I tend to be pretty shaggy, and am just fine with that. But even I have my limits, and the equatorial heat in Uganda was starting to make me question a mop of hair’s utility.
So, it was off to find someone who could offer a trim. Selection was very good, with little salons (or “saloons”) on absolutely every street, wherever I go in East Africa. But those are all for African guys with very short hair, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t find anyone who could handle what I wanted.
If not, so be it; I could just shave it all off. Fortunately, after ducking into a few hair studios (I figured women’s stylists might be my best bet), I found Brian in a one-room salon with cheery yellow walls. It was busy, which I took as a good sign. He assured me this wasn’t his first foreigner’s haircut, so I settled into a chair with Ugandan women on either side having their nails styled or hair braided.
As I relaxed and had the deed done, I heard Brian’s story of saving money for years, then buying the hair salon from its disinterested owner after starting his career elsewhere. He mostly cuts women’s hair, but also has a regular customer who’s a foreign guy like me.
As the owner of this small business, Brian works 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., six days a week. Sunday is his “day off,” when he works only six hours, until 2 p.m., he told me.
The final haircut was a little shorter than I usually prefer, but it should be just right by the time I’m back in Canada at the end of June. And Uganda is proving to be hotter than Kenya, so I don’t mind the extra air flow.
Unsure of local etiquette, I did not tip. But Brian’s getting a shout-out: look for him in the William Street area near Kampala’s taxi park. Tell him Scott sent you!