have a Good Hair Day

July 5th, 2013By Category: Starting in Japan


For ladies new and old to Japan, hair is kind of a thing here. The ongoing battle against frizz, color damage, trying new products… it can be a real drag.

If you don’t speak Japanese, going to the salon in Japan for the first time is freaking stressful. Will he cut too much off? Is she going to fry my hair? And if you have bangs and need ongoing maintenance… you might do something stupid and try and cut them yourself.

Fear not my lovelies. Here are a few helpful phrases, locally approved, and a few tested by yours truly.

Learn from stupid.

Learn from stupid.

Do I need to make an appointment?
Yoyaku wa hitsuyo desu ka?

Can you make my hair look like this? [Show a picture…]
Watashi no kaminoke o koulu fuuni shite morae masu ka?

My hair hates me!  I say this a lot, but apparently the direct translation is not natural.
Watashi no kami wa watashi no koto wo kiratteiru. わたしの髪は私の事を嫌っている。

The more natural expression would be:

Watashi no kami wa omoidori ni naranai. 私の髪は思い通りにならない。
This roughly translates to, “My hair won’t do as I say.”

Straight perm = ストレートパーマ

Straight perm = ストレートパーマ

My hair is stupid.
Watashi no kami wa baka mitai.

Why can’t my hair look like yours? 
Nande watashi no kami wa anato no kami mitai ni naranai no?

I’d like my hair…
…cutkatto … カット
…shampooedshanpuu … シャンプー
… permedpaama … パーマ
… coloredkaraaringu … カラーリング
…blown-outburoo … ブロー

A girl can dream...

A girl can dream…

Lightermotto akaruku … もっとあかるく
Darkermotto koku … もっとこく
Reddermotto akaku … もっとあかく
Brownermotto chairo ni … もっとちゃいろく

My hair is naturally wavy—it won’t blow-dry straight.
Watashi no kaminoke wa weebu gakatte irunode sutoreeto ni wa buroo dekimasen.

Once you have found your new salon soul mate, you can get a little more casual (at least with Sato-san at Courreges Salon I can). Use the following at your own risk.

For Halloween perhaps?

I’d like my hair to look like a hooker, please.
Watashi wa baishunfu mitai na kamigata ni shite kudasai. 私は売春婦みたいな髪形にして下さい。

And, the classic:

Watashi no kami wa daikirai! 私の髪は大嫌い!


Translated: I effing hate my hair!

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Author of this article

Cynthia Popper

Writer/model/actor by day, English teacher by night. When she’s not stalking beauty trends or giving model advice on her blog, she can usually be found in the Shimokita thrift shops or eating more than a reasonable amount of green tea Galbo minis.

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