Saturday, March 14, 2009

Getting Your Hair Done in Bulgarian

Today, I took the leap, and got my hair colored and cut locally....

Firstly, in my neighboorhood, every other shop is a hairdresser (or a pharmacy - I don't understand why they need so many!). I decided to stay away from the ones that looked like they only cut old ladies and mens hair. I asked at a more modern salon, but they weren't open on Saturdays. I was talking to a coworker and she made me an appointment at her hairdresser, who is close to here. She callled her in advance, and explained what I wanted, and I found the place ok.

Well....it was an experience! The "salon" was not at all modern - old painted tables in front of the mirrors, baskets with combs and scissors - I'm sure that they never heard of sterilizing anything. I'm used to having the hairdresser make small parts and carefully applying the color on small areas of hair at a time - here, she had a large comb and just kind of combed a bunch of hair to one side and "shmeared" the color on, and then combing over another clump of hair and repeating the process...

While I waited with the color, I had my nails done - they came out nice. Now, when it was time to wash my hair, she called me to the back, and there was a large, deep rectangular old, (once)white sink, and I had to lean forward over the sink while she rinsed my hair! No chair, where you lean back and have your hair rinsed in a special sink - this was more like what you would do in your bathroom! As the water was running down my face and into my eyes, I almost started laughing, but realized that that would be very rude...

I can't give a verdict on the haircut yet - I have to re-wash it and use my cream on it to see if it came out like I like, or if it was just basically a "haircut" instead of being "Styled". Pricewise, I must admit, you can't compare - the haircut+color was around NIS 100 - a little over a third of what I was paying at home, and the manicure was half the price as it is in Israel (NIS 27!) I will have to see if I'm satisfied with the way it settles in, or if I decide to stick to some of my more Western conveniences, and go to a modern hair salon (And pay more - I'll have to find out what the price is in some of the fancier places) - but, I did have a very local experience - and it's good to try things at least once, and know how the locals live!

I will say that the younger women in Sofia (which is the capital city of Bulgaria) are attractive and wll taken care of. A lot of the older population are what we would think of when we think about older, poorer people who lived most of their life under communism. And I would guess, that when you go out to the country, you will still see a lot of poorer people. and not as modern a way of life.

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