First, they call it a haircut, same as we do in the states. I like to have the back and sides of my hair cut with the number three clippers. Again, good news, in South Africa they call those the number three clippers.
Stylists here, much like those at home, can be chatty. That's no problem except when the clippers are on and my stylist, Molly, is speaking, I have no idea what she is saying. Even when the clippers are off, I often had a hard time understanding. I tried to figure out why I have a tough time, and I realized it is often about the letter r. The South Africans barely pronounce the letter r in various words, if they pronounce it at all. For example, I have a mark on my ear. Molly asked if my ear was “saw”. I was trying to figure out what she meant by saw. Saw? Salt? It took me a bit to realize she was saying “sore”. (Good news, it is not.)
The radio was playing at the shop and music must be somewhat global. I noted three songs. The first was a song I am not familiar with, though it was in the same pop music style as those at home. But the singer was not American and I did have a difficult time understanding some of the lyrics. The other two songs were American classics that I would have likely heard at home on a classic rock station, “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. Also, like at home, the morning DJs were a pair, one man, one woman, who bantered with each other like even cloud formations were funny.
The cost of the haircut was 120 rand, which is a between 8 and 9 dollars. With tip, I maybe spent $10. A bargain! (Not as inexpensive as that barber school in Manhattan where I used to get my hair done when I was at NYU, but then sometimes there were spots on my head where the barber-in-training had shaved off all the hair accidentally. Once, I remember my friend Donna, who was one of those always positive people, trying to compliment me on my horrible haircut. Her phrase, “Well, it'll grow back.”) Here I got a very nice haircut for a good price. So if you are looking to save some money, just fly to South Africa every time you need a trim. All right, the flight would probably break the bank. But don't focus on the obstacles. Just tell yourself, “there ain't no mountain high enough.”