A Cultural and Social Experiment   3 comments

Over ten weeks since my last hair cut in Beijing,  I decided to be brave and have a trim in Vietnam.  I’d heard all sorts of interesting barber stories, so I decided to take this experience and treat it as a cultural and social experiment.  To put things into context I had a beard (trimmed but full) and a good head of hair, but still in my recognisable style.  See my Beards are cool post for reference.  I left a worried Kerry in a coffee shop and headed down the street. I was in luck the barber.  The barbers shop I had already scoped out was empty.  I was seated with a smile and warm welcome from the proprietor.  Oddly in the next chair was a guy with his face covered in bandages and a woman prodding his ears.  I had the usual thingy placed round my neck to catch the hair and off  he went cutting my hair.  No “how long is it since your last cut?”, “do you have any particular style in mind?” Or “clippers or scissors?”  Just wallop and cutty cut cut cut.  Ok let’s see what he comes up with I thought.  Brave hey!   After all he’s cutting it like a barber would at home.   After 15 minutes of gently pushing my head this way and that he had finished.  He then asked how I wanted my side burns cutting.  After some discussion he trimmed them to my specification, but strangly removed the part of my beard directly below the sideburn.  Mmmmm slightly odd look I thought, but it will grow back.  OK done I thought……Er no.  Mr barber man told me to stay seated, flipped the chair back and proceeded to apply shaving cream my face, put a new blade in his cutthroat razor and started shaving my lovingly nurtured beard.  Once completed he sat me up and I discovered he had fashioned me a goatee!  Remember this was all without me saying what I actually wanted other than a haircut!  So there we are I thought, haircut and shave.  All done.  Nooooooooo.  There was more.   He then applied some very nice smelling lotion to my face and forehead and placed some sort of absorbant cloths over it.  He finished this this a flourish and flipped the chair back again.  I was turning into the bandaged guy I had seen when I entered the shop.  Now what?   A girl wheeled her way over to me switched on a bright lamp and started to trim my ear hair.  It was quite a pleasant experience until she started to go deeped and deeper and deeper into my ear.  So far I thought she was going to clip my brain.  Finally with that ordeal over I was ushered over to the wash basin for a hair and face wash/massage.  All topped off back in the barbers chair with hair gel applied to my new hair cost.  So what initially was supposed to be a haircut morphed into a haircut, shave, face moisturise and ear hair trim.  The price £4.34.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer


Posted 12/10/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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3 responses to “A Cultural and Social Experiment

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  1. Yes but did you like the finished style ?

    • Hi mate,

      All was good. Really nice job. However whilst Kerry liked it, the goatee was not for me. IMO goatees are for old guys.

      Stefan Palmer
  2. Pingback: Top 15 moments of our Little Adventure « So Much to See……So Much to Do.

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