Monday, January 23, 2017

I Got a Haircut Alone

Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia
The title sounds like it could be clickbait, but let's be honest, you were probably going to read this anyways. Last week was my third time getting a haircut in Russia. The difference, though, was that this time I went alone. My friend, Katherine, went with me the first time, and A went with me the second time. Although, the time going with A was kind of useless because he didn't know any of the words because he doesn't have a lot of hair so why would he know them? We did get ice cream after that time though.

Now, I usually go awhile without getting haircuts because I think they are usually overpriced, but Russian voltage is absolutely killing my hair. (I straighten it every day because it's an ugly curly so it's constantly damaged and splitting.) I've been waiting for A to come back because I really needed a hair cut and I don't know enough Russian to go alone. My friend offered to find a place and set up an appointment. I almost said "no" because I get really bad anxiety doing anything that might cause embarrassment to myself, even though that's pretty much my everyday life in Russia. I just decided to tell her a time because I knew if waited longer I'd talk myself out of it, and I really needed to get it cut. Plus, she had warned them that I didn't speak Russian.

Just to preface, I can speak some Russian, but it's highly situational Russian. I can survive in a grocery store, or on the bus, or in a restaurant, but I hardly go anywhere where I need an appointment like a hair salon. When I first walked in I said that I had an appointment, and then the girl started asking me stuff. I have no idea what she was saying. It went on for like a minute and then she realized that I needed someone else. If you don't like embarrassing situations never move to another country. Everyone was staring at me, and they probably talked about me as I left, but whatever. It's the downside to not speaking the language.

This post is becoming longer than anticipated, but Svetlana at BailandoHair cut my hair. She was incredibly nice, and I am forever thankful she put up with my lack of Russian. I did understand some things she was telling me but not everything. I almost always hate the way I look after a haircut. It's usually like a month later that I feel okay. I think only one time in my life I've ever liked the way I looked when I left. I hated my hair at first. It's nothing against the hairdresser! I just don't ever know what hair styles look good on me. I could not wait to put on my hat. I ended up going back to my house to straighten it, and it looked better. I only got about an inch cut off but it looks so much shorter. She might have cut more, but, like I said, my hair was absolutely fried.

You might also be wondering, "Why in the world did you get your bangs cut so short?" Well, my friends, my bangs grow remarkably fast, and since I don't get a hair cut that often I need to cut them shorter than normal. I've been toying with the idea of growing my bangs out, but I hate the process of waiting for them to grow. For months it feels like they are too long and constantly fall into my face, but they are too short and won't go behind my ear or in a pony tail. Maybe one day I'll just suck it up and grow them out.

So, that was the long story of my first solo hair cut experience. The top picture is only there because I didn't want a picture of myself as the main one. My hair before actually looks decent in this picture, but it needed to be cut. I can't wait for my hair to grow out a little bit more. I hate freshly cut hair. Also, not sure why my right eye is looking so small. Deal with it.

Do you have any embarrassing stories from a country that speaks a different language than you. How do you deal with your fears of embarrassing yourself?


  1. You look fabulous! I also always hate my haircut for the first month

  2. Awww, it's a very cute look, Jasilyn!

    I feel the same way about getting my hair cut no matter what country it happens in. Hate it! Finally, last year we made the best $30 investment ever- a hair cutting ruler like this one. (

    Now, Denis cuts my hair at home. IT'S THE BEST. Maybe you can find something like this in Ufa + haircutting shears and get a girlfriend to do it?

    PS: Embarrassing hair story- I had bangs in Ukraine. Denis later realized that instead of saying, "Please trim my bangs," I was actually asking people to "Please tame my bee."
    Прикрепить челку and укротить пчелку... kind of close, yeah? :p

    1. HAHAHAHAHHA! Thats amazing! Did people look at you strange?

  3. I can't imagine how terrifying it must be getting a haircut without speaking the language! I find it difficult enough to get a haircut in English speaking countries because something always seems to go wrong. I've never lived abroad but I'm always embarrassed when I travel and I'm not able to speak the language. People must think "ugh, stupid English people" when I expect them to speak English even though I can't speak anything else. Also, I love the photo you used at the beginning of the post. The sunshine streaming though the curtains is so beautiful! xx


    1. I'm sure people roll their eyes when I can't speak the language, but there are a surprising number of people who are shocked and interested that someone who doesn't speak English is living in their city. I don't think it's the same for Moscow or St. Petersburg though.

    2. Maybe had you ment "who doesn't speak Russian"?

  4. Love your hair! I only cut mine like once a year and usually hate it for a little while right when I cut it.

    When I was in Burkina Faso, I always felt like I had no idea what was going on even though I kind of understand French. One day I spent the whole day having my friend translate for me, so in the evening when we got to our host's house for dinner, I made her ask "where is the bathroom?!"... but our host spoke English as well. I felt kind of rude once it dawned on me, but we all laughed it off.

    1. If I didn't straighten my hair every day I'd probably go less. It sucks in the winter too because I always where a hat in Russia and it flattens my hair if I try to leave it natural. It's a lose/lose situation.

      Some girl on the bus the other day started saying something in Russian and I told her I didn't speak Russian and she said, "Oh, sorry" in English. So I asked if she spoke English and she said, "Yes, of course." It made me feel kind of stupid because I mean most people I interact with here don't speak English. I told her should could ask me the question in English and she didn't say anything. I wish I would have persisted because maybe she assumed I hadn't been living there for long.


© Tiny Sputniks. Design by Fearne.