Sunday, March 21, 2010

Asian/Not Asian Hair

Back in February (why does it feel like so long ago?), when the boyfriend and I were in Los Angeles, I decided on the very last day to get my hair cut.

December 2009
The last time I had a cut was maybe April 2009, so while my hair was long there were also many a split ends.  The problem is that I don't have a specific hair person.  It's possibly because I've moved around so much and gotten my hair cut in so many different cities.  But every time, I'm not necessarily leaving feeling like, "Woo hoo!  Look at my hair!  It's so AWESOME!!!" 

This might sound a little crazy, but I kind of feel like I have very specific type of hair.  Being Filipino, I have Asian-type hair, but it's thicker.  If I wash my hair and just let it air dry, it would be floofy and slightly wavy, but would flatten out by the end of the day.

There are times when I would like to go into a hair salon and say, "Do whatever you'd like to do."  But I'm too much of a scaredy-cat to go for it.

If I could choose my perfect hair style, it would look like I just came from the beach but cleaned up.  But that kind of hair style takes a lot of work and a lot of product.
Another part of my problem is that I don't really want to put in so much work.  Why is it that I just can't wake up and have it all be a flowy and perfect when I wake up?  So, I'll do some work, but if I could find the easiest way to get to the picture above, that would be awesome.

Now back to my hair cut situation.  The hair stylist needs to know how to work with Filipino hair, which makes me feel nervous about getting my hair cut in Boston since there's not a huge Filipino community.  But, being in Los Angeles at the time, I didn't know exactly where I should go.

I did Yelp a couple of places nearby and I did end up getting my hair cut after a lot of back an forth about who I should see.  I ended up settling for this Thai woman back in L.A. whom my family affectionately calls "Bo-dai."

***If you're planning to get horribly offended in the next couple of minutes, I would probably stop reading.  Thanks!***

This particular woman has been cutting my mom's hair since we've moved from the Philippines back in 1986.  Since then, many of my cousins and other relatives have seen her for their hair cuts.  Now, another big issue of mine is that while I feel like the stylist should know how to deal with Asian hair, I don't actually want to look Asian.

You know what I'm talking about!  I'm not even going to include any picture examples.

I know what you're saying.  " are Asian/Pacific Islander...why not embrace it?"  I know I know.  But there's no need in looking like a fortune cookie cutter (HA! How'd you like them apples???).

But I digress.  "Bo-dai" got her nickname because, as the legend goes, she would always say that to my mom.  My mom, not really sure what she was saying, would always just smile and nod.  At some point, she realized the woman was actually saying, "blow-dry" in a heavy Thai accent!  And from then on, my mom would always say, "I'm going to see 'Bo-dai.'"

One day, some relatives who just moved to Los Angeles was asking my mother about where she gets her hair cut.  Of course, she told them she goes to "Bo-dai" and gives them directions.  Of course, those relatives proceeded to walk into her salon and asked, "Hi, could we get our haircut with 'Bo-dai'?"

March 2010
She's a lovely woman.  And she proceeded to take my hair - after telling her that I wanted 3 inches off and layered - to take my hair, twist sections of it, and cut it.  Shorter than it's been in a very long time.

I'll admit that there was definitely a moment when I felt like I was on America's Next Top Model smack dab in the middle of Make-Overs.  I couldn't believe what was happening, and I was really thinking that I'd be walking out looking more Asian than ever.

But when it was all said and done, it wasn't so bad.  I probably will not see "Bo-dai" next time I'm in Los Angeles in need of a hair cut, but it wasn't the worst possible experience.  I miss my long hair, but it'll probably be long again by the end of 2010.  And once again, I'll be on a search for my perfect hair stylist.


  1. "Bo-dai" That's HILARIOUS!!! It kind of reminds me of the guy that used to deliver Chinese food to my campus back in college. We called him, "Johnny Foo-yea" because that was what he would say when he called up to the room to announce he was on campus. Well actually, he was saying Chinese Food here, but u get the Anywho I think you have a good attitude about the whole thing. The beauty of hair lies in the fact that one day you're complaining about how short it is and the next thing you know it's time to get it cut again. I think it looks cute, though.

  2. My hair goes "orange shirt lady" on its own and I spend like 30minutes with a straitening iron getting it to knock it off.


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