Stylin’ in Shanghai

Finding a new hair stylist is one of the scariest challenges you can face in life.  First world problems to be sure but after you have experienced a seriously bad hair cut or color, we’ll talk.  When you have hair as short as mine, one mistake and you could look ready for military duty or the circus or worse.  But really, what’s worse than being in a circus—scary ass clowns and all.  Add in a complicated coloring process that in the past has produced shocking pink hair when a genius laid down red color over blonde and you can perhaps begin to sympathize with my anxiety levels.  After shunning the haughty French dude who charged me ridiculous amounts of Yuan so he could regale me with tales of his greatness at hair cutting, I found Michael.  Recommended by my co-worker, he cuts hair out of his lane house in the former French Concession.  He dreams of one day opening his own salon on the Bund, but, for now, he entertains clients in his home with his cat, dog, friends, etc. wandering in and out as he does his hair thing.  It’s very local and interesting to say the least.

It takes HOURS to cut & color this hair to look good!
It takes HOURS to cut & color this hair to look good!

Chinese by birth but having worked in the UK, Michael is a seriously cool dude who speaks with a Chinese/British accent and advises me on life in Shanghai.  “Trust no one” is the motto he adopted after his former partner took his money and ruined his last salon.  He tells it like it is and I appreciate his honesty.  When he touched my hair today and asked what the hell I used as a conditioner, I told him Aveeda, an organic product I brought with me from the U.S.

“Darling, bloody hell, don’t you realize that the contaminated water here doesn’t work with anything organic.  F&#KING HELL!  We are not a civilized country-dump that organic shit.”  It makes sense, of course, that nothing organic could survive or flourish here. Duh. Stupid naïve me.

When the conversation came around to politics, he asked if I watched House of Cards. You bet!  Michael thinks that all politicians are as corrupt as Frank but perhaps not all go to the extreme of murdering people–maybe.  He respects the President of Italy for being frank about all his bad behavior.  Sex parties-sure, he did it and proud of it.  What???  After passing judgment that Obama seemed to be okay but what’s up with that brainless Bush, he declared Clinton his favorite U.S. President. Though he wondered why Bill was stupid enough to do Monica at the White House, he was far more disgusted that he couldn’t he find someone better to do it with.  Seriously, he’s the President of the Free World and he has to settle for an intern???  Interesting perspective, Michael.

I told him I was looking forward to having Hillary run the country because she would be smart enough not to do stupid shit like Bill and was probably smarter any way, though why she stayed with him all these years, I don’t get at all.  I would have cut off his junk and then set him loose after his first “indiscretion” but obviously Hillary is a kinder, more forgiving person than I and, if his name recognition and his legendary fund raising ability gets her elected, I guess he has some merit.  It is totally fun that Hillary will be a Nai Nai AND President.  You go girl!  I can’t wait to see her stare down Putin and put him in his place.  Yes, I’m that sure she will win.  Done.

With my hair looking good and still chuckling when I think of Michael’s reflections on life in Shanghai and politics in America, I’m glad I was able to discover a hair stylist who makes me laugh AND look cool.



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