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You cut your hair

January 26, 2013

On Wednesday I thought I’d go and get a haircut at a local kinyozi (barber). All I was looking for was a straight forward buzz cut (number 3), nothing fancy. And for 30 Kenyan Shillings (35 cents CAN) I figured it beat doing the work myself. After picking up some groceries Eric and I entered the small wooden shack where one can get a haircut and/or their phone charged.

I sat on the chair, he draped the apron around me, cleaned the clippers and started to clip my hair. He was starting from the top of my head and working towards the outside, which didn’t cut the hair as well as “going against the grain.” I told him “for a mzungo you have to go the other way to cut all the hair,” he clearly didn’t understand me.  I’m almost certain that I was the first mzungo to sit in his chair.

After a few minutes with the clippers there were still some strands of hair falling down my forehead. He brought the clippers, without a guard, up to my forehead and I thought he was going to simply cut away any long hair. What happened next I had actually been warned about by Pete Watson a few years ago but had completely forgotten. The guy started to trim back my hairline on my forehead, making a new, straighter, hairline. Once I realized what he was doing it was too late to say anything or I would of had an uneven new hairline so I just sat there and took it while inside I cringed. And then whoomp goes the sideburns! More cringing ensued.

This whole time Eric is sitting on the bench behind me with the barber’s two little kids.  At one point Eric was thinking of getting a haircut too but not long into my butchering he thought better of it.

The barber then got hot water and a wash cloth and wiped down my head and then put on some after shave on the hairline he shaved, which normally would just have been the neck but in this case my forehead as well.  He asked for “thirty bob” and I gave him 100 ($1.15). I gave him a tip because he took his time and his kids were cute, not for a job well done.

Right when I got back to the HATC I sought out Scott Overall to use his clippers.  After a few laughs I was clipping my hair down with a number 2.  I ended up cutting out some tufts of hair the barber couldn’t cut because he only went down with his clippers.  The shorter guard also blended my new hairline better with the rest of my hair.  At least it will grow back soon enough.



There will be a big crowd in the lounge this afternoon watching the Glasgow track meet. And then tomorrow I will race the Discovery Eldoret XC, which may be 10km this year.

  1. tim f permalink
    January 26, 2013 7:40 am

    reid, as old barbers always say….:the only difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut,is about 2 weeks”!!!

  2. Susan permalink
    January 26, 2013 2:54 pm

    Now that is what I call a close shave!!

    Best of luck with your cross country race–you should have a lot less wind resistance:)

  3. Scott O'Connor permalink
    January 26, 2013 3:16 pm

    Very funny. Eric had the best seat in the house. Good luck with the race – look forward to the details.

  4. Bridget permalink
    February 19, 2013 10:59 pm

    Inside I cringed….. More cringing ensued. Baaahahahahaha

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