Well, I finally got tired of having bits of my hair breaking off all the time. Normally I oscillate between pixy-short and long hair but the former isn’t an option right now. I’m traveling too much and my future’s too uncertain to commit to a cut that absolutely requires a recut every 4-6 weeks. But it occurred to me a day or two ago that I could go a fair bit shorter and still have most of the benefits of long hair. And so I did:

I got it cut by Eddie at the Mix & Match salon; he’d been recommended online as someone who could handle different hair textures well (i.e. non-Asian hair). My previous cut here was at the Muse Salon (an Aveda salon) in the Miramar mall and I was happy with it, but since I actually wanted a change this time I needed to go to someone who could speak English well. Considering that of the three other people I saw him work on, two were Westerners, I gather he has quite a reputation in the expat community. He apparently did his training in London, at places like Harvey Nichols, so his English is quite good. He came, looked at my hair and talked about what I wanted before anyone wet my hair, always a good sign. The salon was very busy and I had to wait a while for the shampoo guy, but I was in no rush and I felt lucky to get an appointment at all, since I’d called only the day before. The shampoo guy was very gentle, and as with my previous haircut here, the scalp massage was more extensive than I’ve ever had in the US. Unlike the last two cuts (one here, one in the Netherlands) no one attacked my hair with a brush; the shampoo guy detangled it very gently. I will be going back to Eddie; he listened to exactly what I wanted, made some recommendations, was willing to do what I wanted even when I didn’t take his suggestion to cut it a little shorter in the back instead of one length all the way around – I did change my mind and end up doing that), and cut it the precise length I wanted, or rather a little longer so when it dried and the curl kicked in it was where I wanted. It’s long enough to pull into a ponytail for rowing (though it might look like a rabbit’s tail!) or to pull into a barrette, so I still have variety. He dried it “as naturally as possible” (his words) with no scrunching, so the natural curl is there but I don’t look like a poodle or someone who’s had her hair “done”. Ask me tomorrow, but so far I think I like it.

Last night I went to the mall to grab dinner and ended up with some summer clothing; apparently the trick to successful shopping there is to sneak up on it, not letting your interntions show, as elaborately casual as if you wanted to pet a strange cat. I got a pair of the shoes I’d been wanting (Keen Berkeley, blue but I suspect the color may prove unexpectedly versatile andanyway people do wear colorful shoes here), one tailored top, one embroidered hippie top, and a batiked skirt with a bright coral-red gypsy underskirt. Here’s the skirt –

Cool, huh? I need to go dancing!