Health & Wellbeing

Street Corner Hair Washing

In western culture we are accustomed to washing our own hair, or booking in advance at a salon to get a thorough hair treatment. However in Asia there are many countries where this service is offered for walk-in customers – on the street corner. Walk along the streets of any city in Myanmar and there is a quick fix for a bad hair day. For as little as $3 in local barbershops and hair salons, but also in the fanciest Spas where it can fetch up to $18, men and women can get pampered with a shampoo service.

The service usually includes shampoo, conditioner, lathering and rinsing (sometimes twice), and scalp massage with hair brushed and dried at the end. There is always the possibility for an add-on moisturizing treatment, or special colored hair mask. The shampoo chair is actually a bed with a basin. While waiting for the conditioner to fully nourish the hair, the customer receives a relaxing shoulder massage. It’s a pastime that everyone indulges in, and it’s not unusual for locals to go several times a week. This cultural practice is well ingrained in Myanmar and there is a place still called “Shampoo Island” off the coast of Mawlamyine, the well’s water bringing good fortune to kings who washed their head there.

Still today in many areas of the country, there is no hot running water in households so it makes sense to have it taken care of outside the home in addition to the daily shower. We highly recommend the experience, you’ll leave wondering why this affordable one stop service doesn’t exist everywhere else in the world.

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Ear Cleaning in Chengdu

In China, ear cleaning is not just a necessity for hygiene, or a DIY process carried out at home in the privacy of your bathroom. This longstanding practice is considered by many as an enjoyment, thanks to the country’s professional ear cleaners. Skilful street-side tradesmen use as many as eight different tools to clean their customers’ ear canals. These deluxe set of dentist-like instruments include clawed needles, elongated picks and small fuzzy balls! The recipient takes a seat as the cleaner tunnels deep into the ear, twisting and scraping before proudly displaying the globs of excavated wax.

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