During a head massage at a backpacker spa in Ho Chi Minh City, the masseuse started plucking out my gray hair: three at a time, in at least six different places on my head.

I asked the masseuse “Are you plucking my grays?!” She said yes.

Gray hair plucking is not a relaxing sensation. Nor is ego bruising, especially for this lady not accustomed to the practice.

I have seen a couple women on the streets of Hanoi plucking out another woman’s gray hairs. I hope and assume in those situations, the pluckee consented to the plucker to pluck grays. As I was looking for lead art for this blog, Googling “vietnamese women plucking gray hair,” I learned that plucking gray hair (aka silver hair pulling) is offered as a beauty service in Hanoi and HCMC.

I accepted the plucking by laughing, bewilderment and slight upset. I’m OK with finding a rogue gray hair and plucking it myself. I’m sad that a masseuse found at least 18 hairs worth plucking. I didn’t think I had that many.

While walking back to the hotel, I joked to Kiwi: “Remember when that masseuse plucked all the gray hairs out of my head?”

Kiwi found one more and plucked it out, right on the streets of Saigon.