We had a little trouble communicating but I had explained at the beginning that I didn't really speak Japanese. This sets everyone's expectations very low so when I was able to chat with her, she was impressed. (So was I, frankly.) But my vocab search didn't extend quite far enough so when she was trying to ask me about how I wanted the layers done I had no idea what she was saying. She eventually just said, "eh, we'll try it." What we were trying I don't know! I'm still not sure exactly what I got because after she and another lady dried it, they put curlers in. I now have cascading curls down my back that look quite nice. No way it will ever look like this again anytime soon but I feel like I should go out tonight since my hair looks so good.
And it wouldn't be a trip to the salon unless the hairstylist commented at least once on how much hair I have. I couldn't explain in Japanese that I actually used to have more hair but this always shocks the stylists in the US. Quite a bit fell out when I lived in France and it's never come back in. It freaked me out at the time but it turned out to be a good thing. This lady added that I also had a small face, which I think is supposed to be a compliment. They also liked the little curls around my ears (I do too.)
The best part was that it was only 3500 yen or about $35! I kept telling myself while they were curling my hair that it was Christmas and it was okay to splurge, thinking it was going to be expensive. But 3500 yen? That's awesome. Now that I know that it's cheap and I can get by with my Japanese I won't be so nervous to go the next time. Add that to the list of "one more thing that should be easy but isn't because I live in a foreign country but I have finally managed on my own." Hurray!