Posted by: joha5 | April 28, 2010

Haircut Hell

I hate getting my hair cut.  I love the results.  I love the head massage.  I love the hair wash.  I love leaving looking like a new person.  But I hate – absolutely hate – dealing with the hair dresser. 

I can’t possibly think of a more awkward situation to be in.  The first challenge is articulating what exactly I want done which is a challenge because I never really know what I want.  I always just end up saying something like ‘short and spikey, please’ and I just hope for the best.  This brings about an element of luck in a process that should contain anything but.  I hope for the right length.  I hope for the right style.  I hope they don’t talk to me too much.  I hope they don’t use too much of a creative license without telling me what they are going to do.  Most of all, I just hope that they give good haircuts.

The warm up part is the best part for me where they sit you down and gently massage your head with all kinds of shampoos and conditioners and what have you.  There are very few ways that this experience can be ruined but I always seem to find the one person that can mess it up.  They talk to me too much.  They take two minutes instead of five.  The water splashes onto your clothes.  They pull on your hair like they are washing clothes on a washboard down by the Mississippi River in the 1880’s.  The temperature is too hot or too cold.  I just can’t win.

After this whole process, they sit me down in the chair and start hacking away at my head as if I was a Chia Pet.  But the weird thing is that I always find myself mirroring or mimicking whoever is cutting my hair.  The last person to cut my hair was a flakey, early 20-something girl who drives a Mini Cooper, likes to listen to Deathcab for Cutie, and talks about politics with only the simplest grasp on certain concepts.  And what did I give her?  That I was a flakey 20-something who likes Deathcab for Cutie (but strangely doesn’t know much about them other than I like them) and doesn’t have any interest in politics because ‘I just don’t understand these things’.  Today I got my hair cut by a 33-year-old pothead with a really deep and gruff voice who likes to go fishing and drink beer at home with his friends.  So guess who I became today?

I think I do this because deep down I don’t really have a lot in common with anybody that I have ever gotten my haircut from and the easiest way to make the pain of the awkwardness go away is to just act as they act and like the same things that they like so they can carry on the conversation by themselves and I can just nod my head in agreement.  Besides, I am paying them so they should be the one to do the work and carry the heavy lifting of a very strained conversation.  I also agree because I really don’t want to debate healthcare or abortion issues when getting my hair cut.  I just want to keep the conversation to an absolute minimum if I can help it.  The best part is that I bet as soon as I leave they tell all of their friends and coworkers how weird of a guy I was even though all I ever do is agree with whatever it is they say to me. 

Maybe this is one of the reasons why I don’t like getting my hair cut.  I always leave feeling mentally exhausted from acting for 45 minutes and walking on eggshells afraid that somebody will find out that I have no clue who Deathcab for Cutie is and – even worse – I don’t care.  by the time our conversation over Deathcab for Cutie has ended the haircut inevitably ends and I am so drained and so bored from listening to them speak that I don’t even care how my hair looks.  I just want to get out – immediately.   I would have liked my hair a little shorter than I had it cut today but I was so bored of talking about the places that I liked to go fishing that I just had to get out.  The guy talked so much today that he actually ended up severing his finger while he has hacking at the nest on my head and there was blood all over his hand on the floor and all I could think was  ‘at least I have 5 minutes to myself’, I thought. 

He came back with his finger all bandaged up and I probably should have felt more sympathetic than I did but I sort of felt like this was karmic justice for me and the pain that I had to go through talking about marijuana and fishing.  I paid my money, gave him a decent tip, and then ran out to my car.  before I left, I was offered the opportunity to book my next appointment in six weeks time.  I respectfully declined and told them that I would call them when I needed one.  Maybe I will go back to him in a few weeks time and go through all of the motions again or maybe I will continue my nomadic quest for the perfect hair stylist somewhere else and just pray that the next person who does my hair doesn’t want anything to do with Deathcab for Cutie or fishing.



  1. I have a fabulous, lefthanded, Turkish hairdresser who tells me about the $1,000 Japanese shears he wants and how he never follows mass produced haircuts. I never look better then when I leave his chair.

  2. Hahaha! The guy who cut my hair was talking about the same thing yesterday. In fact, I think he cut his finger with those $1,000 shears. Who buys those?!?! I can think of much better ways to spend that kind of money!

  3. I once had a hairdresser tell me about her daughter who committed suicide. Sad, yes, I felt for her (I’m not a total monster!) but that’s not really something I want to hear about while getting a haircut. “Here’s a haircut and dose of depressing news. Congrats winner!” I know this sounds awful and you probably think I’m a totally heartless wench, but leave that stuff at home. I’m sorry it happened but not appropriate for clients… Great blog, very well written and funny! 🙂

    • Hi Dana! Then we can DEFINITELY be heartless together because, honestly, the last thing I want to hear about when I am getting my haircut from a potentially unstable person is their daughter’s suicide. If I was friends with them then it would be different but I am just there to get a service, pay, and leave. Totally not appropriate at all. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Please subscribe…or if not then definitely come back once in a while!

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