posted by Matt W on April 18th, 2012

I have asked for the exact same haircut for over 30 years now. Short on the sides (2 guard) and blend in slightly longer on top. It should be one of the least expensive and easiest haircuts in the universe to get correct. Apparently it’s not.

I usually go to the same guy. He cuts everyone in my family’s hair. He is a little too handsy for me (which is surprising for the South), but does a pretty nice job. He does a nice job trimming my beard and subtly trimming my eyebrows, ears and nose hairs without me really noticing. He tends to skimp on cutting my hair however and I haven’t quite decided whether it’s because he wants me to come back sooner for another haircut ($), or he just doesn’t like cutting my hair the way I want it. He charges a great deal more than I think a haircut is worth, but I will admit nobody charges $5 anymore.

Every once in a while, I get a Supercuts coupon for $6 and go get my haircut there, but it is always a battle to get a good looking haircut, and I constantly find myself saying “No really, I like my hair short,” followed 5 minutes later with, “It’s not a nose-job so I guess it will grow back.” My current buzz cut is the reason for this blog.

I started going to the barber on my own when I got my driver’s license. I went to the same guy for years and I think he still has a shop in my old hometown, as my son and I recently drove past the shop when we were visiting. He gave me a good solid haircut every time. When I was in college, I decided to get a quick haircut from a different barber, with not so great results. I was going over to see a girl that I was kind of trying to date at the time and when she opened the door her first words were, “It looks like you just got out of a concentration camp.” Needless to say, I never went back to that guy (or got the girl).

Then there was Barbara. Right before I got married, I started going to this beauty salon type place, it didn’t have cranky old men sitting around smoking so it was a new experience for me. Barbara was a pretty, older woman (probably 35) that always wore nice dresses and had great perfume. She had the wonderful habit of rubbing up against you with her breasts while she cut your hair. When she was done cutting your hair, she would shampoo your hair, and she would massage your scalp with these great nails, the beauty salon version of a happy ending. As an aside, she also gave a great haircut. I went to Barbara for about two years, every three weeks on the dot, and then she was gone, nowhere to be found. I went back to my old barber, and as I was actually starting to grow consistent facial hair it was cool to get a shave with a straight razor.

In all my moves, I have never found another Barbara, or even a good barber, for that matter. They don’t seem to exist. It used to be in every occupation that people did things the way you asked them to do it, and now you just hope to get lucky and find someone that has the same general idea you have.

So, I will go back to the handsy-guy that cuts my hair, plop down way too much money and get a haircut that is in the same general haircut-ballpark that I want. I’m sure he would use his nails for the shampoo if I asked (although I’m personally not quite ready for that).

File Under Jack of all Trades