Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where, oh where, shall I go for my hair? - Carole's Post

When we received our missionary call to Africa,  we had several concerns, many of them legitimate and some of them peculiar.  Those who know me probably remember me saying "WHAT am I going to do about my hair?"  Call it vain, call it quirky, call it frivolous, but it was a real worry to me.  And I know it drove George crazy!  I toted some hair products here which took a portion of our luggage allotment.    We hadn't been many days in Malawi before my eyes started searching for a salon but I didn't have to look far.  Every neighborhood and even surrounding village has a multitude to choose from. They are tucked among all the other shops such as the ones below.

There don't appear appear to be any trademark infringement laws in place here!
Are you beginning to see a theme emerging here?

Of course one of the best ways for any woman to find a good hairdresser is to ask around.  A few weeks ago we visited with Memory...

...and when I saw her a few days later, she had an entirely different look!

She looked lovely and since I could tell it was a little more complicated than normal, I asked her where she went and how long it took.  "Oh, two days" she said!  TWO DAYS?!?  She assured me that some hairdressers were fast and they could do it in one!

I remembered that there was another option!  The first month we were here we lived by Sister Komiha, a missionary from Zimbabwe.  The first week she looked like this (which is a very popular look here in Malawi)...

...and on Preparation Day she looked like this!

For the first week she had been wearing A WIG!  I loved both looks!  In fact, I loved her third look the following week when she had another short-haired wig (sorry, no photo).   It did make me realize this was why I had a difficult time recognizing some of the sisters in the branch, however.  I could not use hair style as a distinguishing characteristic because it drastically changed week to week. Obviously a wig wouldn't work for me either because where would I find a wig with my hair color?

The search continued...
I wasn't sure about the "dress your self" comment.

Ah, here was another option.  Several shop signs were written out as "saloon" but this was simple and straightforward.

This seemed to have a feminine touch.

We park by these shops every time we go to church.  This seemed practical because George and I could go at the same time! 

This was my favorite for quite some time.  It seemed to have real possibilities and had a hopeful name.

One day we were driving and we passed a shop whose motto was "Beauty has no boundary" and I told George to quick, turn around and take me back there but alas, we didn't have time.

My VERY favorite was a shop that I haven't been able to find again. I have tried and tried to go back (so I could take a photo for this blog) but I remember the name distinctly:


So what did I do when I finally had to get a trim?  I was referred by the nicest hotel in town to Impact Salon, in the western-style strip mall.  When I made my appointment, a stylist named Joan assured me that they could do "white hair" though there was no evidence of that.   At her suggestion, I made an appointment for 8:00 am the next morning (though she never looked at an appointment book or wrote anything down).
 The next morning we arrived and waited till 9:00 am for the owner to get there and open it up.  Both the hairdressers and customers were milling around outside for an hour and no one but us seemed at all impatient.  Joan "did" my hair and I had to guide her all the way but let's just say, she didn't do it as I hoped.  Then she got really nervous about cutting it so she went and got the barber next door who agreed to do it so I trotted next door to the barber.   This was the same barber who cut George's hair. Anyway, he kept lifting it up and letting it fall over and over and he seemed very uneasy and puzzled, but he chopped just a little off and I was just grateful to get out of there without any catastrophes. Even George agreed that maybe he should try it next time.  So I am getting shaggier and shaggier. Sorry...no photos!

Oh....and there was one customer who sat in a chair with three stylists working on her hair for the two hours I was there.  I was told that she would be there all day...