Travel the world

My (Gay) Indonesian Haircut in Bali, Indonesia

Just a funny story to share.

Indonesia is now (at least) the 6th country where I’ve gotten my hair cut.

And a haircut is pretty much a haircut for me.

Use the trimmers on the side.
Use a 1.
Blend it into finger-length on the top.
Put a little gel on the top and stick the hair up on the front.
And voila.

But my Indonesia haircut was definitely the most interesting haircut… maybe ever for me.

Carrie and I walk in to a place where it’s all women, and they all appear to be waiting around for me to come in and get my hair cut.

I convince Carrie that she should get a manicure while I’m getting my haircut.

(One of the things I love about Carrie is that she’s very frugal. But sometimes to a fault.)

When and where else will a manicure cost you less than $5.00?

So after I suggest to her (maybe 5 times) to get a manicure while I’m getting my hair cut, she sees the logic of my argument and gets a manicure.

I get sat in a chair and then, someone yells to the back room for Fabois (or something which sounded like… Fab Wah). And out comes this guy with crazy hair who is (apparently) the man’s stylist.

It’s not crazy in a bad way, but crazy in a “Edward from that Vampire Movie” way. (Forget the name at the moment – don’t know why I can’t remember)

Oh, the movie is Twilight. His hair is sort of like Edward’s if Edward forgot to go for a touch up on his hair before the scene began.

So Fab Wah isn’t flaming gay, but I’m fairly certain he’s gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m perfectly comfortable having my hair cut by a 5’ 3” gay Indonesian.

I explain what I want. FabWah confirms he understands what I want with his limited English (not to mention my non-existent Indonesian) and hand gestures.

Halfway through the haircut, all is going well, and then he takes the 1 clipper and just goes straight across my head.

Looks like there will be no scissor cut on top (even though he’s already done the scissor cut on top)… just a buzz this time.

Ah well. We’re going to hot countries after Indonesia anyway.

Then it gets a bit weird.

Fab Wah: “Where from?”

Jonathan: “USA”

Fab Wah: “Ohhh. Very handsome.”


Fab Wah: “Yes, very handsome.”


Fab Wah: “Man from America very handsome.”

Jonathan: “Thanks.”

And it gets dropped there.

So he finishes what becomes my buzz cut and asks if I would “Like wash? Like hair wash?”

Since we were going to the beach and for dinner after my hair cut, I figured sure… why not.

The so handsome comment had been momentarily weird, but had gone away.

Well, the hair wash station is in the back of the hair cut place. So Fab Wah takes me back there.

There’s another short Indonesian guy (who is flaming gay) who as soon as I’m back there starts in with “so handsome”.

For the next 5-8 minutes, my hair is washed and my head is massaged by two gay Indonesian guys who are talking 100% in Indonesian, punctured occasionally by a “So handsome” with a little more vigorous head massaging.

Fab Wah or accomplice: “Is woman u wife?”

Jonathan: “Yes.”

Fab Wah or accomplice: “Awww.” (I can’t tell if that’s the sound for “how cute” or disappointment.)

Fab Wah or accomplice: “So handsome.”

This “so handsome” is accompanied by a touch on my shoulder.

Fab Wah’s accomplice takes me back to the hair cutting station (Fab Wah has disappeared), where he continues sort of half scratching, half pounding, which is more like someone whacking me on the head (for another 3 minutes).

I’m all for having my head massaged or lightly scratched, but this is getting a little too weird.

FabWah reappears and sends away the accomplice.

FabWah styles my hair with some gel (who knows why… there was only buzz cut left to style), and gives me about 5 more “so handsome” comments accompanied by touches to my shoulders.

Carrie (who has gotten done) watches these last few so handsome comments, giving me a “what’s up with that?” look.

I say, “I’ll tell you later.”

I pay my $6 for what I will forever know as the “so handsome treatment”, and leave my first and only gay Indonesian hair cut.

It was fun to be “so handsome” in Bali, Indonesia, but I’m glad it was only for an hour.

4 thoughts on “My (Gay) Indonesian Haircut in Bali, Indonesia

  1. Kanannie

    I came across this post while looking for a place to get my haircut in Ubud. It looks like you got some good ol’ Indonesian TLC with your haircut! I’m a lesbian and I’ve been getting the “you’re very handsome” and “you’re very beautiful” thing by both straight and gay men and women as I travel through SEA. Most times I think it’s just their way of trying to “enhance the experience”, or to get me to buy something. 🙂

      1. Kanannie

        Hi Jonathan,

        We’re currently in Sulawesi, Indonesia. It’s a fascinating place. We’re working our way east towards the (hopefully) beautiful reefs of Raja Ampat near Papua. If you find yourself back in Ubud and you need a trim, there’s a new barbershop in town! Take care!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *