Hair My Cry, O Blog!

When you move country, the first thing you’ve got to occupy yourself with is finding those people (and services) without whom your daily existence would be a living hell. For example:

  • Somebody who gives you a place to kip and store your belongings
  • Somebody who plugs the internet into said place
  • Somebody who tosses you a handful of peanuts every month for whatever tricks you’ve learned to perform along the way
  • Somebody who fiddles files your taxes so you don’t go to prison
  • And, most important of all,  somebody who slashes the unruly growth on top of your head every once in a while so you get to maintain the outer appearance of a humanoid life form

I thought my move to Central Spain a few years ago was a brush stroke of genius on the follicular front. It is a dry region. Unlike North London. Those with curly hair will understand.


Remember this one going round on fb? = ME AT 7AM!

Shortly after my arrival, I stumbled into a nearby hairdressers called “Diseños” (Designs). Sounded like a creative sort of a place, I thought, and the fact that La Friseuse in attendance was close to my own age and also sported curly hair, gave me hope. I’m gullible like that. I imagined her channelling her creative juices into giving me a flattering cut that would, perhaps, make my witch’s chin stick out a bit less.

But no. My veteran Figarette happened to be of those people, who had figured out their solution to their hair troubles, and that would just have to do for everybody else. She herself had resorted to straightjacketing her wiry mop into a rectangular shape, which kind of suited her, but sometimes, one glove does not fit all.

This is actually pretty much matches my appearance as well as my facial expression post-redesign - just imagine a sticky-out chin instead of a snout.

This pretty much illustrates the result. And also my facial expression post-“redesign”. (Just imagine a sticky-out chin instead of a snout.)

Since I don’t really care for having a square head – I’m already German, let’s not forget – and adding the fact that the salon’s “design” component referred more to its prices than the craftsmanship, I went in search of a new chop shop as soon as my rebel locks had managed to break free from their cuboid confines.

This time, I asked about the price first. Twelve bucks, I was told, and one can’t argue with that. In North London, you wouldn’t even get a drunk on the Tube to drool on your head for that. Like I said, I’m gullible.

Now, haircare professionals do have a bit of a reputation for enthralling their captive audiences with tales of their all-inclusive summer break at CattleProd Resorts, but THIS was something else.

If you are acquainted with British English, you may have heard the expression “talking the hind leg off a donkey” – a disparaging reference to a tedious person’s excessive loquaciousness. At forty minutes in, I was very nearly at the point of fearing that my extremities would drop off due to necrotic tissue damage induced by the most inane of moronic monologues I had ever been subjected to in my entire life.

But the ceaseless chatter wasn’t the worst part. What really drove me to distraction was that the girl would stop short after every snip in order to accompany her onerous outpourings with wild gesticulations. At one point, überchatty scissor sister was exposing all the parts of her body to me which had ever been nibbled on by a mosquito. Don’t ask me how we got there. I can only assume that those bloodsucking creatures are, in fact, totally soundproof.

No, I told her, a blow dry really wasn’t necessary. Yes, I was aware that it was the midst of winter, but putting on my woolly hat would probably stop my dripping fringe from freezing to my eyebrows on my way home, and I’d see myself out, thank you very much.

On my second visit, it was the owner who cut my hair. (I had made sure he was holding the fort all by himself after peering through the window at a stealth angle). He was pleasant, professional, and, above all, soothingly SILENT. I was in and out of there in twelve minutes flat. INCLUDING a blow dry. An 87% time saving on my first visit. And the cut was good.

This week, it was high time to excise the felt mats once again, and so when I walked past the salon on Tuesday afternoon and found it empty but open, I  decided to seize the opportunity. I wish I hadn’t. As soon as I entered, I spotted her, slithering out from behind the spiral staircase. Miss Verborrhoea.

As she led me to the washbasin, I felt my eardrums tighten in anticipation. So far, she’d not actually uttered anything besides standard salon protocol. Maybe she’d been on speed last time, and had sworn off it since then.

All was well for about five more minutes, until she suddenly stopped working the warm lather into my pelt. Did I mind if she nipped off to the toilet for a second, the water tablets her doctor had prescribed made her want to pee every five minutes.

Did I enquire, with a caring look on my face, what terrible affliction would require such a sprightly 20-year-old to be popping diuretics? You bet I did not. But I would find out. In excruciating detail.

Thank heavens it’s still summer here in Spain. My hair dried in an instant as I shot through the door into freedom at supersonic speed an interminable hour later.

75 thoughts on “Hair My Cry, O Blog!

  1. heatherinde

    This post is precisely why I didn’t get a professional haircut in the 2.5 years I spent in Prague. At least with my roomie wielding the scissors, I could avoid the purple-tinted mullet that the Czech ladies seemed to favor! Plus as you said, with curly hair, the odds of them knowing what they’re doing going down even further. I love my girl here, but she’s expensive as hell… so while I can get a good cut and color, it’s a biannual thing, if that. I’m all about the shaggy dog look.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyday Asia

    Poor you! Poor ears! Poor tresses!

    For the most part, I’ve actually lucked out in the hair front here in Mumbai – most cuts have been with friends in life outside the salon, so it is generally an amiable and enjoyable experience.

