Chinese haircut


For the first ten months in China I had my hair cut by a very nice Australian woman. She worked out of her apartment and it couldn’t have been better. Communicating was a piece of cake and she knew exactly what to do. The day that I was dreading arrived and she left Guangzhou. There were a lot of ex-pats that were sad to see her leave. She had a loyal following because she spoke English, did a good job,  AND worked for herself which meant that she was cheaper than if you went to a “western” salon (not saloon ;-)).

Before she left she recommended a place where she got her hair cut (always good to know who cuts your stylist’s hair) but he was expensive because he was in one of those aforementioned western salons. Anders found a place in the building where he works and I thought I’d give it a try. He told me that when I called to make the appointment there would be someone who spoke English and they’ll just call them to the phone. He also told me that his stylist doesn’t speak much English but again, there is someone there that will help translate the first time. (Insert loud, obnoxious buzzer sound.) I called several times and was able to determine in Chinese that there was no one that spoke English and was unable to get past that. D, lovely D, made the appointment for me. Guess what? There wasn’t anyone there when I arrived that spoke English either. It’s just all part of the fun. It’s hair, it will grow back if the cut’s awful. So after much “communicating” which consisted of pointing, making cutting motions with our fingers, a little Chinese, and even less English we were ready to start.

It started with a 15-minute scalp massage/shampoo. It’s heaven! I’m falling asleep writing this because I’m thinking about how relaxing it was. Like any massage in China, they are doing things under the guise of a massage but I think I got my  kidneys cleaned as well as my hair. The person that does the shampoo is not the one that cuts your hair. OK, I can deal with that, that’s not so uncommon in the US. Winnie, not the Pooh, cut my hair. She did a fantastic job, no doubt about that. It just took 50 minutes! I was kind of nervous about having someone who wasn’t as familiar western hair cut it but she did a great job. She was meticulous but it paid off. To be honest it’s the best haircut I’ve had in years. I thought I would be on my way but no…wait…there’s more. How about another 7 minute scalp massage/shampoo? Why thank you very much. A different person provided that. So this was the third person to touch my hair. I’m wonder if that’s the norm or there were that many people who wanted to touch it. Makes no difference to me because…here it comes…I know you’re sick of hearing it…THEY ARE ALL SO NICE! I went back to Winnie’s chair and finally the translator showed up. At that point we didn’t need her, we had managed and I had a great haircut. Somebody else dried it, Winnie put in the gel and FINALLY, 90 minutes later I was on my way.

To recap:

4 people either cut, shampooed, or dried my hair

Combined I had 22 minutes of massage and shampoo

Got a great haircut

How much do you think it cost? This is not Chen’s barbershop on the corner near the wet market where I know you can get a haircut for 75¢, no lie. This is a salon in a large office building. It cost $11 and no tip! Talk about value for money: all the above and a clean set of kidneys. Yep, there are some things that will be difficult to give up when we return to the US.

3PM – 95°


About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

3 responses »

  1. Glad it went well, Muir’s experience on the cut wasn’t so positive, he tries hard to get his hair cut anywhere else!

    • Sorry to hear that Muir’s experiences haven’t been so great. Thanks for the heads up on FB. It should be posting there but for some reason it hasn’t been for the few posts.

      • a bad haircut is a small price to pay for all the other positives! He has an excellent place for massages, and those we will all miss when he comes back here!

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