Inappropriate Hair Salon Names of Japan

Japanese youngsters always have amazing, beautiful hair. While old men comb their few remaining, greasy strands of hair over their head in a style known as “the bar-code,” and old ladies inexplicably dye clumps of their hair luminous shades of green and purple like septuagenarian Green Day fans, their offspring look like magnificent peacocks.
To maintain these spectacular coiffures, every suburban town seemingly has as many hair salons as houses, and often these salons have unusual names. Unlike western hairdressers, who try to give their shops chic and sophisticated names, usually incorporating a European guy’s name, like “Chez Toni” or “Mario’s” even if they’re run by a bloke called Kev, the Japanese take a refreshingly different approach: just use any English expression you can think of.
This is why you can find places like “Hair Freak” in Chigasaki.

“Step inside, we’ll turn you into a freak.” I’d be a bit disconcerted about going in that salon. I’d be even more worried about visiting the place below, in Yokohama.

“Kamikaze” means “divine wind” which, in this case, presumably refers to the hairdryers. Let’s hope the barber doesn’t stab himself in the stomach with his scissors if he screws up someone’s perm.

Beauty salons at home tend to have pretty, feminine names. Not like the decidedly butch and unladylike “Guts”, in Shimokitazawa. With a name like that, you’d need guts to go inside.

Similarly, “Brains” in Sangenjaya, sounds about as elegant and alluring as a bucket of vomit.

“Triple Napalm Bomb”, in Shibuya, sounds like the customers can expect horrific burns from industrial-strength hair-bleach.

…and the less said about “Burning Blood” in Shimokitazawa the better!

My personal favourite is the grotesque “Hair Slug” in Yokohama, a name which creates all sorts of horrible images in my head. Slimy slugs slithering on my scalp. Urgh! I suppose it’s one way to save money on hair wax.

Well, even though these names are weird, at least they didn’t go for the tired old cheesy puns that I’ve seen at home, like “Hairs Looking at You, Kid” and “Curl Up and Dye.”

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54 Responses to Inappropriate Hair Salon Names of Japan

  1. Jon says:

    There is a salon in Otawara, Tochigi that is called Mannish.

  2. roaf says:

    I suppose they corner the tomboy market.

  3. Unpech says:

    Back home in L.A. (actually Gardena to be preceise), there is a salon called “Hairoshima”.

  4. Chris B says:

    Permasaki would be a good name for their next branch.

  5. roaf says:

    Wow, Hairoshima is crazier than anything I’ve seen! I’d imagine your hair falls out after going there.

  6. Jon says:

    Hairoshima seems like a completely inappropriate name. Kind of insensitive.

  7. roaf says:

    Yeah, you’re probably right. Unless it’s run by someone from that city.
    I was surprised to see a place called Kamikaze in Japan, too.

  8. ramblingsofaculturefreak says:

    In Tsukuba we have also Hair Freaks and Santa Hair Style. I believe the Santa one must be full during the xmas seaon.

  9. Chris B says:

    Jon-boy,
    Relax it’s just a frikin name.
    Are you one of those people that thinks we shouldn’t have Christmas tree’s in shopping malls cuz some non believer might be offended?

    It’s a free world, so be happy your livin’ in it!

  10. nick says:

    still if u went to japan and saw one called perm harbor u’d be miffed, at least alot of people would

  11. roaf says:

    Haha! Perm Harbor. That’s good!

  12. Chris B says:

    Not me,
    I went to the Arizona memorial and was one of the only Americans that day while 100 Japanese were laughing and taking pictures and having a good ole time standing on the watery grave of 1200 Americans. It stung, but I learned a lesson that day.

    The war is over so move the f___ on!!

  13. clarkebruce says:

    Bar code = classic.

    Here it’s known as the humble comb-over.

  14. roaf says:

    Yeah, same in England. It’s sometimes called “the Bobby Charlton”, too, after the football player who had that dodgy haircut.

  15. Japanese Hair Salon Names

    I usually get my hair cut at “Rabbit” or “King”, but Gaijin Tonic has found some even more unusual names for Japanese hair salons including “Guts” and “Slug”. On the topic of hair, who here goes to a “fast-food” barbershop where they have abo…

  16. dragonlife says:

    The name SLUG might sound slimy perhaps beacuse the prices are expensive by Shizuoka standards!

  17. Deas says:

    We have a chain here in Ehime called But’s Hair Japan. Sounds too close to “Butt’s Hair” to attract any foreign clientele. That and it once gave a female friend of mine an excellent 80’s-retro mullet.

  18. roaf says:

    Yeah, Robert Gilles, that is expensive- I hadn’t noticed. I always go to the 1000 yen place. in my local station.

    Deas- I always get given a mullet, too! Probably because I’m only paying 1000 yen.

    A friend of mine who doesn’t speak Japanese once used his fingers to gesture that he only wanted a little bit taken off his long locks, but they though he was showing them how short he wanted his hair, and they shaved his head!

  19. Jon says:

    Ok Chris B. Names are just names. KKK salon would be a good name too. Black should not get offended. It’s just a name.

  20. Jon says:

    I guess you’re right. I shouldn’t get woked up over 200,000 people getting incinerated. I need to relax.

    I think I will open a salon called Halocaust Hair.

