The Kaiser's kindest cut : BACK BITES

Sean Langan's hair-raising time in Berlin

The Kaiserschnitt, at number 80 Reichenberger, Berlin, is a hairdressing salon with a rather peculiar clientele, and an even more peculiar line in cutting techniques; the zebra cut, for instance, in which the hair is first mowed like a football pitch and then dyed black and white. That might not sound particularly avant-garde in this day and age, but if you were to see it weaving its way down the King's Road, the spectacle could well send you into shock. It would also send the proud wearer of thecut straight to court on a charge of gross public indecency. They cut hair at the Kaiserschnitt - and they do it rather well - but it's not the hair on your head they're interested in. Roughly translated as the "Kaiser's Snip", the salon is at the cutting edge of, well, not to put too fine a point on it, pubic hair. The Kaiserschnitt is the only pubic hairdresser in Europe, and possibly the only salon in the world where you can get a short back and curlies. As well as trimming, shaving (the Mohican is a favourite) and colouring pubic hair, Felix Vermeulen, the proprietor and chief crimper, will also weave pubic hair extensions on to the existing hairs. One client had the audacity, and the sense of humour, to request dreadlocks. For obvious reasons, no one has ever asked for a perm. When you enter the salon, it looks just like any other. Trendy stylists stand behind a row of barber's chairs tousling and teasing, and snipping and shaving the heads of their young clients, as the booming sounds of techno music reverberate around the room. But at the rear of the salon, down a dimly lit stairwell, is a basement room painted entirely purple. This is the pubic, as opposed to the public, cutting room, where only the brave shall enter. There are no wall mirrors, and no music, and slap-bang in the middle is what can only be described as a cross between a dentist's chair and a gynaecologist's bench. It's basically flat, with one end raised, and the entire contraption is covered in sterile tissue. The decor might not be as plush, but there is a book of photographs showing the styles on offer which the client can flick through for inspiration. It's full of great ideas for those whose knowledge of pubic hairdressing stretches from bikini-line waxingto bikini-line plucking. An unsuspecting person answering the "models required" ad in the window might be in for a bit of a surprise (allthough not as much of a shock, one might imagine, as the model's unsuspecting partner). And what kind of person could possibly be under the delusion that pubic hair extensions are this year's look? "We get all types of people in here," claims Dollie, one of the female stylists. "Men and women of all ages and classes, and they ask for the strangest things. One of them had pearls attached to his pubic hairs, a little bit like a chandelier. It's a question of aesthetics." And, judging by the nature of the requests, somewhat questionable tastes. The current trend was started in the pornography industry. "It helps establish who's who in a porno film," explained Lynne Proctor of Body Art magazine, a dandy publication which carries articles on tattooing, body piercing and pubic hairdressing. "If you have a distinctive hair style down below," says Ms Proctor, "it will help you stand out during the many, many close-up scenes." With the wide availability of hard-core videos on the Continent, it was only a matter of time before the general public started to pay closer attention to their own pubic hair. And, let's be frank about this, the hair down there is often in need of a bit

of tidying up, to say the least. "It's not that unusual," claimed Ms Proctor. "Mary Quant once had hers trimmed in the shape of a heart." Unfortunately, the geometric cut made famous by her friend Vidal Sassoon is impossible with pubic hair: it only works on straight locks. "It helps if a man or a woman has lots of hair down there," adds Dollie. "It gives you more to work with. We can cut flower shapes and colour them. It looks wonderful, a little bit like Van Gogh's flowers." Well, maybe; but you wouldn't want to hang it on a wall. A basic cut at Kaiserschnitt costs 40 marks (about £17); colouring 70 marks. No price quoted for a blow dry.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

    £65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

    Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

    £20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

    £8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

    £14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable