Once my gut told me to stop and my brain told me to go. My heart said nothing, it was beating too fast to give impressions. A few moments later I was sliding on the asphalt. Close but no cigar. Cycling always gave me a rough ride. 

Getting a hair cut in People's Republic of China

Why does nearly everyone hate going to the hairdresser?

The main reason I don't like it is because I feel like they don't have much to say.  

No one likes the sound of silence.  

Back in France I'd sometimes get there early and pick up one of those gossip magazines that hang around that little square glass Ikea table in the waiting room and read about all the bull shit.  I'd remember some and then we'd have common grounds to talk about.  
Another time I'd practice my listening skills and just ask them what they're passionate about.  
Mostly, I'd stay silent and hope it doesn't take too long.  

But what do I do in China?  We don't even share a language.  

Do you trust someone you can't speak to? 

There's a funny agreement we all have.  If I grabbed a pair of scissors and a razor blade then walked up to you in the street and said "I'm the best hair dresser in town, take a seat and I'll cut your hair." you would most likely freak out and refuse, even if it was for free and you really needed your hair to be cut.  

Personally, I'd take a quick glance at the razor he'd be gliding on my neck and the scissors he'd be manipulating near my face and kindly reject the offer.  

Now when you walk into a hair dresser, this suddenly all becomes accepted.  You grant this man or woman all your trust because obviously you're simply getting your head trimmed.  

It's worth a thought though.  

You must be thinking "what a weird thought."  It's what came to my mind as well when I read myself.  It remains nevertheless very true but I guess we could say the same for a cab driver and many others. 


To get your hair cut in China take a stroll and find a place that looks like this.

See those tubes spinning?  Every one of them has those, it's their Trademark.  

As I folded my umbrella on that third step a young man opened the door.  They all stared at me and looked surprised.  Was it my skin color in the back streets of a poor neighborhood?  Was it my unseen mahogany hair color?  I'll never know.

 A girl in the back springed out of her chair and led me to the shampoo zone while the guy next to her slurped noodles into his mouth.  After a quick shampoo I got a massage-shampoo for about 20 minutes.  She was much better than that massage I had received in Cambodia!  

I then went to take a seat in front of the mirror.  I pulled out my phone and showed him my LinkedIn profile picture.  


After 45 minutes of cutting and a lot of guidance from my side he stopped and nodded, seeking approval. 

I approved. 

He sent me for a 3rd shampoo.  

I returned and he blew my hair till it was desert dry and began to cut again.  


An hour and a half is the time you will need to get a hair cut in China.  


I've shared this post because I believe cultural differences are also in the small things.

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