I have extremely tough and sensitive hair. The kind that can wash your greasy sufuria clean and the kind that can easily fall out if not handled with care. As a result, I have had very few hair-dressers constant in my life. In fact I have only had three... One was my auntie. She discovered that my hair had to be "hot-combed" and not blow-dried because the latter did not work. The Second is Maggie. She has done my hair since I was ten; which means she has done my hair for over ten years although at some point our relationship was on a break - a break that cost me my hair - all of it. Enters Njagi. He took care of my hair when all I had was short hair - extremely short hair. He gave me a punk kinda look. He was good at it and good looking as well. I was young then so I thrilled at the idea of going to get my hair done. He had a tattoo on the left side of his chest. Yes, I was young and fascinated by him (it was not love or even a crush), it was fascination. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. These three hair dressers were never "local hairdressers." Two things: One, as a child, I was paranoid that local hairdressers would chop off my long thick black beautiful hair. Two, They never got it right -My hair was never as good when done in local salons. Sadly, my aunt passed away. I got tired of short hair thus ended my relationship (strictly professional :p) with Njagi thus Maggie and I re-united and I have never looked back, not yet anyway.
There is a saying about necessity and desperate times... No? Oh well! Anyhow, recently I had to visit a local salon (don't get me wrong, I have nothing against them) because I was broke, didn't have time to go far and wide to Maggie and didn't care much how I'd look. So I walked to the nearest neighborhood salon. I was firstly beyond myself in shock to find a salon ran by men in my neighborhood. I have heard all manner of stories about male hair-dressers... all good, if I may add. Besides, I had experienced Njagi. :)
The gentleman to whom I was assigned to had long relaxed hair... I have a problem with that look on men. I think its gross and wanting! Anyhow, he began to "work his magic." Allow me to say the following, Njagi never washed my hair, he combed it and styled it. This guy - I have forgotten his name - washed my hair! Hmmmmm.... I must have fallen asleep at some point. He was gentle and thorough. He massaged my head and I relaxed wholly. I must have deluded myself into thinking I was at a spa of sorts. I did mention at some point I have extremely tough hair... He must have gotten carried away, or noticed how thrilled I was because he did not notice my hair tangling and I... well, I was too relaxed to pay attention to my tangled hair. I was snapped out of my pleasant delusion by the pain I experienced while he tried to comb my hair. It was temporary pain though, because as I said, he was gentle and he untangled strand by strand. He was patient.
Fast forward to the highlight of my experience there. Apparently as he noticed I was stiff (LOL!) and gladly offered me a massage... Neck and shoulder massage - so that he could comb me well. Again, I drifted to a mini-heavenly place. He took it a step further and massaged my temples and ears. Need I say that I was, super excited - too much to hide it. :) When I opened my eyes, he was starring at me through the mirror and smiling. I have heard stories about male hairdressers. I barely returned the smile - yes! yes! I know it costs nothing, but I would get a good hairdo anyway because I was paying for it. :-D He gave me another massage. Sadly, this time it was interrupted by a high-pitched voice.
"Jose*, wewe kazi yako ni ku-seduce customer wako na massage hizo zako nilizokufundisha?"
*That was a really rude interruption if you ask me*
His response: "Mambo sweetie, nilikuwa namalizia nikuje home"
Crazy woman: "Kwani hufikii? Tangu juzi umekuwa wapi?"
His response (as he continues to massage me and I struggle to hide my relax-induced excitement): "Nakuja home"
Crazy woman (to me): "wewe, ulikuja huku lini? Unajua hivi ndivyo hufanyiwa wasichana... Anawa-massage alafu wanaenda home na yeye?"
*Hard Blink* & Jose* walks away and brings me coffee.
The woman walks away in a huff hurling insults at him.
Shortly after, a woman walked in and came straight to Jose* and told him she missed him last night and says she will be expecting him later on!
Jose* was not the least bit embarrassed as he finished doing my hair. Not the least bit. He asked me to leave him my number and to make sure I go back another day.
I smiled, paid and walked my relaxed-self out of there.
I have never been a fan of neighborhood salons... That experience reminded me why... All the same, there is something about male hairdressers and how easily they have their way with female clients. Maybe the next time I'm broke and in a hurry, I will go back to Jose* - for the massage, if nothing else.