Ellen Esterhay Photograph


Office of Admission
315-859-4457 (fax)


October 28, 2012   

I have avoided getting a haircut in China for the absolute longest time. Just ask any girl, and most will tell you that it is hard trusting people with your hair! But it was getting to be that time where it just had to be done, so I just picked a place at random and went.

There are some aspects of living in China that I love, and some that I hate. I am not particularly fond of the fact that foreigners - particularly white foreigners - get noticed wherever they go. Downright stared at, in most cases, because in Chinese culture staring is not considered rude. Then again, it was a little amusing to step foot into this hair salon and immediately be surrounded by five hair stylists. They were probably thinking "Oh no here's a foreigner, how the heck will we figure out what she wants…" But I had a fairly easy time explaining that I just wanted a trim, nothing new or fancy. While the short haircut a lot of Chinese girls choose is cute on them, it would not work for me!

Now for what I love about living in China - the great conversations you can have with the most random people. I loved my hairstylist! He was this young guy, maybe mid to late twenties. Actually, almost every hairstylist I have seen in China is male. Which seems a bit strange, since I feel like most American hairstylists are women.  But he told me that my Chinese "wasn't bad" for three years of studying, and we talked about the differences between American and Chinese hair salons. He asked if I would ever come back to China after graduation, a question that I can not even begin to start thinking about now.

I caught the manager staring at my hair at one point, and pointed it out to my hairstylist. His response was, "It is because your hair is so beautiful! The color is so pretty. You know, not black!" So on the upside, getting a haircut in a Chinese salon is great for the confidence boost...assuming your hair is not straight or black.