    The only times that have tried my patience was being a guinea pig for a friend’s ex girlfriend who was learning the ropes. She’s good fun but sooooooooooooo slow as was still learning and trying really hard. But I knew what I was getting into for free cuts! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Everyday Asia

        I know its tough with ahem unruly hair, however lately I’ve just been lazy and letting it grow. It’s longer now than its been in many years… As in had a business meeting which happened to include an ex colleague who I haven’t seen for some time – he was so surprised to see the super short hair gone that he blurted out “You’re back to your hair style from over a decade ago!” All heads in the board room swivelled and stared. Who knew hair could be so riveting!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. June

    As if going to the hairdressers isn’t bad enough as it is. Delightfully, I can’t understand mine. This does present the problem of communicating my needs to her and trying to make her understand it doesn’t matter whether or not my fringe NEEDS to be cut, I want it cut anyway. So I bring Hubs with me. And what does she do? She flirts with him. Blatantly. Non-stop. I can see you in the mirror, bitch! That said, I’m in and out in less than 15 minutes and she charges €3, so I can’t really complain. I have my eye on her, though!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kim G

    Ah yes, the hairdresser problem. I’m convinced that it’s the single hardest part about moving to a new town. When I lived in San Francisco, there were scads of good hairdressers, and I had my favorite, whom I’d always visit. But when I moved to Houston, finding someone to cut my hair became a challenge. Fortunately, after a few tries, I found someone. Los Angeles was a breeze — most hairdressers were beyond competent. However, Boston was quite the challenge. It took me years to find someone good, and then I went to him for a number of years. Yet it wasn’t to be. One day I was informed that he had committed suicide. Though I felt bad for him and his family, I knew that I was out in the cold again, trichologically speaking.

    However, during my trip through Mexico last year, I had AMAZING luck with hairdressers. Sure, one was recommended by “Enrique” whom I met in Zacatecas. But I also got an amazingly good cut from a woman in Valladolid, whom I found by wandering around and looking at people cutting hair. She had done a very nice, very short job on a guy, and I could see she knew what she was doing. I think I paid about $3USD, and it was a great haircut.

    By the way, you don’t have to settle for whoever is free when you hit the salon. Just wait for the owner, or, better yet, make an appointment with him.

    You’re the customer after all. Act like it!!!


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we pray daily for the health and happiness of our current, wonderful, Irish hairdresser.


    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Hi Kim! Oh my, what a hairy odyssey you have behind you. I miss my hairdresser in Peterborough (UK) (That’s about the only thing I miss from that horrid place), who had once faced the dilemma of whether he wanted to be a hairdresser or a lawyer. Until it occurred to him that it wasn’t a dilemma at all. So he did both. Half the week in court, half the week cutting hair. Worked for him 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jackie Cangro

    I know all too well the plight of the curly-headed. If there is a drop of humidity, my hair grows like one of those chia pets. There are no products or clips that can tame it. The only thing I can do is hold on for winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wendy Kate

    Took me a while but I have found a lovely Irish lady on the coast who cuts my hair exactly as I ask for it. My hair is really fine, and quite thin and Spanish hairdressers have never seen the like before! By the way, I would happily swop it for a curly mop anyday….


      1. Wendy Kate

        Celtic? Maybe. It’s kind of fluffy…I am now sworn off the hot hair appliances and just trying a gentle blow dry, plus I have ordered a silk pillow case and vegan collagen type tablets from some company in the USA…I am desperate! Sorry, you started me off, it’s my pet subject at the moment….


  7. TheLastWord

    I’ve been told that I can, despite being widely known as an introvert, “talk the hind legs off a donkey” and yes, British English is the English I learned in school.

    A 20-year-old exposing body parts while giving me a hair cut? Hmm – I think I better leave that fantasy alone….

    As an aside, I LOVE getting haircuts and in fact, I have been meaning to write about my love for haircuts. Maybe next week I’ll inflict that on the unsuspecting populace.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. BerLinda

        Don’t think I’ve ever met someone who actually liked going to the hairdresser’s before! That is weird 😉 My first German haircut went surprisingly well. The post-it with key phrases in my pocket probably helped 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. somewonderland

    and I’ve thought that spending something like 1hrs + in a salon if I’m getting a cut + dyeing listening to some low key chatter from my hairdresser was bad 😀 Now I think I kind of own her a better tip just for not being Miss Verborrhoea


  9. Kim in Fiji

    Oh boy! Now I know an outing I will take you on if you ever visit the farm. I have a magician for a hairdresser in town, who is only as talkative as the customer seems to want. For Fj $20 (US $10). When shall I expect you, Dear?


  10. Ellen Hawley

    Having to get my hair cut is the only reason I miss having long hair. Years ago, I went to a woman whose cutting skills varied with her moods–and she was moody. Once I left looking like Gertrude Stein. On the positive side, hair grows. The cut didn’t last forever.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ladyofthecakes Post author

        Mendel’s laws of genetic inheritance…though that might only apply to peas not hair… but I’m sure there was something about it in the Bible… does Samson ring a bell?


  11. The Sicilian Housewife

    Had me in stitches!!!! That’s the root of my hairdresser phobia, that is, the hellish monologue accompanied by getting exactly the haircut you didn’t ask for.
    Definitely look for a man. My haircare problems are all solved now I’ve found a haircutting bloke who ignores me completely and follows the football on TV while snipping away….


    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      She gave me a great cut, actually, both times, which is the only reason I didn’t run off! Next time, I’ll make sure I get the bloke again, though. I couldn’t help but think of your Celtic Hair post while I wrote this 😉


  12. Multifarious meanderings

    Loved that – thanks for the evening snigger 🙂 I have frizzy hair too – I look like a Dulux dog that’s been put through the spin drier most days, except when I batter it into submission with a pair of GHD’s.
    The only hairdresser I trust is my brother-in-law, and he lives in Greece. I’m growing my hair until he comes back to visit. I hope it will be soon, or I’ll be a frizzy version of Cousin Itt for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person


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