Little boy having his hair cut
So far on this blog I've written about a variety of important parenting subjects, from breastfeeding to bilingualism. However, as I'm sure many of you know, it's often the smaller issues that can trip us up when we're trying to parent in a foreign land.
For example, this morning I looked across the breakfast table and noticed that I could no longer see my older son's face. Or actually, I could see his mouth and nose but where his eyes used to be, there was only a tremendous amount of shaggy hair. Once again it's time for a haircut. Unfortunately, despite having lived in Spain for four years, I still haven't succeeded in finding somebody who can reliably cut his hair without making him look like either Joan of Arc, or else a child who had a bowl stuck on his head in a lop-sided fashion before having the hair that stuck out unceremoniously hacked off with a pair of gardening shears. Granted, there have been successes but for the most part, I haven't yet figured out a way to explain that I want a simple "bowl hair cut" without having it be wildly misinterpreted. And yes, I do know how to say it in Spanish- corte de tazón or corte de hongo. There is even a Spanish-language Wikipedia entry for this particular haircut (featuring the singer Rihanna of all people).
To be honest, things have gotten a bit better since we moved to Barcelona. In Madrid, the majority of boys seemed to have short, military-style cuts whereas in Barcelona, I see far more little boys with longer hair. Apparently they all want to look like Messi (or so I've been told by my six-year-old source). Nevertheless, at least in my experience, the classic bowl hair cut continues to elude the majority of Barcelona hairdressers. You may notice that I specifically refer to 'hairdressers' rather than barbers. This is for two reasons. First of all, at the age of three we tried to take Nico to our burly neighborhood barber, only to have him scream "But I want a fancy laaaady to cut my hair! Not him!!," as he cowered behind the plastic orange tree that served as the establishment's only decor. Secondly, my grandfather was a barber and he HATED bowl hair cuts to the extent that every time The Beatles came on the radio, he would violently change the channel. Apparently, the bowl haircut trend of the Sixties and Seventies was not good for business, and, at least in Grandpa Ross's opinion, it was all the fault of those "damn Beatle boys". So anyway, bad association between bowl haircuts and barbers.
Now where was I? Oh yes, so what to do? Go in and ask the hairdresser to cut my son's hair just like Rihanna's? My husband is actually pretty adept at trimming Nico's bangs but the kid's hair is so straight that it really does require a professional to do the rest. Unfortunately, you can only cut the front, but not the sides and back, of a little blond kid's hair once or twice, before he begins to resemble Brian Jones (Google it, you'll see exactly what I mean). I guess the sensible thing to do would be to find some other little bowl-headed sprite and then ask his parents where they got his hair cut. Amazingly, that idea just now popped into my head. Maybe I'll try it today and the problem will be solved! In the meantime, what do you all do with your kids' hair? Do you cut it yourself? Go to special places that offer lollipops and balloons? Or do you just stick to the generic salon? Any good recommendations of places to get a kid's haircut??
In my own research, I've come across the following recommendations (just in case you're as clueless as I am).
-Anthony Llobet English Hair Salon. Their tagline says it all: "Don't let your Spanish come between you and your hair." Not specifically a children's salon but a few people have said they've had great experiences getting their kids' hair cut here. There are five locations throughout Barcelona and an English-speaking staff.
-Imaginarium. The Passeig de Gràcia location has a children's hair salon where they offer everything from basic haircuts to anti-lice treatments to hair extensions and manicures. You may not be so interested in the hair extensions (more tangles to comb through every day!), but the toys, balloons and music will probably distract your kid enough to get them through the experience with a minimum of whining. Tel. 93 272 5710
-Fashion Kids. This is a peluquería infantil (children's hairdresser) located at the Glories shopping centre at Diagonal, 208. At this fun salon, kids can sit in race cars or watch DVDs as they get their hair cut. They also have haircutting parties where kids can get together and get their hair and makeup done like princesses, superheroes, etc. Tel. 93 486 1769.
-Pequepelu. This children's hair salon is located in Sant Cugat (Calle Sant Jordi 19). A fun space with bright colours, designed for children from 0-15 years old. Tel. 93 589 3362.