Sunday, March 09, 2008


I got my first haircut by a Taiwanese person... I made it a year with my roommate Kathryn, who was a haircutter in the US. I got not the best haircut in the world in the US, which grew out in the worst way possible. Man was my hair ugly.

I was really scared of getting a haircut in Taiwan because I'd heard horror stories of the cutter just attacking poor Western hair with thinning shears, leaving a limp thin mess. Also the popular hairstyles here tend to be ones that only a cute Asian girl can pull off. Being neither cute nor Asian I was a little worried.

I decided to find a place where they speak English, and another teacher told me there's a salon called "Happy Hair" where a guy speaks English. I walked in and sure enough a guy said "Hello, have a seat." He actually just did a consultation, and it was conducted in as much Chinese as English, but I knew words he didn't know in English, and he knew the important words I didn't know in Chinese (like layers and thinning shears).

The hair-wash was typical of what I'd heard about salons here- in a swank room with a vibrating massage chair and you got a kind of scalp and head massage. Pretty nice.

They gave me coffee and a stack of Chinese fashion magazines (rather, they were Elle and Vogue, but in Chinese, except with English for all the titles of articles). The girl was very thorough- took a long time with things. At the end she straightened my hair so I'm still not sure what it will look like after I wash it but it seems pretty good. It has been miraculously un-humid and I've been very careful so I have managed to keep my straight hair for 3 days! But I think tomorrow it will cross the line from sleek into greasy.

I didn't even ask how much it cost because it was payday, and my hair was ugly 3 weeks ago and it took me that long to work up the courage to get it cut. And it only cost $700! Like $20. Tipping isn't common here but I gave the girl a tip; as I left I heard her say, "The foreigner speaks very good Chinese! She gave me $200!" Ha! I've finally figured out a way to get complimented on my Chinese.

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