I talk to a lot of people in all sorts of industries. This leads to lots of stories on all sorts of topics.
For example, a hotel front desk manager was telling me how demanding some people can be. We live in an area that has a lot of nature, and we get a lot of tourists each year for “leaf season.” This hotel manager related a story about how someone was trying to make a reservation, but wanted to know exactly which day the leaves would change, so she could plan accordingly.
Hint: There is not a specific day where this happens. As with all weather, trip planning is mostly luck.
A dad brought his 4-year old son in for his first “real” haircut. He’d been trimmed at home, but he still had his beautiful baby ringlets. Dad was ready for him to look “more like a boy,” so he wanted quite a bit of length taken off. After discussing it, Dad said to go ahead and make it a full mohawk: skin on the sides, and enough length taken off the top so that it would stand up on its own. I asked him several times if he was sure, and reminded him that those ringlets would not come back. He was sure, and of course the boy was totally into it. And just for funsies, let’s put in some colored gel to make the mohawk blue and super spiky.
As I was shaving the boy’s head, I asked if Mom knew he was getting a haircut. Apparently she knew he was getting it cut, but not this haircut. I asked the dad to not blame me when Mom flipped out from him cutting off all of her baby’s beautiful hair. The dad just chuckled.
Although I never did hear from the mom, so I still wonder how the new ‘do went over at home.
Our shop is located less than a mile from the small regional airport, so frequently we get airline employees and travelers. It’s common that my clients will be boarding a plane after their haircut. One man sat down and said that he would be doing just that. However, he said it in this manner:
“Can do you a fast haircut?”
“Yes sir, I’m usually pretty fast.”
“Well it’s 10:05 now. I need to be on a plane at 10:30.”
I did get him out in about 10-15 minutes. I have no idea, though, if he made his flight since he still had to get to the airport and go through security. I did what I could, but I recall the old saying “your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
I meet a lot of people that are new to the area or have lived lots of places, so the question “what brought you to this town?” is always a topic of conversation. The most common answers are “work” or “I just liked the area.” I had one man, however, tell me a more interesting story.
It seems his (grown) daughter was tired of the place they lived in. Her parents her retired, and the only thing keeping them in the small town was their daughter, so if she left, they would leave too. When the wanderlust got too much to handle, the dad told his wife and daughter “go drive around until you find where you want to live.” So they set off on a road trip, exploring the country. When they reached this town, they called the dad and said “we found it. We want to live here.” And so they did. They never came back to their old home. The dad took care of selling the house and packing any valuable possessions, and then he followed them. So they live here now, and apparently never looked back.
As someone who has moved more times than she can count, I envy this. They literally just up and left, with no regard for the things they left behind. Even when I try to do that, I still end up with a truckful of stuff, and I’ve never moved to a place that I had never really been to before.
So here’s to you, adventurers.
It’s very common when I’m cutting a man’s hair that I also trim up any long hairs around his eyebrows, ears, what have you. If they don’t specifically ask for it, I offer. (And in the case of ears, I normally just do it.) It seems the older men get, the more accepting they are of the existence of super long hairs above their eyes.
I was cutting the hair of a 14-year old boy when he suddenly got a little bit nervous and mumbled a question. I asked him to repeat it, and it turns out he wanted his eyebrows trimmed. I complied (even though he didn’t really need it) and assured him that he was nowhere near “mad scientist” on the eyebrow level. However, he seemed relieved that either I did it, or it wasn’t a major issue. He also didn’t mention it to his mom, which is unimportant but may also show that he didn’t want her to know either.
As of today, he’s the only kid that has asked me to trim his eyebrows. But I know teenagers are very concerned about their looks, and who knows, he may have had a first date or something to get ready for. Hopefully his newfound eyebrow confidence worked out well for him.
A lot of times, people will change their hair when they are going through major life changes. I understand the psychology behind it: your hair / appearance is something you can control in a world where many things are not under your power, such as deaths, breakups, etc.
I had a lady come in, very determined to cut off all of her long beautiful hair. As you know, I encourage this type of behavior, but I also want to make sure the person doesn’t regret it. Hair takes a long time to grow back, and even if you get a good cut, you might not be happy with it if it’s shorter than you wanted or are used to.
But this lady was sure. All of it. Off. I felt like the Italian barber cutting Audrey Hepburn’s hair in Roman Holiday (which she actually did on camera, btw). So, as I gave her a cute new ‘do, I asked what spurred the change. Turns out she was supposed to get married… that coming weekend. Something had gone sour (I didn’t press for details) and she said her now ex-fiance had always liked her long hair. Since the wedding was now off (a development of only the night before!), her hair was coming off too. I could see the weight literally (and figuratively) being lifted off her shoulders as I cut it.
I was glad to help her gain some independence, and hopefully some happiness.
(ps- She did donate her hair to Locks of Love, thereby getting a free haircut and helping a good cause.)
A customer was telling me about a sign in a salon that he used to go to.
It said “I’m a beautician, not a magician.”
I do think it’s funny, but I also think a good hairdresser should be a beautician AND a magician. Not only is it entertaining for the kids (wink) but there is a cut out there for everybody. It’s our job as stylists to find it, and give every customer a cut that makes them feel awesome. A sign like that implies that there is no hope for some people, and I just don’t believe that.