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Clean ears for clean profits


Following Brazilian waxes and Indian eyebrow threading, Japanese ear cleaning could well be the next hit in salon treatments. In Tokyo, shops are popping up that specialize in cleaning people’s ears. Using an ear-pick equipped with a tiny camera, professional ear cleaners can show clients exactly how much wax is being removed. The Mimi Kurin salon, shown above, opened in December 2005, and charges JPY 500 (EUR 3.50 / USD 4.25) for a quick five-minute clean, with the deluxe twenty-minute service going for JPY 2,000. Seventy percent of Mimi Kurin’s customers are men, and the service has been so successful that a second store will open in Yokohama later this month. Not only could this concept be copied to cities across the world (after all, everyone needs a little ear pampering sometime), it would also be a great add-on service for hair salons or day spas. And how about combining ear cleaning with hearing tests? Recent research into “iPod ear” advises testing hearing regularly, to be able to spot damage as soon as possible. Sounds like a smart new business idea.


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