I have been getting blonde highlights since I was fifteen and I had no intention of stopping when I moved to Seoul. Those first few months I was so busy just trying to get from point A to point B that I hardly noticed my roots getting embarrassingly long. I will never forget the feeling of looking in the mirror, knowing what needed to be done and having no idea where to start.
After some pointless Google searching and jaw dropping quotes from places I saw advertised, I got a recommendation from a friend. She said I should gosee Lucy at Hair & Joy – she speaks English, is affordable and has a lot of blonde clients – I was sold. I would be lying to say I was not a little nervous. When I finally called, the receptionist gave great directions and it was not difficult to get an appointment so I felt optimistic. With anticipation and a positive attitude, I headed to Hair & Joy and met Lucy for the first time.
For the most part Hair & Joy was exactly like any other salon I have been to – large windows, big plants, overly fashionable stylists and good smelling shampoo – even the magazines were in English. Lucy had trained in London and she could communicate exceptionally well in English. She also had a significant number of Western clients and was not at all intimidated by my massive head of hair. This was not only easier than I had imagined, it was a great experience. Success!
Before leaving the salon my hair was soft and styled and bright and blonde and I was satisfied. Even better, Lucy was FAST. My hair was colored, cut and dry in 2 hours flat. Then the icing on the cake: the whole deal was really affordable at 120,000 KRW.
A year later and blonder than ever, Lucy has officially become a dear friend. Recently she has actually left Hair & Joy and opened her very own salon in Sinchon called Lucy Hair. I visited her new location for the first time last week and it was great. Same Lucy, same services, same prices, but a brand new space and its all hers! I’m happy to be a part of her new business adventure.
Everyone loves to be pampered, and for most, going to a salon is usually a treat. A few hours to yourself to read fashion magazines, get your hair washed and head massaged, and being able to walk out looking better than you came in makes it all the more worthwhile. Living in Seoul is no exception and if you are looking for a salon, rest assured you do have options.
Obviously my personal pick is Lucy Hair in Sinchon. The entire staff speaks English and the space and everything in it is brand new. The prices are mid-range and really reasonable compared to US prices. Lucy told me if you mentioned the code on my blog and can pay in cash she would give you a discount. Hair & Joy in Hongdae is also a great salon that caters to foreigners and is competitively priced with Lucy. I have heard that Johnny, the owner, comes highly recommended by the clientele.
Another recommendation, given by several of my closest girlfriends living here, is Toni & Guy. T&G’s are a global brand with salons all over the world. You have probably seen them on the streets as there are several locations in Seoul. These are definitely more upscale than Lucy Hair and Hair & Joy, but the accolades I have heard seem to make it worth the extra investment. You can expect to pay LA or New York prices at these swanky salons, but you can also expect the best. Ask for Ms. Kim in the Apugjeong location or Sora in Chungdam-dong. The contact info for all of the above is listed below.
Lucy Hair: 02-325-2225 Directions: Line 2 to Sinchon Station take Exit 1. Walk straight ahead until you reach Natuur Ice Cream shop and turn right. Approximately ½ block down on your left is a TWorld building Lucy Hair is on the 2nd floor.
Hair & Joy: 02-363-4253 Directions and more information available on website: www.hairandjoy.com. Located in Hongdae off Line 2 at Hongik University Station Exit 8.
Toni & Guy: There are several locations throughout the Seoul Metro Area, find the one closest to you online at www.toniandguy.com/salon/finder.
For more of Mary’s insights into life in Korea, check out her blog Seoul Companion.