Monday, April 24, 2006

In the name of beauty salons

I admit. I am a part-time vain woman. I say part-time in there because although the Dutchman hates it when he has to wait for at least an hour for me to get ready, I am not always (I can hear him sighing and saying hallelujah) pre-occupied with myself 24 x 7.

I am also not the type of woman who will wage war, sulk and put on a silly tantrum if the weekly or monthly trip to the beauty salon was cancelled.

Oh, speaking of which, this is what I actually miss back home...

Beauty salons in the Philippines are an understatement in itself. They are not only dirt cheap but in this part of the world, I am treated like a princess on her daily royal spa routine service, complete with attendants doting me the attention and pampering I need. Ah, I want! I want!

Compared to the beauty salons here in the Netherlands, they are dull and well to begin with --- a rip off. A haircut with permanent dye + pedicure will already cost me at least a day’s wage.

Luckily, I never paint my fingernails and I hate them long. So I guess, in the fingernails department, I am not vain. I love my toenails painted though but ever since I have become partly Dutch-ed [read: I am frugal], I do self-pedicure at home. That also reminds me that I need to buy those foot spa kits soon. Its almost summer and its time to wear again those sexy open-toe sandals and wedges.

And of course, to have my hair done in the salon will cost a lot of € € €, so I made a very sober decision too [read again: I am frugal] to self-dye my hair. The hair dye kits costs €7.00 to €15.00 compared to the €120.00 to €180.00 ridiculous budget in the beauty salon.

Goodness gracious, all these D-I-Y [do it yourself] beauty treatments make me feel so IKEA-ish. I wonder what an IKEA beauty salon will be like?

Additionally, I buy the hair dye in Kruidvat or Trekpleister because they are cheaper. Yeah, I am Dutch-ed and I have ultimately become cheap just like the Dutch. I don’t give a damn anyway! (lol)

The only time I can’t say no to the beauty salon is when it’s the needed quarterly hair trimming maintenance. Since as of late I have been feeling like a horse with my full mane, I acquiesced and voila...

The before [flat long horsey hair] and after. My new haircut costs € 32.50 inclusive of wash and shampoo, hair cut and blow dry. Not bad. The Dutchman took this foto last Saturday before we went out.

One thing I learned in the Netherlands (forgive me Dutch women as this is one of my expatriation peeves): Never ever trust a Dutch beauty salon, especially if it’s a Dutch woman cutting your hair.

Experience tells me that most Dutch beauty salons have really no clue how to cut and style long types of hair, well unless you go to the more upscale salon services, then yes, you will definitely get your money’s worth. But like I said earlier, I am not that vain enough to let my wallet bleed.

My first Dutch beauty salon encounter was far from disaster but it was sadly very boring. And I mean boring to the dot, that when I came home, the Dutchman didn’t even notice I had a haircut. I had to point out to him that --- I had *dammit* a haircut. You know how we women are, aside from the usual affection and attention cravings we need, we also love some honest appreciation.

Anyway, for a year I had no choice but went to several Dutch beauty salons (it sucks being a newcomer), hoping that each time I try a new hairdresser, I might, just might, meet the right one who knows how to cut and style my crowning glory. But every time, just like a prediction, I always end up with the same boring hair result.

I hated it, really hated it.

Firstly, these Dutch women hairdressers can only trim. When I say trim, it’s really just trim without hair cut styling.

Secondly, their market is of course the Dutch women and incidentally they are NOT the physically fussy feminine type creatures. It’s not a secret anymore that the average Dutch woman is practical: she would prefer to chop down her beautiful blonde tresses and replace it with a short boy-cut hair. This is almost like a mandatory requirement when reaching the adulthood age of 30 in this country. Had they not have large breasts, I would have mistaken many Dutch women for a man.

Thirdly, they are not used to having customers in the salon with long hair [see second statement why], especially dark and exotic types.

Ah, this is my ever-loyal bestfriend at home.

Fourthly, they need to take lessons on how to blow dry! There were times that I badly wanted to snitch the dryer from their fruitless hands and do the task myself. Ugh, talk about major frustration.

Fifthly, they are expensive as every little task, i.e., wash and shampoo, hair cut, blow dry, etcetera has an attached € sign to it. Back in the Philippines, they are a package already at a very cheap price. *Sigh*

Anyway, after all the frustrations with Dutch beauty salons and especially Dutch women cutting my hair, I developed a salon phobia. I even contracted a Polish girl one time, upon the recommendation of my Dutch sister in law, and had my hair done at home, yeah, special service. She was much better but still I was not satisfied.

The search for the -right- hairdresser, lead me to try other beauty salons, this time, the real exotic ones --- The Moroccan and Turks beauty salons.

My hair experience with them proved to be a surprising great success. I almost jumped with joy and shouted, “Ah, at long last! No more bad-Dutch-hair day!” (I mean it, really.)

The success formula was actually very simple.

My hair can relate to the dark, long, thick, curly-wavy and hard to manage locks of the Moroccan and Turks women. Since these types of hairs are very common to them, the Moroccan and Turks women hairdressers know what to expect, how to cut, style and manage - unlike with Dutch beauty salons and Dutch women hairdressers, they do not, because they mostly cater to the blonde, short, light and easy to manage hair.

Additionally, the Moroccan and Turks beauty salons are a tad cheaper than the Dutch ones. --- Ergo, value for money.

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