CONTRIBUTED BY JANVIKA SHAH
Rather than inheriting my mother’s beautiful, shiny, smooth hair, I was born with my dad’s wild, unruly, frizzy hair. Throughout grade school, I managed my hair by wearing it in a braid, pony-tail and with the support of a headband, letting it run free on the weekends.
When I was in middle school, my mother convinced me to cut my hair to a pixie-length and then, I just looked like an Arab boy. Finally in high school, my friend tackled her way through my thick curls with a flat iron and voila, I had straight hair that would float gracefully with the wind.
At university, I ventured toward the harsh chemical treatments of relaxers, perms, keratin treatments and Brazilian Blowouts in an effort to manage my hair better.
After maturing a bit and developing a healthy and natural lifestyle, I decided to quit hair treatments and just embrace my curls. I was doing so well until I arrived in Daegu in the midst of summer. The humidity lifted my curls, adding a few inches to my height of frizz. My hair felt heavy and made my head and neck sweat more than it needed to.
I always admire Korean hair on both the males and females. I envy their glossy, tamed, smooth black hair and prefer it to the dyed, bleached or permed hairdos that are also common. My Korean friend and coworker suggested that I try a special treatment at her favorite salon in Sangin.
In August of 2014 I spent four hours in a chair at the hair salon, Flying Scissors, watching my hair transform. First, my hair was shampooed and conditioned. Then, it was blow-dried which resulting in a mind boggling frizzy afro. The hair stylist started sectioning my hair into inch pieces and began applying a solution that reeked of chemicals. After letting it dry under foil and under a heater, my hair was then washed again. The stylist began drying my hair and finally used a flat iron to smooth out some pieces. I thought the process was over; but I was wrong.
After a bathroom break, I returned to my chair for another process of sectioning and applying a more pleasant-smelling solution to my hair. After about fifteen minutes of waiting, my hair went for a final rinse and was then dried with a blow-dryer and flat iron. My curls were gone and instead, I had pin-straight shiny, frizz-free hair. The stylist added a complimentary hair trim for the dead ends.
In the end, I was very pleased with the outcome. The treatment cost 80,000 won. I was instructed not to wet, shampoo or tie my hair for two days after. Life after that treatment became a lot easier. I am low maintenance when it comes to my look so being able to let my hair air dry without any styling was fantastic. Ten months later, I returned to the salon for a re-touch to straighten my curly roots to match the rest of my hair which only cost 54,000 won. The Magic Perm treatments cost anywhere from $200-$400 in the U.S. For those who wish to add a wave to their hair, ask for a Magic Perm not the Magic Straight.
I made a vow to make this my last straightening treatment as I believe the chemicals aren’t good for the body long-term, and I’d like to embrace my natural look. I do miss my curls from time to time. However, I believe that Korea’s Magic Straight formula is not as harsh as other relaxers, and my hair still feels soft after the two treatments. I am now equipped to handle the ultra humid summer to come and am still enjoying the way my hair swishes from side to side as I walk.
The stylists speak very minimal English so if you have specific requests, you should probably look up the phrases before going. I do highly recommend the salon for its price, location, cleanliness and the professionalism of the stylists. I also recommend arriving at 10am when it opens to avoid a wait.
Flying Scissors, Daegu
Address: 185, Sanghwabuk-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, Korea
GPS Coordinates: 35.8133007, 128.54574130000003