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Haircut: Life on Razor’s Edge

Interview scheduling has it that I have outstayed my original plan in Hong Kong. Not that I’m not enjoying my time here with friends and family, but I was desperately in need of a haircut. For 12 years I’ve been going to the same barber in San Francisco and so I was quite flustered to find one here. The trendy salons and their posh offerings–layer trim for men, color treatment, perm–don’t really appeal much to me. I was just looking for a plain old haircut and I found this old-fashioned place in an alley!

The old man who cut my hair was originally from Shanghai. Like many of his counterparts, he moved to Hong Kong after the War in 1949, when Chairman Mao declared the formation of PRC. Service is efficient and no-frill. You can choose a plain haircut or haircut and shaving. It’s a homemade, threadbare boutique in an alley, with just two chairs. The capes are neatly creased and the smell of grease is strong.

I preferred a crew cut so the old man gently worked away at my flimsy and extra fine hair with the clipper, with occasional combing and sheering. He’s quick but adroit, wheeling the leather seat around to get the best angle to labor away. In no time my puffy mess of hair is reduced to a nice army crew, completely rid of crazy bangs. It cost USD5.