I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

The Cowsills sing “Hair”

I don’t know about you, but when I am in the  barber’s/stylist’s chair, I have a lot of time to reflect back to and remember other experiences in similar situations – this is particularly true when the person cutting your hair has no English. I thought I would write about some of my time in the chair.


1963 – Grade 7 – I came home from school one day. Short version:

Scene 1

Dad: We are going to get your hair cut.
Me: Not today, I am going to Kennedy’s to play hockey.

Dad: We are going to get your hair cut.
Me: Not today, I am going to Kennedy’s to play hockey.

Dad: We are going to get your hair cut.
Me: Not today, I am going to Kennedy’s to play hockey……

Scene 2

Barber: lifts my head.
Me: drop chin to chest

Barber: lifts my head.
Me: drop chin to chest

Barber: lifts my head.
Me: drop chin to chest

Scene 3

Dad: You will never embarrass me like that again.
Me: Oww Oww Oww…..

In retrospect, it was not my finest hour – I found out later that my Dad was under tremendous pressure for things not related to me. Sorry Dad. (Ed. note: And no, I was not abused.)


1982 – For some reason, I start going in to Vancouver to the very famous “Suki’s” to get my hair cut. I am talking to Debbie, the stylist (note the change in occupation). I ask her what we could do differently with my hair. She says, “How about a perm?” “Okay.” I spend about three hours there and as I am leaving, she says, “Now remember, don’t wash it until Tuesday!”

I get home and am met by Terry-Ann and (direct quote, I swear) “What have you done to me??!! We have people coming to dinner next week!” I go straight to the shower and wash it – now I have what could only be called a semi, limp perm. Ahhh well.


1992 – This is when I develop my theory about the colour of one’s hair. If I pay <$15, my hair is considered grey, if I pay >$15 and <$30, my hair is silver and if I pay >$30 it is platinum.


All this leads to Tuesday – Terry and I go in to Barbra’s (no spelling mistake) to get our hair cut. Interesting experience. Greg and Chan (Shanghai friends) both go there and I have been once, with not a bad job. After the first hair wash, they bring you a price list – all Chinese – and ask you which one you want 48rmb ($8), 128rmb ($21), 198rmb ($33), 298rmb ($50) or 398rmb ($66). The last time I went for the 48rmb, but I thought what the hell and went for the 198rmb middle range. I was wondering what the difference would be. I mean, I am a guy, what else can they do? He spends almost an hour cutting – I think he went a millimetre at a time.  Then he finishes with a straight razor on the side burns and my neck. If I go back I may go all out just to see what 398rmb gets me.

However, that isn’t the big story. The big story is that halfway through, Terry calls me over. She also went the 198rmb range. Her guy has cut her hair so short that she needs a new colour done (middle price – 880rmb or $147)! It was going to be an hour or so more now to do the colour so when mine is done I toddle off to the wine store. An hour and a half later, down the stairs she comes. I’m thinking that it is about 1/2 the length it was when she went in. Now, I’m not saying it wasn’t a good hair cut – even if Terry says it is the worst haircut of her life – no symmetry, too short, not good colour, no way to do anything with it at home etc. etc., but it took everything I had to be supportive and not burst out laughing. Even as I write this I know I am likely to get into trouble later. However, this morning (Thursday) she was able to make it look 100% better and as you all know the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is about two weeks. Also, she doesn’t feel that she will need another for two months – so that’s a good thing. Not surprisingly, she won’t allow photos to be taken, let alone posted.

Finally, yesterday I got my Harry Potter glasses. They look great.

(Ed. note: You know how sometimes you feel someone watching you? Well I just turned around and standing outside the window staring it at my typing away is a Jiaxing Police Officer, looking very stern until I wave, he smiles and walks away. very strange.)

3 thoughts on “Hair

  1. mary thomas

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…… I would have gone with Lucille Ball orange tone in hair and for sure you would be so so so so stylish !!!!!!!! And fyi, it takes three weeks !!!!!!! hahaha… wish I were there at Starbucks with Jennifer waiting for you guys !!!!!!! And note: really: how many people will recognize you in Shanghai ??????????

  2. Angela Rollins

    The policeman was there to actually protect you from Terry’s wrath for posting this.


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