Posts Tagged ‘Hair’

Not really. I had such a great year teaching, traveling and having fun in Korea. I didn’t leave my heart behind completely, but it feels like something’s been missing since I left. Unlike many of my friends who went straight home after finishing their contracts, I decided to extend my time abroad and stay in the Philippines. I haven’t been home in over a year now, but I don’t feel ready to go back quite yet.

I’ve been thinking about Korea a lot lately – wondering at odd hours of the day what my friends must be doing (deskwarming, hanging out downtown, or drinking in any combination). Wondering if my students miss me or if their beloved Maria Teacher has been replaced ㅠ_ㅠ (I hope not!). Wondering what new cosmetics must be out. I could go on. Instead, I’ll make a list of things I miss from my life in the 대한민국.

Korea Miss List:

  • 제 친구들 – My friends!! I met so many great people and I miss seeing their goofy, drunken faces. Just kidding, we weren’t always drunk, right?
  • My co-teacher – She is such a great person. I miss her! Seriously, I was crying on the bus ride to the airport after she dropped me off ㅜ_ㅜ.
  • My students – I loved being a teacher. Not trying to gloss over the stress and frustration I often felt while teaching in Korea. But, my experience was overwhelmingly positive and most of that is thanks to my students.
  • Foods – Let me make a brief list: kimchi, samgyeopsal, samgyetang, kimchi jjiggae, doenjang jjiggae, Korean wings and fried chicken, bibimbap, freakin banchan, kimbap, rice cakes, ddoekbokki, street snacks
  • Egg Tarts – Not what Korea is famous for, but I always used to hang out at the egg tarts place with my pals after dinner.
  • Shopping – Because let’s face it, where did half of my salary go every month.
  • Cosmetics – There are so many and they’re so cheap! I’m also obsessed with cosmetics and Korea just made it worse.
  • K-pop – The soundtrack of my life in Korea. What’s new nowadays??
  • K-dramas – DUDE what’s new nowadays??
  • Nature – Never thought I’d say it. I kind of like nature now thanks to Korea.
  • 4 Seasons – I think it’s a nice concept.
  • Internet – I miss the high-speed internet!
  • Mobility – It’s pretty easy to travel in Korea. I can’t travel as easily here in the Philippines so I feel very limited.
  • Hair salons – I need a trim! I miss Ji-won at Serrano!
  • Korean – I miss hearing Korean! I feel like following around the Korean students I see here. I know, that is just creepy. I won’t do it 😛
  • Traveling – There was always somewhere new to see or return trips to Seoul or Busan. I felt like I could do anything I wanted at any moment.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things. I’m so glad that I took a chance and went to Korea. I learned so much and I have lots of great memories and stories to share with everyone when I finally return home.

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Haircut and Magic Straight

I got my hair cut a couple weeks ago. Thank goodness my bangs didn’t turn out bluntly cut across my forehead. I went to a place downtown that one of my friends recommended. Since it’s ridiculously hot and humid in Daegu, I thought it’d be a good idea to straighten my hair before it gets really frizzy. This turned out to be the best decision of the summer!

When I told the stylist that I wanted to straighten my hair, she was like, “Have you ever experienced Magic Straight?”. All I needed to hear was the word “magic” and I was in. I’ve gotten my hair straightened before, but never by magic!

Here’s some info I found online about the magic straight procedure in the US.

My natural hair

One of the few pics of my naturally wavy hair. Ignore my face please.


My hair in the summer


It could be worse. My hair got really dry and frizzy from the humidity.


My hair after Magic Straight

Shiny and new! Ignore the shot please.


