Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why I Hate Black Barbers. But Couldn't Quit Them If I Wanted To.

Something finally occurred to me the other day as I got out of the barber's chair. I hate strongly dislike barbers.

I have only had roughly 4-5 people who cut my hair on a consistent basis in my short lifetime, and I eventually had a falling out with each and every one of them for the exact same reason: because they cut your hair the way they want it to look, not the way you ask for it.

I have what is probably a moderately difficult head of hair to cut. I have what some older Black folks might refer to as "good" hair, which has always been the dumbest of statements to me. Isn't all hair good hair? Ask a balding dude if he'd rather have a "good" George Jefferson, or an "average" head of full hair. So enough of that nonsense.

Anyways, since I do have "good hair", this also means it's hard for most novices to cut the right way because it grows in very odd directions, as well as in odd lengths (ie: shorter at the top, longer near the temples). Also, over the past couple of years, I've noticed some light thinning around my hairline, which only adds to the complexity.

I usually stick with a barber who seems to figure out how to cut my hair correctly initially, but over time they all seem to revert to doing it "their way", regardless of what I ask for. So when I go in looking like a Wolfman and ask for "a little off the top and please don't push back my hairline!", then walk out looking like Kirk Franklin, you know something is wrong. These dudes are clearly just cutting it the way they want for the instant gratification and the praise of the other barbers when I step out the chair. They don't have to live with a pushed back hairline and a too-close for cold weather cut for the next couple of weeks. I do. And that kinda sucks.

[Editor's Note: None of these haircuts look "bad", "gapped up" or even remotely "jacked up" by any stretch of the imagination. But none of them happen to be what I ask for, so it doesn't really matter.]

Since I left my most recent barber a year or so ago[1] I've tried probably a half-dozen other barbers in search of someone who would just do what I asked them to. There was a girl who was cutting my hair for awhile that did a good job, but didn't do a great shape up, although she didn't push my sh*t back as I requested. There was a dude who cut pretty well, but then stopped showing up at the shop and answering text messages. Apparently he's taking a state-paid vacation in Jessup right now. And then, there's my current shop (and I use the word "current" loosely), owned by the Koreans. They, like everyone else, don't cut my hair the way I ask for, but the end result is usually not too bad looking, there's seldom a long wait (wonder why?), and the whole thing only costs $13, which in this economy is a steal.

But again, why can't people just cut hair the way they're asked to?[2]

To end on a positive note, I now present to you the greatest barbershop scene evar. Cop the headphones first.

Question: Fellas, do you have a similar experience with barbers who cut your hair the way they want it to look, not how you ask? Ladies, I guess I could pose the same question to you, although it's a given that women's hair is a different animal in and of itself.

[1] Yeah, that dude with the flying, rapping Superman website and the $22 cuts. I'll give him credit though, that soundtrack is still pretty tight. Listen to it. I guess that's why the cuts are so expensive. Somebody's gotta pay for all that flash animation and studio time.

[2] And before you ask, no, I'm not about to start cutting my own hair. I don't have that sorta talent.

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