Living in a far-far away land is complicated.
Applying for exchange program brought me to a very secluded town named Zlin.
Though I really love the new ambiance that I never enjoyed before, things do not go easy on me. Back in my country, I can go to salon, spa, and wax shop instantly. Here, I cannot find salon I can trust; meanwhile, wax shop and spa place are untraceable. Weeks ago, I found my hair was just way too long, too heavy, and too boring. This is a problem. I refused to randomly check some salon and have a try. I like to play safe. Once you damage your hair, it takes months to get it back. So, week ago when I heard that I got chance to stay for two nights in Prague, I googled some salons. Prague is the capital city, there must be some more trust-able salon, I believed. That was when I found Trichomania, a salon by Mark Weston.
Actually I also found some other salons, mostly are part of hair salon chains. Since I could not be sure that they speak English and knew what I mean, I convinced myself to have a try at Mr. Weston’s knowing that I read many positive reviews online about his salon and how he speaks English fluently. Besides, I was very curios with very unique salon he described on his website. I emailed Trichomania week ago to reserve an appointment. After several quick and welcoming replies, I got a place. ;)
Saturday, 20 October 2012. 6 pm.
It was the day. The salon is located at Anglicka 8, close to Narodni museum. It is easy to find, even for a person who rarely reads map… like me. I arrived at the place 10-15 minutes earlier and found Mr. Weston was still cleaning his salon chair after he finished his appointment with previous customer. He saw me when I entered his salon. “Ms. Valencia?” he asked. Once he noticed I was his next customer, he welcomed me in a very friendly way.
Mr. Weston offered a favor to hang my coat and served me a cup of tea. I did not hear English breakfast or chamomile mentioned among the tea flavors list he had so I let him chose one, any organic one. While he made his cup of tea, I starred around. His salon is not that big. Some flower vases are put close to the only window next to the entrance door. There is only one cozy sofa inside for the customer. A big mirror is placed facing the sofa. Behind, there are four mirrors in different size and shape hung on the pale pink wall. Above those mirrors, there were some random-shaped lights, something like those I usually see at the photo studio. Go bit further, I found usual black washing chair. A shelf is put close to it, with a vinyl turntable on top of it and CD player inside of the shelf. Two black curtains border each side of the sofa, one to border between it and the look outside and one between it and washing chair. The only door inside the salon leads to the toilet.
My observation stopped when he came with a cup of tea for me. Apparently, he and I were the only persons at the salon. Everything was on his own -whoa. There was a ginger cookie on the tea plate. A lovable one that I could not wait to bite. He put it on a black round-shaped tool, the one with wheels usually used as a seat for the hairdresser. He dragged it next to me, to place my tea and phones. He also had a kind of bar right after the mirror that faced me to put some magazines and his customers’ handbags. In the end, I had my sofa only for me, while my stuffs, they also had theirs. ;)
Mr. Weston dragged another black round-shaped tool. He sat next to me, then asked, “What are you into?”. A very big question with an answer I did not know because I just felt bored with my usual long hair with some unshaped curl left after permanent curl I got almost a year back and some branches as its after effect. Since I did not have a particular demand, so we started talking. He questioned some stuffs just so he could know me and what fits me. After some minutes, he came out with his thought and told me the price I approximately had to pay later. I was glad to know he did, so that I could refuse at very first time if I did not think the style and price fit me. He suggested me to leave my hair color alone since it is already good for me to get it in lighter color than my natural hair color. The solution he had was giving the shape to my hair and highlight to frame my face. This is what I perceived, I do not know whether my explanation is exactly what he said before, I ain’t good in terms of understanding the science of haircut. After I agreed, Mr. Weston asked me how long the hair I am willing to let go, some hairdressers left my hair shorter than my expectation in the past, so I loved the fact that he asked.
In sudden, it was already started. Begun with cutting process, it was continued with the bleaching process, the washing and highlighting process, the cutting for detail process, and the drying one at very last with.. hand. HAANNND?? And my wayward hair obeyed his HAND, not MINE.
Although it took around 2,5 hours, I did not get bored. The salon provides Wi-Fi, so everything was okay. I could chat with my boyfriend while opening some social media, sipping tea and munching cookie. Oh anyway, he was very kind. He served another cup of tea after I emptied the previous one.. and of course, with the cookie!! <3
The music was played from the vinyl player and CD player. I think he changed from one to another. Was bit surprised at first because The XX and Ms Mr were also in the song list he had. There was this moment, when I furtively shazam-ed some songs because they were nice. Turned out, he knew it and suggested me even more songs. Mr.-so-kind-Weston also told me that those good tracks he had could be downloaded for free on Soundcloud, he told me where. Impressive! That was not enough. He gave me direction to two vinyl stores he usually goes to in Prague and one store in Germany.
It was 8.30 pm.
I finally got my haircut. Transaction was done. Mr. Weston helped me out with my coat he just took before I left.
In short, all these treat-customer-like-a-princess thingies left me with satisfaction. What I highlight is not the review of the haircut or his expertise. It is the service. I am a typical girl who pays very good attention at service. I always evaluate restaurants, salons, hotels, shops, and every other things based on the service. If I have to rank what I evaluate, it should be service on top of everything, then quality, and price at last.
In terms of service, as you can read, he treated customers very well. What he did shows how he very welcomed his customers. He listened to the customers, he paid attention to them. I once randomly asked him whether he had met an Asian customer or not. An okay person would perhaps answer with a yes or no, but Mr. Weston told me from which countries they were. He forgot some at first, but after some moments when the topic was not there anymore, he randomly listed some others he finally remembered. He even showed the photos of Vietnamese girl he used to trim before. This is simple thing however the simple thing like how you respond others also determines your personality, no? :)
The haircut. Hairstyle is all about taste. I cannot say that what is good for me is also good for me. In my perception, his haircut is satisfying and good. It fits my taste. I found that Mr. Weston and I shared common thought about hair. Though, I like to try something new with my hair, I like to have something ‘safe’. And that is indeed what he had in mind for me. He once told me that experiment is good but never do too much because a mistake in haircut leaves permanent effects; it is going to take quite sometimes to get it back. He emphasizes the healthiness of the hair. The right haircut is what we need to make hair looks attractive. This is why he did not do that much too my hair but some highlight to frame my face. They are in blonde color. It is fun although it is new. Perhaps he knew that I get bored easily with my hair, so he left some in blonde that I can play around. He told me that these blonde highlights can be colored with eyeshadow, blush on, glittery-colored mascara, and others, not like my dark hair. It is cool because, ah, so now I know how to spend my spare time when I am bored. :D
However you know, everyone has different taste. It takes sometime to find the hairdresser that matches you. I may say that Mr. Weston is a good one, but again, it is my opinion.
Last but not least, the price. I do not think that publishing how much the cost for the treatment I got is a right thing to do. You can check the price range from his website. For me, it is not pricey. Some salons in Jakarta are even more expensive than that though they are less worthy. Since the focus is on you and you are the “princess” for some hours, you know there is the price to pay, right? ;)
Nothing much longer than this I can type about Trichomania. It was a pleasant experience I had. I hope there will be another day when I can have a seat on the cozy sofa to get a haircut with catchy music and a cup of tea as my companions.. and oh, almost forget to mention the additional team, the ginger cookie!