If your roots are showing (and not in that weirdly unachievable-cool-celeb way) or you fancy a change, it might be time to head to the hairdresser—but where can you get your hair dyed in Tokyo without prices so high your hair falls out after?
Hair. It’s amazing, but also keeping it that lovely shade of blonde (or purple, whatever floats your boat) can be tricky. Finding hairdressers in Tokyo who are familiar with non-Asian-textured hair, speak English and don’t cost the absolute earth is nigh impossible, but we promise there are some. While it will still probably cost you more than at home, the quality will be good and you’ll leave feeling like a million yen.
The important thing to remember about finding the right place is to look for somewhere that specializes in dyeing hair, rather than just cutting, with coloring done on the side. While doing it yourself is certainly an option (we have an article on it here) it can be tricky, so be prepared for a few attempts until you get it right. For certainty and a little bit of pampering, read on for 5 of the best spots to get your hair dyed in Tokyo!
Gold Salon Tokyo | Azabu-Juban
Gold Salon Tokyo is another of the most well-known names in Tokyo, with a solid brand and a 98% foreign customer base. They consider themselves to be the city’s “must go to” color salon, and while the prices are higher than independent salons, they have the knowledge to back it up. Their website carefully details the process they go through to match a coloring (if you care to read it) and their team really know what’s what with coloring trends and styles. Whether you know exactly what you want or just a vague concept, they can help make it a reality.
Preferring low-chemical formulas and using henna, they have a good range of products suitable for those with sensitive skin or allergies. Prices are dependent on hair length, but start at ¥9,000 for semi-permanent, ¥9,500 for permanent, going up to ¥11,000 starter for virgin application. A T-Bar will cost you ¥4,500 and bleach starts at ¥16,000. The also offer color correction, so if you’ve had a disaster, this should be your hairdresser 911.
Number 76 Nalu | Omotesando
A popular Malaysian hair brand, Nalu is based in Omotesando and comes highly recommended—plus it has some of the most competitive rates in Tokyo. The staff are English speaking and have plenty of experience with non-Asian-textured hair as they have a loyal international clientele. The salon is pretty small, with four stylists, but also has its own cafe with a pretty decent lunch set, if you want to make an afternoon of it. With a promise to be polite, kind and, most importantly, honest—you can be confident you will get some good recommendations here for your new color.
A re-touch or T-Bar will cost you ¥4,400, whereas a full color comes in at between ¥5,500 and ¥12,100 depending on the length of your hair and whether bleach is used. For highlights you will be paying ¥11,000 for a half head and ¥15,400 for a full head.
Bulb | Daikanyama
With the opening line of “hair styling doesn’t have to be lost in translation”, Bulb is a small salon in Shibuya offering reasonable rates for cuts and dyeing. English lead Soeda had worked in NYC for 5 years and returned to Tokyo ready to cut and style for the city’s foreigners. While they don’t have as full a range of dyeing options, the prices are competitive. With a color costing 10,800 yen and a color + cut costing 16,200 yen, you’re getting a double-whammy for less than a full dye job at most places—plus the shampoo and blow-dry is included.
The bonus to this place is probably the personal service though, compared to larger salons, here you get the owner and stylists full attention and can relax. They are happy to work with you to decide on the right color and cut before you get started.
Eclat | Ebisu
Dedicated to finding the “most attractive version of yourself”, Eclat specializes in hair coloring and are very popular among foreign clients. With high reviews from Savvy Tokyo and often recommended in the foreign-female community, they avoid the deadly thinning scissors and understand the nuances of hair. The master stylist, Kyosuke has trained abroad, has been featured in Elle Magazine and is often hired for editorial shoots in many a magazine. Dedicated to the dyeing, Kyosuke’s partner Yoko deals with the styling and cuts for the salon.
The prices are based on hair length and process type, with roots costing ¥6,000, a single-process dye costing between ¥8,000–¥10,000 and ombre costing between ¥18,000–¥22,000. For a double process you are looking at between ¥16,000 and ¥20,000, with highlights ranging from ¥8,000to ¥15,000.
Shinka | Roppongi
Originally opened in Australia before moving over to Japan, Shinka has two branches in Tokyo: one in Roppongi and one in Azabu-Juban. While their prices are average, their coloring uses an unusual water-color technique which is considered less abrasive and causes less irritation. They find it is the most popular service they offer, with many never going back to traditional dyeing styles—so it might be worth a try if you’re looking for something a little lighter.
Their prices for dyeing are ¥6,900 plus an additional ¥1,000 to ¥3,000 depending on hair length. Highlights start at ¥1,500 for a point, and go up to ¥12,000 for a full head. They have full English service including an English phone line, as well as all staff being fluent—so there won’t be any disastrous misunderstandings. They also have a deal if you introduce a friend which could knock some yen off your next cut.