Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Epic Haircut

Haircut in Pune, India at my regular barbershop- Rs. 60 = 90 Cents
Haircut in Kapfenberg, Austria - 20 Euro - So I was told.

"Let's save some money, what worse could happen?" This soliloquy has had me doing things which I sometimes regretted later.

I was in FH Joanneum, Kapfenberg Austria for my Erasmus semester. This town albeit small has most facilities available. Breathtakingly beautiful, It's situated in the eastern extensions of Alps.
It has a small castle atop a mountain, a river carrying crystal clear water, a rail route which is well connected to Florence to Zurich to Vienna and Prague. But being in Austria, it also means that it is more expensive than the rest of Europe.

So when I went there after my summer break around the end of September last year from Pune, India, I had already applied a few money-saving tricks. One of which was having a fine haircut so as to defer the next haircut as long as possible.

[My haircut in November 2016 - Clicked in Florence, Italy.]
It worked for October and November. Around mid of December, all the Austrian students in our hostel went to their hometowns for Christmas. The hostel had only a few foreign students. Those must be the most silent days of my life. In such ambiance, mind tricks you doing something adventurous which you have never done before.

My hair had grown to extents where I had to cut them. I was told by some of my hostel mates that Haircut means making a hole in the pocket as it costs them 15-20 Euros. Some get it cut from their roommates to save that money. I invented a different plan. I searched on google "How to get self-haircut". Google gave me a few links out of which I chose this one -

"Pretty impressive... I think I got this... Let's do it, what worse could happen? If something goes wrong we will go to the proper saloon before anyone could notice it" I thought. Perfect... So the very next morning, I woke up pretty early so I will have the bathroom for myself.
I was excited and couldn't wait to see the look on my roommates' faces when I would flaunt my work when they wake up. They would think that they wasted their money when they could have also done the same for the last few years. This thought gave me Goosebumps.

I got a pair of scissors, a comb, and a trimmer. I laid old newspapers in the bathroom and on the basin so as to make the cleaning stuff easy. I did not want a single hair on the bathroom floor left afterward.

There were some adjustments I needed to do. I did not have a hand-held mirror. So I removed a panel from the toiletries shelf. I was ready. As suggested in the video, I started nice and slow over the ears. Consciously checking for the left-right mirror image adjustments. Carefully clipped layers after layers in a tapering fashion. The sides looked nice. Then I started on top and cut it like a pro.

The last part, the back of the head was tricky. This was the toughest part as suggested by the youtuber. So, with intuition and makeshift work of the mirror, I started giving it a taper shape. After a few strokes.. the moment of truth.. did I make it right?

I couldn't see back of my head, so I got my phone, recorded the video on the back of my head and saw it..

What I had done.. it looked like rats had chewed upon my hair. There were patches of hairs and bare scalp peeking through it. That was the ugliest thing I had seen since I was there in that heavenly country.

All the enthusiasm vanished.. I did not leave any scope to do the damage control. No hairstylist could repair it. “I will have to go bald.. and I cannot even make the excuse of some family rituals at Tirupati Balaji. Winter is coming.. what if my head cannot sustain the cold temperatures without the cover of hair?” I panicked. After few moments of blackout gathered myself up.

[My hostel premises in December - January]
I went to my Ethiopian roommate. I woke him up... He looked at me, then back of my head, suppressed his laughter and without saying much started doing what was the only option. He trimmed back of my head with the trimmer and rest I did. I was looking like a wrestler.

Those were the times I realized how it feels in cold without the protection of hair. It took me two months the entire snowfall season to get back to normal.

[Clicked in Bruges, Belgium a few weeks after my epic work of art.]
Later I came to know that some hairstyle saloons in Kapfenberg offered haircut to a price as low as 9 Euros.
No, the haircut did not make me cry.. this information did.


Published on Quora -

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