There are at least 402 things I’d rather do than get my hair cut in Dubai again. Rubbing sand in my eyes, tickling a scorpion and cleaning windows at the Burj Khalifa are just three that spring to mind.
I haven’t always had the same problem. As one of the more attractive Time Out staffers – if you’ve never seen us, believe me when I say the rest of them are a funny-looking bunch – the idea of spending half an hour sitting in front of a mirror doesn’t bother me at all. In fact I quite like it.
The problem is, I can’t find a salon that doesn’t make me look like a cross between a Monkee (the musicians) and Jim Carrey’s character in Dumb & Dumber. My wife claims this style is called the chimp’n’crimp.
I’ve tried six salons in the past 18 months. To be fair to the two that couldn’t speak English, the problem may have been my instructions. But you try miming ‘like Tom Cruise in Top Gun’ to a man holding a razor to your neck and see how you get on.
The boutique barbers weren’t much better. If I wanted somebody to call me by my first name, give me soundtrack options and make a herbal tea before hacking at my hair, I’d stay at home and have my wife do it.
So I was filled with optimism when my latest discovery seemed promising. The staff spoke good English, I knew the branded products on display in the window, recent issues of Esquire magazine were stacked up by the comfy couches and the price seemed reasonable. Perfect.
So when the cockroach scuttled along the counter in front of me, the barber’s reaction had a lot riding on it. ‘Hello again, little one,’ chirruped the man I’d trusted with scissors, my appearance and my money. ‘Every day he comes by at the same time and I always say hi,’ he explained. If it had been a restaurant I’d quite happily have leaned across and crushed the little critter. But who am I to stand between a man and his pet? Along with the two flies lurching dangerously towards a tub of fluorescent gel, they made quite a quirky barbershop quartet.
So my quest goes on. I’m still looking for my favourite Dubai haircut and I’d love to hear your suggestions (check out the funny-looking Time Out bunch’s). The number of immaculately coiffed residents I see around the city suggests there is a good hairdresser out there. But until I find them, my hair will keep on bugging me. Will Milner is our Digital Editorial Director. He’s worried what his colleagues will say when they read this article. Follow him and the rest of the team on Twitter: @timeoutdubai.