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Sunday, June 17. 2018
Mrs. BD's Father's Day "present" to me was a trip to her fancy hair salon to get me an updated hair style to fit my Charlie Brown face and my buff body this past Friday. She said her gal there loves to do men's hair.
Can I say that I was not comfortable going to that place? I've been going to Tony, my same old Sicilian barber for 25 years and only when it's past the point of necessity. My wife's cute and athletic hair gal (who I know from the gym) and Mrs. BD agreed that my haircuts were primitive and made me look old and stodgy, like a dorky Senator from Arkansas or a dork from 1980. "Short or long?" was Tony's only question.
Story below the fold -
First off, you need an appointment for this deal. I insisted that Mrs. BD make the appointment and that she accompany me to do the talking. I wanted to be a passive participant in this event.
Anyway, my wife's delightful gal fusses with my hair for a minute or so with her fingers, and then sends me off for a hair wash: "We're a salon, not a barbershop." The hair-wash assistant washes my hair. First time somebody else washed my hair since I was a little kid and my Mom did it. This assistant did 2 tours in the US Army with her husband.
OK, hair expertly-washed. Comforting to me was that all the clients at 630 pm were guys, and all seemed normal - no hipsters, trannies, etc. I am then sent back to the chair, and was offered a glass of wine. Nice touch. I drank it.
At this point the hair gal has formulated a plan, and discussed it with Mrs. BD. We'll layer it for a more contemporary look and eliminate, more or less, the part. All I say is that I don't want to look like I have a TV haircut. "Don't worry, we'll make it very natural." I say "I just want to look like a movie star, Steve McQueen or Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford."
Snip snip snip. Fuss fuss fuss. Tousle tousle tousle. Snip snip snip. I like being touched by cool women. She and I discuss our exercise routines. She works out 6 days/week before work, weights and cardio. It shows. Naturally, her own hair is up to date, adventurous by country club standards.
Then "Now I'll show you how to use the gel." I object, get pushback. "It's invisible. You have to use it." That's done (just a tiny dab and it is invisible, no grease). Then a major tousle and she says "Here's how you do this. No comb - never comb it. Just shake it all up and then run your hands through it like this and this..."
Mrs. BD thought it was very good. She said I looked less dated. Maybe so, I dunno. She paid. Gal said "See you in four weeks, and then we'll do a quick thing to reduce some of your grays." Four weeks? Sheesh. I'm an every three or four months guy.
Why uncomfortable? Maybe I felt like I intruded into a private female domain, the way a woman might feel entering a cigar shop or cigar bar full of macho guys puffing away and talking shit. Even though evenings are all guys at this place, during the day it's Estrogen City. You can feel it.
It's about appearances. Of course men and women can look fit, sloppy, or slovenly. Whether I needed to learn it or not, I learned that, from a presentation standpoint, men can also look "dorky" or more "contemporary". Women can look "dowdy" or "chic." Depending on your professional life and social life, maybe it matters and maybe it doesn't. If I looked ok with a crew cut, I'd prefer that.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:33 | Comments (32) | Trackbacks (0)
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Your experience mirrors mine BD.
I first went to a salon about 25 years ago. I resisted for quite a while because real men don't frequent beauty salons. I ended up going because the salon was 10 miles closer to home than the barber shop and I knew the lady that ran it. In addition I was having bad experiences at the barber shop with young barbers insisting on screwing up my hair. I want it cut like when I was in college. I don't need it buzzed off below the top of my ears.
Same thing happened to me at the Salon. First they washed my hair. Btw, I have never got used to that thingy you lay your neck in so your head is over the sink. In the back of my twisted mind I am feeling like I have stuck my head in a guillotine, face up. Or . . . while my I eyes are closed during the shampoo, perhaps they will slit my throat and the blood will conveniently drain into the sink. No . . . they are nice ladies and that has never occurred to them.
Anyhow, a couple years back, the wife made me go to her salon and generally I have her come along to keep up the conversation for me.
Don't know about elsewhere, but in my rural area, a lot of men get their haircut at a beauty salon.
I went to salon's for haircuts for years and never liked the way my hair looked. We have one old style barber shop in town where most of the local constabulary gets their hair cut. Lots of "high and tights" come out of there.
I started going there a couple of years ago and I've been happy with my hair ever since. It's a lot cheaper too.
There is a woman who works there. She told me she worked in salons for years after cosmetology school. When she decided to try old fashioned barbering she had to go to barber college.
Ha! No offense, but you know the new saying,'If there's no video, it didn't happen'. Good story, though. Happy Father's Day.
BD is now a metrosexual.
I think this is one of signs of the apocalypse.
The wife had me go to her stylist once so I could get a "good" haircut. For years I had been going to an older Greek barber for "regular" haircuts. The stylist gave me a discount because my wife was a good customer. Charged me only $50 instead of $100. Now I go to the barber school in town--#2 blade on the clippers. $5 for the cut and I give the student $5 for a tip. I am a much happier man.
