Asians shouldn’t go to white hairdressers?

Every Hong Kong person living overseas I’ve talked to tells me not to get a haircut in London because:

1. It costs a fortune.

2. White people don’t know how to cut Asian hair.

i.e. if you’re going to get a haircut, get one with Chinese hairdressers. But it’ll still cost a fortune because it’s London.

Therefore, most Hong Kong people I know living overseas either wait till they go home for the holidays to get a hair cut, or get it done by a more competent friend.

I’ve never really understood why. It’s not like I have an afro or anything. Surely, besides from hair colour, our hair is more or less the same?

Although, I must admit, I’ve noticed that there are looks that white girls can pull off, and that the majority of Asians I know can’t, such as that long-haired messy just-got-out-of-bed look.

I see loads of girls here that can just non-chalantly pull their hair up into a messy bun (no use of hair gel or any other fanciful gadgets) and achieve that I’m-so-sexy-I-don’t-care look.

Whereas if my friends or I try it, we look like Chinese peasants from the country side who’s just been released from Communist labour camps.

But, that’s for another day.

So anyways, one morning at work, my British-Indian colleague walked into the office with a new haircut. I asked her where she got it, and she said at the salon just down the road.

I thought, surely, if a white hairdresser can cut her hair, they can definitely do mine right?

Sick of walking around with a limp mop as an excuse for hair, and wanting a bit of pampering, I bravely defied all the good advise of my fellow overseas compatriots the world over and walked into a salon with (drum roll please) white hairdressers.

I came out 1.5 hours later £35 poorer (yes, it does cost a fortune), but having gained a very short but very stress-relieving head massage, serviced by a very understanding hairdresser who actually listens to me and gave me a haircut that doesn’t require an hour of fiddling with every morning, and a very meticulous cut and blow-dry.

I did not come out with crazy hair, nor did I turn blond. I never understood why we shouldn’t visit white hairdressers, and I still don’t. Maybe they just experienced bad haircuts or I had an exceptionally good hairdresser?

Either way, myth busted. :)

6 thoughts on “Asians shouldn’t go to white hairdressers?

  1. You should show us your new hair! I rarely go to the hairstylist since I let my hair grow really long and then hack it all off to donate it. But up until a couple of years ago before I switched stylists, I would go to random ones, and they would ALWAYS give me a freaking haircut from the 1980’s. I have no idea why since all I asked for was a simple cut, but that’s what the end result usually was.

    Oh, and thank you for the blog note! It made me feel special :) I know what you mean though, you were one of the few sane people I “knew” in London, and we never even met! I’m not sure what I’m going to do now that I’m home. I’m gonna call my old boss one of these days since he hinted that he wants me to come back to work there. I don’t want to stay there forever though, especially since Chris is visiting me from August to November, so I won’t be able to work then anyway. I may apply part-time for school next spring though. I just don’t wanna feel like I’m going backwards instead of progressing!

  2. yeah, lets see the haircut! if i’m just getting a trim/haircut i dont’ really mind going anywhere..BUT if i’m getting it styled, then i am selective! glad it worked out for ya! :)

  3. This is kind of mysterious but my Japanese colleague tells me that Asian hair is much thicker (and stronger and just generally more stunning in my opinion) than the hair of us whities. She goes to a white hairdresser that apparently had special training for Asian hair?!

    She has such thick glossy hair. All I know is that I wish my hair looked like that.

    The hairdressers are insanely expensive though. I don’t usually convert things from South African currency to pounds any more cos I have been here so long, but I am still in shock at how expensive a haircut is. And I have never really had a haircut that I liked here. So you are lucky!

  4. Oh gosh, now I’ve built it up so that you guys expect something stunning, and then you see me, you’ll be like, what? you call that a haircut?

    Heheh. Well, I’ll try and get a decent photo of me taken and let’s see what happens. I’m not the most photogenic person in the world to be honest.

    Sarah: I think I’m gonna miss you you know. Eventhough technically, it wouldn’t make any difference since it’s not like we ever seen each other or anything, I think it’s that feeling of knowing that “there’s always someone around”. :) Well, keep writing and let me know what happens ok?

    Kym: Yeah, I’ve always been to random hairdressers. I think that’s because I’ve never been 100% happy with one. i.e. one could be playing hideous music, one could be too talkative, one could be because they didn’t wash my hair to my satisfaction, or maybe too expensive for me to go back to etc etc…or maybe I’m just not fussed about who cuts my hair!

    Po: Yeah, that’s what I’ve been told too. That Asians have hair different in terms of texture and thickness and stuff. From touching other people’s hair (I know, sounds dodgy doesn’t it?!), I do agree that blond hair is a lot softer and finer and I wish I have hair as soft as that! Ahh….I guess the grass is always greener on the other side isn’t it? ;)

  5. i admit that i have been doing some rigorous online search for an asian hairdresser lately. i’ve had one haircut (white people shop) here in london before, and frankly, it wasn’t very nice. the reason is that i have very thick hair, and she cut it one-length, so unless i blowdry it in a very creative way (which she did after the cut, but i never managed to do it myself), i looked like i have a black door mat stuck to my head.

    plus for the same price, i could have a perm + treatment back in HK.

    i used to have a hairdresser friend in HK and she mentioned that she wasn’t used to cutting white people’s hair (she has a few white clients)

    i am certain i was only unlucky that time and there’re loads of good white hairdressers out there who knows perfectly well how to cut thick hair, but if i am paying £35 just for a cut, it really has to be extremely good.

  6. Wow Mag, that does seem very unlucky for you! The hairdresser I went to recognised that I have thick hair, and correctly decided to cut mine in layers (which is what all hairdressers I’ve been to in HK do). I also told her explicitly that I will only wash-my-hair-and-go, so she made sure she didn’t give me a cut requiring any work at all.

    Haha…you are correct. For the price I paid here, I could’ve gotten much more done in HK. (But I guess the same goes for everything here isn’t it?!)

    Hmmm, I guess there IS a difference in white hair (you know what I mean!) and black hair, though I don’t know enough about hairdressing to understand why they “just can’t cut it normally”. Heh.

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