When A Haircut Is Rarely Just A Haircut

More Bank of China close-ups.

The last time I got my hair cut was in February in Thailand. I managed to find an interesting place and I got a really good cut for 250 BHT. Naturally, the haircut included some hair massages.

I wrote this a few weeks ago, looks like I’ll have to go back to get my hair cut again next week.

Hold on, let me just back up a bit. In Asia, getting your haircut is a strange ritual. My wife has had terrible experiences, since she has very long red hair that she tries to keep long. You almost always get a hair massage. That’s when someone massages shampoo into your hair for about 10 minutes. It’s strange in the beginning, but quite good after you get used to it.

Back to my story. I hadn’t cut my hair in a while. Since we just moved here a month ago, from Sinjhuang, I didn’t really know that many places to go.

My hair had been getting longer. It’s not that I wanted it to grow, it’s just that I was lazy to find a place to get it cut. I’ve been delaying it for a while, and it’s been bugging me.

So today, after my late afternoon/early evening classes, I stopped by one of the hair salons in DaAn. I look a bit shaggy. The easiest way to explain the type of cut that I like is to say David Beckham. Instantly, the name is recognized and they all understand when I mention the slight Mohawk that he had a while back. I sat back in the chair waiting to get it cut.

The women were worried about what I exactly wanted. They double checked with an English speaking customer. Then the back massage started. I was so surprised that I almost laughed out loud. I caught myself and started to enjoy the kneed and grind of the massage. I kind of lost track of time, but it must have been about 10 minutes.

After that, it was time for the hair massage. I enjoyed it. The woman who was washing it punched on a LCD TV screen in order to entertain me. I switched it of and closed my eyes. At times, the back massage hurt. But I knew that it would feel good. I have had problems with my back since we moved. They are very slight problems and arise because I am not used to our mattress yet.

Afterwards, a girl named Gloria meticulously cut my hair for about an hour. She sculpted, starting with scissors. She then moved back and forth with a clipper. She thinned my hair. At first, I didn’t know where she was heading. But after a while, her shapes started making sense. I thought I would have to intervene to show her the shape that I wanted, but she didn’t need that at all. She was a consummate professional, slowly grinding the millimeters off my shagadelic hair doo.

At the end, she added a little bit of sculpting wax and sent me on my way. I thanked her and bought some L’Oreal mousse. The cost of the mousse was almost the same as the cost of my haircut. For now, I feel pretty good and I feel fast. Everything is lighter with less hair.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.