I’ll Take You To The Barber Shop

The average person gets their hair cut 378 times in their life.

That was a lie. I have no idea.

I ate some hair today. It was delicious.

That was a lie. It was gross.

What am I doing?

Hi, my name is Paul and I went for a haircut today. It was my first haircut in just over three months. I think that’s the longest I’ve gone without a haircut. It started to feel like I was carrying a tree around.

I’d be a terrible woman. How do you do it? If you have long hair, doesn’t it tickle your ears all day? That’s my first question. I have more but I’m embarrassing myself already.

I’m almost 26-years-old 12-years-oldΒ and I’ve only had three people cut my hair. Well, four, if you include what my mom did to it when I was a kid. She can’t get the full story out without laughing at how bad my hair looked after she was done with it.

“It looked like a roof!”

And who lived in my house? Hansel and Gretel?

Get it? Because I’m sweet like a gingerbread house.

SHUT UP, PAUL.

My first barber cut my hair until I was about 8-years-old. The electric razor always tickled my face when he did my sideburns and I would move away from it.

The second barber I went to had been cutting my dad’s hair for decades. I’d go there early on Saturday mornings – I’m talking 8am – and that would lead to a trip to my grandparent’s house where I’d find them in the garden picking tomatoes and cucumbers.

I miss those days.

Anyway, the first time I went to that barber, I was around 8 or 9. He finished cutting my hair and asked me if I wanted gel. You know, “to impress the ladies”, or something.

I was a 9-year-old Rico Suave, who’s photo had already been used in a brochure for a restaurant. I was a big deal back then.

Half of that is true.

Alright, listen, I had no clue what gel was. So like any kid, I said “yes”. Then he put this “stuff” in my hair and I’m touching my hair while sitting in the car on the way home and it feels like strands of cardboard tied down with chewing gum, and reinforced by nails that hold down tents.

You could’ve put me in a twister, tornado, and then a car wash – my hair wasn’t moving for anything.

I got home and washed it right out. It was awful.

True story: I’ve never put gel in my hair since then. The only gel I like is Jell-O Pudding.

I’m a one and done type of person. If I don’t like something the first time, that’s it. Never again. I can be stubborn like that. First impressions can also be last impressions.

Sometimes, I come around though. I went my whole life thinking I hated rice because I had it once at a wedding when I was a kid and it was terrible. About two years ago, I found out that I actually love rice.

Who knew?

That barber also gave me a lollipop after each visit. And he’d shake my hand as if I were a man. You know, the whole bro handshake thing. I had no clue what I was doing.

As for the lollipop, I never ate it. I’ve never had one in my life, actually.

I feel like the horse is out of the barn and people are going to yell at me for that. I don’t care.

I’m not a candy person. For me, going Trick or Treating on Halloween was so I could collect Aeros, Jersey Milks, Smarties (which are better than M&Ms, by the way), and Chips. That’s all I wanted.

Have I disgusted every last one of you yet?

Back to hair.

My second barber retired when I was about 19-years-old. Those early Saturday morning car rides, 40 minutes away, stopped.

My third barber is at the local mall, five minutes away. That’s where my first barber was. Different places, though.

I remember going there for the first time and he asked me what I wanted. I’d never been asked that before. Normally, I just sat in the chair and they cut my hair. What’s there to discuss? I didn’t know how to direct.

I just asked for it short all around. It took a few haircuts for us to get on the same page.

Eventually, he realized he didn’t need scissors to cut my hair and now he just uses an electric trimmer(?) Electric razor? Hedge trimmer? Leaf blower?

I don’t know what to call it.

I sit in the chair and all he asks is, “What number?” I ask for a three on top, two on the sides, and one at the back. Go Google “Number 3 haircut” if this is like reading hieroglyphics.

God I love numbers.

And he just goes to work.

I’m the type of person where, if I’m going to get a haircut, I’m going to make it worthwhile. I’m not going in so they can trim my hair to a point where it still looks long. I want it down to the bare bones, so I don’t have to get another haircut in six weeks.

I’ve never been one to style my hair. You won’t see me with no hair on one side of my head, a straight line to act as a divider, like those things you put on the checkout conveyor belt at a grocery store “side part”, and a whole bunch of hair swooped to the other side.

I call that the “Bachelorette contestant” haircut. I don’t like it. It’s not me.

I don’t even flip my hair up. I don’t see the point.

Remember, I’m stubborn, but sweet like a gingerbread house.

I like my hair short. If you run your hands through my hair after I’ve gotten a haircut, it feels like a soft brush. It’s so relaxing.

WHAT AM I SAYING?

