Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sundays from Singapore: Haircut Encore


"The time has come," the bush woman said, "to find someone new in Singapore to mow my head."

And so started my second attempt to find a hairdresser who wouldn't, to quote the movie Notting Hill, "make you look like the Cookie Monster, whether you wanted to or not." I knew it was time to take a serious look at the available options when the hair on the sides of my head started to stick out like turn signals going in both directions as once. I had skulked into see Fred in Las Vegas when the girls and I were in town in October, with two bags over my head (in case one fell off!) so as not to scare the locals! I was thrilled with the transformation, but alas, the results tend to fade away over the ensuing weeks, and I was again beginning to look like "Barbie on crack."

As you recall, my first attempt at a haircut in Singapore left me in the losing position of a design debate with the non-English speaking hairdresser, and a Fab Four flounce permanently blown onto the top of my my fortyish head. A handful of glop lowered the altitude of the 'do somewhat, but I left dollars lighter, but with no less hair.

I had searched the expat message boards with sinking hopes of finding someone skilled at dealing with fine American hair, until a recommendation came along for a salon just across the street at the mall. But was I brave enough? Days of debate followed, the hair signals confusing all that tried to avoid me in the crosswalk, until I developed a tick from trying to blink my way out of my bangs. After bolting down a Diet Coke straight from the can while standing at the kitchen sink, I steeled myself and marched straight across to the mall.

My heart pounding, I rode the escalator up, up, up to the salon and managed to choke out my request, "I need a cut. Anybody here who can butcher, I mean style, short hair?" I was sent away for a half hour to sweat some more until the "creative director" arrived to attend to my disaster personally. No doubt, he slipped out the back way for a quick trip to the bar for fortification. I retreated to McDonald's for a Happy Meal to calm my nerves and spend an amusing 20 minutes playing with my Monsters, Inc. toy. I returned to the salon in control and determined not to whip out the ashes and sack cloth if this didn't go well.

My fears were quickly alleviated with the arrival of Christopher, a buff Asian young man who wore his hair long. Why is it that hairdressers never seemed to have their own hair "styled?" I mean, if they are men, they're either completely bald, or have long, straight hair. What is with that? Are they like my former dentist who needed to have gas just to have his own teeth cleaned? Are these stylists "cut-phobic" or do they realize the jeopardy they are placing themselves in when they sit in the chair?

Christopher is a man of few words, and I understood those few only with some deciphering to mean, "You want shorter? Go have wash first." The shampoo was worth the price of admission, it smelled good and the washer used her sharp little nails to scratch my head until my foot twitched like the hind leg of a dog! Stud Muffin called on my cell phone during this experience, probably because he missed his usual opportunity when I was in the public toilet, but I was too busy twitching to dig the phone out from the bottom of my purse.

The cut itself proceeded at warp speed. No doubt, Christopher imagined himself at 90 still wading through the layers if he didn't set a marathon pace, and stick with it. With my glasses off I can't see much detail, but I could make out arm movement and I could hear the rapid snip, snip of razor sharp scissors. {Note: I got my eyes fixed so now I can check up on them!} From the motion I could detect, Christopher knew what he was doing, but I was either going to the end with a wonderful feathery cut or look like I had waffle fries attached to my head, what with him cutting each section first this way, then that. Sufficed to say, I was thrilled to receive the former. The price was quite reasonable and I resisted the urge to empty my pocketbook out on the counter as my offering of extreme gratitude.

So, dear readers, I am pleased to announce the emergence of the newly, and happily shorn Lisa. I will follow Christopher to the ends of the earth to continue this relationship. I can now boldly walk across any street in the land without causing human traffic accidents due to confusing indications from my hair. And I can sleep soundly at night knowing that in the morning, my hair won't look like I dried it with a Mix Master.


Celticspirit said...

OMG, your post had my laughing hysterically. I hope nobody here think's I'm wacko. Forget that, they already know I am. But....did you have to say Barbie on crack? Couldn't you have said Skipper on crack? I am glad though you finally got a good haircut in Singapore. Sounds like a scary experience. Barb

Anonymous said...

You Crack me up and now that I have short hair I know just what you mean.........a great hair cut makes me feel sassy, a shitty one makes me feel old and worn out. Think I'll grow the hair back out! Love ME

Rebecca said...

Speaking for myself, when I was working my hair never looked 'done' because I spent all my time doing my clients hair! The morning was the only chance to see my hair the way it ought to have been.

Penny said...

Hi Lisa, I think I must have had your first hairstylist cut my hair too at one point! I have naturally curly hair and this lady obviously had not had a lot of experience with curly hair. It really didn't bother me the way it looked (too much) when she was done, I figured, ah, it'll grow. The wacky part was that she just kept apologizing to me profusely and kept wanting to make it shorter to see if she could fix it with nary a fix in site. I finally had to make her quit. And oh, I was right, it grew back!

annie tritt said...

i will be in Singapore for one day, tomorrow, and need a hair cut. can you give me the name of the salon and number? thanks

Lisa said...

Annie~ I don't remember the phone number, but you want to see Christopher at Tassels salon, Great World City mall, on the third floor. It may not be called Tassels anymore, but my husband tells me the salon is salon is still there!

Enjoy Singapore!