Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stranded in the Land of the Chinese Hair Women

As tends to happen, my parents and I went in to Chinatown today for lunch and the usual rounds. My Mom also needed a haircut, so I accompanied her to one of the many hair salons on Pell Street.

This was more than me being a dutiful son, as I, too, needed highlights and a haircut, because my roots were longer than my not-roots, and I'd already achieved my "mistaken for a woman" quota after that night at Whitlow's and an earnest "want to make friendship" e-mail from what I gather to be a Pakistani computer science student.

Why go to Chinatown to get your hair done? Try $55 (plus tip) for full highlights and a haircut, which is basically half-price. Why so cheap? Lower labor costs and extra-carcinogenic hair dyes (we pass the savings to you!).

Anyway, I wasn't the only non-local trying to catch a deal -- a few non-Asian heads passed through while I was there.

My dad wants me to get a crew cut. It looks like a better idea all the time.

Now, even though I'm well into my 30s, there are still a few times when I feel like a complete mama's boy -- and this was one of those times. This is because I was a triply-alienating environment:

1. I was in a hair salon, which is still more or less the exclusive domain of women (no matter how many male customers there are, or even if there is a more barber-ish side of the room)
2. While I'm in the chair, I don't have my glasses on, and thus can't see. When I can't see, I don't like to talk.
3. I'm surrounded by Chinese-speaking ladies. I don't speak Chinese.

Because of #1 and #2, getting my hair colored is, to me, more like a necessary medical procedure, rather than a cosmetic enhancement with social benefit. Add #3 and I'm completely out of my element.

I spent the next 3 hours in the chair. It's never taken that long before -- I guess it was a combination of: 1). Not sitting under the hair dryer to speed things up (net loss: 15 min.) and 2). Having to spend extra time painting all the gray hairs out (net loss: an hour or so. Dammit.)

The resulting haircut is pretty good; I probably went a shade too light (it looked darker in the book) and too short (my fault -- overreaction to the whole gender thing).

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  • You are a brave brave man posting that photo. Hee hee! OK, I've seen a before, this is the during...where is the after???

    By Blogger Becky, At 11/25/2007 8:45 AM  

  • We demand an after photo!

    By Blogger Jamy, At 11/25/2007 8:02 PM  

  • That is probably the funniest photo I've ever seen of you! LOL.

    And, yeah, after this excursion into the alien side of hair cuts? Go ahead -- post the after photo:)

    p.s. -- I'd have thought you too young for grey hairs.

    By Anonymous Robin, At 11/26/2007 4:39 PM  

  • omg hilarious!!

    yes, yes, we want an after.

    By Blogger brazilian girls, At 11/28/2007 2:50 PM  

  • Hello!

    I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I'd like to request permission to use the photograph you have posted in this book. Please contact me at matt@wefeelfine.org, and I'd be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.



    By Blogger Matt, At 5/13/2008 5:10 PM  

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