Getting a haircut in Amsterdam is an odd proposition. There are hundreds of salons and kappers all over this town. I think we have four or five within a few blocks of our apartment. The problem that I have is that they all charge €50-60 for a haircut and beard trim. When we first moved here I was in dire need of a trim, so I got myself one hell of a nice €60 haircut. Was it worth it? Probably not, but it was nice. Quality scissor cut on the hair, hair washed with some manly smelling shampoo, warm shaving cream neck shave with a straight razor, a scissor trim on the beard, and some steam/product treatment to make my beard all soft and awesome. Was it nice? Yes. Am I going to spend €60 on that every 6 weeks? I think you know the answer to that.
That leads me to my recent search for a reasonably priced barbershop in Amsterdam. This town has plenty of dudes, so I figured there had to be plenty of reasonably priced barbershops. After a two day search online, I believe that they DO NOT EXIST in Amsterdam.
Having said that, I was able to find an alternate solution to my scraggly hair problem. I found a forum that suggested trying the Nederlandse Kappersakademie. This is the school for up and coming barbers and hair stylists in Amsterdam. Better yet, it is located a mere 15 minute walk from our apartment. So, I called them up, scheduled an appointment and I am happy to let you know that I have just returned from what I consider to be the worst haircut experience of my life. Let me tell the tale…
After a brisk 15 minute walk in cold drizzle, I arrived at Nederlandse Kappersakademie around 9:15. I was told to take a seat in the waiting room. After a short 10 minute wait, I was escorted to the salon, told to hang up my jacket and umbrella, and put in a chair to wait for another 5 minutes or so. Soon I was greeted by the woman who would be cutting my hair. She spoke very little English and looked scared to death to be cutting a man’s hair. Looking around I could see that I was in fact surrounded by about 10 student stylists and 4 or 5 women getting cuts. I started to feel less than enthused about my decision. One awkward shampooing, forty-five minutes of nervous cutting and recutting, a DRY neck shave with a straight razor, and a beard trim that removed perhaps 2 cm of length from my beard my student stylist informed me that she was finished. As we waited 10 minutes for the teacher to come and check the work, it began sinking in that I had made one giant mistake. Looking in the mirror, I had patches of stray long hairs, an uneven beard, and a super irritated neck. I was pretty sure that the teacher was going to kick this chick out of the class and have to spend an hour fixing my head.
I could not have been more wrong.
“Oh, your like your haircut?” said the teacher.
“Um, it’s a little long here and here and my beard is a bit on the long side as well.” I replied.
Snip, snip, snip.
“There you go!”
“Um, ok…” I said, thinking to myself that my hair still looked like total crap.
So, I got up and left, covered in loose hair, paid my €17.50 and got the hell out of there.
I mean, how hard is it to cut a dude’s hair?!?! I guess I can spend the €40 I saved on a hat.