Monday, March 15, 2010


When I was young, I suffered from bad hair, both forced upon me by my mother, who didn't see the point in paying for a haircut when we had many pairs of functional scissors at home, and brought upon myself, when I was going through my years of curly hair envy.

Since then, I've always second-guessed and third-guessed my hair options, and have mistrusted any haircut that was too close to home. In college, I didn't get haircuts in Cambridge, but instead went into downtown Boston to get my hair cut by junior stylists in salons that seemed posh from a student perspective. In law school, I refused to get haircuts near my apartment, and made pilgrimages down to the West Village to get my hair cut by a Japanese man in tight jeans, whose English comprehension skills were questionable, but whose haircutting skills were solid. In both cities, my haircuts were accessible by public transportation.

In Zurich, I tried to stick to that guideline, but after two unpleasant experiences, one in which the salon charged an exorbitant (read: typical Swiss) amount for a so-so haircut, and another in which the stylist gave me a terrible mullet (read: typical Swiss haircut), I declared a moratorium on local haircuts, and spent the rest of my time scheduling my haircuts to coincide with my travel plans. In four years, I rarely went to the same hair stylist, but got random haircuts of varying success in Helsinki (where the stylist asked me how I got my dark hair color to look so natural), Paris (where the stylist did not speak any English, and I realized that my hair-related French was quite limited), San Francisco, and New York, among other places.

You'd think that I would be able to settle down and get a steady stylist again, now that I'm living near a major city that speaks my native language, but my hair-brain thinks otherwise. I'm about two months overdue for a haircut, but am not so excited by the two people I've tried here, both of whom were very reasonably priced and gave perfectly acceptable haircuts (it's not hard to cut long, straight hair in a decent manner) -- I think my hair just has wanderlust.

True to form, or at least the form of recent years, I've booked a hair appointment to coincide with an upcoming trip to New York. We'll see how it turns out, or if my hair will demand another excursion to somewhere newer and more exciting.


viv said...

Ooh I like the new layout! In LA I always go to Koreatown, where the nice Asian ladies sort of understand my hair and disregard anything I say because they don't understand me. Gotta hand it to them -- I never get the weird layered mullet (huge on top, wispy mouse hair beneath the ears) that usually happens at Chinese salons. Maybe there are some similar places up in Cupertino?

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