I ask everyone who sits in my chair how their day is going. Partly to make conversation, and partly because sometimes we hairdressers also wear the hats of Therapist, Confidant, Sounding Board,etc. Sometimes though, I just get a good laugh.
I asked a 15-year old boy how his day was going, and he was having THE WORST DAY OF HIS LIFE (his words). First, his phone died, because he listens to music on it all day, and could only charge it during 2 of his 3 classes. Then he decided to learn guitar, because MUSIC IS MY LIFE, MAN. But he picked up his first guitar and his fingers kept slipping of the strings. So he FAILED at that. Then, and you’ll never believe this – his mom said he had to get a HAIRCUT.
I tried to offer him sage advice, but eventually I agreed that he was having the worst day ever. What with his smartphone, and apparently lax schooling, and access to a guitar on a whim, and parents that care about his appearance, etc.
Yup, worst day ever.
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.
Often when I cut an older man’s hair, he’ll say something like “make sure you cut only the gray ones” or some other joke about how he’s going gray. However, the best one I’ve heard so far is
“I’m not going gray, it’s the lighting in here! I’m going to go home and fix that lighting right now.”
I was cutting the hair of a 7-year old girl. When I asked her how old she was she told me, but added “I wish I was 17 though!” Why? Because her brother is 9, and she hates him. I tried explaining that when she is 17, her brother will be 19, but she wasn’t hearing it. So I asked her why she hates her brother. “Because he’s mean!” Well that’s fine. siblings fight, and older brothers tend to have a penchant for being the mean ones. But then she went into detail: he calls her names, but then she punches him in the stomach until he runs into his room and cries. He takes her toys, but then she hits him with her lightsaber.
I began to think that maybe her brother wasn’t the mean one…
Later in the day, purely by chance, this girl’s dad and brother came in for haircuts as well. (I guess they were having a boys’ day / girls’ day.) I recognized the name, and asked about his sister. I told him what she had said, and all of this came as news to both him and his dad. Neither of them had any recollection of the boy being punched so hard by his little sister that he cried, or any of the other stuff she said.
I’m sure she embellished a bit, but according to the boy, her entire story was fabricated. So now I’m a little curious as to who really is the mean one in that household.
Some of the best customers can be kids, just due to their reactions.
I had one girl in my chair, probably 10 years old or so. She was cutting her hair from shoulder length to a chin length bob with bangs. Every cut I took, she watched in the mirror and gasped excitedly. When I was all done, she ran her hands through it and kept repeating “Oh my gosh! OH MY GOSH!” loudly enough for the whole salon to hear. We couldn’t help but smile, as she was just so happy about her new ‘do.
Another time, a boy of a similar age was getting his hair cut. He had always had his hair long and shaggy, and was going to a clipper fade. (I wasn’t the one cutting his hair, so I don’t know all the details.) What I do know, however, is that when his hair was all done, he literally ran around the salon high-fiving everyone. His stylist, the other stylists (including me), the other patrons, etc. Again, we couldn’t help but smile.
I wish everyone would react to their haircuts that way.
A boy of about 10 or so was in the chair next to mine. Apparently he and the stylist had been talking about his girlfriend before I started paying attention. A Justin Beiber song came on the radio, and my coworker asked the boy if his girlfriend liked Justin’s music. He said no. “Well then who does she like?” and started naming some other pop stars.
The boy sighed, frustrated, and replied “My girlfriend doesn’t like music. She only likes me.”
That made me and the other stylist laugh, and my coworker told him not to hold on to that attitude. Hopefully the boy learns.
There is no perfect way to time the haircut of a toddler. Before a nap, after a nap, random times – there’s just no telling when the child will be agreeable. One parent tried a new approach: during the nap. The child was awake, but only just so. He was still in his Scooby-Doo pajamas even.
However, the kid was not having it. He didn’t scream, but he did that fussy, half cry that very sleepy children do. He also did lots of wriggling and hiding. At one point, one of my coworkers came over to help hold him still. That’s when the dad decided the haircut was “good enough” and stopped it. The cut was far from perfect, but not bad for a wiggling 2 year old.
The next day, apparently the child was in a better mood, so the dad decided to try again. He was still wiggly (because he is still a 2-year old), but he wasn’t in his pjs at least, so I got to give him a better haircut. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get it right.