Moga London Hair Salon Review: Avoid!


I posted this review as part of my previous post, but I thought I’d post it again on its own to make sure it comes up in search results for Moga salon and to make sure that other girls living in London won’t make the same mistake.

I don’t often write bad reviews, products that don’t work for me might work for other people. But bad customer service is never good. And I had a really bad experience at Moga.

I went in to get Yuko (Japanese permanent hair straightening). I decided to go to a Japanese salon as I thought they would be experts. It was also significantly cheaper- about £100 cheaper than in other London salons. While I’m loving Yuko, Moga is not a good salon. I also went back to Moga two weeks ago for a haircut. I thought that since now my hair is straight I don’t need to spend a fortune on a haircut to make it look good. I was wrong.

Moga is a name of a famous hair salon chain in Japan. The one in London probably just uses the name and is not related to the Japanese chain. It’s quite well known amongst Japanese people living in London. Some of my non-Japanese (gaijin) friends have heard of it as well.

So after two visits what can I say about Moga? Poor customer service.

Even though they have Western models on their website they are NOT gaijin-friendly. I know the manager speaks good English but I was stuck with a girl called Mia both times. And she doesn’t speak English. At all. And I mean at all. How do you become a hairdresser in London without knowing the English word for ‘layer’?! To be honest I don’t think she knows what a layer is in any language cause when she cut my hair her technique was like I imagine a 5 year old would approach cutting hair. I was really tempted to ask to see her qualifications.

I heard other hairdressers chatting with their clients, so I know that other people at Moga speak the language and make an attempt to connect with their customers. The salon manager seemed really lovely and friendly. However, for some reason the receptionist insisted on booking my appointment with Mia.

And this brings me to the main reason why I would not recommend Moga to anyone: when I asked the receptionist why she didn’t get someone who speaks English to cut my hair she said that it’s a Japanese salon for Japanese people. Message received – non-Japanese not welcome!

And then there was the way she cut my hair… it took me 2 years to grow out the last bad haircut. I have a note from a good hairdresser I used to know and  I always bring with me – it has clear instructions on how to cut my hair. I’ve show it to many hairdressers in the past and they all got it instantly. No surprise, Mia didn’t. This is probably the worst haircut I ever had.  Any other hair salon I would go back and complain. But with Moga there is not point cause they won’t understand me anyway.

One of the most amazing things about Japan is their customer service. They are the best in the world when it comes to making customers feel special, taken care of and appreciated. Japanese people are also famous for their punctuality. Moga doesn’t do Japanese- style customer service. It’s just a horrible and frustrating experience: customer service is poor and they don’t understand what you’re saying. And they even make you wait.  It’s pretty clear they are not looking to expand their customer base to gaijins.

I will definitely not go back to Moga. And I don’t recommend it.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nataliejo210
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 22:56:57

    I adore this article! Just started a blog and it would mean so much if you could check it out! Followed btw xx great review


  2. dawndancers
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 10:07:05

    What a horrible experience! It’s London for goodness sake! They can’t only expect to cut the hair of japanese people when they’re located in London. The people working there sound like they have a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Good for you for standing up for yourself and blogging about your experience. I’ve had an experience like this in a Tony and guy and would never go back! X


    • youngforgood
      Aug 17, 2013 @ 15:08:32

      Thanks a lot. Yes, I agree!
      I’m surprised to hear about Tony and Guy. I had a bad haircut there one but when I went back to say I’m not entirely happy they offered me a free haircut next time. And I kept going back for a couple of years. But I guess with T&G every salon is different.


      • dawndancers
        Aug 17, 2013 @ 18:02:21

        @liagoesvintage Thanks 🙂 I’ll look into that x
        @Youngforgood I had two younger girls who treated it as a joke and ruined my hair! It gave me a bit of a salon complex, started cutting my hair myself…not the best look 🙂 x

  3. Carina
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 11:49:11

    Ick, that’s so annoying! I hate how unapologetic they are about it. 😦


  4. liagoesvintage
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 13:01:39

    I am sorry to hear about your experience. I have been going to Toni & Guy in Covent Garden for the past 4 years now and I have had some excellent experiences. I always book with Nori, who is very friendly and a great hairdresser. I suggest you try him next time.


  5. Pretty Little Beauty Blog
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 15:07:24

    What a horrible experience! I cannot stand when I go somewhere and they don’t speak english (obviously in English speaking countries). There have been times where I have gone to restaurants etc. and they can’t understand what I’m asking for. It’s always a horrible time and they get offended when you are upset.


    • youngforgood
      Aug 17, 2013 @ 15:21:36

      They do, don’t they?! I don’t know why. Especially when you have run a business you should really speak the language. I lived in Japan without speaking Japanese but would never consider starting a business. Plus I made an effort to learn.


  6. J.
    Aug 05, 2013 @ 19:03:50

    Whoa! That’s just horrible service. Thanks for this post! Even though I’m still searching for somewhere trustworthy to get my hair done, I now definitely know where not to go!


  7. J.
    Aug 23, 2013 @ 17:32:39

    Sure thing!


  8. dustypinkroses
    Sep 28, 2013 @ 00:34:48

    I’m so sad to hear that you’ve not had a good experience at Moga as I love going to this Salon. The staff are attentive to my hair and dare I say treat each strand on my head with care. I have been to various Japanese salons in London from J moriyama, Ticro to Bzar to name a few and keep returning to Moga. Many of my friends have commented on how nicely cut my hair is all the time and when people ask me for a salon recommendation I always point them to Moga.. Maybe you should give it one more try and ask for a more senior stylist such as Etsuko – her English is good and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Emumu xx


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