The Follicle Chronicles

I have never gotten more than one good haircut in a row. The entire haircutting scenario sets you up to fail. This traces all the way back to when I first starting getting haircuts as a child.


I remember my mom taking me to the barber. He was an older Greek man, maybe Italian, who worked at one of those barbershops with the spinning red and blue pole outside. He would talk in his thick accent saying things I didn't understand. He also helped me lose a tooth.


I showed him one I had hanging by a thread , and he quickly yanked it out of my face. I am pretty sure today this would be an offense punishable by law, or at least a damaging statement from the American Dental Association, but back then it was cute I suppose.


As my barber and I got older I learned that while he was lovable and endearing, his haircuts were less than symmetrical. And symmetricality, at least for me, is an important quality when it comes to the shape of my head. That is was why I stopped going to my beloved Greektalian barber.


When I went out to Arizona for college many a haircut took place at Supercuts when I was feeling cheap... which was pretty much all the time. There I would sit in the waiting area looking through old issues of Cosmo Girl for inspiration, finding none. Really Supercuts? What am I supposed to do, go up to my stylist and say, "Hey, can you make me look like this picture of Mandy Moore?"


The only saving grace was that I kept my hair short enough that if I had a bad haircut I didn't have it for long before I got another.


Sometimes when I was feeling trendy, I would go to one of the more zestily named places like "Grooming Humans" or "Grooming Humans II." More often than not, the only thing that would determine whether or not I went back to a stylist was how attractive she was. I found this great woman who was adorable. I have no idea if she did a good job or not because I was too busy trying to make her like me.
I am not very good at meeting girls.


Another challenge I face is the woman who does the shampooing. (How this became a strictly female profession, I will never know) This woman is always 1 of 2 kinds of people.


She is either some sort of Ex Bavarian Torture Frau who had been laid off and turned to hair washing as a back up. This woman inevitably alternates between scalding and freezing my scalp with extreme water temperatures and then scrubbing my head so hard that I often wonder if there will be any hair left to wash.


The other type of hair washer is the woman whose hands are magical. After a 2 minute shampoo and conditioning I am often rendered speechless and asleep with a parade of drool running down my face.


I always close my eyes during shampooing. I do this because I find it awkward to be staring upside down at a strange woman massaging my head. The massaging is so relaxing that I often open my eyes feeling like i had just finished a Nyquil-tini and all I can say is something like. "ohshlumpsfea" while squinting like I just came out of cataract surgery.


Then I go to to the actual stylists chair where she says, "What are we doing today?"


What are we doing today? We're cutting my hair! What do you mean what are we doing today? I don't know what to tell you, your the one who spent months learning how to use a scissor. If I knew what we were doing today I would have done it myself in the bathroom. Lord knows I tried (more on that later).


Here's what you're gonna do today.


1. Cut my hair.
2. Don't stab me
3. Don't make me look like Friar Tuck.


Deal?


I mean seriously that's about all I really desire. And then afterward they say, "What do you think?"
I have no idea what I think. I think I have less hair than when you started. I always think it looks good. And then I wake up the next morning and realize my head looks like a toilet brush. I just assume the haircut is good and tell them so. And then, pending they haven't stabbed me, I tip them nicely.


I feel you shouldn't have to tip on a haircut until 3 days later when you have had time to sleep on it (literally) and can see what you truly think. I am so rushed and confused after a haircut. What am I supposed to say to this woman?


You ruined it! You ruined me! The woman has a BOX of sharp scissors and razor blades on her shelf. I'm no fool.
No, for better or worse I just lie and hope for the best. And unless we change the payment scenario for hair stylists, I suggest you do too.
I have been keeping my hair a bit longer these days (women seem to prefer it) and when it grows for a while without being cut it takes on a shape that can only be described as shrubesque. So I try to go to nicer places to ensure a shrub-free-me.
But I got a bad expensive haircut this spring. I tried to rectify this by getting a bad cheap haircut 2 days later. I tried to rectify THIS by cutting off chunks of my own hair in my bathroom with a Leatherman pocket knife. I got this idea because the expensive place cuts my hair with a razor blade. So I figured razor blade, pocket knife, whats the big difference? Turns out the difference is HUGE.


The whole fiasco was exacerbated by the fact that when I finally went for another haircut 2 months later, the stylist was baffled at the condition of my head. She seemed to believe I had let some blind thumbless toddler cut my hair.
I didn't contradict her. It was either that or tell her I was kidnapped by a band of hook-handed beauty school pirates.


I read that Cary Grant and George Clooney cut their own hair. I was hoping this was a hidden talent I possessed. As it turns out the only I can do well with a pocket knife is accidentally stab myself.


Multiple times.


So I just got my haircut this weekend. Does it look good? I have absolutely no idea. I think there's a good chance people at work will stop referring to me as "foofy" but I think its still too early to come to a conclusion.
Otherwise its back to Cosmo girl for inspiration.


I hear Mandy Moore's hair is looking great these days.