African hair wows Moscow barbers, but…


African hair wows Moscow barbers, but...
Fireworks light up the sky above the Kremlin in Moscow on June 13, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / Maxim ZMEYEV

In Summary

  • Getting a barber shop in Moscow is not easy for a visitor especially from Africa. Of course there are many in the Russia capital, but you have to do your proper homework before you take your head anywhere here
  • Needless to say, yours truly is very careful with barbers even back in Nairobi, and for the last six years only three hands have handled him

Jacob Icia Moscow Chronicles 

Getting a barber shop in Moscow is not easy for a visitor especially from Africa. Of course there are many in the Russia capital, but you have to do your proper homework before you take your head anywhere here.

Needless to say, yours truly is very careful with barbers even back in Nairobi, and for the last six years only three hands have handled him.

So after two weeks in Moscow I realized I needed to shave. I have already found a Kenyan friend who has been in Russia for over a decade who I ask what to do in areas I feel I cannot just try out without enough information.

“You will be given a very good hair cut here by the Russians. Here it’s done by ladies, it’s like a ladies job. However, you are likely to be a ‘specimen’ as they are always curious about the African hair. You won’t know what they are talking about, but the girls will be calling their colleagues to touch your hair. They can even pretend they are applying something on your head just to have a feel of your hair…” he told.

I could not imagine that happening to me, hence my resolve was to look for an alternative. My friend was kind enough to call for me another Kenyan who divulged to me how the Russian behavior opened his eyes for a side hustle activity.

“I’m studying here, this is my fourth year since I left Nairobi. I had done kinyozi job in Nairobi so I am a tested a proven barber. When I came to Russia I discovered most African did not like that kind of joke by the local barbers so I seized the opportunity.

“I have many clients that I attend to and so far it has been good. I know how the Russians girls in barber shops can be handling your hair…,” told the Power Engineering student who preferred anonymity.

He has been doing this for over three years that is why he has all the tools of work for the job.

He had to connect to my temporary residence using a metro train, five stops to my nearest station, emphasizing just how serious he is with his job.

By the time he was done with restoring my usual looks, I was rushing to jot down the points he gave for this account.

I promised he will have to attend to me again before I go back to my roots, lest I’m turned into a specimen by the Moscow hairdressers.

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