  21. Chris B says:

    Listen Jon, If you ever come round my parts ,stop by for a BBQ. I’ll invite Mr.Fujishima (my next door neighbor) who lost his father and older brother in Hiroshima and he can tell you what he told me. ” too many wasted young lives on both sides”. He loves American style Burgers so bring them if you stop by!!

    If you think KKK is a winner and the local city council gives you a permit? Go ahead!!

    By the way, The fire bombings of Tokyo on March 9/10 1945, killed more civilians than any bomb or bombing in History. So if it were me I’d name my shop something like:

    “Tokyo’s on Fire”

    Ever been to Gas Panic? Do you know how it got its name?

  22. roaf says:

    Whoah, I’m staying out of this debate. Never thought a post about hairdressers would generate these kind of responses.
    I have to say that argueing about World War 2 through the medium of hair-related puns is frankly surreal.

  23. Chris B says:

    I tend to think God put thinned skinned people on this planet for my personal enjoyment 🙂
    That said…
    sorry for semi-hijacking the thread.

  24. roaf says:

    No problemo! Have you ever read LetsJapan.org ? It’s full of entertaining arguments.

  25. Jon says:

    I feel the same way Chris B. I was half joking with my original comment. My conclusion was that you were making a big deal so I played along with my KKK salaon jokes.

    Obviously you missed it. Oh well.

  26. Chris B says:

    “Hairoshima seems like a completely inappropriate name. Kind of insensitive.”

    “Ok Chris B. Names are just names. KKK salon would be a good name too. Black should not get offended. It’s just a name.”

    “I guess you’re right. I shouldn’t get woked up over 200,000 people getting incinerated. I need to relax.

    I think I will open a salon called Halocaust Hair.”

    O.K. Jon-boy 😉

  27. nick says:

    maybe hair salons are gonna be he reason for another worl war….
    reminds me that in ‘hitch hikers guide to the galaxy’ shoe shops are the reson for the death of the human race, anyone know what i’m on about? If u don’t u gotta read that book, it’s pure gold

  28. Jon says:

    Your welcome Chris Boy.

  29. roaf says:

    Yeah, Nick, I love Hitchhiker’s Guide. It’s a classic!

  30. Chris says:

    In Chicago, I had my hair cut at a place called “Curl Up and Dye.”

  31. sarahachapman says:

    I have just launched a photoblog about hairdressing salons with punny names in the UK: http://justteasing.wordpress.com

  32. Howard Reams says:

    With your permission I would like to enter these names at the nameyoursalon.com website

  33. roaf says:

    Yeah, sure, go ahead!

  34. mini says:

    I am visiting tokyo in feb and I want to get my hair styled in japan at the salon called shima. I called up today and to my amazement NO ONE at the salon spoke a word of english. I spoke in the most basic of basic english to try and get my appointment booked. Can anyone help….or suggest any ideas? I do not speak a word of Japanese..
    thanks

  35. roaf says:

    Yeah, most people in Japan don’t speak English.
    But, from my experience, you can just go to hair stylists on weekdays without an appointment here.
    Maybe you could just go there to make a booking a couple of days before you want the appointment.
    (I might be wrong, though, if it’s really famous!)
    I’d bring a picture of what you want if you can’t speak English, though. I’ve heard of some hair disasters happening because of misunderstandings!

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  41. Adam Rotmil says:

    These are hilarious! Well, I live in Japan and my wife runs a salon, so I admit, I have a little bias. When I first moved to Japan though, before we met, I saw hair salons with names like “rough” and of course “ten minutes just cut” (yeah, not that relaxing or appealing). Maybe it’s supposed to be fashionable. But seriously I’ve never seen any salons with names as wild as these. Thanks for taking the photos! I love how companies try to integrate some English into their names, because, you know, it’s supposed to be cool. (Any votes on “Oasis hair and relaxation”?) I thought it was cool, but honestly I don’t like the band, never really did, and it always reminds me of that. Anyway, Japan, seriously, don’t ever change. You’re perfect with all your little funny things. you know lol? — well I created oij, only-in-Japan.

  42. roaf says:

    Thanks! I’ve spotted a couple more weird salons lately. I’ll have to go and photograph those too!
    “Oasis” is perfectly normal, but I guess it does sound like she specializes in Liam Gallagher haircuts!

  43. Adam Rotmil says:

    Oh good! This sign-up thing actually worked — so I got your reply in my email. Yeah, there was this site called Engrish (maybe still is) and it’s funny but it has just one particular angle, usually a pun on sex. As you know, there’s actually so much more whacked out stuff! Like “this is a donut and we sincerely hope you will choose it.” //cry with love//
    Anyway, not so much by way of Liam Gallagher styles, but there is a striking relationship with the hosts of the host clubs. Wow! They have to get a hair style every day before work. And from my POV, these look like very feminine hairstyles. People say, oh no man, it’s totally cool for men to get a perm and bleaching, all good. One day, I was like, oh hey, sounds fun, check it out I just got my nails done! Lol — Well that was the end of that, but I gotta admit, they do a good job. I thought this was what people do in Manhattan these days? Ah, whatever. The Manhattan I know is about Katz’s deli and John’s pizza (no slices!). I’m really glad to have found your site, psyched actually. Man it can get a bit isolated in the countryside, despite the many merits.

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    Duckweed Salon in Sapporo… haha!!

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