I had already had my hair cut here in Shaoxing. Some weeks ago I went to a small recommended hair salon down a little lane. It cost 10 Yuan for my shampoo and cut, but I wasn't impressed. It wasn't cut to my satisfaction and the place was not as clean as I would have liked.
So yesterday, I went to another place recommended by another Australian English Teacher. It was a bigger salon with many staff, two of whom greeted me at the door, with the few words of English that they knew.
I was taken to a chair, and using my fingers to show "cutting hair" as no one spoke English, I sat back and waited to see what happened. I reasoned that if they made a mess of my hair I would only have to wait 5 or so weeks before I left Shaoxing anyway.
The shampoo was done at the table - using a small plastic bottle with a spout water was dripped on my head and shampoo added and a lather was created. Then I was taken to another room where I lay and the shampoo was rinsed out and I had an amazing head massage, before returning to the first room. Here my head, shoulders, arms and hands experienced an amazing massage routine. Bliss. Then the weird part - my ears were gently cleaned out! How bizarre!!!
After that I was taken to another room where a delightful young man with interesting hands - complete with french manicure, cut my hair. Remember no English was spoken during this whole period. Sign language sufficed.
When he had cut my hair, I was taken to yet another room for a further wash of my hair, before returning to my hair cutter/stylist who used the blow dryer and strange (well, I had not seen them before) brush strokes to create a new hair style for me.
It cost 55 Yuan but was well worth it! I have no idea of the name of the salon (cannot read Chinese), but I will go back before I leave here.
What a wonderful experience. And I love my new hair style - though no doubt my curls will reappear and I will look something like I used to!