Several of my friends & blog followers have asked me about having my hair cut & highlighted. I’m not sure you have noticed from my pictures, the color and texture of my hair is very different from the Japanese. Those factors combined with the language barrier, I have been too scared to venture out in town for my cut and highlights. Fortunately, I have access to “little America” aka Yokosuka Naval Base and the Navy Exchange (NEX) Salon is fully staffed with hair stylists and nail technicians. This was my second time having my hair treated at the NEX Salon. The stylist I see for my appointments is Ari (pronounced “Airy”). She is Japanese and speaks very good English. Or at least she speaks very good English about what I want done to my hair. Other than that, we don’t speak.
If you remember back a little over a year ago, I had a wild hair (literally) and thought going red was a good idea. It wasn’t. All the processing really damaged my hair. Not only to go red but, to go back blonde. The ends were a frizzy mess last spring and prompted me to cut my hair. Over the summer, I had even more cut to shape it and help it look healthy again. I can tell it has grown and needed specific shaping at this appointment. I was a little stressed with the thought of trying to communicate this to Ari. It actually went rather well.
I asked for her to cut a little less than an inch off the back and only trim the top layers. I want to make the layers “longer.” “Hai” – “Yes” She continued to say. I also asked for her to weave my highlights a little thicker because it was “too blonde” last time. “Hai”
She was very methodical as she foiled my hair. Once the color was on, she diligently checked the time and the processing speed of the color. I had her complete attention. She didn’t try to “squeeze” in another client. Once my hair was finished processing, she shampooed and massaged my head while the shampoo was in my hair. It felt AMAZING. As I often do when I have my hair shampooed, I thought of my late Aunt Jan. I remember when I was young and she would wash and style my hair. She always said how much she loved to have her hair washed. She would have LOVED to have Ari wash her hair!!
Returning to the chair, Ari asked me if it was ok if she gave me a massage. Is it ok? YES, PLEASE! She massaged my shoulders, neck, head, and temples. Again, absolutely amazing. The part that makes me laugh – she said “thank you” when she finished. Seriously? Thank you!
She trimmed as per my request and then asked if she could straighten my hair. Of course. It is so much easier when you are not familiar with curls.
The whole evolution took about 2.5 hours – partial highlights, shampoo, cut and blowout – for only $105. Seriously. Cheap. Let’s not forget the two massages! I tipped her very nicely!
Oh! And as Holiday special, if you spend over $60 at the salon in December, you receive a FREE straightener ($50 value).  

I laughed and said, “is this a hint the Japanese don’t appreciate my curls?” Haha. Seriously straight and hopefully on the road to healthy.