Tom's Haircut - "Can you cut mazungu hair?"

They say the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is 2 weeks.  Most of the time I think that is true.  Tom had one experience, however, where it took another barber's help and a couple of months before he looked like himself again.

We lived in Kamiti Courts.  There are several stories to come out of Kamiti Courts.  It was an apartment complex built in a square so that all the apartments looked inward to a courtyard of sorts.  There were a couple of shops on the bottom of one side.  One of these shops housed a local hairdresser.  Tom usually got his hair cut in town.  One day he thought he might as well give these ladies a try, since they were on the property and it would be good to support their business.  We were the only white foreigners who lived at Kamiti Courts.  When Tom told me he was going to try this place to get his hair cut, I asked him to be sure to ask first if they were familiar with cutting his type of hair.

I wish I had a picture of what he looked like when he came back home.  He asked the lady assigned to him if she had ever cut mazungu (white) hair before.  She said yes.  He believed her.  After she settled him in the chair, she took out her scissors and lifted his bangs to make her first cut.  I don't know if you have ever paid attention when you get your hair cut.  Normally, the hairdresser pulls out a section of hair and then clips off the ends at the outside of his or her fingers.  Not that day.  She went underneath her fingers and cut off not a quarter inch, but a whole lot more!  Tom didn't know what to say or do.  He hoped for the best, even though he knew it was going to be short. 

Well, you should have seen him.  Not only did she cut the front uneven and super short, she cut the back into some sort of step design! It zig-zagged up and down.  That haircut was the oddest thing I had ever seen.  Looking back, it was funny, but that day it was anything but funny!  He never went back.  He also went to his usual place in town right away to get them to fix it.  The barber got a kick out it.  It was one of those lessons where you learn to laugh at yourself and other's mistakes along the way.  Honestly, I have to admit - I'm glad it was Tom's experiment that day and not mine. 
Lori ZieglerComment