RANT: Going to the Hairdresser

23 February 2008

by Simon Burdus

Some people have issues going to the dentist. I do not. If you look after your teeth then you shouldn’t have any problems. It is a necessary trip that takes place every few months but you can take precautions so that the experience is actually verging on being pleasurable. The dentist has a poke around, says well done and gives you a big sticker before sending you on your way. The same can not be said for another necessary trip; the trip to the barbers.

The whole experience of going to the hairdressers is one I have hated ever since I sprouted my first lone hair that needed a trim. You can’t take any precautions to make the occurrence any more bearable. I used to think I would grow out of my hatred but if anything, it has become even stronger.

When you’re a kid the fear of the haircut going wrong is the worst aspect of the expedition. There was nothing worse than the barber not listening to what he was told and giving you a number two all over making your head look like a furry egg. I remember a guy coming to school with a skinhead having the day before, had a full head of hair. All day we spent slapping his head as hard as we could till it went red. Let’s just say I learnt from that day never to shave it all off.

I still refuse to get my head shaved to this day, but now it is for a totally different reason. I worry that if it all goes then that’s it. My relationship with hair will cease to be. I’m not a vain person but the day I go totally bald I will be going bald kicking and screaming and I don’t want to take the risk of losing it unnecessarily. When you go to the dentist he looks at your teeth and leaves them alone if he can. I go to the barbers and I see my hair, which as a balding man I’m rather keen not to let out of my sight, be cut up and just tossed to the floor. You wouldn’t rip a leper’s limbs from their body so why is it that balding men have to pay to make their ailment worse?

While all this is going on you get to sit in a chair with a protective sheet hiding your body so you can stare at this floating head in the mirror for 30 minutes. My god, I didn’t realise how rank I had become. Quasimodo in the chair next to me looked positively handsome in comparison. The bright white lights and the hair combed back off your face allows you to see the 4 chins you have developed, the moon like craters all over your face, the black heads that have appeared and the big black bags that have taken camp beneath your eyes. It’s a good job the cloak you are paraded around in doesn’t allow you to move your arms as I would have just grabbed a pair of scissors and ended it.

But that’s not all. Not only is there the fear that you’re going to come out of the salon with hair looking like Keith Flint from The Prodigy, not only is there the fear that you will come out having said your final goodbyes to your natural head gear, not only is there the fear that you will have realised how you have aged and ended your life there and then. Oh no, whilst all of this is fl ying round your head you have this continuous drone of chit chat going on. I’ve come in for a haircut. I’m even reluctant to be there in the first place so what I don’t want is some middle aged woman telling me about her kids and the trouble she has had with her bunions. If I wanted that I would watch ‘Loose Women’. I’m there for a haircut, just cut it and I’ll leave.

We have to attend both dentists and hairdressers regularly. But give me a quick in and out job with a dentist’s latexed digit prodding around my mouth any day over the hell that is the visit to the barbers.