Gangnam Room Salons are an oddity. How can a hair salon be attractive? Is it because they have fancy, expensive services that only the rich would pay for? Or are they so luxurious and glamorous that being there makes you feel like royalty? Many people believe that the answer is both. What makes my research and others so interesting is that there’s more to the Gangnam 룸싸롱 than its looks.
Gangnam is a region in Seoul primarily famous for its expensive shops and, most of all, for its entertainment venues. It gained popularity thanks to several celebrities who call this place their home. Many salons in Gangnam offer various services, from hair dyeing to nail painting to makeup application. Once you are in a Gangnam Room Salon, your facial expressions and body language will inevitably affect the service you receive.
As a psychologist, I have started to research these salons because I hope they can help people understand exactly how they feel in one of these places. It’s almost like they are coming to an unfamiliar place where they don’t know what to expect. Then you enter the salon, and the first thing your eyes see is the uniform of the wait staff. It’s not unusual for them to wear black suits with long white aprons hanging from their shoulders. They are always spotlessly clean and neat, adding to the already austere atmosphere of the salons.
The long white aprons run down to the floor and are essential as a symbol and tool. They lead your eyes straight to the staff’s shoes seated at their chairs by the entrance. This is very important because aside from their service uniforms, there is nothing on display, no adverts or photos of what they do. Just one staff member sitting quietly in their chair. It’s like they are telling you they don’t need any gimmicks here because just being in this place will entice you into staying longer than you intended.
The seats are black leather, giving the place a more luxurious feel. There are also rows and rows of chairs. All lined up facing the dark brown marble-topped desk. The walls are adorned with oil paintings, and each chair is covered in a white sheet decorated with lace. As you wait for your stylist to become available, there is nothing to do but observe the people sitting around you, even if you don’t want to. I watched one lady who came in with her husband; she was smartly dressed in a black knee-length dress, and her hair was dyed dark brown like mine.