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Style Over Substance

, , , | Right | March 2, 2020

(I don’t much like going to barbers or hair places because I have perpetual bad hair day. I generally give up on instructions to the stylist.)

Stylist #1: “Scissors or clippers?”

Me: “Whatever you prefer to use.”

Stylist #1: *momentary confusion*

(One day, I get an older stylist and she realizes I am giving her the option to do what she wants.)

Stylist #2: “I’m going to thin out the base of your hair so it’ll rise up at the top, and…”

(She lost me with the rest of her plan. The “thinning” thing bothered me since my head was already doing that naturally, but I sighed inwardly and let it happen. I got three compliments on my hair the next day. I think I’m going back to her for my next haircut!)

A Pinch Of Assault

, , , , , | Right | January 31, 2020

(I am an independent contractor in a barbershop. This means that, while I am a representative of the shop name, I build my own clientele, keep my own cash box, and pay the shop out rather than the other way around. The owner recognizes that we all are independent people and have different methods of building our clientele. Some can rattle off past haircuts, building an important rapport; I cannot. My memory is awful on the best days, and I have a hard time connecting 200+ heads to cuts monthly. Many of my clients understand this, due to working with the public themselves, and know I like confirming information, anyway, to ensure the best cut. I build my rapport with my clients through comics books, video games, horror, and the mouth my sailor father gifted me. I had one client yesterday that decided that wasn’t good enough.)

Client: *sits* “You remember my haircut, right? It’s easy!”

Me: “Sorry, [Client], you know my brain isn’t wired that way. I remember you, of course. Your haircut, not so much.”

Client: “What would it take for you to remember it, huh?”

Me: “Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do. There are maybe four cuts in the last six years that I can remember consistently, and even then, I always double-check in case I remembered an old cut, instead.”

Client: “What if I pinched you? You’d remember it then, right?”

Me: “What? Dude, you’d just be the d**k that pinched me. That’s all I’m going to remember.”

Client: “I think it’s worth a shot.”

Me: “I actively have sharp objects in my hand. Don’t pinch me.”

(The rest of the haircut goes through a similar conversation, him amused, myself annoyed. I finish the cut and he hands me his payment.)

Client: *pinches my arm as soon as he lets go of the money* “Pinchy!”

Me: *swats* “Ay, a**hole!”

Client: *running out the door, giggling* “Next time, you’ll remember!”

(It’s been fifteen hours. I’ve already forgotten his haircut.)

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The Barbers Equivalent Of “It Didn’t Scan!”

, , , | Right | November 3, 2019

Me: *towards the end of haircuts* “How would you like your neckline shaped?”

Literally 75% Of Men That Get In My Chair: “Doesn’t matter to me!” *laughs* “I never see it anyway!”

Me: *yet again, fakes light laughter, soul crushed from hearing the same joke eight times a day*

It’s Haircut-And-Dry Anger Issues

, , , , | Right | May 26, 2019

(I walk into a salon to get my hair cut and am greeted by an enraged, middle-aged man furiously shouting at the woman who cut his hair.)

Customer: “I want my money back! I paid you for a service and you did a s***ty job!”

Stylist: “I’m sorry, sir, but it is not company policy to pay you back with cash. You’ll have to call corporate and they can help you get your money back.”

(The customer is enraged by this statement and begins clenching his fists and shaking all over.)


(The man tries reaching over the counter to grab the woman. He gets part of her shirt but she evades him and grabs the phone to call the police. As the woman walks towards the back on the phone with the police, while being barraged with cuss words from behind her, a young girl — probably 14 to 16 years old — speaks out.)

Young Girl: “You’re so immature! Get over yourself.”

Customer: “What did you say to me, you little b****?”

(He begins to approach the young girl. I should mention that I am the only other male in the shop. It looks like this 40- to 50-year-old man is about to get physical with a little girl, so I decide it is time for me to interject. I get up and stand toe-to-toe with the man.)

Me: “I have to ask you: do you have kids?”

Customer: *trembling with rage* “Yes, I do. Why?”

Me: “Because if you were my dad, and I saw you walk in here and disrespect all these women like this and try to get physical with them, I would be beyond disappointed.”

Customer: *with his fists clenched and a violent look on his face* “…”

Me: “You’ve clearly had a terrible day. I can tell because no one gets this upset about a haircut. I mean, look at you. You’re shaking with adrenaline and it looks like you were about to hit a young girl.”

Customer: “I… I’m just worked up.”

Me: “How about this? Just think about your kids, man. How upset will they be to hear that their dad had to spend the night in jail because he got upset over a haircut? I know you don’t want that image of you in your wife and kid’s minds.”

(His fists unclench, but he’s still shaking. He raises his hand up to me — I get ready to block a punch — and puts it on my shoulder.)

Customer: “You’re a good kid.”

(He began to walk out the door but was greeted by two local police officers who put him in handcuffs. I then had the most interesting haircut of my life, which consisted of a grateful, teary-eyed woman cutting my hair and a police officer asking me questions.)

Inching Closer To The Haircut You Actually Want

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2019

(I get my hair cut maybe once every six to nine months or so and while I usually try and stick to the same people, it’s a lot more difficult when you don’t go very frequently. I also have thicker, pseudo-curly hair which can be somewhat difficult to manage. It usually grows to my neck between cuts, so I’ve learned it’s easier to have it thinned out while they cut it, which actually winds up feeling really nice for me as it doesn’t it doesn’t quite grow back right. With the few “regular” barbers and hairdressers I’ve had this isn’t a problem… for everyone else, though, this usual exchange occurs.)

Hairdresser: “Hi! How do you want it today?”

Me: “Down to about a quarter of an inch all the way around, trimmed square at the neck, no sideburns, and please thin it out while you’re at it.”

Hairdresser: “Are you sure? A quarter of an inch is really short, and your hair doesn’t look like it needs to be thinned.”

Me: *still smiling* “I’m sure. I don’t get it cut very often, so cutting it that low helps it grow back the way I like. Also, it’s thicker than it looks, and it won’t grow back right if I don’t get it thinned out. I just like the feeling. I know that some people don’t know how a quarter looks, but I actually like it, so it’s okay. I promise.”

Hairdresser: *usually running their fingers through their hair at this point* “I don’t knoooow! I still think a quarter of an inch is too little, and this definitely doesn’t need to be thinned. I’ll just cut it down to about an inch and you can tell me how that looks, all right?”

Me: *sighing* “All right.”

(Then they proceed to cut my hair, having a difficult time with it being thicker as they cut it, having to switch manually to scissors, combing and cutting it down despite my already having combed out the tangles. They generally get tangled up as they have to keep parsing my hair back and forth, taking an extra ten minutes just to work on getting the hair down to an inch.)

Hairdresser: *pleased and showing me the results* “See? That’s about an inch; how’s that look?”

Me: “I’d actually prefer it to be down to a quarter of an inch and—“ *running my fingers through my hair* “—can you please still thin it out? It’d feel really nice for me.”

Hairdresser: *usually sighing* “Well, okay, but now that it’s already down to an inch it’s going to take me a little longer, okay? It’s such a shame to waste such nice hair.”

(None of them have ever been downright rude to me, and it’s a hard enough job with what is demanded of them. I also entirely understand that people genuinely don’t understand how long or short their hair looks on themselves, so I understand these feelings. But it still sucks to have this interaction almost every time I go to get it done and I don’t have someone that’s not willing to argue over it.)