Since I’m no longer back home, I can’t go to my favorite hairdresser, who has been doing my hair for eight years! Seriously, she is the best. Now that I’m living abroad, I knew I would have to get my hair done at some point. After almost 7 months of growing out my hair since my cut back home, I decided to get a trim and chose to invest in a magic straight in Korea. This is a process that I’ve been considering, (even before moving here!) but I wanted to make sure that I went somewhere with a great reputation. Korea is known for its many beauty products and services and magic straight is just one of the popular options that are available.
In Korea, many foreigners choose to go to a salon that also specializes in foreigner hair, because we tend to have more frizzy, course, and completely different hair. I’ve been researching salons for a while. I decided to go to Born Style in Gwangju, a city which is a little over 2 hours away from us. The owner and main stylist, Michael Lee, is excellent. I’ve been reading reviews, talking to other foreigners that I know, and looking at his portfolio pictures for a couple of months now.
I visited Michael yesterday for a cut and magic straight. We talked as he took a look at my hair. He told me he almost always recommends to also add some volume to the bottom of the hair, so it’s not completely stick straight with no body. This made sense to me, plus I knew I would sometimes miss a bit of curl or wave, so I agreed. I also wanted to go with his recommendation no matter what, because he does this every day. So, I ended up getting a magic straight perm with an additional volume perm on the bottom with just a slight curl/wave.
I was prepared to be at the salon forever. I’d read most people spend 3-4 hours total. I was there just under 4.5 hours. I was not surprised at all that it took this long because my hair so so thick! First, my hair was washed, conditioned, rinsed, and cut. Then I went through about 3-4 applications of chemicals with a mixture of some drying processes in between. Then, my hair was washed and rinsed again. After, more chemicals were very carefully applied to each small section of hair. If you know how thick my hair is, you can imagine how long this took. My hair was then washed and rinsed again.
Next, I was set below this octopus-type machine which is used to add curl. A small bit of curl was added to the ends of my hair. The curls were only heated for a few moments and then released. Then, very slowly, each small section of hair was straightened slowly with a straightener. After this, a neutralizer was added to my hair. I was then washed and rinsed again. Finally, Michael blew my hair dry, added some product, and showed me how to do my hair each day. He was really good about giving me tips on how to best take care of my hair, as it will be completely different than the hair I naturally have!
So what did a magic straight in Korea cost me? Going into this, I wasn’t concerned about price at all. I had read some women get this done, with a cut included, for as low as 60,000-80,000 won, or $55-$75. It was more important to me to find a good salon as I want this to last and I want it to turn out well! I ended up paying 180,000 won for the treatment, since I had straight and a little curl, and a cut. This ends up being about $165. As my hair grows out, it will be cheaper to do touch up treatments. To me, $165 is an amazing deal. I spent 4.5 hours at the salon! From a quick search online, it looks like this can easily cost $400-$500 in the United States.
I can’t wash my hair for three days. I must admit, I’m nervous to wash! I guess I’m afraid that it won’t last in my hair for some reason, as I normally have such wavy and thick hair! I’m extremely happy with the results so far and I loved my experience at Born Style. I will have to check in with updates to see how I continue to feel about this big hair change! Right now, my hair feels so much lighter and I feel I look so much different! I’m definitely going to miss my curl and waves sometimes, but I won’t miss the frizz – which was the big reason to get this done, since humidity levels get very bad in Korea. I’ve read most people are able to add some more curl to the bottom of their hair with hair spray and then once they shower it’s straight again. I may do that sometimes to switch my look, but won’t be doing it for a while, as I’ve put my hair through so much stress already. Well, that’s all for now! 🙂