Japanese barbers beat the hot spring heat with a 'cool shampoos' for tourists

Japanese barbers beat the hot spring heat with a 'cool shampoos' for tourists
A barber in Kaminoyama, Japan, demonstrates the 'cool shampoo" technique. Washington Post/Japan News-Yomiuri photo
KAMINOYAMA: Barbers in Kaminoyama plan to go all-out promoting their "Cool Shampoo" service to boost customer satisfaction among tourists who visit the local hot spring area this summer.

The Kaminoyama branch of a barber association, in cooperation with a tourism and local products association in the area, prepared leaflets on the service, which originated in Yamagata, and distributed them at tourist information centers. As a result, the number of tourists who have gone to barber shops to cool down after visiting the hot springs has increased in recent years.
The branch saw this trend as a business opportunity and set about trying to get more tourists to use it. One such effort included setting up a certification system to help association members improve their hair-washing techniques.

The first lecture was held at a Kaminoyama hotel on April 11, where about 50 barbers were certified. Using a mannequin's head, an instructor showed how to wash shampoo out with the fingers in a massage-like manner. He also said that using shampoo that contains menthol can help make people feel cool, even at room temperature, and recommended washing the shampoo out with water at a temperature of about 36 C.

The tourist season in Kaminoyama started from the Golden Week holidays in early May. By promoting the service, the branch aims to increase repeat customers who are attracted to the Cool Shampoo service.

Branch manager Kazuyuki Ito said, "We want visitors to feel refreshed after sweating in the hot springs in summer."