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.