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Uncovering the best family holidays

Bangkok, Thailand

My 7 Hours of Bangkok Highlights... Not the Type You’re Thinking of

My last day in Bangkok and I decided to find a hairdresser to fix my terrible travelling regrowth. I looked up online plenty of expat forums and decided on The Corner Salon. My appointment was for 10:30am. A 15 minute taxi ride and I arrived early. What a relief to see another Western lady in there getting her hair done.

The Manager spoke English and she sat me down to discuss what I wanted done. I showed her a picture and she had several staff members come and look, ooh and ahh, before letting me know it is possible. It should take 4 hours.

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The staff were lovely and so friendly. The Manager worked 6 days a week, 9am to 9pm, with only Wednesdays off. She cannot take holidays, except a compulsory federal holiday in April. She shared stories with me about her boyfriend/s. One is Muslim and while he loves her, he cannot marry her. The other she loves, but he is poor and she does not want to marry him. How different the basis of her marriage choice is compared to ours. Although I guess even in Australia some women marry for money and some women marry for love.

Despite the friendly chatty staff, the hair appointment dragged on. After 4 hours I was told there was still another 3 to go. I have never in my life had my hair coloured for 7 hours. 7 hours! Each hour ticked by and I would call Josh who was planning to meet me for lunch, then afternoon tea, then dinner and cancel each time.

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Each strand of my hair was put in foil and coloured. When they removed the foil they lovingly carressed each strand, wiping each strand free of colour. The process was long and unbelievable. I had 2 people working on my hair at all times, thankfully not just one, which would have been perhaps over 14 hours?!

About 4pm the Manager asked me to join them in the back for some dinner. The other customers still sat in their chairs (I should mention there were 4 customers that day, each taking the same amount of time) and I joined the staff in their back room where the Manager filled a plate for me with fried rice. Despite the long hours spent in the salon, it was great to make new friends and share a meal together. I was even given a Durian Cake to eat, a typical Thai sweet, this cake was not anything I would like to eat again. It was like a dry shortbread with that terrible Durian paste inside.

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My last day in Bangkok. 7 hours in a hairdressing salon and I came out like this. Sure it was an okay job, but the red was a bit purple, the blonde was way too thick and well, the brown they matched to my natural hair colour was a winner. People think the tigers we recently saw really impacted me since my hair now looks like one. Lucky for me my sister is a hairdresser back home and I skyped her to show her immediately. She gave me some great tips on how to improve the situation, which I will endeavor to do in Penang.

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It’s said that there is no one in Bangkok that can do Western Hair. Considering I went to the Western specialist, I may have to agree. There was no way I was going to let them put in a toner or fix it since I had already been there 7 hours.

While I enjoyed my time with the Manager and her staff, I cannot recommend this hairdresser. Unfortunately, 7 hours to do anyone’s hair seems slightly insane, especially when paying $200!

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I ended my last evening in Bangkok not having dinner with my family, but with hairdressers. How do I top that? When I left the salon it was dark and raining. I didn’t want to hail a cab and get my hair wet so I walked under cover to the skytrain and caught a 15B (50c) train. At Chong Nonsi I decided to take a tuk tuk home. Loaded with my banana roti and pad thai, I sat back for the first time all alone in a tuk tuk. They can get squishy with 4 people, luckily 2 of the people in ours are so small, but having it all to myself was wonderful. I drank in the sights and sounds, watching people to and fro, tooting cars, zooming motorcycles, glad to be out of the salon, enjoying my last evening. In this moment, life was distilled to its most elemental quality, its purest, basic form - to be. Thus despite the 7 hours my day was not a total disaster, and the evening tuk tuk ride home really rounded off my Bangkok stay beautifully. 

Tell me honestly, what do you think about it? And would you let someone work for 7 hours?

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"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Samantha on
Wow that's way too long! I used to go there a few years back but stopped. - The owner that made the place famous sold that salon and relocated to ZENRED, so most of the positive reviews online about the corner are outdated now. Zenred Salon Bangkok is now pretty much the best Expat salon for tourists & westerners travelling. I go there every few months and it knocks spots of any salon ive been too in the UK. Actually, you can see the work and the majority of the work is indeed stunning and International here: https://www.facebook.com/zenredhairsalonbangkok
Posted by Edie on
7 hours for a color is frankly outrageous. I've had a great experience with Hair By Phonatip for hair color and highlights. He's located near the Phaya Thai BTS station. It's a small salon and Phonatip does all the work himself so it's important to make an appointment in advance. Check out their website at www.hairbyphonatip.com where there are many photos of their work. Many westerners go there and Phonatip speaks very good english.
Posted by Derek on
I've been told Zenred sucked and is really inconvenient to get to.
Posted by Haley on
Zenred certainly dont suck when it comes to highlights, ive been using them for years. Actually they have some really difficult customers and ive seen them fix absolute dissasters from some very demanding and rude clients. They deserve a medal in my book! The salon is just an 80 baht taxi ride from asoke BTS station and about 5km away, not far and not difficult if you know how to use an uber or grab taxi app.

Some other very good expat salons exist closer to the skytrain that also do very good blonde work, more importantly stylists speak english. Try Zahara Hair Salon in Sukhumvit 13. Really nice girls here doing some amazing work. Check out their FB page via google to get an idea on any salons portfolio and expertise before you actually book.

Another one i have heard good things about recently is a new salon in Ploenchit designed for Western hair called Savanna salon & nails. Again check ther FB page for examples before you book with any salon. If they have tons of Western clients with amazing hair then obviously that speaks louder than fake reviews or my friend told me they were rubbish comments.
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