Haircut … One Hundred and Eighty!

I’m getting ready for a haircut.  I’m not very good at getting my hair cut. I can’t ever decide when the time is right, so any eventual trim is usually preceded by 7-10 days of me pacing back and forth, looking in the mirror, trying to convince myself I don’t need to have it done just yet … or do I?

I worked out the other day – a haircut every 2 months for the last 30 years, that’s 6 x 30 = 180 haircuts (my mum did it until I left home – see photo from “music” blog below).  It should be getting easier over time, but it’s just as hard as it’s ever been.

Haircut 100 … + 80, see what I did there?
My fluctuating thought processes:
Odd Days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday):
“Don’t get your hair cut.  Grow it for a change.  Be different.  You only live once.  Every middle aged man has the same haircut, why don’t you just be individual?  You’re going bald and you know it, don’t encourage it by cutting away what little you have left for Chrissakes.  Branson looks good with long hair”


Even days (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday):
“Look at you, you look ridiculous, you’re in your 40s, get your hair cut FFS.  Don’t you have any self respect? Think how nice it would be with short hair, you’d be sorted for the holidays.  Just get it done, it’s 30 minutes and then it’s all over, in and out”

I flit between the two states, stuck in this cycle until I realise I look nothing like Richard Branson and more like Hair Bear.  And my head is starting to itch.

>> At the Barbers <<

The barber(ess) and I sometimes make small talk – sport if its a bloke, holidays/weather/kids if its a woman.  I prefer women cutting my hair in the same way I prefer women doctors.  Women do all the talking and you just have to answer questions.  There’s a hierarchy.  Women are just nicer.  With two blokes it’s slightly awkward, slightly edgy.  Neither of you want to talk really but you feel obliged.  And if it is sport and he supports a shit team you start to dislike them and that’s not helpful.  Or worst of all, they don’t like sport – then what do you talk about?

Regardless of who is cutting my hair we usually start with this little charade:
“What would you like today?”
“Oh just a trim back and sides please, keep a bit of length on top” (going bald, ffs)
“How do you want the back? Straight or tapered?”

Straight or tapered?  I want to scream “Short!”.  I don’t understand that question.  I never have but it’s too late to ask now.  I’ve been coming here for nigh on 15 years.  And I’ve never seen the back of my hair.  How do other people know how to answer that question?  Did I miss a lesson at school?

I usually just guess and hope they don’t laugh.  I genuinely choose one at random …

“Tapered please”
“Pffffft! are you serious?  Hey Kev, this bloke says he wants ‘tapered’, come, take a look!”

I have never had that response but I always expect it.  One of these days.

And then we’re off.  I watch the clumps of grey hair fall onto my rubber/plastic cloak.  I always feel self conscious having my hands under there, especially if it’s a female.  I don’t want them to think I’m playing with myself, but if you have your hands folded in your lap, under a cape, it looks a bit dodgy doesn’t it?

If it’s a woman cutting my hair …

“Going anywhere nice for your holidays this year?”
“Not sure.  Maybe Spain”
“Oooh I love Spain I go every year with my kids and my partner.  We go to Magaluf”
(Partner? Wow, I wonder if she’s …)
“Yeah, Steve, he’s my partner, he loves the sun”
“Where do you go in Spain then?”
“Not sure, maybe fly to Alicante and find a villa”
“Oh that’s lovely, do you have children?”
“Yeah, 3, one of each” 😉

“3, one of each” is my favourite ever joke in response to “how many kids do you have?”.  It’s the sole reason I had 3 children.  I think I nicked it from Eric Morecambe, it’s timeless.

“Aww that’s so cute, how old are they?” [No reaction to my joke, whatsoever.  I feel slightly cross]

… and so the conversation continues until …

(holds up mirror)
“How’s that?”
(Oh God I look more like Chris Moyles by the day) “Yeah, that’s fine”

My reflection

And if it’s a man cutting my hair …
snip …. snip …. tick, tock
snip … tick, tock …
“See the game last night?”
“Yeah, Man Utd nicked it again, never a penalty, and it must have been in the 97th minute?”
“Man United are my team actually, you an Arsenal fan then?”
“No I’m not.  Sorry I should have guessed that by the accent.  You from Guildford?”
“No, Epsom.  Sounded like you were an Arsenal fan” {edgy}
“Not really, I just said I didn’t like Man Utd” Ffs
{very edgy}
snip … snip … snip
“Do you play?”
(Oh here we go) “No.  Used to”
“What position?”
“Winger, bit like Martin Bullock … I mean Giggsy”
snip … {snigger} … snip
“I play Saturday mornings for the first team, nearly turned pro once”
“Oh ….  really”
{I stifle a yawn}
“Yeah, I was with Watford.  Gaffer told me I was on the verge of the first team but then I broke my leg”
“And so you took up hairdressing?” Ffs ….
… and so the stilted, slightly tense, slightly edgy conversation continues until …

(holds up mirror)

“How’s that?”

(Oh Christ I look like Willie Carson, Ffs) “Yeah, that’s fine”


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