When I need a haircut, I look in a mirror and snip with the scissors. Five minutes a month. Don't remember the last time I went to a barber for a haircut, though I have used one for a mustache trim in the last 10 years.
My husband has a long silver braid down his back. I used to cut his hair, like a normal guy cut when we were younger until he decided that he had always wanted long hair.
I cut my long hair by bending over at the waist, grabbing it all in a handful and cutting it all off. It works fine.
A good old-timey barber is worth his weight in gold. Norm, my barber, consistently gives me a great short haircut every six weeks or so, is adept with a razor to trim behind the ears and the neck, and still uses bay rum at the end. He also plays old-time radio programs and big band music on his shop stereo.
I never went to one of the Unisex places until recently. My barbership is 9 miles away, my wife's place is 2; and actually charges less for senior men. So, I started using it.
It is ok; although the atmosphere just isn't right. But, I don't have enough hair to make a deal out of it. Actually, the girls spend about half the time of the barber.
Best shop was in Virginia, operated by two Korean sisters who were Army wives. Loved it. They would finish with a neck and shoulder massage that was great--until the state made them quit because they were not licensed masseuses. Figures.
Been going to "Cookie's" barbershop (Korean) here in
Stafford, VA for many years now. It's been relocated a number of times, I guess because rental rates keep driving them out. Now on Rte 1 just south of Quantico which provides them with a loyal clientele. When they use the hot steam towel at the end, I could almost doze off.
Damn, I can't even remember what year I last had my hair cut.
It got to about mid-back length & just stopped growing. I got it trimmed a couple of times, thinking that might spur further growth, but no dice. So I just quit bothering. It's fine as it is.
70+ year old barber, uses the scissors and then the straight razor to layer what little hair I have left, and then hot foam and a straight razor trim around the ears and back of the neck. $15. Comes with free vegetable gardening and hunting tips.
I went to one of those high-volume, low-cost, strip-center-type haircut joints and got what I paid for. In spades.
I think I was the first non-convict she ever cut. That her hands were shaking should have been the tip-off. I finally asked her to stop, and she was relieved, thanking me.
I’ve been going to salons ever since. You get what you pay for. I pay her, and she lies and cuts my thick, rich, luxurious hair.
Indeed. Wanted a change from the standard "coupe steel helmet" that every hair dresser seems to apply to men even if you ask them not to.
Took a while to find a place that'd actually listen...
My beloved Calabrian octogenarian barber recently passed away, how I will miss that talented and warm-hearted man. I treasured our friendship, and the excellent cuts I received every five or six months, it was worth the fifty mile drive to his shop after I relocated my home. Have tried four different highly recommended salons over the years, with horrific results, which was why his work was so appreciated. I think I will have to start shaving my head, now that he's gone.
Work for you, BD, happy Father's Day
Geez, five or six weeks, not months, sorry for the brain freeze
My whole life in New York my hair has been cut by old immigrant Italian men. They have always been there and I did not know how lucky I was. The last local one retired. I am in mourning. My better half is happy though
I have tried barber shops and salons. I have had good and bad experiences in both.
The thing that stumps me is that I can't figure out why my hair would be hard to cut since it is straight as a laser beam. But evidently that makes it tough. I have only had 2 really good hair cutters and both have been women.
My wife says to tell you that the tampons are in aisle 6....next to the hair gel.
Love DH's barber/stylist. Does amazing things that make him look younger and happier.
Why don't you write an article about men getting pedicures. They are an important health habit and most men would rather dive in front of an oncoming train than go for a pedi. See, if you can help them overcome this problem.
Bought an electric clipper with clip-on spacer combs to buzz my sons when they were younger, and learned how to do myself. Haven't paid for a haircut in years. This is fine for the shorter traditional cuts.
I shave my head every 2-3 days when I do the same to my face.
I don't have enough hair to bother a barber with.
I, too, got a haircut on Father's Day. My choice, not a 'gift' by any means.
That said, the woman who was cutting it asked "do you want to stick with your conservative part or are you willing to try something new?"
I asked "What do you have in mind?"
Well, it's pretty much the same, but a bit shorter, a bit spiky, and a bit messier. I like it. I doubt as my hair grows in that it will stay this way. My hair is flat, terribly so. Most of the time, left on its own, it just lays there.
So I like the change, but I'll go back to my old, conservative, part. That's just how the world works. Meantime, I like the younger look.
I hate going to a salon, or even a Sports Cuts sort of place.
I prefer a plain old barber shop.
But both plain old barber shops and good barbers are hard to find.
I grew up in barber shops where the usual topic of conversation was sports, the price of cows, how much hay they bailed that week, and graduated to military barbershops and barbers on my ship.
Can't find a good barber shop lately.