Tuesday, August 25, 2009

European Grooming

I can not really say this is an expose on Swedish grooming because, over all the Swedes seem better than most Europeans. However, I do see a bit of it here also. By "it" I mean just an overall lack of grooming. What got me thinking about this was the "Back to School" meeting at my children's school last week. I had noticed that all the men looked to be about a good month out form a haircut. I found it strange that one wouldn't have themselves spruced up for the event. Lasting first impressions and all that.

It is a common sight. Eloquently dressed in a nice suit, nice tie, good shoes and a complete wreck from the shoulders up. Sometimes, I think it is purposeful. They are going for that Sven look. You know what I mean, the windswept blonde almost surfer look. And do not get me wrong, it can be a good look, if you are 22. At 42 and in a business suit, it's just plain puzzling. There is something about age that lends itself to good grooming anyway. Lack of grooming just doesn't work for you the way it used to.

Many times though, it is not intentional. The hair creeping onto the neck, the nose hairs, the hairy moles, over grown mustaches that cover the teeth...all of it not planned. All of it unpleasant for those around the offender.

It is true that most American's have a compulsion for overall cleanliness. It is to the point where some experts claim our environments are so sterile it could actually be harming our children's immune systems. Hand sanitizers, antibacterial everything..I have friends who would need biological warfare suits to get on the subways I ride everyday. I like trying to spot the Americans. They typically don't blend.

What is even more of a mystery to me is the fact that salons/frisors are every third storefront here in the city. So, clearly, there is a lot of haircutting and grooming going on. I've never seen so many beauty salons. I am not sure who is keeping these guys in business. Maybe it is all the Svens getting their highlight regrowth done.


  1. Hi,

    As a swedish expat living in Spain i find it amusing to read about your experiences with Sweden which is an exotic country in many ways;) And no there's no mystery to all the hairdressers and pizzerias in every third storefront:) It's perfectly logical (considering the Swedish taxregime) and just boiles down to "cash in hand" or what they would say in Sweden "black money"/svarta pengar...


  2. Tanks for reading.

    That is interesting. I am glad to hear it. Starve the beast!

    I wonder if they offer cash discounts??? Maybe there is a whole under world I can be part of...LOL

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