Great results again. Second time having the Japanese Hair Straightening/Thermal Reconditioning (JHS) done on my hair. Did it previously about two years ago at the same hair salon in Tokyo, Japan.
Why go to Japan to get this done? Well since we were going to Japan anyways, it's the best and cheapest place to have this procedure done! At least half the price! And my regular stylist told me!
My regular salon is Kozo Salon in Costa Mesa, CA and is a owned/run by a Japanese gentleman and all the stylists there are Japanese, trained in Japan and they are all very skilled and talented. My regular stylist told me that JHS done in Japan is so much cheaper because all the Japan salons do that procedure whereas its not as common here, so they charge more here.
My older teen daughter has had the JHS done a couple of times on her long hair by my US stylist with fabulous (shiny, silky, smooth) results, but it cost almost $300 which included shampoo, straightening process, styling & tip and took abour 4-5 hours. Actually, $300 isn't a bad price because I checked around and some salons wanted $500-800+. Other salons quoted less, but I couldn't confirm how skilled or trained they were in this procedure and you definitely want a stylist who has been thoroughly trained unless you want your hair to break and fall off!
Anyways after converting the poor exchange rate for the US dollar to the Japanese yen, the cost for the Tokyo, Japan salon charge was $150 which included wash, cut, straightening, styling. Took about 2.5 hours total and told not to get it wet for 1-2 days. Slight language barrier as they don't speak much English. However, they use a lot of English words like cut, straight perm, shampoo, so it's pretty easy to let them know what you want. They have a printed "menu" of their services and will point out and say what it is and you can see the cost, so there are no surprises at what you'll pay total in the end. Also, no tipping in Japan!
The salon is a large well known chain called Ash Hair Make and the location I went to was in a town named Musashi Sakai, just west of the main Tokyo/Shinjuku area and close to the train station. They do have a website if you want to google it.
They are also pretty careful and analyze your hair thoroughly and check to see that it can handle the JHS and will ask when you had the last chemical or color treatment.
If you've never experienced the Japanese hair salons, the service level is a great experience! My daughter also had the JHS done by Ash salon the previous time with great results for half the price of our US stylist.
In many larger salons in Japan, they charge different rates for various stylists ranging from Director, Top Stylist, Stylist. This time I had a Top Stylist assigned, so maybe if if was a Stylist, the price might be slightly less. Or if it was a small shop with less stylists or just an owner, the price could possibly be around $125.
I tried googling to check out other posts for more touristy Tokyo area (Harajuku) salons that spoke English, but their pricing was much higher, close to $200+ for the straightening alone, so YMMV. I think the smaller shops (and there are a ton of hair salons all over Japan, probably several on each block!) in the smaller towns are priced more competetively for the JHS or have specials like Ash salon did. Most will have their prices posted in their shop windows or on board in front of their shops, so you can see what they charge. I was seeing about $125 for a lot of small shops for cut and JHS, so not too bad.
We were also in Thailand and the local shops advertised JHS there for probably $75-100, but I am a bit leery as I didn't see a lot of postings and feedback and didn't know their skill levels. I've heard that Singapore and China are also possible places to get it done for less than US, but again YMMV on the skill and experience of the stylist!
So, if you happen to go to Japan it might be worth checking out and trying the Japan salon service but do your research first!