It figures I’d have to move to a small Dutch farm village before I could find a stylist who can cut my hair the way I like it. This is the kind of thing we usually share only with expat friends, but I’m going to let you in on a secret salon where you can get styled to within an inch of your life for half the cost of what you’d pay at the chains.
Suzanne Kuipers (she prefers “Suus”) is 24 and has her salon built into the family house on the commons in our hamlet (population 450) of Leenderstrijp.
She used to do hair just for neighbors (that would be us), family and friends. You had to know the entrance was hidden behind the potato shed just down from the village cooperative grocery. But Suus is so in-demand that her secret salon has turned into a business.
A few months ago, the potato shed disappeared, replaced by Kapsalon Suus (Salon Suus) at Strijperstraat 53.
Now, she focuses her substantial talents mostly on the ridiculously attractive young Dutch people who live in our area as you can see on her Facebook page.
This is the kind of experience that makes expat life fun … and that you only experience when you’re really integrated into your community. We found out about Suus when our neighbor Ingrid asked us why we went all the way into Eindhoven (about eight miles) when there were two small in-home salons in the village.
Who knew, right? Of course, we were thinking, “Yes, we can imagine how great we’ll look because we’re guessing the ‘stylists’ learned their trade shearing sheep or something.”
Soooo wrong ….
Thing is, I’m a barberphobe with a tragic history of barbers and stylist butchering my hair. My wife Cheryl still talks about how bad my hair looked on our wedding day. Then there was the stylist in our hometown who decided I should look like I was in Mötley Crüe. Over the years, I’d kind of given up on ever having a look I like.
Then I went to Suus.
We’ve taken our kids, colleagues and investors, including longtime friend Lyn, who’s very particular about her crazy-curly hair. On her two most recent visits from the States, she’s made a beeline to Suus for a cut.
Of course, the ultimate test was our ultra-picky younger daughter Lale, who started going to Suus “just for a trim.” Now she’s talking about going back and trying a new short look.
The best part for me is sitting around Suus’s shop, talking with her father Ton and the rest of the locals about farming or travel and catching up with the Leenderstrijp gossip.
In short, Suus has changed my life and she can change yours, all for 12.50 euros.
Or, you know, you could fly to San Francisco and pay celeb stylist Jayne Matthew $325.
Kapsalon Suus – the details
Like all young Dutch kids, Suus speaks excellent English (though she thinks she doesn’t.)
Prices start at 12.50 euros (that’s right, 12.50) for a haircut. Of course, coloring is where the big money is. If you don’t read Dutch, colorings start at 18.50 euros, as opposed to maybe $80 in the States.
Suus does accept PIN cards, and – of course – cash.
Address – Strijperstraat 53, Leenderstrijp
You can text her for appointments at 06 30 61 0731.
(Editor’s note: Dispatches receives no remuneration for telling our expats about the Things We Love. It’s just the right thing to do.)