This was my second haircut in Vietnam. I found a place that I like on Bui Vien in the backpackers district. They will cut my hair for 40,000vnd or $2, not a bad deal and they do a really nice job. They hardly use the clippers, most of the cut is done with scissors and combs. Then they finish up with the straight edge to make sure the lines on the neck and ears are straight.
On my second time another westerner walked in looking to get a shave. They ushered him to the other open chair, then from out of the barbers utility belt he pulled up a straight edge, flipped it a few times round his fingers like a butterfly knife, lathered the man’s face up and started to shave away. The man’s look was priceless; a mix of straight fear, oh god, and I need to be calm. Within five minutes the guy was walking out the door with his face and throat in tact.
By this time my hair cut was done and looking good too. I was laid back in the chair with my face being lathered up and out came the blade. He started to shave before I could say anything. I had been too busy watching the other guy to realize what was happening, so I just went with it. He ended up using three blades on me, lathered my face twice, went over my face three full times, and took 15 minutes. Needless to say, my face was feeling a little raw after that. I was expecting a warm towel, but the barber handed me a moist towelet he had just sprayed with some water. I got out of the chair and was asked to pay 80,000 vnd. I bargained him down to 50,000 vnd because I did not want the shave. Still $2.50 for a haircut and shave, I’ll take it even if it felt like I lost a layer of skin.