I know people don’t like getting a haircut because they find the “small talk” to be awkward. Trust me, I hate small talk as much as the next person, but I’ve never dreaded that.

The people who have cut my hair normally say a few things to me, we have short conversations, and then they just focus on what they’re doing.

When it’s time to wash my hair (this was something new when I started going to Barber #3), I find that to be the most awkward part of the whole thing.

Sitting up after my hair has been washed, is something I haven’t mastered yet. Is there a way to do it where my head doesn’t become a rain cloud and soak my body? I don’t want to bring an umbrella or floaties in there, but I’m close.

My best friend ChrisΒ once told me that he went to the barber once and when they washed his hair and applied the shampoo, he moaned. I find that hilarious.

Unfortunately, every time I get my hair washed at the barber now, I have to fight back this giant smile on my face because all I can think about is Chris’ story.

Today was no different. The right side of my mouth was smiling, while I tried to settle down the left side. It was hard. And of course my barber is standing over me wondering what’s so funny.

Thanks a lot, Chris! Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk I liked it better when they didn’t wash my hair after cutting it.

Well, that’s all.

Oh, one more thing. I was told today, “Paul, you have hair everywhere.”

Let’s end on that.

If you have any haircutting stories, I want to hear them. Tell me in the comments.

@CappyTalks on Twitter

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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61 Responses to I’ll Take You To The Barber Shop

  1. James says:

    I put off getting hair cuts all the time because of the small talk. When I moved to Paris, many years ago, making ‘hair cut’ small talk in French was so terrifying that I chose to shave my head instead. I was essentially bald for three years because of a fear of small talk. Before I moved back to the UK I made myself get a hair cut in Paris as a rite of passage. The small talk wasn’t too bad. The hair cut was dreadful. I’m not suggesting all French barbers are bad but I chose poorly…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Paul says:

      No way! See, I would almost find that easier. I know some French but not enough to hold on a long conversation about different things. That would be my excuse to just sit their silently. Don’t know how I’d convey how short I’d want my hair though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • James says:

        That is definitely more difficult than I’d anticipated – might explain the unsatisfactory hair cut. Actually most Parisians speak English (not all of them speak it as well as they think they can but they all seem pretty confident which is half the battle) so not speaking French doesn’t stop the small talk unfortunately…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. micqu says:

    I have a not-story about cutting hair. I only went to the hairdresser once in my life. I am 34, right? My aunt used to cut my hair, and now I do it myself. Which is entirely feasible with waist-long hair that doesn’t tickle the ears (or maybe I am just used to that feeling). See, I could have easily found a shop (saloon? what’s the right word? We say “Coiffer’s Salon”), but I don’t like anyone touching my ears or water near them, and also… yes the small-talk scares me too. And just look at all the money I can spend on music and books instead of my hair? It’s amazing… and I am weird and I’ll stop it here…

    Γ€ddi a merci.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Once! I’m kinda jealous. I almost mentioned how much money we spend on haircuts in our lifetime. You’ve found a way around that. No ear tickle though, huh? Interesting lol. We also call it a “Hair Salon”. The word “Coiffer” sounds professional though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • micqu says:

        Coiffer is a borrowed word (we do that a lot – borrowing words from other languages). It’s from the French “coiffeur”.
        And no… no one touches my ears… That particular quirk brought on some awkward moments with passed boyfriends, lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ToluC says:

    When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I got this idea in my head that short hair would be awesome in me and decided not to tell my parents to get me to a barbers shop or anything. I remember sitting in the bathroom with scissors and chopping off my hair. It was really exciting at that moment because I was left alone with the scissors and had never done this before. Long story short, when most of the hair was gone, I cried and tried attaching it back because I hated the way it looked ( I used scissors so it was all over the place and looked like various hedges on my head) and Wanted it to grow back. My mum made me carry it like that for about a week before she took me to the barbers shop.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Squid says:

    I. Love. This. Post! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ My mom cut my hair for most of my life until we realized that I was a mushroom and that was a problem because no one wanted an extra life. So began my epic quest for a hairdresser who could reliably cut my hair. I was about 12. 5 years later, I still haven’t found someone who has consistently given me a good haircut. Hair bothers me. I would love to get mine cut almost as short as yours just so I wouldn’t have to deal with it, but people would look at me funny, and my mom wouldn’t be happy, sooooo…
    All I can say is, “Nice haircut!”
    Squid

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Two of my three barbers have been people that my parents went to. Have you tried going to the people that your parents go to? I feel like if I showed up at a new place to get a haircut, I’d be able to get just about the same haircut as I always get since it’s simple. But at the same time, I could see them trying to be fancy or trying to force their own spin/style on my head of hair. So good luck in your continued quest!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Quinn says:

    Women’s hairdressers give you like a head massage while they wash your hair so maybe your friend went to a women’s salon and that’s why he moaned? I hate numbers so your haircut sounds like a nightmare… But then again I hate haircuts so it was already in a bad place to start with…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Hmm the place I go to is probably considered a women’s hair salon but an old Italian man does my hair so I just called it a barber shop instead lol. I sort of get a head massage too, maybe? Or maybe it’s just him washing my hair. I don’t know the difference.

