January 27, 2009

My Flaming Turkish Haircut
Bornova, Turkey

Haven't paid for a haircut since Guatemala—back in 2006. It was a bit of a strange and wild experience here in Turkey.

I sometimes miss learning about the haircut cultures of countries. For example, in the Caribbean they use tended to use razors to shape and cut bold, precise lines around my scalp.

The barbershop I visited, full of men chatting and getting their hair done. Cheapest in Bornova, just $2 for a simple trim.

Here in Turkey, every single barbershop is staffed and visited by men only. Much like the coffee houses with regards to total gender segregation, you'll never see a woman cutting a man's hair. (But it's been occasionally known to see a man cutting a woman's hair in a beauty salon).

Some of the barbers came off as gay, others as straight. But who really knows in this culture, where repression and man-on-man contact runs rampant.

The real wackiness of my haircut today came at the end, when the guy took a frickin' flame to my hair!

A small fireball of alcohol-soaked cotton on the end of a thin metal rod (like an oversized cotton swab) was repeatedly slapped against my cheeks and temples. It was actually a little painful at times—not a sensation I'd opt for in a haircut.

Apparently the process is used to take off little hairs, but also had the result of scorching almost off of my sideburns.



The United States

Michael Tenderson

March 13th, 2009

typical american. different == weird.

you're a code monkey, so fyi: different == different != weird


Craig | travelvice.com

March 14th, 2009

Yes, sometimes different is weird. Get outside more often.



March 14th, 2009

hey mike,
somebody burning your hair off.. is fucking weird

The United States


March 16th, 2009

I saw this years ago. Lots of youtube videos on it, just search Turkish haircut or shave.


Mark @ TravelWonders

March 16th, 2009

Not sure I'll be queueing up for a haircut in Turkey. I'm not sure fire and haircutting go together.

The United States


March 16th, 2009

Yes, it did seem odd when I got my haircut many, many years ago in a small town in Turkey. It was cheaper back then, and he singed my beard as well. Beard is long gone now.

The United States

Gaurav Ahuja

February 27th, 2011

Sex segregation is healthy and practiced widely. Westerners need to stop thinking in the present and get some historical perspective. People in America are repressed with feminism and emasculating tendencies. Turks are superior to people in America and other nominally Western countries in this regard.

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