Wash & Set (aka “rollos”)

Wash & Set (aka “rollos”)

As I sit here under the extremely hot hair dryer, I can’t help to remember the times I useto visit the hair salon in the city and pay just $13 for a wash, set & blow dry; now, it’s up a wopping $25 (and that’s cheap, I’ve walked into some salons where they charge upwards $35-$55 depending on your hair length). Wow!!

In reminiscing with my stylist, she tells me how she’s been in this line of business for nearly 39 years! Coming here from Santo Domingo at the tender age of 19, she remembers her clients (“la blaquitas con dinero”…”rich white woman” she says) paying just $8 for a wash & set, men’s hair cuts were $3 and tips….hold on to your seats… 10cents…yes you read that right (further noting that it was a great tip, enough to buy coffee and a buttered roll). The other stylist (about 25 years younger) almost had a heart-attack…lol! She went on to tell me that diaper service was $25 a month, and child care was $10 a week for one kid, $15 for two. Bread and milk were delivered and rent was dirt cheap.

Amazing how times change – how the same service can be so much more expensive, how some luxuries are no longer available and despite her age and painful arthritis, she still finds herself doing what she loves, not so much for the love though, but for the need to survive during these desperate and hard economic times!

I’m gonna play a joke on her and tip her 10cents and give her a hug…lol…tell her “for old times sakes”… I think she may give me a good swift kick in the ass though…lol

But in all seriousness, take the time to talk to your hair stylist, your manicurist (mine’s from Vietnam and his stories are amazing) or anyone for that matter – there’s nothing more intriguing than learning a little bit of history and culture from someone else; there’s so much to learn – just conversate!

Now back to listening to her speak of her days in Santo Domingo, the food, the music and what led her here to the USA, seeking the American Dream!! (I will most likely be tone-death because she speaks very LOUDLY)!!

And yeah, tip well!!



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