I forgot to tell you…I got a hair cut! I’m sure you could care less whether my hair is short or long, but I wanted to tell you about the experience of having my hair cut in Thailand.
It was late July on a Thursday afternoon. After Nik and I had lunch on Nimmanhaemin Road, I set off to find a hair salon. I walked across the street and half a block to the right, and there it was. The windows had tasteful images of L’Oréal hair models, and there appeared to be 4 bored stylists sitting on couches reading magazines. I walked in, and all eyes were on me. The older man who appeared to run the salon greeted me, and I mimed shampoo , hair cut and blow dry. He nodded, and I asked if I could see a hair book (open/closed hands like a book, pointed to my head then pointed to the stack of magazines). One of the stylish younger ladies understood, and she walked around the corner and came back with a jumbo sized hair book. I quickly thumbed through the pages to find a photo resembling Kate Bosworth’s cut. I showed the owner, and he nodded yes. I said, “Right now my hair is ugly. I want to be pretty.” He smiled and nodded in agreement. Or maybe was just smiling and nodding. Regardless, we were all on the same page.
The hair book girl walked me back to the shampooing station and motioned for me to have a seat. The shampooing chairs were unlike anything I had ever seen. They were black leather chairs complete with an adjustable height footrest and a super soft headrest. I sat down, and she wrapped my shoulders and neck with towels, and started washing. THAT’S COLD!!! I forgot, they don’t have hot water heaters in Thailand. After the initial shock, I settled into the ice cold shampoo and found it quite refreshing. As my lady lathered and rinsed she gave my head a much needed massage that didn’t stop at the hair line. By the time I was ready for the final rinse, my ears, neck and temples had been caressed and covered with shampoo. I was paranoid that I would have shampoo in my ears all day, buy she skillfully rinsed them with ice cold water and followed with a plush towel. I sat up and was ushered over to the owners station. It was do or die time.
He showed me the book again, and we both nodded. I was very pleased to see that he didn’t begin with basic shears, instead he started with a straight razor!!! At last, I finally had confidence that he knew what he was doing. You see, for thick, bulky hair like mine, scissors do little good. In order to reduce bulk and add shape, the stylist has to use a razor. 20 minutes later he was finished, and I was back in the capable hands of my shampoo lady.
She added a couple different products, and started with the all-over blow dry. Once most of the moisture was gone, she pulled over the cart full of duckbill clips and started pinning up sections of hair. Normally, stylists use two or three, but she used about 20! I suppose it is a little more efficient this way. She proceeded to dry my hair straight in sections, and she is the most skilled blow dryer ever!!! Every movement was graceful and efficient, and the results were amazing. No straightening iron required!
After she finished, the owner walked over with a big smile to match mine as I touched saw my new style for the first time. He had done a wonderful job, and his assistant was spectacular. He pointed to a L’Oréal hair poster, and in broken English said, “You be model.” I blushed, and said thank you, thank you!
An hour and a half after I walked in with my frizzy ugly hair in a pony tail, I walked out with silky smooth hair hanging over my shoulders. And the final shocker is that it only cost 180 baht, or $5.50. I was so flabbergasted by this that I had to give them a 50% tip, but they deserved so much more.