Every two weeks, I need a haircut.
A new haircut is a beautiful thing to a man, specifically to a black man such as myself who probably needs his hair cut more often than my brethren of other races. The right hair cut can boost your confidence; you feel like a new, more attractive man. I’ve gotten some haircuts that have made me feel like I should have earned a spot in People Magazine’s Top 10. With some clippers and 30-45 minutes, a barber has the power to make you feel like a million bucks.
But with great power, comes great responsibility.
I hate going into most barbershops. Let me repeat that, I hate going into most barbershops.
I’ve said to myself many times, once I become a millionaire and not a dollanaire, I’ll hire a personal barber. Minus my time up north, I have a so-so experience in barbershops 70% of the time. It all starts when you walk in the door.
1. Getting skipped over on the haircut list
When you enter a barbershop, most of the time you’re supposed to sign a list. The list usually requires your name, time you entered and preference of barber. Sounds like a great system, right? Only problem with this is sometimes, you get skipped over for the homeboy of the barber. After a while, you notice you’ve been sitting down for 45 minutes with no haircut, even though you know you were the only one who signed up for “Teddy.” To prevent this, what works for me is to come in, sign up and immediately go shake up the barber who I want to cut my hair so that he knows his loyal customer has entered the building. Being assertive in barbershops is key.
2. The Lonely Barber
You all know the lonely barber. In a barber shop, usually you have two-three reliable cutters. And then there’s that fourth guy in the corner sitting in his own chair. The high school dropout who the shop owner is doing a favor by giving him a job. The guy who on the busiest day for barbers, Saturday, is reduced to taking lunch orders. You can usually find the lonely barber sweeping hair from yesterday just to feel busy. There is no worse feeling than being in a rush and trying to slide in the shop, only to find the only available barber is The Lonely Barber. Dialogue goes as follows:
(LB looks away from his twitter account on his cell phone and over at you)
LB: I got you over here.
(You pretend you didn’t hear)
LB: Hey you need a haircut?
You: Nah, I’m good.
“I’m good.” Worst words he can hear. Unless you want to end up with the Andrew Bynum special, I’d stay away.
3. Uninformed Barbers
Do I really need to explain what a 1.5 Taper fade is to a barber? Doesn’t barber school teach these things? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to sit in a barber’s chair and explain simple concepts of a haircut to a BARBER. When I’m having to explain to you what “cut it low” means, we have a problem.
4. Ridiculous Sports Conversations
Understand, everyone thinks they’re a sports expert in their own right. But trust me on this, you won’t hear more ridiculous sports opinions than in a barber shop.
Examples of things I’ve heard in a barbershop:
“Allen Iverson might be the greatest basketball player of all time.”
“Football is a mental game, you have to use your brain and your smarts.”
“Alabama wins National Championships off of their QB play.”
“Tyson Chandler would shut down Patrick Ewing in the post.”
It’s statements like these that keep me silent and zoned out while in a barbershop.
Moral of this post: When you find a good barber, keep him or her.