My $3 Haircut

Before leaving for summer vacation Kyle and I had just moved into a new apartment. Even though it is only four blocks away from our old place it seems like a different world. Our old address on Wuding Road had grown to become a hip bar area for foreigners while we lived there. When we first moved in there were two bars and zero import stores. Two years later a new string of bars and restaurants and three import stores meant it was a popular laowai (foreigner) hangout.

We decided to move for a change of pace (and cheaper rent).  We liked our old place, but since neither one of us did much work at home we had a lot of unused space. We are only four blocks away from our old place but it’s a much different vibe.

With the new neighborhood comes exploring. On any Shanghai street there are plenty of places to get your hair cut. I usually go to a reasonable $10 dollar place in the old ‘hood but with more and more foreigners in the area the salon had become rather busy. As I didn’t want to wait (days) to get my hair cut I decided to try a new place. Right outside our apartment is a nice looking salon but cuts there are $20 which I deemed too much. So I decided to go local. Our neighborhood is more “local” so why shouldn’t I be as well.

There are many hole-in-the-wall hair salons where mostly, older locals go to get their perms, shaves and dyes and I decided to give one a try. The hair dressers at this locale weren’t too welcoming  (unsurprising, service is sub par n China) but my hair dresser got the job done. I was quite nervous not only for my hair but also for my eyes and neck because my hairdresser was quick with the scissors and I was certain they were going to fly out of his hand any second. Luckily I escaped lacking cuts or stab wounds but with a decent trim for $3.22. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures from this adventure but I’ll be back.

On a related note an American, Ben Ross, had an interesting adventure living and working in a Chinese hair salon for a year. Also, a quick look in to hair stylists in China here.


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