First Haircuts

When you move to a new country, you may not initially consider planning for how you will receive common services. We had a game plan for the major logistical necessities, like bank accounts and housing; but scheduling dental cleanings, receiving beauty services, establishing veterinary care, and things of similar nature were less pressing. Luckily, we didn’t have an emergency or need doctor appointments early on. I did, however, realize that everyone was starting to look a bit shaggy at about the 2-month mark… and I was not about to attempt cutting our family’s hair. So haircuts became the first thing that fell into this “necessary nicety” category for us.

Daisy (being the furry beast that she is) was up first. We were constantly hiking and getting caught in the elements, so it was important that we didn’t let her coat get too long. Ticks are also an issue in Germany and we wanted to be able to easily spot any of the tiny pests if they were to present themselves. We discovered that there are not many groomer options in our area. We ended up taking a recommendation from one of Daisy’s new dog friend’s owners. When we called to make the appointment, we really had no idea how much services were going to cost, but what option did we have? We also didn’t have a car and this groomer offered pick up and drop off services. Seemed like a good fit.

Making a phone call in a foreign language is always a nerve-wracking task. You obviously don’t have body language to fall back on. I always have an internal battle if I should attempt to speak [broken] German or if I should risk asking if the person on the other side of the line speaks English. Austin volunteered to call to make this first grooming appointment, as I was still building up confidence in my German skills at the time. We have found that we tend to receive better treatment if we at least attempt speaking German. It’s a nod of respect and shows your potential longevity as a customer. There was no need to stress though because the groomer spoke excellent English. It was a family-run grooming business and I was impressed by the professionalism and demeanor of everyone we interacted with. Every part of the process was surprisingly easy. Daisy even tolerated being picked up in a stranger’s car fine. She came back with a bow in her hair looking cute as ever. She was in good spirits and did not seem stressed at all.

Two main things surprised us about the grooming services we received. First, a few of the grooming services we assume are included in the states (such as anal gland expression and ear cleaning) are not common here. These procedures are outside of the standard grooming scope. They are considered services a vet might provide if/when needed, but not part of regular grooming. Secondly, the sticker price of 140 Euros came as a bit of a shock. Austin and I were luckily able to pull together the cash we had on hand, because card was not accepted either. It is very typical here for smaller businesses to only handle cash. From farmer’s market stands, to restaurants, and fee for service items, it’s important to always have some Euros available. So as a lesson learned, I would recommend researching the overall acceptance rate of credit/debit cards in the area you are traveling/moving to in order to be prepared. Feel free to also ask in advance what payment methods are acceptable.

Next up for a trim was Austin. He had grown out his hair for 2 months after our arrival in Germany and at that point, a haircut was well overdue. We had scoped out a few barber shops in town, but Austin basically just picked one and walked in one afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised by his new look upon my arrival home from work that day, but Austin’s recount of his barber experience left me simply cracking up. I’ll annotate for Austin here now:

“Everything was going good. I asked for a fade, but told the barber I was trying to grow the top length out a bit. He had finished most of the cut, then moved on to clean up the neck. Then the guy asked something in German that I didn’t understand and proceeded to light my ears on literal fire [with an unknown fire source]. I smelled the hair burning. WTF just happened? I’m still in a state of shock when he slaps a Q-tip with hot wax between my eyebrows. It all happened so quickly and all at once. “

I know the story was better with his own telling, but I hope that created as humorous of a mental image for you as it did for me. LOL Austin realized after the haircut that he had been to a Turkish barber shop. Not sure if this contributed to the “extra” services of ear and nose hair removal or not… Personally, I think the haircut looked pretty good. It was definitely clean, with no stray hairs left behind.

The haircut is under the hat. 😛

Last up to the plate for a haircut was me. As a female, I am a little more particular about getting a good haircut, but I am also a pretty low maintenance chic. I just needed a wash, cut, and style – nothing too crazy. I chose a salon that was in walking distance to our house, looked clean, and had good online reviews. When I arrived, the stylist offered me a variety of drink options (of which I opted for an espresso) before sitting down to discuss a plan for my cut. She gave me the most gentle and unrushed hair wash ever, then began snipping and styling. No crazy waxing or spontaneous fires to report here. 😆I was very happy with the result and will definitely revisit the salon.

Between Daisy, Austin, and Myself, we had a series of interesting, yet positive beauty service experiences. I thought about how this might transpire momentarily before moving, but didn’t spend much time worrying about it. I figured that everyone else in a similar situation manages and if they could do it, so could I. I still support that mindset. Get recommendations where you can, but mostly don’t sweat the small stuff. No one will remember the awkward encounters except for you and in all likelihood, you’ll probably have easy experiences with owners eager to secure your ongoing business. I’m glad that we are able to embrace the new, awkward, and exciting experiences that accompany living in a foreign country. Because hey – what’s the worst that could happen? No one ever died from a bad haircut or getting their ears set on fire (?) To widen this anecdote to a larger audience, I would say that regardless of if you’re moving or simply visiting a new region or country, it’s possible that some services may be of a different quality and price point than you would expect. Keep an open mind in this regard. For example, in Germany and the nearby European region I have visited thus far, massages are very accessible, of a high quality, and cheaper than in the sates. I had only had about two massages my whole life prior to moving here. Now I get regular medical massages that are only 60 Euros for an hour of quality massage. Similar services in eastern European countries are even more affordable (as long as you go outside of the tourism/hotel spa sector).  So if you love treating yourself to a massage, pedicure, etc. consider researching such services where you are vacationing. A little time and money on self-care and relaxation is always a value add in my book 😊


  1. Mama bear graff

    I miss you guys and love reading about your adventures!! Love ya LOTS!!!!!

  2. Maureen Clare Roberts

    Wonderful accounts!
    Thank you for the morning giggle…thank God that only the eyebrows and ear hair were up in smoke!

    Busy around here with spring cleanup on our acreage and having been in AZ for a month! Stay tuned. 🙏☀️🌈
    Love to you in Germany,

  3. Chris Cavanaugh

    Omg Morgan love the hair cut adventures for all of you. Austin wins with the most exciting / memorable hair cut experience. As I read about his hair cut, I could visualize what the expression on his face might be when the fire and smoke appeared. I was cracking up! Keep the blogs coming and love to all of you. Aunt Chris

  4. Thank you for sharing, too funny. Fire and hair normally don’t mix. Thank goodness this was a great experience. Your smiling faces are such a great thing to see.

Leave a Comment

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