Japanese Ripe Tomato Hair
February 15, 2014

Japanese Ripe Tomato Hair

The hairstyle is almost a year old now, which in Japanese hairstyle terms is pretty ancient, but I still thought it was worth sharing a phenomenon that I have only just become aware of. The Japanese Ripe Tomato Hairstyle. Never shy of dying their hair multiple colors, young, hip Japanese people, particularly in Osaka, cottoned onto the idea that the colors need not be random, but indeed paint a picture of a real thing. Like a tomato.

The idea is pretty simple, and must be a cash cow for hairstylists who get to charge a fortune for their quirky, cutting edge styles and the fact that they are turning hair into food while actually not doing very much. All the really need to do is dye most of the hair deep red except for some green, spiky bits at the top to look like the green stalky part of the tomato, and cut it into a bob to make the shape as round as possible.

Disproportionately large though the fees undoubtedly are for such a haircut, I shouldn’t give the impression that this is only dying hair red and a bit green and making it tomato shaped. Ostensibly that is all it is, but the effect is quite impressive. Most recipients do look like they have a large tomato on their head, rather than just red and green hair, as photos in the Daily Mail show.

If you look closely, too, you can see that there is a touch of orange towards the top, where a tomato gets slightly lighter towards the stalk. It’s that kind of detail which really makes things in Japan such high quality, even hair that looks edible.

The only problem with the style, so long as you are not an accounts manager for Toyota or Panasonic where the haircut may not go down too well in the office, is that once the roots begin to show, the effect is quickly ruined. Within a few days the Ripe Tomato begins to look like an Over Ripe tomato, before eventually resembling a dropped tomato being crushed by a big black shoe. Apparently the green bits are not well defined after the first wash, so really the haircut is only impressive for a day or so after spending time and money on getting it done.

I dare say though that even that short time hanging around tomato headed with equally trendy friends in the Amemura district of Osaka, where the fashion started, is enough to warrant the effort, if you are a Japanese teenager or 20-something. In the more conservative Aichi prefecture where I live, there is still an astonishing amount of time put into appearance, even if the effect is not quite as stark. Fingernails are a particular point of focus for women (usually women), and each nail is given a different intricate painting.

Hairstyles tend to be less exciting in my provincial town, but I do hope that one day the Ripe Tomato trend will become mainstream and that from the top of the escalators at the train station during rush hour will look like a huge tomato salad.

Image Credit: Kotaku.com

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John is a freelance writer from the UK, currently living in Japan and thoroughly enjoying their food and whiskey. His first novel, Three Little Boys, and his travel book, Following Football, are currently available on Amazon.com.

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