      Like

  6. When I was really young once, I had extremely long hair. My friends called it mermaid hair, haha. My nana thought it would be a great idea to cut it to my shoulder. That was a good several inches. But I was young and used to listening to my grandmother, so I sat on the wood stool and let her go to town. I went to the bathroom afterwards to look in the mirror and, no joke, I actually screamed. Nana was there with me and she looked horrified. Then I started crying, oh it was so terrible. She never cut it short like that again. Funny thing now though, I have hair way shorter than just to my shoulders. Like extreme pixie cut. And I absolutely love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 6 years ago, I check out a video from the library, You Can Cut Hair at Home Like a Pro DVD. I bought clippers, professional shears, and a cape. I taught myself how to cut the boys’ hair. Having my 4th boy was the tipping point. I told my husband when he thought I was good enough, I would cut his too. I can do different styles now. I even cut my hair in an a line bob and foiled my own hair in June. That probably means nothing to you. But I was proud of myself. I have saved thousands of dollars.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I’m not sure what a line bob is but I think I know what “foiled my own hair” means even though I’m not sure what it does lol. Good for you for learning to cut hair! Not only does that save money but it saves you from multiple trips to a hair salon every year.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. PS I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for over 5.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Rea says:

    The hair tickling your ear depends on your hair length. If your hair is longer than your ears, you don’t get tickled. My hair is half way between my shoulder and my elbow and I have always loved having long hair. Most girls just tuck their hair behind their ears so they won’t get bothered

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Ok.
    1- JELLO PUDDING?! You did that on purpose right? That was for me right? If it wasn’t please let it go. Let me live. Lol. They’re 2 different creatures Paul. Jello is clear liquid stuff that gets bouncy in the cold and Pudding is the smushy cloudy milky stuff….
    2- I’m not going to yell about lollipops. But what are Aeros and Jersey Milks for crying out loud?
    3- you just found out you love rice? WAIT TILL YA TRY BREAD and spaghetti! You’re going to absolutely flip!
    4- I caught you quoting Kelly Clarkson. Don’t think we didn’t see that. It’s going on the list, πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    5- I followed Chris because if he’s your friend than I’ll force him to be mines too. Just kidding that’s wierd. But I did follow him.
    6- you wrote an entire post of your haircut and didn’t post a picture of your haircut. Come on…. lol
    Ok good talk high five Gingerbread-Head I mean Paul! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Also noteworthy:

    “I’ll take you to the barbershop…I’ll let you lick the lollipop….” I’m just saying… coincidence much?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Hahaha I didn’t notice the lollipop reference until you just made it. Wow I’m a genius. I wrote the post and thought of the title afterwards and thought if it connected to my post at all, it would be the reference to candy in general.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Off topic Paul. You hit like on 2 of my pages and then I go in there and I EDITED both! LOL!!!! I needed to go back in there. Way too many errors! So annoying to catch stuff when it’s too late!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Haha don’t worry about it. Minor error are apart of your giving no fox blogging schtick, as far as I’m concerned. Just a heads up, I’ll be reading some of your old posts at some point because 1) they’re probably entertaining. and 2) they aren’t DIYs on how to build a dream catcher

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Nicole says:

    This post reminded me of a video I saw the other day. It was about a dad who did his daughters hair by using the tube extension of a vacuum to collect her hair all together. Then he slid an elastic band from off the vacuum tube onto her hair to make a ponytail.
    And its been years since ive had a real haircut. Its so long now that when I sit down it just touches the ground. It makes me feel like a mermaid, which makes up for the tickly ears. It doesnt make up for when my hair gets caught in the metal buttons on chairs though lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I’ve seen that video! Feel like I’d be that kind of dad some day haha. Mermaid hair sounds cool, getting it caught in a chair doesn’t (though it sounds funny). I’d be afraid of getting it caught in an elevator door or something….

