Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | December 8, 2005


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been in Israel for quite some time now. My Hebrew is decently fluent, and I usually feel comfortable conversing on a variety of subjects. I may not understand every word, but I almost always get the gist. I converse with my colleagues in Hebrew, I’ve dealt with doctors and emergency situations in Hebrew, I argue in Hebrew. I just had a conversation with the woman sitting across from me on the train in Hebrew, about the computer that I’m using. I think in Hebrew and I dream in Hebrew, but there’s one thing I have yet to do in Hebrew, and it looks like I’m going to have to, due to an unfortunate series of circumstances. I know you’re all going to laugh, but in all my years here, I’ve never gotten a haircut in Hebrew. I don’t know the terminology, and the thought of it makes me quake in my boots, right to the tips of my (extremely) split ends.

It all began when I was nine years old. My mom made me get my hair cut short, and it traumatized me for life. I wore a hat to school for ages, and refused to take it off, and I have never gotten my hair cut short since. For years, I would have nightmares; I dreamed that people would hold me down and cut my hair short. I dreamed that I would go to sleep with long hair and wake up with short hair. I dreamed that I would request a trim, only to look in the mirror and see that I’d been shorn. As a result, whenever I’ve found a hairdresser who I’ve liked, I’ve stuck with them for as long as possible, no matter how inconvenient. Since I’ve been in Israel, I’ve used a hairdresser in Jerusalem. He’s a native English speaker, so I knew that nothing could get lost in translation (an old college friend who was fluent in French decided to get a haircut while in France. She asked for highlights, and ended up looking like Barbie.). He’s just as relaxed and laid back as I am, and I knew he’d never do anything that didn’t suit me. He accepted my paranoia and worked around it, and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t wake up the day after the haircut wondering what the hell I’d done. The happiness I derived from each session far outweighed the inconvenience of getting there, despite the fact that I live two hours away, but it was still tricky nonetheless, made even more so after my son was born, and my time became even more limited. When he switched salons, I even switched with him. That’s how dedicated I was.

It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been to see “my guy” (having made do with interim solutions in the meantime), and I called yesterday to make an appointment. Much to my utter dismay and surprise, I found out that he had left the salon two weeks ago, and didn’t leave a forwarding number. I suppose I could be industrious and track him down. I imagine it shouldn’t be too difficult. I find myself in a dilemma. Do I track him down and continue to be faithful, despite the inconvenience, or do I take this as a sign to finally move on, to make a clean break and find someone closer to home who can fulfill my hair care needs? With a heavy heart, I lean towards the latter, as the distance has become too much of a burden.

Where to look, though? I work in Tel Aviv, so this would seem a natural choice, given that I imagine the options in my own area would be more limited. A few friends have suggested various options in Raanana, and I am tempted, though that too, would not be the most convenient. So now, to the crux of this post. I am opening up the floor to suggestions and recommendations, in the hope that some of our Tel Aviv-based readers can help. We’re looking for a nice, laid back person, preferably a native English speaker (though this isn’t a deal breaker), preferably with a good sense of humor (they would need one to deal with me), and preferably someone who won’t charge an arm and a leg. If they offer complimentary coffee to customers while they wait, I’d consider it a big plus. Oh, and obviously, they should give a good haircut, and not feel the need to unleash their own creative energies during the session.

So, what say you, people?



  1. My first hair cut in norwegian was a nightmare! This is not said to scare you off. May I recommend that you, regardless of the salon you choose, bring with you a photo of what you want…and perhaps a photo of what would be completely and utterly unacceptable. Good luck and post photos of the final result! 😉 There’s no chance of that final request, is there? Just thought I’d suggest it! TGIT!!

  2. TGIT indeed.

    Not to scare me off, eh? Too late! What happened? Why was it a nightmare? Not sure what I want, just know that I need to do something to clean it up, as it’s going way out of control!

    You’re right. No chance of photos posted here.

  3. It was every woman’s nightmare who wants a trim to really be just that… A TRIM!!! I would say, find out what you want and find a picture that has a look you could live with. “Clean up”, “do something with it”, “I need a change” and other similar comments are asking for trouble. I think it tends to bring out the budding artist in most hairdressers and they are suddenly inspired to give you a great new look. So, leave NO room for creative license. Be specific. It’s your only hope!!! May the scissors be with you…

  4. I’m sure people in Raanana have recommended Dina Esparon to you. She’s worth the trip. With the extention on the Ayalon, the drive to Raanana from Tel Aviv can be just 15 min., if you’re lucky. It could take longer than that to navigate the Tel Aviv traffic and find a parking spot.

    I also prefer going to a native English speaker for haircuts- which is why I wouldn’t mind a bit of a drive. I’m sure there must be some in Tel Aviv, but I don’t know who they are.

  5. Thanks anonymous, but the thing is, I don’t have a car. I’m a bigtime train commuter. Will take your recommendation under advisement, though!

  6. Hi Liza, quite amusing but still i am in a similar boat. Even as a guy I find that most of the hair cut places in Tel Aviv (where i emigrated to recently) usually do a really fast and impatiently bad job using mainly the electric clippers. I’m used to quality places in London and am dying to track down a decent fluently english speaking hair stylist in Tel Aviv… did you have any luck with this?


  7. gilesblah: Welcome to something something. Sadly, I wimped out. Waited months, and then got a haircut while in the US. I’m guessing I’ll be facing the issue again at some point in the near future, though admittedly, it’s less noticeable when you’ve got long hair…

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