1 Oct 2009

 It was another dreich afternoon in Auld Reekie and I was drookit. Through the nebulous har I could make out the glow of a twisting barber's pole. Before I knew it I was peering through the salon window. Behind the precipitation and condensation I could make out a cluster of Oriental fashionistas.
 So, this is how my hair-brain logic went: I've got straight hair - so do they. Cool cuts are top of their hip list of priorities ergo they must know this is a good hairdresser. I was in need of a hair-whisperer with flair and this could be my man. I stuck my head in the door and and was greeted by deafening silence. I asked if I could make an appointment. A teenager translated my request into Cantonese and the hairdresser nodded. "Aye come back in an 'oor", she confirmed. For the next 60 minutes I kept wondering if there'd be anyone to translate. How would we communicate? The shop was empty. Jet tumbleweed floated across the floor. "Hi" I said, "Hey" he replied– we were off the starting blocks

 He was called Liam, a solid Celtic name. And that was it - we were now looking at each other through the language barrier.

On a table was a stack of hair menus. A trichological feast of mullet served with assorted mega-waffles, crimps and crinkles. The unwitting victims tried to hide their embarrassment under their hair-raising creations. Their clenched grins couldn't disguise the fact that they knew what we were thinking. Although tickled, I was not tempted by any of the specials.

  Liam guided me by eye. Locked on like a Sidewinder I tracked his trajectory to a red chopping block with porcelain basin. "Was" I followed his instructions to the missing letter. I submitted my neck to the basin where he proceeded to was(h) my hair. Sitting on his chair he lowered me to ground level. Gestures to the ready and noises in reserve, we set off. Liam is a Zen Master of the scissors. He beat my crown and calf licks into submission. Another was', a final cut and blow-dry and voila! The logic worked, the haircut experiment was a resounding success. 40 minutes out of the ordinary on a miserable day, all for just twelve quid.
 That was four years ago and Liam had just arrived in the UK. He was lured from his wife and son to work 60 hours a week in a Scottish side-street clip joint. In Hehehot, Liam led a team of 12 stylists in a fashionable salon. An ocean of hair has been swept under the linoleum of time and since that first encounter we have remained friends.

And the charge? Still 12 pounds.

What price a haircut?

Bunny Munro app

Something I've come across- a funky app with my photographs. Nick Cave's Bunny Munro is now available to download.