Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Coupe de Cheveux

Before I left for France, I felt that I was more or less prepared for life in France. So far, that feeling has been completely justified. However, I have always admitted that there was one thing that sort of scared me: getting a haircut in a foreign country. My hair does not grow very quickly so if I get a bad haircut, I'm sort of stuck with it for a while, and worse, my hair is very straight, which makes it harder to hide mistakes. This makes me uneasy about trying new hair stylists in the US, and I'm not very articulate about what I want in English, let alone French. And of course, there's the old stereotypical imagery of a French hair salon and some guy named Jean-Pierre giving you "The New Look". I don't want to look chic; I just don't want to have my bangs in my eyes. Well, I couldn't put it off forever, and any time my hair gets too long it starts to bug me. For the past week it's been practically driving me crazy so I decided to bite the bullet and go get a couple centimeters taken off. 

Now of course there's the question of where. I had done a little preliminary research over what to expect out of a French hair salon, and after reading a few blogs by fellow Americans, I knew one thing for certain: I did not want to go to someplace called "Tchip". In French this is pronounced like the English "cheap" and that's not a coincidence. It sounds a lot like Great Clips and I haven't gone to Great Clips since I was 8. I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for with a haircut, and I seen no reason to visit any establishment whose best selling point is their price. I may be a pinch penny, but I'll pay up for a good haircut. Thus I came across a place called Camille Albane. An easy to find location on one of the major shopping roads downtown, nice spacious salon (well, for France), and named after a person, not a price point. I personally have greater trust in salons named for a person, even if it's a chain, than something like Haute Hair. When it's your name and reputation on the line, there's greater accountability; there's more at stake. 

Thus resolved, and armed with a few well-selected vocabulary words, I went in and asked for a haircut. The lady was nice, but not chatty. I think my obvious foreign accent and extreme timidity probably deterred her from doing the usual small talk. I managed to remember my vocab words and explain what I wanted and she she showed me about how much she was going to take off. I agreed and she set about to shampooing my hair. I love  having my hair washed. So relaxing and nice. Ahhhh. And then the nerve racking part, the actual hair cut. All said and done I liked it. She cut it a little shorter than I think I was originally envisioning, but they always do. She did a great job with the layers, and my bangs are no longer falling in my eyes continuously. I would definitely go back. 

As a reward for having braved the dreaded hair salon I went and bought myself this delicious treat: 
Nutella Beignet!

Then I wandered over to the Christmas market. The town has set a whole bunch of wooden booths where vendors sell everything from Russian nesting dolls to ugly hats to hot spiced wine. They also have a giant Christmas tree and the kids can meet "Pere Noel" (Santa) at his cottage. When I got there a troop musicians and stilt walkers was performing. Great way to round out the day!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I have enough problems getting my hair cut in the States. I'm glad your experience turned out better than Jena's though =)