Tania Damasceno at Guardian news paper # Hair Styling# London City
"My driver, Dikembe, is originally from the Republic of Congo, and has lived here 20 years. He’s been an Uber driver for a month, and it works for him. “Uber is good. It’s a platform. I’m my own boss, in partnership with them. I choose my hours; I get more jobs this way. I do have to clean the car every few days – everything is about keeping your ratings high. But it’s good.”Advertisement What’s less good is my new home for the day. I’d forgotten the closer you get to central London, the smaller acceptable living spaces become. I’m in WC1, so the room feels roughly the same dimensions as my coffin. It’s underground, too. The phone reception is terrible.Time to talk grooming. I’m looking at Priv, a beautician on-demand service. The app is very pink. Bodily intimacies are normalised within external settings, like a salon. What’s it like to have a stranger come to your house and shave you? Or give you a massage, or manicure? “Masseur” and “manicure” are both words that make me feel funny, so I opt for a haircut.An hour later Tania raps at the door and enters, a ball of energy. Tania lays out her equipment. There’s no chair in the room, so I sit on my suitcase while she snips away talkatively. Priv is a huge operation in the US, she tells me, and growing here. “Having a beauty treatment in your home, it’s more pampering. People like that,” she tells me. Tania also does on-demand fitness classes and make-up sessions – one of her clients is Amy Willerton, a former Miss England nd. I share a hairdresser with Miss England!