A Travellerspoint blog

June 2009

Haircut headaches in Lishui, China

Who needs kneading knuckles

sunny 28 °C

We both knew this wasn't going to be a simple mission. Indeed Megan first broached the topic by telling me about her friend Stacey's botched dye job here a couple of years ago. Who knows what style she was going for, but needless to say, it wasn't meant to turn out blue.

So, taking fellow Lishui resident Sandra's recommendation of a new hair salon off one of the main streets that had verily achieved the shortening of her hair, we resolved to give it a try. Just on yours truly though, since my average male top suggested few major upsets could occur.

You would think. That was before they slapped me in a barber's chair that was either unadjustable or was already at its highest setting, and asked me to slouch. Our excuse of me having a 'stomach ache' (read: bruised ribs; so nasty) just barely satisfied the lady below, who could scarcely reach above my head.


After what seemed like about 12 rounds of lathering gloopy shampoo in my hair, the lady then started trying to massage my head. I know many people in the world like massages, but I'm not one of them, and most especially not on my head. She was actually aiming both index fingers at the back of my head and then flicking me. This hasn't happened since secondary school, when it was meant to be annoying. So was this.

Thankfully Megan saved me from the worst part of the massage, which was to drop the chair back to horizontal and start bashing my shoulders. Nonetheless the lady tried ignoring our entreaties a couple of times, and was getting a bit injured at our reluctance to her wares. She had also stuck a huge ear bud in my ear and nigh on fondled my brain with the goddamn thing. Mercifully she could not physically make me be massaged, for she seemed as though she would have liked to.


Several rinses later, we came to a different chair and, finally, the actual haircut. By this time I was breathing a sigh of relief to be presented with a man with scissors. Sorry ladies, it's just so much easier that way. A few brief instructions from Megan and a nod from me, and he was cutting away. Aside from a few friendly questions, I had a serviceable cut in no time at all. I even consented to having it combed into a Chinese boy-style fwap at the front afterwards (see below), purely in the name of intercultural dialogue obviously!


Once washed again at home the next day, my hair was back to normal and looking just like it did about a month ago. Which unfortunately means it may have to be cut again sometime soon. Dear readers, is long hair back in fashion by any chance?

Posted by BillLehane 15:40 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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