Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

A Hairy Experience…

with 4 comments

The delightful hair drying experience...."Allah is my Shelter" Beauty SalonAmongst other delights of living on the northern outskirts of Tamale, is the fact that we are proximal to both a ladies’ “beauty salon” and men’s barber shop.   Mar is now a regular at the “Allah is my Shelter” Beauty Salon, and Mark has braved Emmanuel’s Barber Shop.  We’ll start with Mar’s experience….

It seemed like a good idea at the time, to indulge in a shampoo at the aforementioned beauty salon.  After losing half her precious Aveda hair shampoo supply during the first foray, Mar rethought her BYO approach.  She is now “going local” with the home grown shampoo during visits. 

Let me set the scene for said hair washing experience:  it is al fresco, with a bucket of water poured gently over the head.  This has become a local Saturday afternoon spectator sport, as no fewer than 3 women, 1 man, and 4 assorted children watch intently as the “salaminga” (white person) has her hair shampooed!  A private experience it ain’t. 

When the bucket is empty, one or two of the smaller girls rush off to the local water source (wherever and whatever that may be), to replenish the supply.  It is a charming sight to see them coming back, with buckets on their heads;  smaller bucket for smaller girl. 

However, the best part is the “hair drying”…. which is a lovely LONG comb of the locks, in the gentle breeze (when there is any!).  Said combing goes on until hair is almost dried.  Delightful.  MUCH better than the more traditional use of an electrical appliance.

the finished product!Mar’s long straight hair is a source of some fascination.  With the grass always being greener, the locals are all desirous of non curly locks!  Mar has already turned down offers of having her head shaved to support another’s desire for said straight head of hair. 

Quite by accident, Mar ended up with some bonus “braids” in her hair a few weeks’ back, which was great!   Eventually a full head of corn row braids will materialise; for now, the intermediate stage seems to be a series of braids in the front, with the back held in place by a ponytail (see photo).  Not bad for less than $2 Aussie dollars.  Lasts about 4 or 5 days….

Mark of course, is not nearly so extravagant with his locks.  He doesn’t quite pay $1 for his hair cut, and certainly gets his money’s worth.  It was with some trepidation that he ventured into the claustrophobic confines of Emmanuel’s shop last week.  Emmanuel reassured him that all styles of cut were possible, and then pulled forth the electric shaver set at about # 3, and proceeded to remove “the lot” (see photo).    A far more aerodynamic Mark...Mark was mortified to see his silver locks cascading to the floor but had little choice but to grin and bear it.  (NB:  Mar is thrilled with the result, and he thinks he looks FABULOUS.  Emmanuel is her friend).

The only concession Emmanuel made to a European hairstyle was to leave about 5 mm of hair on Mark’s denuded pate rather than Emmanuel’s usual complete head shave.  Mark notes that there is a distinct advantage;  it is MUCH cooler, and shampoo costs have plummeted.   Mind you, there’s more face to wash….    Emmanuel working his razor magic....

Memorable Moment of the Week:  We have become regulars at a local lunch spot which we fondly refer to as our “garden café”.  Augustina is our waitress, and today she worked up the courage to ask us if we “were twins”.  It took us rather by surprise, but we then realized it was because of the similarity of our names.  (at least, Mar is hoping that is what prompted her bizarre query)….  Twins indeed…..


Written by Mar(k)

November 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Mark, you’ll never go back, it looks great!

    Love the question about being twins!! Solid GOLD!!


    November 6, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    • hey Paul! indeed – doesn’t he look FANTASTIC! You should have seen the consternation on this gal’s face… she had obviously been working up the nerve to ask us for some number of days! amazing….

      Mar Knox

      November 6, 2009 at 10:32 pm

  2. Mark,
    Now we have the same hairstyle, mine is crew-cut #2. I can sympathise with the trepidation; you should out a haircut either in the backstreets of Mumbai or at one of the roadside “open air” barbers of Mumbai. I have tried both several times just for the fun of it and helping the local lads earn their living. Their tried their very best especially the shampooing routine. Hot water is off the kettle over a charcoal fire and water out of the water tank. Shampooing over a small basin is very tricky and it is hard not to wet the shirt especially at the shoulders. The hair cut is concluded with a head massage and a head twist – “crack”. I am still alive! Similar to the head twist disenabling move in the Steven Segal movies but not as deadly.



    November 7, 2009 at 2:05 am

  3. Twins! I love it! Great haircut Mark!


    November 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: