Like many of you know, I have been cutting my own hair since high school. In China, however, I took my chances with the local Chinese salons, which made me a little out-of-practice for today's haircut... the first one in over a year. As I am expecting a number of job interviews with this haircut, I figured it's not the best time for sudden bald spots in unnatural patterns or places.
Contrary to common thought, cutting your own hair (for a man) is not very difficult, as long as you cut only a little bit at a time. Hair products have successfully hid most of my mistakes.
As these thoughts eased my spirits a bit, I remembered an experience from Cambodia in 2005:
Because I helped a friend translate some of his documents into English, he insisted on treating me to lunch... and a haircut the next day (he's a barber). When I sat down in his chair, it didn't take long before the interogation started:
"Where did you get your last haircut?"
(He silently began to chop my hair, circling my head like a vulture ready to eat.)
"Hmm... Did an American or a Vietnamese cut your hair?"
(not knowing where the conversation was going) "...an American."
"It's just AWFUL. I can't believe how horrible your stylist is."
"Oh... really? I hadn't noticed."
"Yes, I don't think I've ever seen a worse haircut."
I didn't dare reveal the fact that I was the offensive barber--he would have been too embarrassed. For the rest of the cut, he didn't stop complaining about my hair, generously adding comments on how he would make a fortune if he moved to the U.S. because he cuts hair evenly.