So yesterday I felt it was time to cut off the old Barnet Fair, one I have been happily growing since last October after the Vickie’s Hair Salon incident which left we with a flop of hair that over-emphasised my two distinct fringe area dirt tracks.
Now I’ve always found haircuts a laborious task. Floating hair ends tickling your face, getting in your eyes and up your nose. The smell of the hot silver foils decorating some old woman who really should just give up; the stench of bleach and not to mention the endless conversational dribble. I hate all that and if it wasn’t so bad for my health, I would rather take a sledgehammer to my crown then spend time in a salon.
It’s probably hair envy that shapes this attitude. Lots of people have hair. I don’t. When I was younger a gentleman called Bob use to cut me a short back and sides in a traditional barbers and I felt quite comfortable there. These days I sit in the chair staring at these thick waving locks of hair falling to the ground and feel like I’ve short-changed the stylist who’s been lumbered with my rather weak straw. It’s always an uncomfortable conversation trying to explain why the wax they offer post-cut won’t work.
I usually go with:
“Now, I don’t suppose you have anything stronger do you, it’s just, well, actually let me map this for you”…
Circ. 90’s: Gel
2008- 2012: Clay
Estimate usage of Cement by 2015
It is embarrassing…
In Hong Kong though it’s worse. Not only do I now have to contend with Samurai style hair at every salon I visit (what did the Orientals exactly do genetically to their hair?) but it’s also the number of salons I have had to visit to try to secure a good cut. I thought after a year of searching and refusing to visit those thieves Toni & Guy, I had found a diamond in Vickie’s. But again I find myself on the search.
Yesterday I chose a little place in Soho, busy which was a good sign and after a short wait and an over enthusiastic welcome, I trudged up some stairs with a girl who had clearly just come off her fag break. She was to be my designated hair washer, although her technical abilities suggested she was more at home washing poodles and other such pooches. She caked my hair with all sorts of substances like a trifle and scrubbed furiously. She was soft with my ears which I appreciated, but no head massage like at Vickie’s. Still I was also able to get away with a few cheeky “where would you like me?” comments to the usual confused smile.
I requested a senior stylist. An inexperience cut and run job got me into the mess at Vickie’s so I was looking for some experience. However I didn’t want a professional stylist poncing around like some camp magician pruning me like a Bonsai tree. A senior stylist by name had the hairdressing authority I was looking for.
I got one that looked about 10.
I’m not sure if it was the thick rimmed glasses or the fact he required two hands to hold the clippers, but he looked like he should have been off discovering masturbation somewhere.
With no choice but to accept, junior got on with my cut after I explained the technicalities of what I was looking for – i.e. shorter hair. The rest really was up to him. As he gave me some Chinese magazines, I quickly realised that junior and I had something in common. We both appreciated the virtues of non-communication. There was to be no pointless conversation about the weather, what you do for a living or your plans for the weekend. It was just peace, quiet and a bad haircut.
We did try to save it, taking off some more from the top, cutting into it and pretending it was better than it was. However junior had imagined creatively that my desired style was the 90’s G.I. Jane look and so this morning I presented my new Jarhead hair to the city.
So far, so good. I have had compliments that I look younger, smarter and regimental. But that was from my team. I’m sure the lads will be different.
Perhaps now it is time for me to bow to the hair style guru that is T&G…?
I just hope they charge per square inch.
Until then. Over and out.