What's your worst hairdressing appointment
10 questions to ask a hairdresser you would never dare ask yourself
Comb in, Vorhair - Nachhair or (watch out!) CHAARactHAIR. These hairy (OK, one had to be) word games can be found in every pedestrian zone. Hairdressers have a noticeable affinity for language games. But why? Crazy word games = crazy hairstyles? Do you dare, like me with this play on words?
The Berlin hairdressing salon in which Jan works also presents his creative potential in the name, but in this case it worked out well, we think: Pony Club. Jan is 27 and one of around 145,000 hairdressers in Germany. He doesn't want to say what he deserves. In general, however, the following applies: If your name is not exactly Udo Walz, you will rarely get rich with the job. A hairdresser earns an average of 18,000 euros a year gross. In the training it looks even gloomier. In Berlin, for example, trainees earn around 265 euros per month in their first year of training. A joke worse than the worst salon puns put together.
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So tips are welcome. Jan says: "The main thing is that no red money." The highest he ever got from a young geriatric nurse who was probably not rich herself was 50 euros. "She was so happy because I turned a deep black into a warm blonde."
Jan himself is usually quite satisfied with his job. Except maybe when he comes across a bag of groats on his head (question 5). He told us what it is and where all the grannies with purple hair come from.
VICE: Do you take a cut when customers are rude?
Jan: I try to use humor to divert when someone is rude, but sometimes the energies are not right and then I just keep quiet. So I try to avoid conflicts. At such a moment, however, I couldn't deliberately cut an unfavorable hairstyle. The customer is walking around with my haircut.
All photos by Rebecca Rütten
Are you happy when people don't want to talk to you and just keep silent?
I find it pleasant when the customer and me are silent and we both just enjoy the haircut. I try to make the customer feel: Silence doesn't have to be uncomfortable. But 90 percent of people want to talk or listen. And that's fine too. For many, I am a neutral authority that they can trust. For example, a woman has an affair and she keeps me up to date. She hasn't even told her friends about it. But there are situations when people tell me about their sexual preferences or when they tell me their whole life story on the first visit, where I ask myself whether that has to be the case.
Has a customer ever cried when they saw their new hairstyle?
Once a friend came to cut and said right from the start that she was a difficult customer. She said everyone would always cut her classic hairstyle. I then recommended that we first undercut the pages a little and shorten everything a bit. But when she looked in the mirror, tears came to her. Dealing with that was also difficult for me. She wanted the change herself. Two days later she wrote me again that she needed a little longer to get used to new things. Now she is more satisfied than ever.
Do you also cut hairstyles that customers want but that actually look totally poop?
I'm trying to point that in the right direction. I had to cut a difficult hairstyle on my trial day here in the salon, of all places. A customer came along who wanted a cut that went extremely high at the back, almost shaved, but the front hair should go up to the chest. I should then cut all of this with a knife so that it falls frayed. It had an "ear effect" like that of a dog. I didn't particularly like that, but I did. She was super happy and came back.
What's the nastiest thing you've ever seen on your scalp?
The disgusting thing is called "Grützpaket". This is a kind of sebum change under the skin, like a bump, and is particularly uncomfortable when washing your hair. You can have that cut out, but then you have a scar - and with it a bald area where hair no longer grows.
Do customers get horny when you massage their heads?
Once I massaged a friend's head and at some point he said: "Now I have to get up, otherwise it will be too much." But if it makes people horny, they won't let it show. Fortunately, that would be uncomfortable for me too.
During my apprenticeship I once had a customer who was always purring like a cat at the sink. She just wanted me to wash her hair. Others fall asleep. Once a customer even snored quietly at the sink. But in general I love giving head massages. However, I find it strange when customers keep their eyes open and look at themselves in the mirror. I think to myself: Relax and just close your eyes!
Have you ever had sex with someone with a really bad hairstyle?
[Thinks for three seconds.] Nope. I don't do that. I look at my head before I say yes or no.
Why are so many hairdressers gay?
I think a lot of gays like to be creative. You are interested in fashion, in aesthetics. I would estimate 90 percent of all male hairdressers are gay. In our salon there are seven gay boys, two girls and a quota hete. But: Don't fuck the company.
Why do so many grandmas have purple hair?
White hair often turns yellow in the sun because copper molecules get on the hair and oxidize there. The opposite color of yellow is purple. That is why you use a silver shampoo or a mousse that is purple for yellowed hair - and depending on how often you use it, the yellow is not only balanced out, but superimposed by the purple. Sometimes this happens on purpose, but especially when older women go to the hairdresser every week and don't wash their hair in between. The barber then uses the silver shampoo and the purple becomes stronger.
How often do you cut people's ears?
That only happened to me once during my training. I cut with a comb and scissors and my boss ran past. My customer, who was actually a regular customer of my boss, turned to him without warning. That's when I cut his ear. That bleed a lot. The customer even worked for the village press - but luckily there was nothing in the newspaper the next day.
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