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The cutting truth: Why you can't cut your hair on a Wednesday

The cutting truth: Why you can't cut your hair on a Wednesday

PHUKET: It’s almost impossible to get your hair cut in Thailand on a Wednesday.


By Prapaporn Jitmaneeyaphan

Friday 6 September 2013, 09:10AM


Really, if you don't believe me, you can just go to any barber or beauty salon in Phuket next Wednesday and see if they’re open. They won’t be.

Although the superstition against getting a haircut midweek is well known by most Thais, the majority don’t actually know why they cannot get their hair cut on Wednesdays.

Twenty-six year-old Haad Yai native Pornkamol Kwangseng says that she remembers that her grandfather used to tell her that in the past His Majesty the King would like to have his haircut on Wednesdays, and therefore many hairdressers were summoned to the royal residences on this day.

It was therefore understood that ‘common people’ couldn't get a haircut on the same day as it would be seen as rather presumptuous, or that they were trying to ‘take something’ away from the King.

My grandfather used to believe that something bad would happen if he had his haircut on that day, and that it would bring him great misfortune.”

Another explanation for ‘No Haircut Wednesdays’ derives from the common Thai idiom ‘Don't cut on Wednesdays and don't pull out on Thursdays’, (Wan put haam tad, wan paruehat haam thon).

This is because in ancient Thailand, Wednesday used to be considered the day of agriculture, a day of growing things. Hence, as cutting is the opposite to growing, it was thought it would bring bad luck.

Kannikor Rubngarm, a 28 year-old from Bangkok, also remembers her grandfather’s strict thoughts on the matter.

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He believed that cutting hair on Wednesdays was inauspicious, and thought it would bring bad luck. He often said that you would perhaps fight and quarrel with someone as a result.”

Two generations ago, Thais often thought that ‘trouble’ or weird incidents that occurred could be directly traced back to when they had had a haircut on a Wednesday.

Today though, as with many ancient attitudes and beliefs, many younger Thais are beginning to question the validity of their ancestors’ beliefs.

Poomie Smash’, a commenter on a popular Thai forum, recently wrote on the topic of haircuts:

I have complied with this belief for 20 years because of ignorance. Now I know about it, I am not afraid of getting a haircut on Wednesdays any more. Fear comes from ignorance, and now that I understand I’m not scared. I understand because I did research about it.”

Poomie’ added that the bad luck associated with Wednesday hair cuts has not disappeared completely however.

We are still having misfortune because some barbers and beauty salons are still closed on Wednesdays. If we really need to get a haircut, we need to go to the mall and so have to pay more for transportation.”

 

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