Cutting To The Quick
by Kirsty Foyne
"We're dedicated to providing improvements across the board in the hairdressing industry in Beijing." So says Lu Huali, chairman of the Beijing Municipal Hair Trimming and Styling Investigative and Standards Body Committee Group, on the day the Committee Group released its long-awaited report on hairdressing in the city.
Researchers spent weeks, months, even days on a thorough investigation into the state of Beijing's hairdressing industry. The findings were not good. "The report found severe lacks in many, even most, hairdressers across the city," says Lu. "Many hairdressers lack even rudimentary hair-cutting skills. They seemed incapable of even a basic wash and cut."
Equipment is another problem - the majority of hairdressing establishments surveyed lacked even scissors. "It's hard to understand how these hairdressers are going to provide any kind of service at all," concludes the report.
While skills and equipment may be in short supply, the report finds that there is definitely a will to improve amongst Beijing's hairdressers, who are very enthusiastic. "Our researchers saw eager hairdressers tapping on their windows to attract customers," says Lu, "and they're also very keen on celebrating public holidays." Researchers found copious supplies of festive purple lightbulbs, as well as packs of party balloons.
So, in summary, Beijing's hairdressers may not be on the cutting edge of world fashion right now, but they're certainly very eager to please. At the launch of the report, Lu Huali announced that the Committee Group was stepping up a range of initiatives to get the hairdressing game really going. "We've got a few tricks up our sleeve," she said, "and if we all work together to improve the quality of hairdressing in our city, we can make sure that this whole thing has a happy ending."