Thursday, May 3, 2012

My 120% Cool Haircut

20% cooler rainbow dash mlp:fim
It needs to be about twenty
percent cooler.
Now that the weather is turning to summer, it's getting to be time for me to chop my hair off. For years growing up I was terrified of having short hair (traumatic seventh grade haircut), but after college I converted. It's cooler in the summertime, it's easier to wash, and bad hair days aren't as bad if there's half as much there to begin with.

When I worked at Sherlock Academy, I would just trim it myself rather than face the prospect of a haircut in a FOREIGN LANGUAGE.  While I was at Cassandra, I decided to be a grown-up and went with a coworker to a Juno Hair place in Bundang. This time I would be all by myself in Uijeongbu.

I remembered my friend Maddie had a positive experience at 120% Cool Avenue. Conveniently, they just opened a new branch in Uijeongbu's kind of posh new downtown, so I decided it was high time to get rid of my nightmare hair.

I went on May 1, the labor holiday, so it seemed everyone else in town had also decided to get their hair did. 120% Cool Avenue is a salon of the posh variety, with tasteful decorating and complimentary tea and coffee.  The girl informed me it would be an hour wait. I said fine, and I read and sipped my peach tea while I waited.

It seemed that they were waiting for the stylist with the best English, as another woman who came after me was led away to the shampoo station before me, but whatever. I had nothing else planned. A stylist with a slight perm and a pixie cut came over and asked if I wouldn't mind waiting another twenty minutes or so. I said it was fine, really. I had no concept of time as I had been happily lost in my book. Her English was really good and I hoped she would be my stylist.

Not long after that, another girl came and led me to the shampoo station. If I am ever a rich and eccentric old biddy, I will pay someone to shampoo my hair for me the rest of my life. It's just so relaxing to sit back and let someone else wash your hair! Definitely one of the best parts about getting your hair cut. (But when I am a rich and eccentric old biddy, I will still wash myself, I should point out.)

Of course, the wearing-the-ugly-apron-with-your-wet-hair-and-stare-in-the-mirror part is not so nice. I wasn't feeling very attractive after the shampoo girl accompanied to my little station. I took off my glasses to soften the blow and waited for the stylist.

Fortunately for me, it was indeed the English-speaking woman with the wavy pixie 'do. She asked me what I wanted and I explained (bangs trimmed and hair styled back into a bob). She understood right away and got to work, explaining periodically what she was doing and why. Like any good hair dresser she chatted with me a bit, too. She asked where I was from, how long I'd been in Korea, if I was a teacher, if this was my natural hair color, and so forth. She also commented on how wavy my hair is and the streaks of white.

(Aside, I get asked about my natural hair color a lot. I have no idea why, as my hair is really the most typical foreigner hair color ever. Maybe it's because the color doesn't match my very very black eyebrows?)

The end result was perfect and just what I had in mind. The shampoo girl came over to admire her handiwork.

"Wow, you look so young," she said. "Can I ask, how old are you?"

"In Korea? I'm 27. I have a baby face."

The stylist gave a quick translation to the shampoo girl and they both gasped.

"Wow, you really have baby face," my stylist replied. "You look like high school student!"

I laughed and said thanks and took my stylist's card. She actually had ones printed with just her English name (Jennifer) (even in Hangul, the card reads "Jennifer"), and explained that walk-ins are okay but it's probably better to make an appointment.

twenty percent cooler 120% cool avenue haircut uijeongbuI have to echo Maddie's sentiments and recommend 120% Cool Avenue. The number for their downtown location in Uijeongbu is 031-843-8875. Jennifer did a great job with my hair, spoke really good English, and was very communicative throughout the process to make sure I got what I wanted. It's an expensive haircut by Korean standards (W 20,000) but considering what you'd pay at home, totally worth it.


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