Monday, May 17, 2010

Short Cut

When the weather gets warmer I can't help but desire to get a short hair cut. Finding a hair salon in Korea where you can find someone who knows how to cut naturally curly hair is a challenge.

My first shot was at Eunha BNC in the Ehwa area of Seoul. It wasn't too bad and did it's job, and I went back to that place a second time for a trim. But then I felt like it wasn't the right thing and so I tried their other branch in Gangnam. There the hairdresser seemed to really care about the job and the cut came out pretty well, although still was a bit lacking.

Last summer I got my hair cut back at home in California and since then haven't done anything with my hair. Indeed, my hair was way over its time limit of no-haircut.

Through the wonders of Facebook I found out about a new place called "Zen Art Center" in Ehwa. There were rave reviews about the stylists being trained abroad and giving good haircuts. In the hair-salon business word of mouth is golden.

JH and I showed up on Saturday and I have to say the experience was interesting.
This is what the entrance looks like, because the shop is up on the 5th floor. To find this place was a bit tricky. You can use the website to try and help you.

So let's say you get out of exit 1 of Ewha Subway station. You want to walk up the big main street with all the traffic on it, heading toward the Giordano store. You will pass some shops... just ordinary shops. At the corner of Giordano you turn right and as you go down that alley/hill the entrance is on the left side. Look for the signs "Zen" and you will be able to find it.

If you look on the website the interior pictures of this place makes it look like a clean and fancy place. But after the entrance things start to fall apart. I believe this place is a half salon and half academy. The area where the salon chairs were was kind of dirty and things weren't very neat. For some reason the area where the cash register was had wine bottles on a shelf. I wasn't sure if this place turned into a club after hours.

Let's run through the experience:
I was a little late for my appointment because of traffic and parking. But not dramatically. When I came in it seemed I was the 4th customer and that there were no other people waiting to be served. Several customers were sitting in their chairs waiting for their hair dyeing to be completed and another was getting their hair cut.

We weren't greeted when we came in and had to find someone. When we did they sat us down and told us we had no time to catch a bite to eat. (Because of the big traffic jam we didn't get a chance to grab lunch). I had a snack in the car and so was okay.

My hairdresser came to me and she sat me down in her chair. There she asked me what I wanted. I explained that I wanted a short hair cut and showed her pictures from my last cut back in August (the one in America). I made sure, at that time, to take pictures from all angles so to show my next hairdresser. Here are a few:
As you can see it is layered and cut not too short. I told her to make it more round shape and to give me some short pieces up top that could act like bangs. She agreed with what I said and seemed to understand it all. Everything was spoken in English and her language skills were good. I am guessing that she might even be a Kyopo.

She then took me to get my hair cleaned and I was seated back at the chair. She had to attend to another client's hair dyeing so I waited a little bit.

Then she went into her cutting. After a while I began to notice that she was really cutting way too much off. I didn't say anything, but probably should have before she had gone too far. However, her cutting skills were really good and confident. I have a feeling she didn't really know that my hair curls back a lot when cut short. I guess I should have been a lot more specific on length and talked about my hair more.

After she had pretty much got close to the end of her cutting she let me look at it through a mirror to check the backside. I told her that I think she cut off more than I desired, and she apologized. But I told her it was okay, since the weather was getting warmer anyways.

She asked me how I like to style my hair and I said I usually just put conditioner in and then gel. So she did the same, except did a little blow-dry number on my bangs.

The result:

Actually after wearing the cut for two days now I have become comfortable with its length and style. I think she did a good job,  since there are no mismatching hair lengths.
The whole thing cost just 30,000 Won, which is a good deal in my book! She might have wanted to charge me more but since I complained about the length I think she kept it low. Shoot~ Back in the States the same service would have cost $60!

Eunha BNC vs. Zen: I would say that Eunha BNC definitely plays a more professional role with their sparkling clean salon and massage chairs that are provided when getting your hair washed. But Zen definitely feels like a place that is up to date on styles and is connected to western techniques. I can see the place as popular for getting one's hair dyed or extensions. (That fancy stuff). So I would definitely recommend this salon as a place to try while you are in Korea. I suppose with any hair-cut adventure be way more specific than I was when talking about what you want.

Ok that finishes the hair-cut talk now lets look at the pictures I took while we were in Ehwa.
~Princess Muffin~
A cool snack~
JH found a toy shop where on display were Gundam Models. 
On the way home the sun was setting over the Han river and I tried my best to capture it.
I like the following picture, even though it is out of focus.
So if you know of good place to get your haircut or have been to Zen Art Center, give us your review. :)


  1. I used to go to Zen until about a year ago...I thought they moved/changed names. The old phone number for Zen in Ewha goes to Hair and Joy in Hongdae now. Also, the two stylists most people recommended from Zen (Lucy and Johnny) moved to the Hongdae salon, too. Hair and Joy is really clean and modern and has excellent service. I've recommended them to a lot of people and no one has had a bad experience.

  2. Hmmmm....It's just what you showed her, nothing new! So she did a good job of copying that. What happened w/the foto I sent you with the little fringe coming down a bit on the forehead?
    To do that the layers have to be shorter on top. Looks like your top is long & sweeps to the side! You don't have bangs at all!
    Still too much bare forehead in critical Momz' opinon....but the curly sides look v. nice!


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