Fashion-minded Muslim women can enjoy specialized hair and cosmetic treatments at Japanese beauty salons here providing privacy and services that observe the Islamic concept of halal.
Indonesian students Anggita Ghassani Putri, 23, and Dika Nurul Hikmah, 20, visited Hair Magic Moga in Chuo Ward after learning it was affiliated with a 15-member Chiba beauty business cooperative that started catering to Muslim customers last spring.
The two young women, wearing traditional hijab scarfs, are students at Chiba University participating in an overseas study program.
Yuji Anpo, 70, operator of Moga, gave the students a tour of his salon’s modifications to meet the needs of Muslim women, including hair-cutting and shampoo rooms that are curtained off, and a prayer space set up in a corner.
“I have wanted to go to a Japanese beauty salon because they have high-quality beauty techniques,” Dika, who professed a love for fashion, said on Dec. 24. “I can readily visit this salon.”
The two students said they plan to promote Chiba’s salons to other Indonesian women through social networking services such as Line and Facebook.
With nearby Narita Airport serving as the gateway to Japan and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics on the horizon, the cooperative decided to offer Muslim-friendly services for women to attract more foreign visitors to their salons.
Under Islamic law, Muslim women are required to cover their hair in the presence of men unless they are family members.
That makes it difficult for Muslim women to receive services at glass-walled beauty salons, which are commonly found in Japan.
Currently, 11 salons affiliated with the cooperative in Chiba have services tailored to meet the demands of Muslim women.
Their features include providing services by female staff only, setting up curtains so the interiors of the salons cannot be observed from the outside, using halal shampoos made from plants, providing service menus and hairstyle magazines in English, and installing a prayer room.