Thursday, September 06, 2007

Beehives and crew cuts

It's a funny thing about people and haircuts. People are willing to go to different doctors for even the same trivial disease such as an upset stomach or flu and have their financial assets managed by different institutions and banking services but with their hair (most markedly in guys) they are only willing to allow their one and only trusted barber/hairdresser/hairstylist to cut their hair. I think it boils down to appearance and 'giving face'. If you get a crummy haircut or hairstyle, it is noticeable and permanent (at least for a few months), which can cause aggravation and much ridicule from peers, friends and family. You want hair to be managed by someone who at least won't turn treat it like a hedge and create something extravagant and a bit too eye-catching for you taste.

That is why I am always a customer of my current hairdresser, which has earned me another type of ridicule from my parents. Why continue to be a patron of his business, now that he has moved out of the Chinese University of Hong Kong to Tai Wai? I know he is now more expensive (from HK$60 to HK$120) but he is more convenient - he's just next to the KCR station whilst in CUHK, I would have to catch a bus up to the barber shop. Actually the service is much better now, with better shampooing and personal service (I cannot believe, as a straight guy, I'm writing about this kind of stuff). Yet the main reason while I still continue to see my hairdresser for a haircut, apart from the fact that he does my hair the way I like it, is the conversation. Like me, he is an Arsenal supporter and not just one who trivially looks at the results & emerges whenever we lift a trophy. He knows some of the youth players, stays up at night to watch the games (which is better than me) and can discuss tactics with me. It is difficult to find that level of conversation in some people. He also asks me how I'm doing, which is nice. It is just nice to talk somebody who has a rounded personality and is not totally focussed on medicine.

I like my hairstyle nice and simple. I ask my hairdresser to cut my hair as short as possible without me looking like some punk. After about two months it becomes too long and I have to go back to my hairdresser again. It looks fine and I'm happy with that. Other people, and especially in Hong Kong, seem to have very different hairstyles which I don't find attractive. There are guys and girls who seem to have a hairstyle where it looks like they have just woken up but they have paid a stylist HK$500 to intentionally mess it up. I have seen women who have that intentional hump in the middle of the hair. I know it supposes to be fashion but from my own perspective, I don't like it. I don't know about other guys but I still prefer ladies to have hairstyles that are plain and simple. I prefer ladies with shoulder length hair (nothing too long), with a bob (like Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane in "The Adventures of Lois and Clark" or Julia Stiles in "The Bourne Ultimatum") or in a ponytail.

I think the worst hairstyle for a lady is to have it short like a guy and I would say the opposite for a guy, to have it long like a lady. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to hair for the sexes. Yet I have always wondered why gals have to have their hair long and guys short. I remember reading from somewhere that in prehistoric times women with long hair would be easier to catch by men, acting something like a handle.

I know I would prefer to keep my hair short. It is much easier to handle - it requires less shampoo and I don't have to comb or gel my hair in the morning.

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