China’s haircut heavens
Ahaircut isn’t just a haircut in China. It is an almost otherworldly experience. Entering an establishment is always a rush. I am quickly escorted to one of a row of chairs inside the beauty salon where I get a shampoo.
The “washer” shampoos my hair, giving me a slow but entrancing scalp massage for the first five minutes. It’s so intense that I close my eyes and quickly begin to snore. She takes a cool 10 minutes just to pamper my salt-and-pepper hair, completely relaxing me.
Next, we move to the barber’s chair. My hairstyle hasn’t changed much over the years, so I go for my “fashionable” crew cut. The beauty consultant literally dances around me as tea is brought for me to sip during my haircut.
When he’s done, I am escorted back to the sink for another wash and scalp massage. It feels lovely for this often stressed out New Yorker.
Afterward, I am made to follow a young lady to a delicious surprise, another massage! She begins with an intense five-minute scalp massage before moving to my shoulders and arms all the way down my elbows to my lower arms and ending at my hands – stretching and releasing my tendons.
It is a somewhat weird but delightful feeling.
They then ask me if I want what translates into an earcleaning massage. I say, “Yes.”
She goes into my ears with a Q-tip to clean out the wax. Talk about a wacky experience. The intensity is a little strange at first. But I soon get accustomed to it. An ear cleaning massage isn’t for everybody, but for me it’s fun.
This is what a beauty salon in China is all about! From salon haircuts and chair massages in Shaoxing to full body massages in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, these have been some of my best experiences in China.
The average cost of any of these services can range from 50 yuan (US 7.6) to 120 yuan depending on the city. For me, it’s not so much the price but the quality of the service that matters.
Back in the US, it’s just a simple wash and cut and rarely, if at all, a shoulder massage. It costs the equivalent of 330 yuan, and afterward, you’re pushed out the door.
Therefore, I suggest that while in China you find yourself a favorite salon and make it your second home. You’ll see what I mean.