The adventures of haircuts abroad

One of the interesting things (for me) to do abroad is to get a haircut. I’ve gotten a haircut a few times where they did not speak English (e.g. Cambodia/Vietnam) so I just let them cut away. I never know what to say when they ask anyways.

“How do you want it cut?” He/she will say.

“Um… shorter.”

Yeah, that’s pretty much how it goes down. More specifically, I guess I say I want it  shorter in the back, and sides compared to the top. Usually that seems pretty obvious though. In my crappy Cantonese, it’s pretty much the same. When I go to my Malaysian barber, it reminds me of when Wongfu got haircuts in Hong Kong.

My Cambodia haircut. One of the best haircuts I've ever gotten!

My Cambodia haircut. One of the best haircuts I’ve ever gotten!

So when it came to Cambodia, I had to use hand signals to signify that I wanted a haircut (they also offer shaves and other services). At the end of it, it was probably one of the best haircuts I’ve ever had! It was $2USD and he even gave me some water to cool down from the 40+ degrees heat when I came in. In Vietnam, I got ripped off (by local standards) but I had an interesting experience since  I got my hair cut on the streets. It was literally a chair, a portable table and someone nailing a mirror to the wall. Talk about your mobile business.

As for Malaysia, haircuts cost me $5CAD and they have always been okay. They are fairly quick (they even advertise it as 15rm for 15 minutes) and it’s pretty consistent no matter who does it. If I ever get a bad haircut, I would probably just laugh it off and take a picture for the storybooks. Guys’ hair grow back much quicker anyways. I don’t know if girls would be as liberal as guys are with their haircuts.

Have you ever had to cut your hair abroad? Do you have a fun haircut abroad story?


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