A blond walks into a hairdresser’s salon…

My trouble with hairdresser’s in China could easily be turned into a few silly jokes or probably even a sitcom. It NEVER goes well…Actually,even before I moved to China I’d had laughable (or pathetic, depending on how you look at them) situations linked to my hair but it only got worse after coming here.

I’m a natural dark blonde (my birth certificate states that and I’m sticking to it) but have had light blond highlights for years. If you’re a woman, you know how important it is to have nice hair. Especially if you’re trying to get a job and then trying to look professional.

Going to the hairdresser’s is not normally something you fear. You may feel nervous if you’re planning to get a hair makeover but that’s it. I was truly scared. It all started with my desperate need of re-touching my colour. I kind of knew that blond highlights are probably not the most saught after look in China so the hairdresser might not be VERY familiar with the technique but I certainly did not expect the(supposedly)best hairdresser in town to not know anything about it!I had my OH with me, who,bless him, tried his best to describe what I was after…

Everything seemed ok until they started colouring my hair…To my horror, there was no mirror where I could actually see what was happening to my hair!A hairdressing salon without a mirror?!Have you ever been to one like that?

I had it washed, dried…then coloured again!Washed, dried…still not good!Oh dear, this is not going well (that’s the euphemistic version of my real thoughts)…After 3 hours I was nowhere near done.My OH managed to meet a friend, go for a meal, buy some snacks and come back to the salon, where I was still being experimented on!The hairdresser was very nice and reassuring so it’s not like he was some sort of hair-Frankenstein.The problem was that the usual blond dye they use on Chinese women, did not affect my hair at all so they kept trying different dyes, which hopefully could give the effect that I wanted. Unbelievable 5 HOURS LATER, starving,exhausted, feeling hopeless, with my hair dyed, washed, and dried 4 times, I finally left the salon. Unsurprisingly, I was the last customer…My hair ended up being 3 different shades of blond. You can only imagine how worried I was about the condition my locks would be in after undergoing such extreme treatment…This is just one story out of a few, all similar, ones, all ending with me looking and feeling rubbish.

The moral of this story is: if you have blond highlights or dye your hair blond and you need it done in China, don’t go to a local hairdresser however good they may be; spend a bit more and go to one trained in dealing with Caucasian hair…or wait until you are back home:)

P.S. There are a few good hairdressing salons in Guangzhou (Toni&Guy, the one at Sofitel, Luis Kraemer), all highly recommended by fellow expats. They are ridiculously pricey (I would never ever pay that much in Europe) but at least you know you’ll be satisfied when they’re finished and trust me, think of your poor hair- it’s worth it.

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