Beauty in South Korea
South Korea is one of the world-leading pioneers in the beauty-related industry, which encapsulates skincare, fashion, cosmetic procedures, hair treatments, and many more innovations. I knew that in the duration of my time here I wished to experience this for myself first-hand to fully understand why their society is so obsessed with beauty and how they are able to be the best in almost every category. Simply walking the streets of Hongdae, I was able to witness the significance of beauty standards amongst their society and how that affects the individuals. Subtle things such as looking polished and constantly dressing in presentable fashions differ quite drastically from the American norms. Everyone generally looks polished from head to toe and it is very obvious that they take care of themselves well and admit to portraying that. I believe that Korea's world ranking success is due to a combination of high societal standards, the need to be accepted, and the industry's demand from those societal/consumer needs.
My Experience with Beauty Services
I felt that the best way to understand the beauty infatuation and incredible beauty services in Korea was to experience two varieties, skincare, and hairstyling. My first experience was at a salon called CcHair in Hongdae, which is just a few blocks from the main shopping streets. Upon my arrival, the salon had an aesthetic yet cozy interior and I was invited to sit and wait for my consultation before my treatment. I spoke with one of the salons' heads who spoke fluent English and ultimately decided on dye, haircut, and nourishing treatment to replenish and repair any damage. The staff were so attentive and gave me recommendations for my hair that were all immensely helpful. They emphasize the little details such as a massage during hair washes, ear protectors in case of stains from the hair dye, and hair heaters to ensure vivid color transfer. I have yet to have a hair salon experience compared to this one and recommend anyone to get their hair done in Korea. Following that, I wished to experience how Koreans are able to achieve the "glass-skin" which refers to the skin so clear, dewy, and spotless that it resembles glass. Small maintenance that is done to achieve that is facials, so I visited a Spa in Gangnam called Kspa, which are known to have affordable prices for their variety of treatments. I chose the Basic Moisturizing Treatment which entailed moisture penetrating treatment that would leave my skin looking dewy, nourished, and smooth-like glass skin. The treatment started with the gentle removal of my makeup and I immediately was relaxed by the ambiance, delicacy of the esthetician, and calming background music. She then began to apply various products whilst massaging and stimulated my face to ensure blood circulation and concentrated absorption of products. There were multiple steps that were all adjusted to my liking in terms of massage strength or temperature of products that I found to be very attentive. In addition to the facial treatments, there was also a shoulder and neck massage to ensure the skin was all nourished. Overall the attentive and innovative methods that Korean beauty utilizes have separated them from their competitors multiple times over. The beauty industry and services offered in Korea are something that all visitors should experience.