Before I left for New Zealand, I never cared about my hair. My hair is a thick wavey mess that I grew up with people that had no idea what to do with it. I went to Supercuts everytime it annoyed me and I needed it removed. There, they would just shorten it for a reasonable price and I would repeat the process every few months. I just didn’t care. After living in Auckland for a few months, it was time to get my mess straightened out. My boss at worked used to live nearby where I currently lived in Kingsland and suggested a salon that was around the corener. She used to go there, but her stylist had left a while back and now went somewhere new. Since I had no idea what to expect, I just walked in one Saturday and made an appointment for later that day with Mandi. I had never been to a stylist like this before! It was interesting to “talk” about my hair and what I did with it and what I expected from it, I had never done anything like this before. I loved my cut! A quick wash and good conversation while cutting was a great way to spend an afternoon. The price wasn’t too bad either, around NZ$70, plus it’s not expected to tip, which was so so so weird, especially for a service like this. But when in Rome. That was in July or something of my first year in New Zealand.
After I got my second work assignment later that year, I waited until my boss was back in town and called for another hair appointment. I called too last minute and I wasn’t living in the area anymore so I had to wait an extra week for a slot to meet with Mandi at the end of October. I got the same cut, which is back to being typical me, always getting the same thing, time after time. But the thing that helped the most, after all these years was getting in thinned out. Ohmigod, what a life saver! Anyway, I thought ahead this time and dorkily made an appointment for 4 months from then for another appointment. And then after the next appointment, I was starting to think about moving on, so I made my last appointment for the day after my last day of work at the end of June. Since I met with Mandi 4 times over the span of 16 months and never tipped her and I loved my cut each and everytime, at the end of my last appointment, I tipped her a few $20’s, for all the times I didn’t tip but wanted. Hell, I am American, we tip for good service! And I had great service, I felt she totally deserved it. Even if it’s not expected, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Getting my hair cut was one of my favorite everyday things to do in New Zealand. I loved getting my shagged thinned and cut and I love feeling clean after!
When I found out when my work’s holiday party was in December and knew I would be back in Auckland for that, the first call I made was not to book my flight or place to crash, but to book a hair appointment. Unfortunatly, Mandi was out on maternity leave, but someone else did my hair and I loved it just the same!
I wasn’t in Australia very long and never had the work I had in New Zealand and therefore didn’t have the money either, but I was there nearly 6 months, which is a long time to go without a cut of any kind, especially for hair like mine in the hot weather of Australia. After I finished working in Sydney and started traveling down the east coast, I stayed in my own room that had an ensuite and chopped off my ponytail. I wonder what the workers who cleaned it up the next day thought happened with all that hair in the trash. It didn’t do exactly as I expected, but since my hair is so thick, I cleaned it up as best I could and the only person could tell what had happened was me. A few days after I cut my hair, I told someone what I had done and they said they could hardly tell. And in looking back at pictures, it kind of is hard to tell! I didn’t want to cut my own hair while I was still working because I knew I couldn’t get it neat enough for a job, which is another reason why I wanted to get my hair fixed on my return to New Zealand, to clean up the mess I made.
Since I have been back home, I have been to various salons every few months, never finding one I like nearly as much as Mancini in Auckland!
Moral: Some of my favorite things when I was living abroad was doing everyday life things. Hair cuts, grocery shopping and laundry were things I looked forward to, hair cuts especially. And because of what I experienced in New Zealand, I now go to proper stylist here at home! Another thing I brought “home” with me. Love it.