Beauty is . . .

It does not matter where you live in the world, the expectation and actualisation of beauty remains the same.  Us women suffer for our beauty.

Many of my personal friends are well aware that Daughter suffers from Alopecia Areata.  For those of you who do not know Alopecia Areata is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body.  For Daughter it was her scalp. At one point she rocked a great punk-ish style but for most of the time there was a lot of tears, many trips to various doctors and failed treatments.  Finally I located a Chinese herb supplement which worked wonders and now nearly three years on her hair has, in my opinion, grown back quite well although she continues to take the hated herb supplement on a daily basis (I brought a year’s supply with me to Turkey).  It is still quite thin and gappy but I think we should be thankful that she has her father’s genes because otherwise she would probably be bald right now.

My last trip to the hairdresser resulted in my walking out with blonde hair.  Well after some tears it was brown hair with a lot of blonde highlights.  Now 5 weeks later I find that I am quite used to the blonde, in fact I kind of like it.  It still has its brown elements but coming into summer I like the lighter colour with my tan, and it hides my grey hair a little more than my brown hair did.


Speaking of tans I am going to a wedding tomorrow night.  I have a gorgeous 1950’s inspired dress with a bolero jacket and shoes to match.  Very cute.  But.  My legs are the colour of freshly fallen snow.  They are white.  Beyaz.  They have not seen the sunlight for nearly a year now (seeing we arrived here in Mersin at the end of an Australian winter and went straight into a Turkish winter).  I tried going into an eczame (pharmacy) to purchase fake tan.  The words “fake tan” just do not compute in a country where everyone is naturally bronze.  While out with Alana last weekend (who incidentally is her very own shade of beyaz as she is Irish) we tried to explain fake tan or bronzer to a lady at a beautician’s shop near Alana’s house.  The woman was confused and perhaps wondered if we were a little deli (crazy).  She did tell Alana that she was cok beyaz (very, very white).  Nice.  Don’t hold back your thoughts love.  Finally I was with Daughter at Sephora and found fake tan but then decided I wanted to wear something different.  Hours of grief and I, of course, change my mind at the last minute.

Back to my original story.  I went for a cut today at the same hairdresser’s who blonded me.  Aziz is his name.  He recognised me immediately.  He was probably quaking in his boots.  “Crap it’s that bloody yabanci again.” He immediately settled me into his chair and got to work.  He has obviously been practicing his English because he was ready for me today.  “Cut yes?  No colour?  OK.  Tamam.  I do it good today.”  In the meantime the ladies in the shop were busy trying to convince me to have a manicure or a pedicure (10TL) and I even had one lady try to convince me that my “beard” needed to be epilated.  Thank you very much. I was very happy with the result.  The best part was the price 30TL (AU$15).  I arrived back home to lots of oohhs and aaahhs and then was informed that I paid too much.  You know how people tell you that you have done the wrong thing and then give you that pitied look.  That’s what I got today from the fam bam.  “Yes you paid too much. The lady across the street would do it for 10TL”.  I will just repeat that sentence – the lady across the street would do it for 10TL.  Yes the lady across the street is a beautician. It is not a shop, it is her spare bedroom.  Realistically 30TL is money well spent because it is in a shop – commercial premises with outgoings.  Incidentally the lady across the street does a great job threading (known as ip) on my eyebrows and my lip (which is a pain that I can only liken to child birth and no I am not being overdramatic).  She does Daughter’s eyebrow and lip as well but Daughter has it waxed not threaded – she can’t stand the pain but for whatever reason I don’t get an option, I am threaded.   Yes I am happy to let the woman across the street do my eyebrows but seriously my hair?  I am pretty sure the $15 I spend is well worth it.  I am pretty sure that I am not going to go broke going to the hairdresser in Carsi every eight weeks for a wash, a head massage (thank you God) and a blow dry for $15.


I have melded into Turkish life pretty well.  I am becoming the epitome of a Turkish Housewife – this afternoon I made Dolma, blog to follow – but please let me have a few little luxuries, a few of the little things that remind me of just what it is to be a lady of leisure.  That head massage was the most divine head massage of my life.  It went for about 15 minutes and Aziz crooned away in Turkish as he did it.

Çok güzel!


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16 thoughts on “Beauty is . . .

  1. My last encounter with a salon wash basin was around 2000. I left £42 poorer with just a cut and blow dry, but the head massage……………………ooohhh! Pummel away dear to your heart’s content. It’s the best bit. Excuse me while I nod off…….zzzzz 🙂


  2. My daughter also suffered with Alopeacia in her mid teens. We treated it with raw garlic on the bald patches as insisted on by local neighbours and despite our disbelief in such a remedy – her hair grew back. She hasn’t had a relapse since and we are hoping it was a puberty related problem.


    • Yes that was her grandmothers solution as well. Not sure how successful it was but she smelt great. I am surprised just how many people suffer from alopecia in Turkey. There are two kids in the village with it too.


  3. When I got married a lady came to do my hair and it was lovely. When I went back to her a couple of months later I thought I had asked for her to do my hair the same way she had done it before – I sat in the chair speechless at how much she cut off I don’t know what made me just sit there but I did. I normally have mid-length hair but she cut it SHORT. I said it was nice as I hurried back home!!! When hubby saw it his reply was “I’ll get you a headscarf” while sniggering, not helpful at all (especially at that time I wasn’t wearing headscarves!). I thought she had understand but in fact she had completely mis-understood and thought I wanted the same hairstyle as hers!!!! So from then I vowed NEVER to go and get anything done unless I could have it writing what they were going to do. To be honest I’m still no better now at trying to explain what I want I get tongue-tied and nervous thinking about what could go wrong!!!! Mind you now I wear a headscarf so no such thing as a bad hair day…just a bad headscarf day!!


  4. 1) Your hair looks fantastic.
    2) Last year, my roommate used to joke that going to the kuafor was my hobby. I, however, do not joke about it because going there was the only thing that kept me sane last year. I, too, ended up being unintentionally blonde. I went from jet black to platinum in a year’s time. I probably won’t do it again, but it was fun. The hairdressers here just love to make their customers blonde.
    3) How much does your guy charge for a blow out? Mine charges 5 TL (head massage and Turkish coffee included), so I had absolutely no shame in going there at least once a week, especially since their water is ALWAYS hot and the water in my apartment rarely was. In my new location, it’s 10 TL. Twice the price for half as good a job, AND every salon in this city is closed on Tuesdays. WTH is that about?? I’ve been to several salons in Turkey, and nobody does my hair better than Orhan. Even in the States I’m disappointed. It’s $30 and their work can’t even compare. Sigh.


    • A style is 5TL. A wash, massage and style is 10tl. I truly think it’s the best money you can spend for an hour of sanity. Turning blonde cost 120TL.

      And yes you are right. The hot water is a bonus.


  5. I don’t do much to keep up with my looks. I’ve been letting my hair grow for years, but before I started I usually cut, dyed, and styled it myself — unless a family member sprung for a birthday/Christmas/I-just-had-a-baby-and-need-a-makeover (seriously, that happened) present. I rarely shave my legs, wear whatever’s clean and comfortable, etc. However, for some reason I’ve always had a thing with eyebrows — I’m slightly obsessed with them and always want mine to look amazing (although I also haven’t even had them done in months, but that’s more-so because of where my life is right now). It’s nearly impossible to find someone who will give me the arch I want — they all say it’s impossible but I know it’s not because I’ve had it before. So I tried getting them threaded once. It was unbearable pain and they looked bad. Never again. I salute you for enduring it. Haha.


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