The Random Writings of Rachel: WBBE: A Barbershop in China

WBBE: A Barbershop in China

Remember that very occasional "Worst Beauty Blogger Ever" series I do? I thought it would be appropriate to add the tale of Angel's first haircut here to the series.

I cut Angel's hair just days before we left Michigan in order to push his need for a haircut post-arrival out as long as possible. I've done all of Angel's haircuts for the past two years--it's an easy cut, but Angel can be picky (having a mom and then a wife who cut hair can do that to you), and the prospect of explaining what he wanted when we don't know hair-specific terms in Mandarin was intimidating to both of us.

The reason I couldn't just cut his hair myself was because the clipper set I had in the USA was not made to convert to 220 voltage, so I didn't bring them. I did bring my scissors, straight razor, and cape so I can do scissor cuts and trim Angel's neckline when needed, but until I find a set of clippers to buy over here, Angel will have to get his haircut by a professional other than his own wife.

And, after the first experience went so well...we figure that's not such a bad thing, after all.

Barbershop in China

We discovered in our explorations that there's a little hole-in-wall neighborhood barbershop about a 25 minute walk from where we're staying. So after we got out of training for the day, we headed out to the barbershop.

When we got in we asked how much a haircut was, and I figured the easiest way to describe what we wanted using Mandarin I knew was, "He wants it to look like this, but shorter." Obvious purpose of a haircut, right?

Without even stubbing out his cigarette (part of me was thinking about how cutting a client's hair while smoking could be enough to let you lose your license in the state of Michigan while the other part of me was thinking about how this feels a little like an old-school 50s era barbershop I've seen in movies) Angel's barber got to work. He used different techniques than I've ever seen used (beauty pros: Angel's haircut is a 5 on top and a 2 on the sides--this barber did a 2 on the sides and cut the top with a thinning shears over comb technique).

Barbershop in China

We did not know when we asked for a haircut what a haircut at this particular shop entailed--so Angel very nearly got up to leave several times before the barber had finished. Besides the haircut, the barber also shaved Angel's cheeks with a straight razor (he left Angel's mustache and chin unshaven, however, which caused me to very maturely laugh at him on the way home), and gave him a shampoo, blow dry, and styled his hair with product. Total cost, 15 Yuan, or about 2.50 USD.

Please note that this was simply a neighborhood barbershop--prices vary immensely in China--there are plenty of salons far too pricey for the likes of me or Angel to ever go to. But he really liked this one!

15 comments:

  1. have you thought about picking up a transformer instead? i'm not sure, but it might be cheaper than getting a new set of clippers. glad the barbershop worked out :-)

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  2. Nice! I love exploring hole in the wall places for this reason - some are gems!

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  3. That had to be at least a tiny bit nervewracking so I'm happy it worked out for him!

    And, please feel free not to answer if this is too personal, but in the teaching program you're doing, are you compensated closer to an American wage, or is your wage based more upon the cost of living in China? It seems like the two could be vastly different based on some of the expenses you've described, but as in all countries, I'm sure there are options for those with more disposable income. Regardless, I think your life in China sounds so interesting so keep the details coming!

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  4. Finding a hair salon (or barber shop) is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of moving to a new place, so I'm glad this experience worked out for both of you! Angel got a good hair cut and you got a good laugh : )

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  5. wow, what an awesome experience! Here where I live I would be totally afraid to go out for a 2.50 haircut, but that is awesome! Do you tip there? Is that a thing? I'm glad he likes it.

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  6. Wow, I can see why he liked it! Aside from the smoking, it seems like they gave you a lot for your money!

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  7. I love it. I used to pass by this old-school barber shop every morning and afternoon on my way to and from work. The older man inside always had his hair looking just right...and would do the whole "man barber" thing....with the shave, and the sports playing on one of those super-old black-and-white TVs, and the doors open to the street and guys just sitting in there talking to each other. I always smelled the aftershave and smiled. Those places are like gold. Enjoy!

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  8. All I can think about is how brave Angel is. There is no way I would be able to handle that situation, haha! I am such a freak about how my hair gets cut and who cuts it. Only my mom. That's it. Or else someone else will cut too much off. So props to you all for getting out there and trying something new and succeeding!

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  9. I can't wait till you get your hair styled by a guy smoking!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  10. I can't believe he didn't even put out his cigarette. Angel is braver than I would be!

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  11. $2.50? That is crazy! I can just imagine my husband doing a happy dance if that's what haircuts here cost- even though I've cut his hair for the past five years, with the exception of three times- just because he loves anything inexpensive!

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  12. 2.50 for that spa quality treatment? i could get used to that :)

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  13. Yeees! The blow dry! My dad would always try to tell them that he didn't want the blow dry portion of the haircut, but they would always insist. And my dad has hair that prefers to fro if not tamed appropriately. So he would always come home with the FLUFFIEST hair after a visit to the barber in China. Ah, good memories! I hadn't thought about that in years! :) I'm so glad you guys found a barber you like! :)

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  14. That sounds like a heck of a deal!

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  15. Haha, this story rings so true to me! I remember when a couple American friends got their hair cut in China, they basically asked for the same thing and the way they cut their hair was just so different to how we do it. The end result looked quite different too. They got a full head massage and two shampoos for a similar price as well! haha

    I chose to have an extended grow my hair out season in life while living there. Do you think you'll get your hair cut in China?

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