Going to the barbers can be a real treat or your worst nightmare. It depends on you. Well, relatively. I like imagining it’s like placing your head on a guillotine and trusting that your executioner (your barber) is using a rubber blade as you both planned in the waking hours in your holding cell which, by the way, is located somewhere in rural France. Okay, maybe it is not as dramatic as that but it could be. It could. Barbers have this power… they can make or break you. Literally. They decide whether for the next few weeks you’ll call in sick to work and hide out in your house in a hat waiting for your hair to grow back out…such power. That is why it is paramount to learn how to behave around them. You do not want to piss off a barber (or anyone else for that matter who holds a sharp machine to your skull). Seriously. On the other hand, you do not want to seem too meek thus giving the leeway for your head to be used as a tester.
So, you are probably wondering, ”what then shall I do while at the barber’s?”… luckily for you, I had time to spare. Therefore;
WHAT NOT TO DO WHILE AT THE BARBER’S
- DO NOT be the lab rat.
Barbers are skilled people – artists even. And like all skilled people, they itch to try out all their new ideas. Now, the targets are usually people who say the following words, ”I just want to try something new,” or, ”I’m not really sure what I want.” If ever you find yourself saying any of the above, realize that you have signed your death wish, sealed it and kept it in a vault. Your death wish at that moment is more certain than than the sun’s location. Heck! your death wish is more solid than the earth’s crust (which is pretty solid by the way). You are deader than the first man to die. Is there even a word like that? deader? In short, you are doomed. For you, its 2012 (the movie) all over again. And we already survived that. Once was enough.
When you walk in to get your hair done, have a plan. Sketches even… if you can. Try a portfolio if you wish but have something solid. Especially if you are actually trying out something new that your barber is not used to. If you try to describe what you want, you just might fail. Many have. And the results are only funny to their friends, funnier to the barber but never to the victim. You do not want to feel that tinge of hate for your barber when he announces, ”all done!” and you can barely recognize yourself because of the squirrel nestled on your head.
Don’t laugh. Serious business this is.
2. DO NOT change barbers.
It’s pretty simple, really. If you try out a barber and they pass the test, keep them. Love them. Feed them. Take their kids out on holiday. Pay their rent. And if ever you and your barber find yourselves on the rough side of town and a shot is fired, take a bullet for them. A barber is a friend. Think about it, who knows the uneven ridges on your head but never tells a soul, doesn’t even make fun about it? When you walk into the barber shop and obnoxiously demand that the fur on your face be trimmed albeit all you have are three chin hairs (one of which is slowly dying of an unknown disease), your barber quietly pretends to be shaving your chin though in reality he is just tracing the shape of your lips. So that you don’t get offended. You. The customer. Even when you too loudly declare, ‘No Shave November’ as your status, he doesn’t even giggle. Not even a snicker. Such loyalty… your barber probably knows the number of gray hairs you have even when you deny their existence. Nevertheless, he never breathes a word.
Going to the same barber can save you a lot of pain (embarrassment as well). For one, you already know the rates of your local barber therefore, you know how much to carry. Meaning, you can even plan ahead of time. Secondly, your barber knows just what you like. If you like a head massage after he is done or if you like to be talked to, advised – whichever. You do not want to go to a barber who will drench your head in spirit after he has taken out all your hair. Such are not even barber shops, those, my friend, are kinyozis.
OK, so maybe you were up all night doing whatever and you are exhausted. Deadbeat. You go in for a shave, trim or whatever and once that cloth has been tied around your neck you get snug. You nod off. That’s OK. It happens. But think twice before you fall asleep next time. First, that is not only dangerous but you also do not want to have an ‘accident’ occur as you nap. Of course the ‘accident’ I speak of are numerous from unevenly trimmed hair to a completely shaven head. In case you wake up from your siesta and find your locks on the floor next to your goatee and you look ten again hold in your outrage and pinch yourself in the arm. You brought it upon yourself. Yes. Yes you did.
Seriously though, you do not want to fall asleep and put yourself at the mercy of a person with a weapon.
No. Nay. Nada.
Okay, I probably have you a bit confused with that. What I mean is, keep it brief. As I’ve mentioned countless of times, I cut my hair, recently too, so you have to trust me on this. Especially if you are going in for a trim. Do not say, ”I want a couple inches taken off” or ”I want it a bit shorter”. It really doesn’t matter what you say cause all barbers will hear the same thing, ”shave it all off! Don’t even leave the babies,” (baby hair) and so it shall be. You will either have to buy a big hat or move to another town. Or city. Or country. Your choice, really. Those are your only options.
When you go in for a little snipetty- click-click, indicate using your hands or fingers, the length you want to be trimmed off. Show them how far they should go then stay vigilant. Barbers and even hair dressers work better with sight.
5. DO NOT do everything at once.
OK, so you’ve cut your hair, then you’ve dyed it and even put the straws in all at one go, then what? When it comes to hair, take baby steps. If you are going to cut it, cut it first then give yourself some time to see how it looks like. Let yourself get used to your new image. You never know, in between the experiments, you might get a creativity strike and come up with a better idea. Besides, your head isn’t going anywhere. Unless of course, it found another pretty head and they run away to get married. Heads these days, am I right?
in conclusion, next time you drop in for your weekly shave, or monthly (no judgement) remember what you read on the internet.
Regardless, I am a liberal. Tell me what you think. Is there a crucial tip that I did not share? How do you handle your visits to the barber? Go crazy in the comments section.