Black Hair Care in Korea

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Greetings, and Happy November!!

I swear the time is flying quicker than ever. I looked up and there was one month left in the year, sheesh. November is probably going to be the busiest month for me this school year. So much on tap at work and in life! Stay tuned :-)

Update: the air quality is much better. The fall season, while much cooler than I anticipated, has proven to be absolutely stunning. The leaves are bright red, green and brown and make for an excellent backdrop against the mostly clear skies these days. We are expecting rain soon, so there's that. We sure could use it; I happen to like the rain.

I'm going to go there for my sisters who might be reading along with the journey. Prior to coming to Korea I wondered what my hair options would be and I'm pleased to report there are plenty. Let me preface this by saying that I mostly wear braids throughout the year: they're convenient, they look good and they make my life super easy.

I've been a fan of crochets since high school but I haven't worn them again until recently. Sisters, let me just say y'all are SO creative. Mercy! We have got to be the most confident group of people on the planet. I truly believe that. I have facts to back it up.

Anyway. If you need your hair done in South Korea there are plenty of braiders in the area. My personal favorite to date is Nelly Hair Braiding Itaewon. I will have a separate post about Itaewon, also known as the place where foreigners congregate in Korea. Itaewon is closer to Seoul, and is about a one hour hike for me on the train (it doesn't ever seem that long) but worth the trek. I found Nelly through a Facebook group called Natural Beauty in Korea. This FB page is really for sisters who want tips and encouragement for doing their own, natural hair. But as a long time natural, we often give our hair a break with what we call protective styling. Crochets have been my protective style against the elements (harsh winters and lazy summers), and the chemical laden faucet water.

This was my second time seeing Nelly. She did my first installment of crochets a couple months ago.

Crochet braids using Freetress Bohemian wave, it resembles a twist out.
I cut the shape myself.

I loved the style but my scalp wanted some TLC, so the install had to come out prematurely.

After some much needed TLC against this cooler weather that snuck up on us, I went back for another crochet install:

FRO CHECK. Before the install; my hair really thrives when I leave it alone.

LOVING it. Very natural look.

Another crochet install

Update- March 2016: I've traded crochet braids for Senegalese twists for now:

Senegalese braids by Nelly. This is now my go-to style.
Oh hey, Great Wall :p
Long Senegalese twists

Now as mentioned, the water is quite harsh here. You will want to invest in a filtered shower head upon arrival. They're available at Daiso, HomePlus, Lotte or on Gmarket [where I got mine] for cheap. Your face, body and hair will thank you. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.

My filtered shower nozzle, easy assembly and cheap.

I look forward to experimenting with other styles. I'm headed to Australia and the South Pacific next month, and that kind of trip will likely call for some sort of box braids. I can't wait, but I'm elated to have good options.

Below are some other helpful resources for sisters, natural or otherwise, to keep their tresses looking nice while abroad (click on the names to link directly to their info page):

Natural Beauty in Korea: every sister planning a move here should join this FB group for tips on maintaining your own hair while in Korea.

Honey Hair: Black woman owned beauty supply store near Camp Humphries base in Pyeongtaek. She also processes orders online and ships worldwide.

Gmarket: it's the Korean version of eBay, and generally has most of what you may not be able to find locally.

Good Hair: a Black owned barber shop and salon 2.5 hours south of Seoul, in the city of Daegu.

Natural Braiding in Korea: local, African hair braiding / braiders and their work.

iRoc Curls: Located in the USA, but stocks our favorite natural products, and ships to Korea. This business is also Black woman owned.

iHerb: this is the natural herb and remedy site that is based in the USA, but ships to Korea for an extremely nominal fee. Here, you can find all of your extra virgin, all natural DIY products and more.

Family Hair Itaewon and The Cozy [Pyeongtaek] are salons that do a decent wash n press, and trim. The stylists there are experienced in Black hair textures. 

Glossy Hair Salon also in Pyeongtaek near base. She does sew-ins and styles wigs if that's your thing.

Now: you can get your hair braided here, and you can find natural products to do your own hair. There are some beauty supply stores around for box perms and the such if you'd like. However, do not come here expecting to get your hair LAYED. It just ain't happening unless you find an around the way girl from the states that doesn't mind it (good luck with that). There are literally no stylists here, not yet. There are a few Koreans here that are skilled in doing our texture of hair but do not expect a flawless sew in or a bomb doobie wrap. It. ain't. happening. here.

Not yet. The market is wide open, though.

My advice would be to get braids or do your own hair. Regardless of your hair's texture, absolutely join the Natural Beauty FB group. They give hair tips, skincare tips, plus other sistergirl chat on occasion.

Hope this helps!

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  2. Ditto to the first commenter!!

    I plan to move to South Korea at the end of 2017 and this was right on time..

    Thanks Keish!!

  3. If you don't mind sharing, is Nelly's price range on the high or low end? Does she provide the hair with which she did your crochet braids?

    1. They're all on the high-end here compared to the states. I paid 160-180,000KRW for crochets.

  4. Hi there, if you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to get the senegalese braids?

    1. Nelly charges 160,000KRW as of this posting for the long length that I had, the price goes up or down based on length of the braids. Her prices are on her FB page.

  5. Thank You i needed these informations ! What a life saver ! :D