Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ask a Korean! Wiki: Highlights???

Dear Korean,

I was writing because I have been in Korea for a couple of weeks now and I am starting to get some roots. I know that this is a superficial question but I am a high-maintenance girl. I was wondering if there was anywhere that a westerner could get her hair done as in highlights. I don't think that most Korean hair salons have the correct highlighting ingredients for a blonde westerner.

High-Maintenance Foreigner

Dear High-Maintenance Foreigner,

Yeesh, the Korean is glad that he is nowhere near you. The Korean is marrying the Korean Fiancee because she is the ultimate low maintenance woman. (The Korean does not even remember her birthday. She doesn't mind.) Fortunately, he has never needed to dye his hair in his life, and certainly not in Korea. Dyed hair would have incurred extra beating from his teachers.

Readers, where should HMF go? The Korean thinks that hair salons in Apgujeong ought to have the equipment, but he does not have any personal knowledge.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at askakorean@hotmail.com.


  1. The industry standard for doing cosmetology related jobs is much higher in Korea than America involving internships. Honestly I would just look for a recommendation from the locals and go to them with confidence. My mother actually went back to Korea to learn to do hair because of the overall lack of quality salons available on the island in Hawaii. The schooling as with many things Korean is quite demanding and even upon completion you'd still be looking at two (don't quote me one that) years as an intern. A picture is worth a thousand words in any language though. Good luck and hopefully someone familiar with the area can give you a recommendation.

  2. Nearly every place does highlights. I know a great place in Gangnam called, "It's Coo". It's right behind CGV. Young owners and young staff.

  3. I'd recommend Hair and Joy in Hongdae (02-363-4253.) All of the stylists have excellent English and a lot of experience dealing with white hair. I've been going there for over a year and have recommended it to a lot of people. They do really good coloring and try really hard to keep your hair in good condition.

  4. Apgujong is really expensive. There are dozens of great salons near 이대 that are great and affordable

  5. Just watch out that you go to a place they have seen western hair before - my last 'korean hair salon experience' ended really really bad - they demaged my hair pretty bad (it looked like straw), coz they treated it like Asian hair, which is much thicker and stronger~
    good luck!

  6. Most people I know go to the Green Turtle in Itaewon. They are used to foreigners so they should be good.

    Going to most Korean salons is scary because Korean hair is generally pretty similar from person to person. They're not used to dealing with curly, wavy, blonde, brown, red, coarse, thin, etc. Also, when it comes to dyes, All Koreans need to lighten if they are going to another color. If you're blonde, going to brown, you need to darken. I'm no expert, but it's a different chemical. Your average korean salon is not going to have the right dyes for your hair. I've seen some real disasters. Make sure if you're gona get it done, go to someone who can do it right. I don't even bother here, I'm too scared to even try. Not to mention I'm too cheap to maintain.. I'm a low maintenance person...

  7. i went to a Juno Hair salon in my neighborhood (west side of seoul) to get my hair cut and dyed black. it turned out really nice although the intermediary steps had me pretty worried. (they CLEARLY were not used to dealing with non-Asian hair).

    i wouldn't have been up for it if i hadn't had my hair chemically straightened two weeks prior...only so much damage you can do to straight hair, right? o_0

    i'm not sure if the standard is "higher" as jinxtacy said, but they definitely believe in apprenticeships. from what i could gather, the lowest members do the desk, coat check, and beverages/snacks. the next level up handles shampoo/blowdrying/ flat ironing... my shampoo girl also did my dye. the stylists are the only ones who cut and do the final styling.

    my next stop is apgujeong to check out bombhead...heard they do braids and i'm all for avoiding the ghetto (aka, itaewon).

  8. I have thick coarse hair, but it's blondish brown. I went to Juno hair in Ilsan, and the girl was AMAZING at cutting it. She did so good, I trusted her to highlight it later. Well, even though it's not a total disaster, I still have orangish roots for some reason, and I can hardly tell on the rest of my hair that she did anything. A popular teachers board boasts Hair and Joy, which is going to be my next attempt at highlights.

  9. This is very delayed, but my tiny area of Yongin (Dongbaek-dong), had an amazing Aveda salon right there in our village. Joseph Koniak Salon in 호수 마을, ask for Milo! :) (Major bonus, he is super cute!)

    First of all, I wanted my hair trimmed 3 inches MAX, but what did the stylist do? She ended up CHOPPING OFF MY HAIR more than 10 inches (yes, my hair was that long and it's one of the things I treasure most, but it was a total mistake to trust this korean hair stylist). I'm pretty sure she was jealous of the length and condition of my hair. I mean come on, to tell me that my hair is DRY when it looks WAY healthier than hers?!? (and I'm not just saying it because I'm angry, but her hair was actually fried). I have always received compliments on how shiny/healthy/beautiful my hair is, and this is honestly the first time anyone has told me that my hair is dry. I mean that just screams out jealousy doesn't it?
    Second of all, I wanted my hair lightened, and as a so-called 'professional', shouldn't you know to ask the client whether or not they have had their hair treated with color before? Well, she claims to have forgotten to ask me in the beginning, so the color only turned out at the top (where my natural color has grown out) and the rest remained a TOTALLY DIFFERENT COLOR.
    What makes it worse, this was NOT CHEAP! It cost around 140 USD (and that's with the 'VIP' discount that she supposedly gave me). I am definitely NOT IMPRESSED and will NEVER GO BACK. I've talked to my korean friend and she said korean stylists tend to do that (that is, they don't listen to what you want and go with what THEY WANT to do to YOUR HAIR). WISH I HAD BEEN WARNED BEFORE!


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