Toilets and Bathrooms
Street Wise
Sexual Matters
Sensitive Subjects
Village vs.Town
Body Language




Barbers and Hairdressing Salons

In Turkey it is unusual to find unisex hair salons. It is either a barbers shop for men, or a hairdressers shop for women, and among the skilled workers, these professionals deserve a mention because of the complete service they provide.

In a barbers shop, the beard or moustache is shaved or trimmed, the hair cut, shampooed and dried, the scalp is massaged, the hair in or on the nose and ears is removed, the neck is powdered and brushed, until eventually one emerges from the bundle of towels and layer of foam a cleaner, shinier, leaner, in short, a different person. And this is all done amidst a lively conversation.

A hairdresser is equally chatty but on more feminine topics. His role is to entertain rather than distract. All the local gossip accompanies the complete treatment of dyeing, highlighting, cutting, trimming, blow-drying and much more. With your limbs stretched in all directions like a tourist on a sunny beach, you have one girl to deal with your manicure, another with your pedicure, and a third on with the unwanted hair on your legs. A young boy holds the hair-dryer to the parts of your hair indicated periodically by the chin of the artist, and an even younger boy positions the mirror to show you the miracles his master has performed behind your back.

Throughout the treatment, you feel like an empress, surrounded by various servants, all at your service. You come to your senses and realize what a large and unnecessary workforce is employed in a hairdressers shop when it is time to give tips, slipped discreetly into the pockets of all attendants, in various amounts depending on status, while the lion's share goes into that of the master craftsman.