Friday, April 1, 2011

Flaming Things to the Face? Yes!

You know that feeling when you go to the barber or hair dresser, and the first obstacle that you must overcome is explaining what it is exactly that you want done? You know that no matter how much you explain, show pictures, graphs, rulers, PowerPoint presentations, statistics about that style, you STILL never get what you want? Yes this has been my experience every month in America. Now let's remember I’m in Turkey, where they speak only Turkish (unless you are blessed with a single bilingual person). You can imagine my fears. I mean I can’t even get what I want in America; what makes me think that I will get what I want trying to explain with my childish Turkish? This however is not the case. Somehow, Turkish hair dressers have this gift to visualize what fits your face and to turn your dead funky looking hair into a masterpiece (ok, it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

"Kisaltir misiniz, Lutfen"(Can you cut my hair, please?) were the words that were uttered when walking into the barber. Of course after saying this, they prepared a seat for me and offered tea or coffee, always a welcoming jester done everywhere in Turkey. I sat down, began explaining as well as I could, while constantly asking "Did you understand?" They proceeded to reassure me "Yes, yes, of course." I smile every time inside thinking, "yup, he didn’t understand anything, but we shall see."

There is always a young teenager in the barber shops, they clean up the hair, get instruments and some even give you a shave. While the barber is chopping away, working his magic, the teenager has his eyes on every single move the barber makes. I think this is why all Turkish barbers are so ridiculously talented. They grow up watching this art, and master it through repetition.

The hair turned out being something I liked; next was the shave. Out came the cream, brush and razor. It’s something about having someone else shave you that is refreshing and relaxing. They then after shaving give you a face massage, clean up any other facial hair, then light up a cotton ball and dab it around your ear and cheek bones to burn off any potential hair (Yes. A burning flame coming at your face freaked me out at first too).

All lathered up, ready for the sharp blade!
 With a fresh new hairdo and clean shave I walked out paying on 20TL (15$). That’s the thing about Turkey, you can go to the barber every week, spend 5TL (3$) and get a nice shave and neck trim (Not something I do, but wish I did). It’s a mini gift to you for a good week at an affordable price.

With the personality of the barber, that’s enough to go, they love forming a relationship with you and over time even lower the price. I do not think that any of them have went to hair school, and from my experience, do about a million times better than any American hair stylist. I am pleased to say that I will be hiring my own Turkish hair dresser when I become rich and own 10 houses around the world. I’m just sayin'.

Can you see the fear in my face!

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