Haircut in Kampala

A shopping complex in a busy downtown part of Kampala, where I found plenty of hair-cutters. But how to choose the right one?

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.

This is Brian. He cut my hair.

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.

A few quick, professional snips and I’ve been shorn.

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!

…and after.



4 thoughts on “Haircut in Kampala

  1. Hi Scott,
    when I get a chance I try and catch up on some of your blogs. I am a friend of Katie K. I’m currently on an internship in Ghana myself (working on issues of child labour and child trafficking), so I’ve really enjoyed reading your experiences in Africa, especially the ones pertaining to the refugees you have met. Haven’t been so lucky though to see the wildlife like you have. West Africa is kind of limited on that front. Have seen some monkeys though! I totally know about the haircut thing. I chopped my long locks off before coming but already they have grown well over an inch and covering up the back of my neck again. I haven’t worked up the nerve to get a haircut here myself. Figure eventually I’ll be good with a ponytail 🙂 lol
    All the best in your last month of this journey!! Praying all goes well for you. Look forward to your updates as well,

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