Hair Experience

Todd, my dogs, and who is going to do my hair were some of my big concerns about moving to China. I had the best hair stylist, Miss Elizabeth Garland. I just love her! Not only does she do great hair, we had a lot of fun during the hours we spend together on my coiffure. Right before I left I had one final appointment. Since I have been here almost 2 months, I am sad to say I have pushed the roots to their limit of acceptable by my standards, not that of Shanghai. I think if I let them go another 2 months there is potential to be a fashion icon.

It is time. It is not that I didn’t want to get my hair done. It is I didn’t know where to go, who would be able to do it and then you have the language barrier on top of all that. How many blond Chinese have you seen? Exactly! It is because it is difficult to do. The hair texture and black base color is so different.  To change the color, I am sure it requires 50% volume peroxide or bleach to stay on for 2 hours and it is still comes out orange. My fine, fragile locks wouldn’t be able to take it, my hair would melt off. Asking around, I found a place called Benson, who is experienced with the Western hair and highlights. I sucked it up and made an appointment for that evening.

I took a cab there, I had no idea where it was and from the map no metro stations close by. No problem finding it, not too far by cab, it was under $3 to get there. The employees all had on black pants and white shirts and many of them and they all were looking at me. It was a little freaky for was it because they wanted to touch my lovely locks? Wondered how to cut and highlight such different hair? These are the thoughts running through my head. They took my coat, brought me to a chair, a cup of tea and brought over a stack of magazines in English. Yahoo!  They were playing the new version of  We Are The World (Which I don’t like at all, the original or bust) and then of course Gaga came on. A team of folks came over and looked at my hair, talked in Chinese, touched it, asked if I had 2 colors in my hair (hi&lo-lights) and I said yes. They speak English as well. One told me they are going to do 2 colors again and took off. The team came back and started to put the foils in.  2 of them did it at the same time. I have never experienced this before. Maybe each was doing one color who really knows but in no time I had a head full of foils. I wish I took a photo but the experience was a little overwhelming.There was also this guy if I had to guess was the manager or head stylist who would supervise. He reminded me of Jonathan he was a hip, trendy, older man. His real name is Sam.   I told them my hair takes really quickly so I was worried how long the stuff say on it but she came over and checked often so that made me feel better.

They took the foils out and washed. They washed my hair for 20min, it wasn’t a wash to get the stuff out, it was a wash-massage. They wanted me to do a treatment, they know how to upsell, I think the water really drys out hair and skin here but I didn’t have enough cash on me for that add on. I told them they can cut off the damage. After the wash,  the manager/head stylist guy came over, Sam I showed him a photo of a cut with some layers in it, “no problem” he says and opens up his scissor case, it was a little dramatic and I loved it. He had an audience as well, other stylists, all males but Jennifer who assisted Sam stood around and watched and commented in Chinese. Maybe they were all learning how to cut my type of hair, who knows. He did not use clips to section and hold back hair, Jennifer held it! She held the sections of hair as he cut. It was blow dried, styled. The color and cut exceeded my expectations I think I found my new hair place. Little pricey for China, coming in a $108 for the 2 color full head highlights and cut/blowdry but it looks decent so no complaints, there are more expensive places for sure.  Come to find out, when they gave me their name card, Sam and Jennifer are a team. Jennifer did the color with another person, maybe an assistant and Sam did the cutting and styling.

I needed to get a cab back to my apartment, with my new hair giving me confidence, I decided to attempt to tell the cab drive where I lived in Chinese, I thought I did pretty good, but I ended up handing him my slip of paper with my address on it. Next time.


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