That’s right, if Seinfeld can do an entire episode about being lost in a parking garage then I can write a thousand word article about getting a haircut. It’s perfect, actually, because I’ve always thought of myself as an underpaid Jerry Seinfeld. And to be fair, this was an impressive haircut.
First, a little backstory:
When I was little I got my first haircut. It was a standard bowl cut and I had that haircut until fourth grade. In fourth grade I took a daring chance and got what I will call a “modified” bowl cut (basically it was the same shape, just shorter).
I rocked that haircut until I was eighteen. That’s right, I was a 6’4” eighteen year old IN COLLEGE with a bowl cut. No one ever told me it was a bad haircut, and it was how I always looked, so I didn’t know any better. Then, finally, Dan (that kid who I seem to do everything with) told me that I needed to get a buzz cut because I wasn’t seven years old anymore.
Some kids on my hall and I got together and we all buzzed our hair. I was nervous at what my new ‘do would look like until John (that other kid I do everything with) accidentally (read: because he’s an idiot) used the shortest razor guard and gave himself the Chemo Special. After that I didn’t feel so bad about my new haircut.
When everyone from high school saw me without a bowl cut they finally got up the courage to tell me just how bad my lifelong hairstyle looked. I have known most of them since I was five years old and not once had they ever said anything before. THANKS GUYS! Great friends.
Ever since then I have gotten a standard buzz cut of varying length, but I still went to the same place to get it cut. On and off four years I got a haircut that took twenty minutes and cost twenty-five dollars at this salon (Yes, I went to a salon).
I knew I was paying too much for a haircut, so I did the prudent thing and bought my own razor. The only problem with cutting your own hair, however, is that it looks like you cut your own hair. To solve the problem Dan and I would give each other haircuts (I swear Dan and I have never dated).
Second year of college we lived in really shitty student housing. It’s hard to describe, but basically there were one thousand students living in apartments, in various buildings, all in a one hundred square yard area. It kind of looked like a mix between the Gerudo Valley fortress in Ocarina of Time and 1920s Brooklyn.
Anyway, Dan and I would sit out on our porch/outdoor stairwell and give each other haircuts. All the while people would walk past us looking rather put off. It didn’t help that whenever I saw someone come within ear shot I would shout something to the effect of, “God, I CANNOT wait to get this salon off the ground. I just need a little bit of start up money.”
Dan and I cut each other’s hair for three years. Then that little bitch left me. My only option was to go back to the salon that charged too much for buzz cuts.
Or so I thought.
Last Thursday I had just gotten off of work and, while washing my hands, I looked in the mirror and realized my hair was getting bowl cut-esque. It was too late in the day to go to my regular place, but I really needed to cut the scraggle. Then, driving around the generic shopping center in my town, I found my answer in the generic salon known as the Hair Cuttery.
I walked inside and up to the front desk. The receptionist looked at me and said, “What can I do for you?” This question confused me. For what reason would I walk into a Hair Cuttery? After a few seconds I responded awkwardly, “…I need a haircut.” She asked me if I had a member card, which also confused me because I was not aware that the Hair Cuttery was a club. I said I was not a member and she told me to take a seat and wait for the next available hairdresser.
I sat down. As I waited I took stock of all of the different hairdressers. Jackpot. It seemed no matter what I was going to get my haircut from and chat up an attractive white trash girl. That’s really every man’s dream: the ability to talk with an attractive, trashy girl in a no-pressure situation where they can’t yell or sick their brothers on you no matter what she might misunderstand you to have said.
I waited in anticipation. Would I get the hot girl with the dyed brown hair, the hot blonde with the obvious bleach job, or the natural blonde with hair twice the size it should be? If you want to be in a room where all the girls look like they’re from a small town in the Midwest, look no further than the Hair Cuttery.
Roughly twenty minutes went by and I finally heard a soft voice ask, “Cameron?” I looked up to see a thirty-something Spanish man in a toned-down bullfighter’s shirt looking for me. Ten women in the place named Tammy-Lee and I got Sam. Great.
I shook his hand and he led me to his barber’s chair. He asked me what I wanted and I told him just a No. 7 (which means 7/8 of an inch, so on the longer side). I think he was a little disappointed that I asked for a buzz cut, but he nodded.
Sam: *mumbles something in a Spanish accent*
Me: What’s that?
Sam: *mumbles something slightly louder*
Sam: SHAMPOO AFTER?
A little startled, I declined. “Just the buzz.”
Now, when I cut my own hair it would take about fifteen minutes. When I went to my old salon it would take about twenty to twenty-five because of chit-chat. Sam cut my hair for forty-five minutes. Forty-five. It was amazing.
After the basic once over with the clippers he came back around with a comb and scissors for touch ups. And every time he made a cut he would roll his wrist away from the hair like a swordfighter making a parry. This part lasted about ten minutes.
Once he had touché-d my hair he came back with an even tinier set of clippers. If clippers were dogs then these ones were made famous by Paris Hilton and Japanese teenage girls. That tiny.
After this great display of hairstyling ability he got all of the excessive hair off my head and neck with that special brush. Now I’m not entirely sure about this, but when he was getting the hair from my face he booped my nose, and I think it was playfully on purpose. This guy was a all-star.
He finished up and was about to take the smock off of me when he mumbled something. He wasn’t going to get me twice; I had learned my lesson. “No shampoo, thanks,” I replied.
We walked over to the register. As he was ringing me up he gestured over at the display case and asked me, “Would you like to buy some shampoo?” What was with this guy and shampoo? It was getting a little out of hand, but since I was so pleased with my haircut I kindly declined without making a scene.
The bill was $10 cheaper than my old place. I was so ecstatic I tipped Sam way more than is customary, but I didn’t care. An hour after I walked into this generic chain I was about to walk out with the best haircut of my life.
The last thing Sam said as he handed me my receipt was this:
“The next time you come back we will give you something different. You’re better than a buzz cut.”
You know what, Sam? You’re right.
You’re so right.