A Short Back and Sides Please

How to keep your golden locks
by Somchai


Going for a haircut is without doubt one of the biggest ordeals the ex-pat foreigner has to face in Bangkok. It’s not that Thais are not good barbers, but communication can be a great problem.

There seems to be two kinds of barber, firstly the guy who farts around for hours with scissors, trimmer, and all manner of hair-cutting accessories and the end result is that your hair looks the same as when you walked in. Then there is the guy who whips out his battery-operated trimmer before you’ve even had chance to say “please leave my ears on”, and with great gusto, sets about removing huge clumps of hair from areas you never thought you had any. It might have taken you 3 years to establish those Elvis sideburns, but it’s taken him 3 seconds to render them history.

Thai barbers shops themselves also fall into two categories. There’s the spit and sawdust, 'something for the weekend sir' type with about 4 barbers who spend more time watching the Thai boxing on TV than actually looking at your head. Then there’s the fancy sort, of which many are located in hotels or on high streets, and often totally staffed by leggy, dolly birds and mincing queens. I’ve had good and bad cuts at both kinds of establishment, but I tend to plumb for the posher establishment when push comes to shove.

There is a used-to-be-brilliant lady barber’s shop in Washington Square on Sukhumwit Rd, where for the princely sum of 200 baht ,you could get a private cubicle, a stunning looking girl, your hair washed about six times,your face massaged, and she insisted on telling you how handsome you were. She couldn't cut your hair to save her life , but who really cares.

I tend to opt for the salons that are based in the shopping malls. For about 300-400 baht you will get a pretty good haircut. In many cases the stylist will speak a little English. One of the best stylists in Bangkok is based at a new salon located next to Thong Lor Bts station.

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