I got a haircut!

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One of the benefits of this blog being titled “Travels of ADAM” means I can post whatever I please. Because this is my travel adventure and you get what you get! So that’s why you’re getting a post about my new haircut. Are you excited yet?

Getting a haircut while traveling

I think this may be one of my more favorite pastimes—getting a haircut while abroad and/or traveling. It’s such a regular occurrence and is bound to happen while you’re abroad for any extended amount of time. Unless you’re a dirty hippie.

Not only does it involve finding a place to get a haircut, but you’re almost guaranteed a local experience. I mean, how many other travelers are getting a haircut?

Making the mundane memorable

Honestly, how many haircuts of yours do you remember? I just remember under a handful as standout experiences—one of them while I was traveling around Australia in May 2006. I was in desperate need of a haircut (in fact, I may have avoided a haircut for the preceding 4 months out of fear of acting stupid in a foreign barbershop).

I was traveling with my friend Sara and when I finally decided to get my hair chopped off, I was pretty excited with the end result. Sara (if we were still friendly) could probably attest to my heightened levels of excitement both pre- and post-haircut.

On the airplane - on the way to Darwin Barbershop, Darwin, Australia

That haircut in Darwin, Australia stands out in my memory because it was such a normal activity, in an abnormal way. That’s what makes long-term travel so wacky—and so fun! Doing things just like you normally would, but in a totally different way.

That day in Darwin, we just stumbled into a barbershop (photo above) while walking down a seemingly deserted street. I’d been on the lookout for a place to get my haircut for a few days. After an attempt in Alice Springs searching for some chick in our hostel who apparently was a professional hair-cutter failed, I just waited until we got to Darwin.

Walking into the single-room barbershop, I asked how much. He said a price. I probably agreed. He then proceeded to close the door and all the windows, locking us inside. Sara was freaked out. I was excited to see what would happen next. After listing my vague guidelines for a haircut (“short…but not too short”), he started frantically snipping & snapping away. In just over a few minutes, all my precious hair was gone. I felt instantly refreshed and ready to take on the world. That’s when I made Sara snap the photo of me (below). So clean!

Adam in Darwin, Australia

And that brings us up to speed

All this was in my mind when I stepped into a little, one-room barbershop on Ibn Givrol street yesterday afternoon. The old, bald man was sitting in the barber chair eating his lunch out of one of those giant plastic cups everyone seems to drink water out of (I think it’s a Jewish thing). He named the price (10 NIS higher than the posted price because “you have a lot of hair”).

I waited for him to finish his lunch. And then sat down, willing to let whatever happen. I gave my directions: “just shorter…but keep the bangs longer.” He took a bar of soap and ran it through my hair (“weird” I thought, but whatever). A straightedge blade and some rusty scissors later…and I had a haircut!

In my Tel Aviv flat, post-haircut!

Ah, it’s so refreshing to have short hair again. Even if it aligns me with a certain political persuasion I don’t necessarily want anything to do with. Not only do I instantly appear older (I was carded at a bar the other day – WTF!), but it’s so much more comfortable in the heat of the day.

And yes, this post was entirely just about a haircut. I don’t know why. Here’s a few more pics! Happy weekend, everyone.

In my Tel Aviv flat, post-haircut! In my Tel Aviv flat, post-haircut! In my Tel Aviv flat, post-haircut!

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15 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Wow, well done on making something as mundane as a haircut sound so interesting! The bar of soap through the hair is definitely weird – and I thought it was strange getting a dry cut in Wales, lol.

  2. Agreed! Even the simplest of things can be an adventure.

  3. Haha! Give it a few months and I’ll think you’ll find yourself ready for a haircut adventure. Give it up and let what happens, happen!

  4. I’m a huge fan of haircuts while traveling as there’s no reason why such a simple thing can’t be a part of our adventures.

    These days, as I just did last week here in Mexico, I just go for the absolute cheapest I can find as unless I fork over a large amount of money, I don’t think I’ll notice much of a difference. The $2.50 haircut I had last week turned out alright. Sure, I had to fix a few parts myself when I returned to my apartment but I can deal with that.

    As Michael already said in his comment, travel is often about the small things!

  5. I think I’m going to be a dirty hippy and avoid having a haircut for a while, I’m terrified of ending up with a skinhead!

  6. Well, I suppose so long as you remember the experience, it’s just as good. And 50 cents is a good deal!

  7. Like everything else in Israel, my haircut cost about as much as one in the US. Meh.

  8. Haha! Perhaps a blog carnival?!

  9. I completely remeber my first haircut on the road – it cost me a whopping 50 cents in this really remote area of Laos…and it look like it cost 50 cents! But oh man was it fun – the lady didn’t speak a lick of English and cut it all in a straight line (a no-no for long hair) – Now I wish I had blogged about it at the time too!

  10. I’m not very picky either but I find getting a haircut really stressful. I got one in Guatemala for $2 that turned out great, but the one in Nicaragua for $5 wasn’t good at all. Now I’m in Colombia and I’ll likely have to pay a lot more but my fingers are crossed that it will be good.

  11. we’ve talked about the wonder of small things before, haven’t we? Love this post. Like Abby, I’ve had the haircut experience abroad and blogged it. Here is my contribution: http://su.pr/1RyUUo

    Is this a new mini-nitch? Should we corner the blogging market on haircuts, ya’ll? ;)

  12. Haha! I’m not picky at all when it comes to my hair so it doesn’t matter too much for me. It’s fun to just walk in, let them do their thing, and see what happens. Especially when you’re a foreigner!

  13. Thanks Abby!!!! It’s funny how memorable such trivial things can be. A haircut on the beach sounds pretty awesome too!

  14. Oh, good to read that getting a haircut can be a great experience. Because that’s one of the things I’m afraid of: What’s gonna happen to my hair in the next seven months?? In the last 3 or 4 years I let only one hairdresser touch my hair – everyone else cut way too much and caused post-haircut-depression… (you may call it refreshing, but I miss every little bit of my hair that has been cut)
    Probably I will go to a hairdresser while travelling, but only to dye the hair and maybe get some braids. But nooooo scissors and knives, please! ;)

  15. This was awesome, Adam! I’ve blogged about my haircuts (http://www.thejungleprincess.com/2010/06/11/snip-snip/) before!! It seems like SUCH a big deal when you’re away from home for a long time. I remember when I was backpacking and cut off my hair really short while I was in Spain. I remember where I was (Granada), where I had dinner afterwards (El Rincon) AND how excited I was!!! You look great!

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