A hairdresser ties you to a place. I remember the dark winter afternoon, back in 1999 when I was 15, when I first took the plunge and changed hairdresser in my local town. It was just before the 4th year ball, and I was determined to get a ‘cooler’ haircut. I wandered into ‘Dynamic’ hairdressers and was pleased that the tough looking balding owner of the joint would be the one cutting my hair. The start of a new identity. Time for a cooler Nick. It’s true our hair is a big part of our identity, and it’s important that we get it right. Hairdressers get to know us, to know our identity, to understand what we want. We trust them, because we feel good and secure walking out of their shop, knowing that our identity can live on. We talk to them, about life, and their life, and we feel relaxed letting them cut our hair, because they’ve done it before, right in the same shop. It’s an intimate relationship. I spent five years in London, and never once got my hair cut there. It was always something I saved for going home, occasionally planning trips to ensure my hair wouldn’t be too long before the next one.

I used to think home is where the heart is. That might put home wherever you happen to be, if your heart is with the now, with adventure. Then I came up with a better definition of home: It’s the place you would choose to die, if you had that choice. That would firmly put home back with my parents in Scotland.

But perhaps home is just where you prefer to get your hair cut. A bold traveller is one who is comfortable getting their hair cut anywhere. I have had a few haircuts in India, not having the luxury to return home to Scotland so often. I’ve learned to get used to the small crowd of amused onlookers who cheer on the local hairdresser in his endeavour of cutting blonde hair. I don’t expect much for INR 20, which is about US $0.50. Last weekend I had my haircut at a place I’ve been to once before, just before I returned home for Becky’s wedding in April. It was good. I liked the job he did. In fact, I was so satisfied I left feeling perhaps I can call this home…

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