The politest salon in Shanghai since 2011, Urban Roots caters largely to monied Japanese and Korean expats in Gubei. Chinese and Japanese are the main languages spoken by the stylists here. There’s normally at least one who speaks English, but it wouldn’t matter if there wasn’t because they’re all fully fluent in hair. Show them a picture of any mainstream style from the mid-90s onwards and you’re guaranteed a competent rendering IRL, done with organic products which are either big-name brands (e.g. Kerastase) or Japanese imports. They’re particularly good at wispy fringes: Terrace House’s Reina Triendl would be a customer if she lived in Shanghai. The focus here is more on tending than trending – a lot of serious talk about protecting and nourishing hair with gentle ingredients. It’s like walking into an Herbal Essences advert shot in a modern ryokan. Urban Roots also do some other treatments such as perming and anti-balding procedures. Again, the focus here is on non-aggressive options. They also advertise plant-based colors.
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