A Little off the Top

I’m talking about barbershops here people. The old school kind with the swirly pole out front. The origins of the barbershop pole are a little disturbing. You see back in the middle ages barber shop poles were originally red and white, meant to represent bloody bandages wrapped around a white pole. Back then barbers not only cut hair, but extracted teeth and performed bloodletting, eeks! The pole originally had a brass wash basin at the top which represented the vessel in which the leeches were kept. Well the barber I go to now doesn’t have leeches there is blood every once in a while but when you’re using a straight razor what do you expect.

When I was a young man in my early twenties I would go to stylists, hair salons, you know, the kind that offer a head massage along with your chemically enhanced, 12 step treatment, aloe extract of palm oil, shampoo concoction pre haircut ritual. You actually are already in for fifty bucks before you even sit in the chair. The hairstylist stereotypes I always got were either the stunningly pretty hot chick whose boobs are always really close to your face as they worked around the top of my head (that wasn’t so bad) and the tattoo covered ice queen that says nothing during the whole hair cut and gives you a nod of approval when you tip her. Oh yah, I almost forgot about the gay hairstylist that loves to tell you about his crazy sex filled lifestyle. Way too much information. In my younger days I would dye my hair all kinds of different colors, from canary yellow to silver to midnight black, which probably didn’t help with the state of my currently receding hairline. So to recap, just a normal cut is around 40-50 dollars, you put a color on top of that and you are getting close to an even hundred. At least at the places I used to go to.

Not anymore though, now it’s my friendly neighborhood barbershop. I have been going there for a couple of years now and about a year ago, I met the only man I will trust to cut my hair. His name is Maj, short for Magic I’m guessing, because no one before or since has cut my hair with such finesse. He’s like the hair whisperer, the first time he cut my hair I was amazed at how good I looked, even my wife noticed, and that is hard to do. Especially with my middle aged mug. It only cost me twenty five bucks, and I always tip, always! I once waited two hours to get him to cut my hair by him, trust me, it’s worth it.

From the classic technique to the straight razor shave to the back of your neck (the razor is so sharp you can hear each hair being cut individually). There is no washing of the hair or shampoo treatments, just spray and cut. No talking about their sex lives or shopping, just sports, politics and why celebrities are so stupid. I feel so put together when I leave the barbershop, nothing like a good haircut to boost the confidence.

So I urge you, if you are a man, make the switch, find a good barbershop and give it a try. I did and I will never switch back. The next thing I want to try is the hot shave, maybe on my next visit. Until then I can feel myself getting sloppier by the minute, but I know when it’s time, the boys at the barbershop will take care of me. Just a little off the top please.

Photo by Thorsten Schmidtkord – http://www.schmidtkord.de/projekte/head-on-top/

1 Comment

  1. Saul Garnell says:

    I’m with you all the way. i have also encountered every persona you described. It all brings back nostalgic memories. And maybe I’m just getting cheap in my old age, but paying $50 to cut crap off my head that’s just going to grow back? Over my dead body…at least that’s how I feel now.


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