Friday, March 7, 2008

Hair cut from home

Living abroad there are several things you do when you are home: eat all of your favorite foods, perhaps go to trusted doctors for appointments, and get your hair cut.

I'm slowly transitioning to my German life. Food is irreplaceable from country to country, I've switched to German doctors and communicate with them about my health, in German- however, hair cuts are still something I do at home.

Yesterday was the day... I had at least 6 inches taken off. I had been talking about doing so for a long time and decided now was the time, while I could find someone who understood what I wanted.

I had gotten my hair cut in Germany once. I wore my hair down or as Germans say, 'open', to my language class. A Tunisian guy in class told me he liked it and a Turkish guy, who was a hair stylist, told me 'dein Haar ist kaputt' (your hair is broken). Evidently split ends are a cross cultural language. Moments like those made me love language class and the information that is articulated.

In a foreign country small details like getting a hair cut turn into major productions. An woman from the Canary Islands that I loved talking to in class, told me she would only go with her husband who would tell them what she wanted. Not only do you have to work around your schedule and the availability of the stylist, but also your resident translator husband's. This is serious business.

I took the plunge several months after I arrived. I'm still not sure I'd be confident now to even repeat the process. Granted I did this on my own. Stefan reassured me and I went to the woman that he and his mother go to. I figured if my mother in law comes to Munich for a hair cut, traveling over an hour, I should be safe. Stefan also told me that the hairdresser's best friend is Australian so she must speak some English. I left realizing the Australian must speak a lot of German.

I'm really not a girly girl that is overly into hair, but it is something that adds to a person's sense of self. It's a gamble in your own language - not to mention going and trying to use body language to articulate. My hair was completely dry when the hairstylist cut it, which I've never had done. To me it seems like that would be more of a challenge. Now I know why Stefan always goes down after being freshly showered with wet hair.

Since Stefan is the king of surprises, I figured that must make me the queen of them. Therefore I'm going to make him wait out the weekend and let him see me with short hair, for the first time ever, at the airport bright and early on Monday morning. Here's a before photo with a picture of the cut I wanted (please ignore the fact it's Paris Hilton).

I'll post the after result on Monday. It is strange to have short hair again - it's much lighter, bouncier, and I feel very sassy.


JoernandAllison said...

I won a gift certificate to a local hairdresser at our work Christmas party. Everyone congratulated me, and asked me when I would be getting my hair cut. My answer? At home.
I totally understand the feeling, and even when you go to someone who comes highly recommended, it can be a bad experience.
Congratulations to you for taking the plunge - I won't comment until you officially post the pic :)

Btw, is that a new JCrew shirt you're sporting?
Enjoy your remaining time at home and have a very safe trip back!

Emily said...

Oh Allison - that gives me some reassurance. Sometimes I worry I'm being finicky but I'm not even all about hair. A guy I used to work with does hair here now and I thought about going to him but I'd rather not know the person!

Yes, you are good - it is a shirt from Jcrew. You'll probably be seeing more of it because I bought it in 3 colors!

It will be good to talk to you on German time without the 6 hour delay when I'm back!

Luke said...

Emily, I've even had issues getting my haircut in the Netherlands. The last time I got my hair cut, I came home and ended up giving myself the remainder of the haircut with my own clippers. Good luck.