I hate it more than going bald! Middle-aged men are addicted to “removing gray hairs”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

I hate it more than going bald! Middle-aged men are addicted to “removing gray hairs”.

Why are middle-aged men so addicted to having their gray hairs removed instead of dying them? This magazine's reporter tried it out!

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They carefully pull out gray hairs one by one.

Under the pillow where I pluck out the gray hairs, Kirigirisu” (Matsuo Basho)

As autumn deepens, I find myself feeling rather wretched with a few white hairs mixed in here and there in my hair. As Matsuo Basho lamented, it is said that the gray hairs that appear in one’s hair in one’s middle age are very bothersome. However, it is not enough to dye them. However, it is not enough to dye it, and one would not want to “pull it out. Because, as the saying goes, “You mustn’t pull out gray hairs.

You can’t pluck gray hairs.

If you pluck gray hairs, you will go bald.

If you pluck gray hairs, you will get more gray hairs.

That is what everyone has been told and believed. At that time, I saw a store specializing in plucking gray hairs, called “Gray Hair Plucking Honpo. The shop is so popular that you have to make a reservation in advance to get in. This magazine’s reporter, who is now in her late 20s, took a closer look at her own head in the mirror. At a quick glance, it looked as if there were at least 100 hairs on her head.

If I remove them, I will go bald…. But I would rather have more gray hairs than go bald.

This is what prompted the interview.

The “Gray Hair Removal Honpo” is located in a corner of Akabane’s shopping district. The store, which has only about the width of a door, is long and narrow in the back, and although it has chairs like a beauty salon, when the therapist stands up, it seems as if the place is “full” with only two people in the shop.

When a couple is working, it’s hard for customers to pass behind them, so we only accept one person at a time. There is also the COVID-19 crisis.

Kiyoshi Takamizawa, the owner, opened the salon in September 2006.

I was concerned about my gray hairs, so I started plucking them myself, but the amount was too much and I couldn’t see some parts, so I couldn’t pluck them all. I wished someone else would pull them out for me.”

However, when I searched for “plucking gray hairs” on the Internet, I found a lot of information about the disadvantages of plucking gray hairs. The list goes on and on: “Damage to the hair follicles causes baldness,” “Inflammation causes itching and hair loss,” and so on. Under such circumstances, is there anyone who wants to pluck gray hairs enough to make a business viable?

The majority of our customers are men, in their late thirties to forties. There are many who want to have their hair removed because they don’t have enough hair to dye and dying their hair hurts their scalp, and there are also customers who want to have their hair removed because they cannot tolerate the presence of gray hair. Recently, it has become common for men to remove their hair as well, and I feel that many of them are very fashion-conscious. The number of customers has increased all at once after it became a topic of conversation on the Internet. It seems to have made the Internet news in China as well, and Chinese tourists have been coming here in droves.

I asked Mr. Takamizawa to pull out my gray hairs. He lightly held my hair with one hand and gently pulled it out with the other, looking for gray hairs. He says that first-time pluckers may feel pain, but in my case, there was no pain at all; in fact, the gentle touch on my hair was pleasant and relaxing, and I felt relaxed.

Some customers even fall asleep. Since the treatment is usually performed by a female staff member, many customers seem to feel even more comfortable. Depending on the area to be plucked, the distance is quite close. In a sense, the act of having one’s hair removed is a very delicate act, so it seems to be especially reassuring for female customers to have a female staff member perform the procedure.

Takamizawa’s method of pulling out the hair is gentle and careful, but by no means slow. He pulls out one by one at a steady pace.

I try to pull out one tooth every 10 seconds,” he says. If I do it too fast, it hurts, but our store charges by the hour, so if I am too slow, I inconvenience the customer. Of course, there are differences in speed between staff members, so I try to serve customers only when I can pull out 150 to 200 lashes in 30 minutes.

Courses start at 20 minutes, and the most popular is the 30-minute course. Incidentally, he says that it takes longer than usual for people with thinning hair on their heads, which makes it difficult to see gray hairs, and people with thinning hair that breaks easily, which makes it difficult to pull out. Eyebrows and beards can also be plucked upon request. 45 minutes later, the procedure is over in a dreamy state. About 300 gray hairs were removed. I was stunned by the amount of gray hairs that had been removed. On the other hand, the reflection of my head in the mirror did not look thinner, but rather darker and darker, as if it had more hair.

I have plucked the gray hairs of thousands of people, and not one person has felt that their head has become thinner as a result. Most of them are under excessive stress when they start to grow gray hairs, and many of them come to the store feeling stressed about the gray hairs themselves. So many of them have found that plucking the gray hairs has reduced their stress, and black hairs have grown out of the pores where they plucked them. I myself have been plucking for four years, but I don’t feel that the amount of hair has decreased. Of course, there are individual differences, so it is difficult to make a blanket statement, but I think it is a good thing for those who are stressed by gray hairs,” says Takamizawa.

In my case, it would take 3 to 4 hours to pull out all the gray hairs, but I got the impression that my appearance changed considerably even after only 45 minutes. I was quite reluctant before the treatment, but after a couple of months, I felt sure that I would repeat the procedure again.

Before the treatment. The right side of the front hair. Gray hairs are concentrated on the left side.
After 45 minutes of treatment. Almost no gray hairs are visible.
Mr. Takamizawa, the owner. He has been removing gray hairs for four years, but he does not feel that his head of hair has become thinner; in fact, he feels that it has become darker and younger. (The mask was removed for the photo shoot, but he usually wears it during treatment.)
The store is clean. There is another set behind the grating, but only one customer is in the store at the same time of the day.
This “white hair” sign is a landmark.
  • Photo Yuri Adachi

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