Magic Straight – How its done

  1. Shampoo and rinse unwashed hair. First, she cut my hair since I wanted it shorter. You don’t need to get a hair cut before you do the magic perm, but if you’re getting your hair cut anyway you can just do it all in one go.
  2. Brush in the straightening product. It’s almost like getting your hair colored. The stylist brushes the product on in sections and makes sure every strand is coated.
  3. Wrap hair in plastic. They put on a plastic shower cap over my hair.
  4. Apply heat. They placed a revolving heat disc machine behind me and it orbited around my head. I hardly felt the heat so I wondered if it was working. This probably lasted about 30 minutes, I’m not sure.
  5. Rinse out product.
  6. Blowdry hair. Two stylists blowdried my hair at the same time.
  7. Straighten hair with flat irons. This is the second part of the magic straight – shaping the strands straight. After the straightening product is applied and rinsed out, hair can be molded into shape. Two stylists used skinny flat irons and straightened my hair in one inch sections. Pretty time consuming procedure. They had to exaggerate the shape and curled my hair at the bottom so the ends wouldn’t just be stick straight. When she curled my bangs I freaked out and she reassured me that it wouldn’t turn out like that in the end.
  8. Wait for hair to set.
  9. Apply deep conditioning product. This step is optional but I wanted to get it done since my hair was feeling dry and damaged from the crappy hair dryer I’ve been using. After applying the product, they put sections of my hair in rollers to maintain the shape.
  10. Wash hair.
  11. Blow dry and style.
  12. Voila, straight and silky hair!

How long does it take?

The hair cut, magic straight and deep conditioning took about 2 hours or a little more. I was surprised by the stylist’s speed. She must have a lot of experience with magic straightening.

How long does it last?

Most people say that hair should stay straight for 4-6 months. It really depends on how wavy or curly a person’s hair is and how well it handles chemical products. I think my hair stayed fairly straight for about the same amount of time, if not longer. Of course only the part of my hair that was straightened, not the part that grew out after.

  • Important tip: If the stylist forgets to tell you (or if you forget to ask), remember not to wash or shampoo your hair for at least 24 hours. The hair hasn’t completely set yet and it’s best to try to leave it as it is, like don’t put it in a pony tail either.

How much does it cost?

In Korea, it costs around 100,000-130,000 won, which is about $84-$110. It’s significantly cheaper than the price in the US for magic straight or the other kind of straightening. The price depends on where you get it done. I got my hair straightened in a salon downtown, which is more expensive than more local places. But the salon I went to has a stylist my friend recommended and she speaks English pretty well. She’s also really nice :). She will give you a discount if you pay in cash. I think many places in Korea offer a cheaper price if you pay with cash instead of card. Stop by the bank before you head to the salon.

Where can I get it done?

Most salons in Korea should have a stylist that knows how to do this procedure. Magic straight is pretty popular, as are perms and dyeing hair. I think it’d be best to go to a salon someone can recommend, like a friend or teacher at school. Also, it’d be good to find a stylist you can communicate with if you don’t speak much Korean.

Does it work on all kinds of hair?

I’m not quite sure. Everyone’s hair is different and some hair responds better to chemicals than others. If you have really thin or damaged hair, the chemicals might be too strong and further damage your hair. If you have very thick or curly hair, it might not be as effective or it might not stay straight as long as 4-6 months. I don’t know how well magic straight would work for black hair so I would recommend going to a salon and asking a stylist. They might not have much experience with black hair, though. And if you already have chemically treated hair, you should ask the stylist if you can get it chemically straightened.

How do I style my hair after magic straight?

I love having my hair straight. But I hate the effort it takes to get it straight. Magic straight made my hair super straight. It’s also soft and shiny, which could be due in part to the deep conditioning treatment. Styling my hair in the morning is much easier. I only have to blow dry it and run my hands through and use a brush for minimal styling around my bangs. Takes about 5 minutes. I don’t have to use straightening products or even anti-frizz serum, glossers, balms, etc.


It’s been almost 5 months and my hair is still shiny and straight. I only have to use straightening products along my hairline since it’s grown out the last few months. I think using good, salon-quality shampoo and conditioner has helped maintain the shine. I think my hair has stayed straight because I have fine hair and it wasn’t too wavy to begin with. How is your hair holding up?

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