Friday, July 17, 2009

How Many Stylists Does It Take...

My Brother in Law is getting Married tomorrow. I haven't had a haircut since April—which is not unusual for me. First of all, I hate taking the time to get my hair cut, and second of all—I'm a cheapskate, thirteen dollars for a haircut that takes on average fifteen minutes makes me crazy. Also, last time I got my hair cut, she messed it up—which is mind boggling.

I cut my hair in a bowl cut, then I part it to the side rather than the middle or not at all, so it doesn't generally look like your typical bowl cut. This is the easiest haircut in existence. Historically it is the haircut of the commoner, because it's easy to do at home and was symbolic of an inability to afford to go to a barber. I really should just let my wife do it (she's going to have a comment about this, I'm sure) but I've had it done wrong by so many people that are supposed to know what they're doing, that I'm a little clipper-shy.

So, on my lunch break today I went to get my hair cut—since there will be picture taking tomorrow.

In my opinion, the best place to get your hair cut is a barbering school, by a student. This offers many advantages. First of all, it's cheap. Second of all there are teachers there that check the cut when the student is done and fix things. Third, it's cheap. Fourth, if they mess it up the teachers are good at fixing things (not everything can be fixed, but things can usually be made better) Fifth—did I mention it's cheap?

There's one big Giant disadvantage to getting your hair cut by a student. It usually takes an hour. These people, unless they are close to graduating are still really nervous about taking hair off. Which is understandable, when my hair gets messed up—I get really really upset. Because there it is, for all to see; and even if it looks okay (like mine did three months ago) it doesn't feel right or behave the way to which you are accustomed. Ask my Wife how many days I complained about my hair last time.

I didn't have time for an hour haircut today—and I've had very hit and miss experience from actual Barber Shops (that could be its own rant entirely)—so I went to a nationally franchised chain salon. I was greeted by a very effeminate man. He asked me for my address—which I usually refuse to give, but I humored him—being in a hurry, my phone number, my blood type. Well, not really my blood type, and I drew the line at phone number, which I'm pretty sure annoyed him as it took him about three minutes to circumvent that portion of the computer program. Either that, or he was just stalling to annoy me.

So he sat me down in the chair and asked what I wanted. I told him, "This is supposed to be a bowl cut, but the last person messed it up." He put on the drape and walked away, just sort of disappeared—which is a feat considering that this was a one room establishment. When he came back he had a broom—odd since he hadn't made a cut.

He informed me that someone else was going to cut it, "because I don't know how to do a bowl cut. . . And I don't want to mess it up."

So the woman finished up the guy in the chair next to me and then came over, she started clipping the up under part, and before she was done—he was helping her hold the top hair out of the way. She did the clipping and then explained to him how to finish. This blows my mind, having spent as much time as I have in my life at barbering schools, getting my hair cut—I have an idea as to how much training and testing that they have to go through in order to be licensed. Yet he's never done a bowl cut? I know it isn't as popular now, but it's not an uncommon cut—or is it?

This marks the first time I have ever had a trainer/apprentice experience in a non-school environment. I never found it odd at the barbering schools when I would say "bowl cut" and all the blood would drain from their face and they would run to teacher; it was a school after all—it was probably the first time they got to do a bowl cut.

In fact—I liked it when that happened at the barbering school; as simple as the bowl cut is, there must be some deception in the simplicity. To do it right—there's a trick, a trade secret if you will, that requires the receiver of the secret to have a little more experience under the belt in order to grasp the concept. On more than one occasion, generally at the beginning of the semester, I would say "bowl cut," I would see that tell tale draining of blood from the face, the fearful searching for the master of the shears—and upon return, the master would just attend to the locks himself indicating that they should watch closely, and that they would in the future be allowed to attempt the venerable Cut of the Bowl.

So, I'm reasonably sure that the correct answer to the question of the number of stylists is, at the very least—but not by any strech of the imagination limited to—TWO.


  1. Sounds tricky. I just get a cut it down cut, not too tricky I guess. Only had it messed up once. And with the many coupons I have for my haircut chain, it costs 9 bucks, which is still too much, for 10-15 minutes. The most I ever paid for a hair cut was in Peru on my mission. A member worked at a particular salon, and to support her we went. It was one of those classy up-town types. 25 bucks for a hair cut. That is like 75 dollars here in the US. Me and my comp couldn't believe we were actually going to pay the bill.

  2. You should just let me cut it!! Just tell me the secret trick already!
    You did complain about your last hair cut for a looong time.

  3. I'm pretty good with sharp things. I could cut your hair quite nicely. I actually haven't payed for a hair cut in years. My sister is a hair stylist & works in a very nice salon and she cuts my hair for free.

  4. I enjoyed your rant. Hair is such a funny thing. I agree with you on the cost I don't remember the last time I had my hair cut I guess its because I am to dang cheap to go out and get it done.

  5. I am not sure if you can tell, but I have given up on haircuts. To much time and too much freaking money. I have other things that I could be doing with that money.