Hair appointment at a Belgian Salon – The ultimate test of my French…

My sweet husband, Nick, suggested trying a salon he found just down the street as a way to practice my French! (or maybe he was just sick of me complaining about my hair….) Either way, I decided to be brave and try it out!

I am currently on a quest to grow out my natural hair color, including the greys! I got my first grey hair at 18 and have colored my hair ever since. When we moved to Belgium, I decided I’m sick of coloring it and want to go more natural and low maintenance. I joined several “grey and proud” Facebook groups for support and it’s been awesome! I’ve loved growing it out since July, but the leftover dyed color needed some help.

After a little practice at French conversation group yesterday, I was ready! This little salon is just down the street and it was busy when I stopped in last week to make the rendez-vous (appointment), so it had to be good right??

Well, most of my practiced French went out the window when I sat in her chair and the entire salon went quiet to listen to me try to explain my plea. It is apparently bizarre to request to LEAVE the greys and ONLY color le reste, but I suppose that would be odd in the States as well. Also, my broken french was quite the spectacle I guess… ugh! They were very kind and patient though!

Je veux garder les cheveux gris / I want to keep the grey hair

et sur le reste / and the rest

je voudrais ma couleur naturelle. / I would like my natural color.

Pas de coupe. / No haircut.

I was able to convey my message well enough though is seemed, and onward we went. It wasn’t clear what color we decided on for my “couleur naturelle“, but I trusted in my very limited understanding… when in Belgium, do as the Belgians I suppose!

Seems right?!?!?!

It was very busy and the salon was run very efficiently, quite different from the states. There were 3 stylists each with a station, and a girl at the hair washing station. There were about 10 clients in the salon, and as 1 left another came. Any open chair was filled with the next most urgent need (ie. next in line, wet hair, etc..). You didn’t necessarily stay with the same stylist for the whole appointment but it didn’t seem to matter. I didn’t chat much with the stylists, but I did try a little!

A little light reading while I waited… mais oui, en français!

They put a timer on me as I sat to process and when I was finished, the hair washing girl took me for a rinse!


And the result??

Perhaps I said the word “grey” too much???

Just kidding 🙂 It turned out très bon!

I got to KEEP the greys I’ve been working hard to grow, and get the rest closer to my natural color. I’m excited to keep growing it out!

It was significantly faster than any salon in the States at a short 90-minute visit, and cheaper too! This color cost me 36 Euro with (a standard) no tip. Probably would have been closer to $70-80 in the US.

Overall, a great experience and wonderful french practice!!!! Stay tuned for more exciting adventures where I practice (and embarrass myself in) FRENCH!! Today however, was a success 🙂

~ Tolman Travels ~

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