Published on July 31st, 2017 | by Ann Rickard


Hair Cuts While Travelling

Travelling overseas for a few long months is a pleasure and an indulgence, and I deserve it. That’s what I keep telling my travel-mate husband who would rather we traveled overseas for a few short days. (He can be a party-pooper at times, especially when he insists on checking our bank balance on-line every day with drawn-out sighs and head-shakes while I’m plastered to a sun-lounge.)

But being away from your home for a long time means being away from your hairdresser. This is cause for major concern for the woman who trusts no other than the hairdresser at home she is faithful to.

“Sebastian is good,” I was told by a local woman who indeed had a very stylish haircut. “But he is not my regular,” she went on. “My regular is not in this town, but I am sure Sebastian is good.”

“Who can I turn to, who can I trust?” I asked the travel-mate husband who has no hair and therefore no follicle concerns and no reply to my question.

So here in France I had no choice but to research, ask around and put my trust in a stranger.

“Sebastian is good,” I was told by a local woman who indeed had a very stylish haircut. “But he is not my regular,” she went on. “My regular is not in this town, but I am sure Sebastian is good.”

I found Sebastian in an elegant salon down a narrow alley and he granted me an appointment at 6pm that evening. He spoke no English, I spoke dreadful (truly dreadful) French. But my hairdresser at home had photographed my last haircut on my phone so there was easy consultation with Sebastian over my phone.

“How long since your last haircut?” Sebastian mimed at me and when I told him eight weeks his eyebrows shot half way up his forehead in alarm. Then they shot up further – almost into his blonde highlights – when he parted my hair and saw my grey roots

With gasps of mon dieu and indications that he would call for the colouring materials, I mimed firmly to him “no colour, I do it myself.” I have never had the patience to sit in a hairdressing salon waiting for colour to take.

So, reluctantly Sebastian took me to the washing chair, shampooed and conditioned me, and then began cutting. He was fast. After just a few snips, he indicated he would dry the hair. “Apres, apres, cut more,” he said and I understood he wanted to cut it when it was dry. Language barrier? I think non.

So he blow-dried and styled and snipped and in 15 minutes and with one self-congratulatory ‘voila!’ he was done and had removed the cape before I knew what was happening. My hairdresser at home takes a full hour to cut my hair, such is his care and precision. (It’s Adrian J, at Sunshine Beach, let’s give him a plug.)

I had not asked Sebastian for a quote for a cut and blow-dry. I felt that might be tacky, so it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I waited as he fiddled with his computer and gave me the bill – 164 euros. It was my turn for the eyebrows to shoot up into the newly coiffured hair. That is $245.88 at today’s exchange rate. In fairness I did buy some shampoo and conditioner, but still, $245.88? I think, non

I paid Sebastian with not even a quiver let alone a further raising of the eyebrows and went back to the place where I was staying with a group of women, not unhappy but not either happy with my new haircut.

“I just had my haircut down the road,” one of the women said, and indeed her lovely locks did look refreshed.

After agreeing it was a co-incidence that we had both visited a local hairdresser the same day without discussing it before hand, she chatted happily about her experience.

“He was such a lovely hairdresser, spoke excellent English, I just walked in off the street, no appointment, he shampooed, conditioned me and cut and blow-dried my hair for 32 euros,” she said. “All the hairdressers in town have the same pricing. I’ve been checking out their windows.”

While I had been researching and questioning locals, she had been doing the obvious, looking at prices in windows. Mon dieu


About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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