Just another day in China: The Haircut

Here’s the thing: When you’re touring the world for a year there comes a day when it hits you: THIS is not a two week vacation.

It manifests in a number of ways:

You’re standing next to the locals folding your underwear. Or you realize you have no intention of seeing any particular site today and really, change the backdrop and you could be in your home country.

Or you need a haircut.

pre haircut boys

The last meal before the buzzing begins...

And yes, my friends, it was the latter that did it for us.

We’d been watchingthe boys’ hair grow and grow for weeks. Ignoring it wasn’t working. Trying to comb the growing afros was  turning them against us and our one futile attempt to cut it ourselves proved that the hair clippers we bought on sale during our LA stopover weren’t such a sound investment.

And so it was that we found ourselves asking Bruce, our Xian tour guide extraordinaire, if he knew a place.

He did.

And from the moment we walked in I knew this would be a memorable experience.

We weren’t looking for anything fancy. I wanted a good ol’fashioned buzz cut. Cut it all off. No shaping. No styling. Just take it off. Like a sheep in the field.  We had seen plenty of Chinese fellas who were sporting clean shaven heads so we expected it would be no big deal.

We were wrong.

As Bruce tried to explain to the hairstylists what we wanted a look of horror came over their faces. Senior stylists were called over. Consultations took place. And finally a solemn nod. They would try.

And what followed was what Cameron now refers to as his “spa day.”

hair washing

Cameron's first hair washing...of three

His hair was washed and condiitoned. His head was massaged. He was wrapped, like a babe in swaddling, and transported to the chair.

A senior stylist came over. And then he, along with what I can only assume was the apprentice’s apprentice mulled over the situation.

They spun him in the chair. The turned him to the side. Could he please lift, then lower, then lift his chin again?

cam tv

Cam watches tv and waits for the analysis over his haircut to be over

And finally, confident they knew what they were dealing with they plugged in the shears.

first cut cam

The first cuts...

After each swoop, they turned it off, surveyed the situation and adjusted Cam in his chair before they did the next one.

hair consult

The apprentice's apprentice, the apprentice and the stylist at work

It took them about an hour from start to finish.

And then they worked on Ethan.


e sink

Ethan prepares to get his hair washed. He was a little nervous about the masked stylist.

In the end, both boys looked like a million bucks. The stylist was quite pleased with our reaction and his staff snapped a few pics as well.  I left with two well shorn boys and the photos to back up a story that will be told for years to come.


final cuts

A very proud stylist and a "grateful it's over" Ethan

Just another day in China.



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{ 27 comments… add one }

Carol September 28, 2011, 7:43 AM

lmao!! OMG. Your boys are such good sports! Watch out girlfriend, they might get used to it. I love reading your adventures, you guys are so awesome : )


Heather September 28, 2011, 9:43 AM

Thanks Carol. Cam has already pointed out that it’s almost time for another one.


Heather October 4, 2011, 7:55 AM

Thanks Carol. They always make me smile. 


andrea from the fishbowl September 28, 2011, 8:39 AM

HILARIOUS! What a wonderful experience! 


Heather September 28, 2011, 9:41 AM

Thanks. Very fun day.;)


Heather October 4, 2011, 7:55 AM

Thanks Andrea. It really is one of those things we will never forget. 


Amy September 28, 2011, 8:55 AM

“Like sheep in the field.” 
Morning coffee spit-take!


Heather September 28, 2011, 9:41 AM



Jennifer Hicks September 28, 2011, 9:01 AM

I love this story, Heather, but I’m waiting for part 2 when you get your “spa day” in China…I want pictures of that!!!!


Heather September 28, 2011, 9:40 AM

Oh it is coming!


Heather October 4, 2011, 7:56 AM

It’s (a long time) coming. 


Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments September 28, 2011, 11:07 PM

Who knew that a haircut in China would be so memory worthy that you could devote an entire blog post to it!  Such a cute story.  Something the boys will tell their own children about.  I mean how many Canadians can say “I remember when I got my hair shaved in China”???  Keep the memories coming – I’m so enjoying “traveling” the world with you!


Heather September 29, 2011, 3:00 AM

I love that this wasn’t a place where we expected a great story and got one we’ll remember for a long, long time. :)


Lauren from Mrs.guthries class October 3, 2011, 1:31 PM

Hi, my name is Lauren and i am in Mrs.Guthries class, Ive been looking and seeing your videos ! it looks so fun to be traveling around the world ! i hope your having  a great time  in china ,I wish I  could go there sometime.


Heather October 4, 2011, 7:57 AM

Hi Lauren, 
Thanks for your note. We loved being in China. I bet you will go there one day. You can do anything you put your mind to. 


Sherriemae23 October 3, 2011, 1:37 PM

hi did u like most of the foods u tried in china
them oreo cookies look ‘t good ps scott mrs g class


wyatt October 3, 2011, 1:41 PM

how is hawaii



Heather October 4, 2011, 7:46 AM

hey Wyatt. This is China but good guess. :)


Jen Maier, urbanmoms October 3, 2011, 3:29 PM

Imagine you had actually wanted it styled! 


Heather October 4, 2011, 7:46 AM

6 hours (and many more belly laughs) 


Jen Maier, urbanmoms October 3, 2011, 3:29 PM

Oh, and love E’s face when it is over ;)


Heather October 4, 2011, 7:45 AM

I love that face! :)


Sophie November 5, 2011, 5:14 PM

What a fun experience – and a cool story for your boys to share for years to come. Not everyone has had their hair cut in China :)


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