There are some challenges to a modern woman’s beauty regime here in rural Mexico. First, there’s where to go to find the services you may be in need of. Then there’s the communication issue between hair stylist and person in need of beautifying. Then there are the different concepts of beauty to contend with. So here’s some information that might make it easier.
Getting your hair cut isn’t as simple as it appears. The last haircut I got, I came out looking like I’d escaped from a mental hospital by climbing through the sewers. It was that bad. My husband and son just looked at me and shook their heads. My hair has grown out since then, but well, I decided I needed to learn a few more vocabulary words (and find a different stylist) before I tried again.
So you get your hair cut at a peluquería(coming from the word peluca which means wig) or Estética. Estética unisex establishments cut both men’s and women’s hair. However, a barbería (from the word barba which means beard) is a barber shop and caters to men only. As facial hair becomes more the mode, you can also get beard and mustache trims at most barberías these days. They don’t pull teeth though.
You need to be very specific in what you ask for. Most men in our area have el corte escolar which is the required haircut for school and is like a crew cut. So every stylist knows how to do this cut, making it the default cut for boys and men. Girls and I’d say 70% of the women here have the parece yegua (looks like a mare) haircut. That’s what my husband calls the pulled back from the forehead into a long, long ponytail or braid style. Older women tend to go with a short bob cut, again, not necessarily the most attractive style, but very popular among those that wear aprons to the store in these parts.
If you have extremely fine hair, your stylist may not be familiar with how to best cut your hair. You’ll know for sure after your hair has been cut, which is perhaps not the best time to find that information out.
There are some strange hair beliefs as well. Girls who have long flowing hair but are anemic are sent for a much shorter haircut since all that hair is taking the nutrients from the body. Yep. And since everyone wants curly haired babies, those whose little girls are straight haired sometimes have their heads shaved so that it will grow back curly. Ok then.
There are more beauty options in addition to haircuts available at the salón de belleza. You should be able to find manicura and pedicura services at this sort of establishment or you could go to the specialty stores which do Aplicacion De Uñas (fingernail application). A salón de belleza will also style your hair and apply makeup for big events like quinceañeras and weddings. One salón de belleza in our town offers botox as well.
If you are in need of hair removal, there are special places for that too. This one is called Depilación Frida, referring to Frida Kahlo who was indeed in need of a little upper lip and unibrow assistance. I’m not so sure that this location is ideal, however. It’s on a heavily trafficked road in front of a secondary school and there’s nothing but a curtain to keep you from flashing the passing pedestrians your nearly hairless lady parts.
If you’d like just your eyebrows done you can go to places that offer Delineación de Cejas. The optometrist where I bought my last pair of glasses offers this service I guess so that your eyebrows look nice with your glasses?
So now you want to add a little pick me up scent either console or celebrate your new look? Head to the Perfumería. If you can’t quite afford what they have to offer, try perfumes similares where you can get casi, casi (almost) the same perfume at a fraction of the cost.
So a trip to the joyeria isn’t in the budget? Try the Bisturia for costume jewelry. Cosméticos (cosmetics) are pretty limited where I live. You might try places that supply the salones de belleza for a selection.
If you are in need of a little more pampering and the vibrating chairs at the shopping center aren’t enough, you can go to a sobador (literally a person who rubs or massager). Our area does offer a “spa” but I’m sure it’s not anything like you can get in the south of France.
How about some body art? Tattoos are done at places that offer tattoos. That one isn’t too hard to figure out. Sometimes the establishment also does body piercing. Although we live in a pretty conservative area, it’s not unheard of for regular men and women to have visible tattoos or a body piercing or two and all girl babies have their ears pierced before leaving the hospital. Of course the more adornment you have, the more suspicious looks you’ll get, and the more often you’ll be stopped by police for a frisk. Just saying. Maybe get those tats in a little less visible place and not across the bridge of your nose, eh?
Maybe this will helps take some of the angst out of your next beauty treatment.