      Liked by 3 people

  13. When I was four I went to a family funeral and the wake was hosted at the dead lady’s house. She used to be a hairdresser. I found her scissors in the bathroom. I cut a huge chunk out of the hair by my face with her scissors and ruined the whole horrible event.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Angela says:

    Ha love this!!!
    I hate going to the hairdressers more than I hate going to the dentist and I have traumatising dental appointments!!
    I have one piece of advice though, wrap a towel tight around your head/hair before you sit up from the hair wash. Voila. You’re Welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Barb Knowles says:

    I used to hate having my haircut because when they washed it (before the cut), I felt like they were slamming the back of my neck in that neck space on the hair dresser’s sink. Plus, no matter how many towels and cape things they put on, my shirt still gets wet. Actually I still hate it. I’m like you. I only get it cut when absolutely necessary.
    Here’s my gel story – THE PROM – the pinnacle of my high school experience. My hair was awesome. What they used to call an “up-do.” Pinned up on top with curls around and a silk ribbon threaded throughout. It looked fabulous. But a little heavy with the amount of gel and hairspray. When the prom was over and I was home I took all the pins out. My hair didn’t move. It stayed on top of my head exactly as it had when all the pins were in. At 6am the next morning, a bunch of us, with our prom dates, went to Jones Beach on the Atlantic Ocean for a day of drinking, sunbathing, swimming in the ocean and doing the whole after prom thing. My hair only came down from the ocean. And only about 1/2 way. What a mess. My one and only gel experience.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Oh I didn’t even mention that stupid sink and the one size fits all neck groove. They take me to a different section to wash my hair and I never know how to sit on the chair so that I lean backwards at the proper angle. One time, I banged my head on the sink. Was seeing stars for a few minutes (or maybe there was just water in my eye?). It’s awful. They wrap my head in a tiny towel and tell me to sit up a bit so they can tie it on. But when I sit up, I drip everywhere. Can then not at least wipe my forehead before telling me to sit up?

      After reading you’re story, I’m more convinced than ever that gel is completely overrated. What if you didn’t end up in an ocean!? Your hair may never have come back down to reality! That’s crazy.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Phil says:

    Great post. I have similar memories of my grandparents and gardening. Great times.

    I still feel completely out of place when asked what I want done to my hair. I always say something stupid like, “You’re the professional, I’ll trust your judgment.” Essentially leaving this important part of my appearance to a complete stranger.

    “Do you like it tapered in the back?”

    “I don’t know. . . do YOU like it tapered in the back?”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Haha my second barber used to taper my hair at the back but I never knew it was called that. I just thought it was apart of getting a haircut. So when I started going to a new place, for a couple of years I didn’t know how to communicate that I wanted it tapered at the back. Finally I Googled it and figured out the terminology. Haircuts are so complicated!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Liz says:

    Oh how I have missed your hilarious commentary on the ins and outs of your life! I had been meaning to go through and catch up on some reading and I finally got the chance to!

    To answer your questions, my hair never tickles me as long as I don’t tickle it first.
    Get it?
    Ah, shut up, Liz! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ariel Lynn says:

    I donate my hair to charity, so I think I’ve probably had as many haircuts in my lifetime as you have in one year. I also have previous hair-related trauma so I don’t ever want my hair to be too short again (when I was in 4th grade, my Mom cut my hair in a pixie/boy-cut like hers; I was mistaken for a boy for almost a year).

    So, haircut stories – many of them involve stylists taking off 4+ inches when I asked for a trim & me crying, others involve the stylists not knowing what they’re doing & messing up a “face frame” (where the hair nearest the face is shortest & it moves in a diagonal to the longest part at the back; one stylist cut it short in the front & didn’t do a diagonal cut towards the longer section. She just left the area nearest my face a good 2″ shorter than the rest & didn’t understand why I wasn’t happy).

    I think the most amusing (for everyone else) was when I first donated my hair. The stylist cut off a good 12+ inches in a ponytail (mandatory for donations), which she then waved around in some crude Native American scalping re-enactment. I told the stylist when I last donated my hair, in no uncertain terms, not to do anything like that. She didn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Haha I’m just picturing that hair waving scene. I bet they’re instructed to do that to make it look like a big deal and draw attention to the cause.

      Sounds like you’ve been through quite a bit of hair traumas. I’m surprised I’ve gotten this many stories from people. My haircutting stories never reached this level of craziness.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        Maybe, but it’s kinda jarring to go from waist-length hair to above the shoulders all at once. Seeing years of (not getting my) hair (cut) swung around doesn’t help.

        Reading the stories is really interesting! It’s good to know I’m not alone in the craziness of hair-cutting. Plus, ya did ask us for it. LOL πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

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