You wouldn’t think that something as simple as a haircut would be worth telling about, but when you’re traveling, even a haircut can be an adventure!
After a month of travel, it was time for my first time getting a haircut abroad. This should be interesting. I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, and the pouring rain altered my initial plans. The receptionist sat me down at a chair and handed me a card to choose choose the services I wanted, and the level of experience of the hair stylist (different charges for each).
A Shampoo Massage?
A girl in a mini-skirt and stiletto heels came over and introduced herself and said she’d be washing my hair. She was dressed to go straight to the clubs afterward. I started getting up, assuming it would be at a sink. It wasn’t. She tied up her shirt and said she’d begin. I sat in the chair while she sprayed my hair with water (and herself), and started massaging the shampoo into my hair. She was dancing to the music as she lathered. A little head massage may be typical, but the massage moved down to my neck, and then shoulders. What the? Surprise! After a long day of hiking it actually felt outstanding. I had been thinking of going to get a massage after the haircut. Is that normal for everyone’s haircuts in KL?
After the shampoo massage (!), she said she’d track down the stylist. I told the guy how I wanted my haircut. He looked perplexed and gave a counter offer. Interesting. He said for me hair, “we do spikey spikey.” I thought it was a miscommunication so I clarified what I wanted. He explained his vision for my hair. Yes, he had a vision for what we’ll do with my hair. I didn’t realize this was a negotiation. I was direct and specific. He tried to close the conversation with — ok “I show you spikey spikey and you show me how much you like it.” This back and forth ended with him agreeing (verbally), but halfway through it didn’t look like he was cutting the way we discussed. This particular story has a happy ending (no not that kind!), because the haircut came out fine. Feel free to disagree – I took hundreds of photos throughout Malaysia, so you can be the judge.