Thursday, December 11, 2008

Modern Hair Salon Philosopher

Yesterday morning I went in for a long overdue haircut.

What always happens is that I wait too long to make an appointment, then in a single nanosecond my hair becomes too long for me to stand for one more minute and I decide to trim it myself despite my utter lack of training. I grab a pair of craft scissors, do that little comb-a-section-straight-up-and-hold-it-between-two-fingers-and-cut-at-the-top thing I've seen my hairdresser do bazillions of times. I can manage the front and sides, but since I can't hold a mirror AND cut, the back gets neglected.

Because my hair is somewhat curly and, shall we say, on the "casual" side, it usually looks OK for a few weeks. Then the parts I didn't cut get way too long and I can't even them up and I sheepishly go in for an actual haircut by someone who knows what she's doing and who never chastises me for taking matters into my own hands.

That someone is Hahn, who owns Hahn's Modern Hair Salon not far from my house. One reason I love going there is because the salon is so NOT modern it's a kick. The tiny shop is maybe 10 x 20 feet. There is not a separate area to get your hair washed; instead, you sit in a single chair and Hahn swivels you one direction, lays your seat back and washes your hair in a sink that unexpectedly appears under a hinged counter. When she's finished, she sits you back up, swivels the chair the other way and proceeds to cut your hair.

It's what I imagine it would be like getting your hair cut on an airplane.

There aren't any fancy smocks or capes...just a little towel clipped around your neck. If I don't change my shirt afterwards, the itchy little hair fragments work their way down my back throughout the day. She charges a whopping $19.

Anyway, another reason I love Hahn is that she is one of the most upbeat and expressive people I know. She chatters away in heavily accented English, never missing a snip even if her phone rings or someone else enters her salon. And she never fails to ask about my life, following up on whatever we talked about last time.

Yesterday, I was watching her in the mirror and she sighed deeply and said, "You know I sigh when there's something on my mind." Being so insightful I'm very nearly clairvoyant I asked, "So what's on your mind, Hahn?" And she told me that her sister in Vietnam died last Sunday after being recently diagnosed with cancer. She said she knows her sister is in a better place and isn't suffering anymore, and for that, she's glad.

I asked Hahn if she and her family are Buddhists. She said yes but added that she personally celebrates all sorts of religious holidays. And then she summed up her personal philosophy with, "If it's good I do it; if it's bad I don't."

It doesn't get much simpler than that. Good...yes. Bad...no. Distinctions easy to focus on when life gets complicated. And maybe that's why Hahn seems so happy every time I see her.

Hahn was celebrating 10 years of being in business by letting her patrons choose a little bottle of lotion. I had never before encountered (or even imagined) the two quirky scents that were available...Berry Merry Rose and Pumpkin Butter Juicie. Pumpkin lotion? I opened one up and took a whiff. Yep, it was definitely pumpkin, with a pale orange color to match. I didn't hesitate...I chose that one because I love pumpkin pie, not just at Thanksgiving, but any time.

Pumpkin lotion...it was good, so I did it. Doesn't get much simpler than that.

1 comment:

studiosisterlisa said...

What a terrific life philosophy. And what a wise woman. Can't wait to see the new 'do! xxoo