Our mild-mannered reporter gets hooked up with the king of bad-boy haircuts in Japan, the “regent.”

Sometime around mid-winter, our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma started to feel like he’d gotten into a bit of a rut on his days off, loafing around his apartment while doing nothing particularly productive or pleasurable. So he resolved to jar himself out of this sedentary sameness, which is how he wound up standing underneath a waterfall at a mountain temple last month.

This week, Masanuki decided to shake things up in a very different, though equally bold way, and that brought him to the entrance of Deep, a barber shop in Okinawa Prefecture’s capital city of Naha.

An afternoon trip to the barber shop might not sound like the most daring way to spend a Saturday, but Deep is famous for its skill with handling Japan’s bad-boy haircuts, and in particular the pompadour. Called the “regent” in Japanese, the pompadour is the crown-king of rebellious hairstyling, as you might have guessed from the annual photos of Japan’s craziest coming of age ceremonies.

Giving Masanuki his pompadour would be none other than Deep’s owner, Sunagawa. Before settling into his current profession, Sunagawa spent his early 20s working various jobs in the “night worlds” of Tokyo and Okinawa, as he colorfully refers to the bar, club, and otherwise mature entertainment industries.

Within the pompadour hairstyle, there are all sorts of subdivisions and variations, but Masanuki decided to leave his fate in Sunagawa’s capable hands, only specifying that he wanted a pompadour and leaving the rest of the details up to the veteran pompadour pro (Deep’s pompadour-producing services run about 7,000 yen [US$68]).

As you might imagine, the pompadour procedure is a complex one, and the first step was using a hot curling iron to start adding volume to Masanuki’s hair.

▼ At this point, Masanuki couldn’t help but feel like his hair looked like an excited head of broccoli, but this is merely an intermediate stage.

Next, one of Sunagawa’s assistants worked Masanuki’s bangs with a special fine-toothed comb. This created an effect sort of like an afro, which is another hairstyle Deep offers.

Some super-hard hairspray and blow drier work, though, tightened up the sides, and now things were starting to take shape.

And then, roughly an hour after sitting down in the chair…

Masanuki had his pompadour!

But remember, he’d left the details up to Sunagawa, and in his wisdom, he decided that the necessary final flourishes were…

…a liberal application of blond hair coloring

…and a pair of sunglasses.

▼ Instead of saying “cherry on the sundae” to describe the perfect finishing touch, maybe we should be saying “shades for the pompadour?”

▼ Pompadour precision that’s on an almost architectural level.

As eye-catching as the hairstyle is, though, the question is becomes whether or not you want to commit to such a dynamic look for the long-term though, right? Except, actually, that’s not really an issue. Masanuki got what Deep calls its “one-day yancha (bad boy) style” pompadour, which uses no long-lasting chemicals or colorings. All you have to do is wash your hair once, and it’ll be back to normal.

As a matter of fact, the one-day yancha style is especially popular for coming of age ceremonies, Sunagawa explained, since it lets young men go nuts for group photos with friends in the morning, but then go back to a less flamboyant look as soon as they feel like it, like a bunch of wild-spirited Cinderellas.

But at least until Masanuki’s next shampoo, he’s living the pompadour life.

Barber shop information
Deep / ディープ
Address: Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Tabaru 4-8-9
Open 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Photos ©SoraNews24
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