WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU GET YOUR HAIRCUT IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY.

To set the record straight, I have been living in Italy for just short of 3 years, I am able to speak Italian, but getting my hair cut, or coloured (which I still haven’t mastered the courage to do) is something I have always been afraid of. I can speak Italian, but I was just so so scared of the language barrier and something getting lost in translation that I was afraid I might walk out of their with a pink mohawk, not that thats a bad look, it’s just not really my style.

So I finally disguised one of my “informal” english lessons, as a way for my Italian students to translate my english into Italian, to book the appointment for me, clever right?! I thought so too. So I end up getting an appointment for the next day, during the appointment making, the receptionist asked twice if I wanted it coloured like the photo, which was a dark brunette, I repeatedly said no, just the cut, but now I’m sweating.

Anyway… I rock up to my appointment, everything is great, the lady at the front greets me, super smiley and tells me to sit down, cool… I was 5 minutes early anyway. 10 minutes pass, 15 minutes… other ladies come in and get offered coffee, no one has offered me anything, they are probably too scared to, fine whatever, I don’t want anything anyway.

Another 20 minutes pass, I’ve now been sitting there for about 40 minutes in total, every time one of the staff passes me, they just smile, and I smile back… sort of hoping they will realize I don’t just like to come and sit in hairdressers for fun. I start to pay attention, and I realize I am the youngest person in the salon by AT LEAST 20 years. oh no. I haven’t done my research and I’m convinced I’m going to come out of this place with a perm, looking like someone from the 1600’s.

A WHOLE HOUR PASSES, and someone finally taps me on the shoulder and makes the “follow me” movement with her hand. Mind you, during this time I have been trying to speak as much Italian as I can, just to try and convince them that I am able to hold a conversation, or at least understand what they are saying. So I get shown to the place where they wash your hair, I get my hair washed, it’s all good, very minimal speaking involved in hair washing, I am aware of that. I get led back to my seat, she brushes my hair with vigor, while I silently pray to the Lord God Almighty that I don’t loose my scalp in this place. Then she puts that “hair gown” on me (I don’t know the real name). One that I am 100% sure is for children, because none of the other woman had the same one on. Mine was slightly sparkly and white, the other ladies, ALL had plain black ones.  Then she leaves.

Another lady arrives, the same lady who wrote down my appointment,  super friendly and smiley, she asks to see the picture again, and I’m super happy to show her. THEN SHE ASKS AGAIN IF I WANT IT COLOURED…. I almost got up and walked out, I just shook my head and was like “no no no ” only the cut, and then I made the cutting motion with my hands. Just so she got the point. She smiled super wide and said ok.

She cuts my hair which took a total of 15 minutes, then reaches for the hairdryer. Now, in hindsight, I realize that I was the youngest in there, and I have quite visible tattoos, which was obviously quite unusual for them, in that salon. I guess they just figured that I was some sort of a crazy rebel, the reason why I’m telling you this is because what happened next was something I have NEVER experienced before. So when she saw  the photo, which is this one…

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She asked me if I wanted my hair as “wild” as that, I didn’t think it was very wild, so I assumed she just meant with all the layers, so I said “yeah, why not” . She obviously assumed I was part of some biker gang, and needed my hair to look like I had just rolled out of bed. So she grabbed some moose, massaged it into my head, then physically pushed my head down so that I was bending over, so she could dry my hair upside down…. Like… WHAT?! I wanted to started laughing, because there was another lady sitting next to me, and my head was basically on her lap. So here I am in this salon, I haven’t communicated at all to these people, my head in literally between my knees, and I have no idea what is going on.

She then pulls my head up, continues to make it more “messy” by adding more moose, then just smiles and says “okay, your done”. I looked in the mirror and the first thing I though was I’m going to have to brush this when I get home. Which I did.

Anyway, I say thank you, I pay and I leave. Luckily the cut itself isn’t too bad, but I have definitely learnt that I have to do better research and not just choose the closest one. They were very nice, and did the best they could, also due to my social anxiety, given the circumstance the situation could have gone better, but hey… it’s just hair right?!

 

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