the sleeper

A dad brought his 2 & 1/2 year old son in for a haircut. I could see the boy was sleepy, as his eyes were drooping and once in a while his head would flop. I started using the clippers on him, but he wasn’t listening to us telling him that he needed to keep his head up. We noticed that he had actually fallen asleep. He slept right on through the clippers buzzing against his head, and his dad had to come physically hold his head up so I could finish the cut with scissors. We stopped worrying about waking him up, because this boy was out. He was drooling, and at one point he even snored. Dad was struggling to keep the boy’s head up while I cut his hair, and we had a choreographed dance to do it. In fact, I had to stop several times because I was laughing so hard. Dad even managed to get his phone out and take some pictures. The boy kept on sleeping through the whole thing. The only time he briefly woke up was when I finished the cut and Dad lifted him out of the chair. But he snuggled up and went right back to sleep.

My coworkers congratulated me on actually putting a child to sleep (which I’d never had happen before), but credit lies with the boy’s older brothers who played with him so much that he just couldn’t stay awake anymore.



Usually when someone brings in a picture, it is a useful tool, helping the stylist and client understand each other a bit better. But I had a woman come in bringing a picture similar to this – a high fashion (not everyday) disconnected cut. Frankly, the picture was ridiculous, but so was the cut she already had. It was an inverted V, with the front past her shoulders. At some point, someone had given her layers, but the utter chunkiness of them showed that it was not a professional. But she wanted to keep her length, especially in the front. So I asked her to clarify what about the picture she liked. She insisted that she wanted that cut, even after I assured her that that cut would mean losing several inches of hair (which I would have loved so I could fix her already-jacked ‘do). We could donate it to Locks of Love, but she wasn’t having it.

We finally reached a compromise – meaning I gave her long layers to blend what she already had, and just the tiniest smidge of a side bang. Not at all like the picture, which I reminded her of, lest she try to make comparisons later. I don’t think she was entirely pleased, but I also don’t think she quite understood the concept of “haircut” and thus would not be pleased either way.

Are you sure?

The problem with high fashion magazines is that they are not real. We have them in the shop to use as jumping off points (nobody really wants those right?), but most people understand that their hair won’t look exactly like that. There is a team of hair, makeup, and wardrobe professionals, plus a professional model and photoshop. Not to mention that everyone’s hair is different, like the 20 year old white woman in the photo versus the 5 year old Mexican girl in my chair.

The girl’s hair was long and straight, and she wanted a very short, asymmetrical cut. I asked her and her mom several times: “Are you sure you want to cut this much off? Are you positive you want to lose like 10 inches of hair?” They both assured me several times that they were. so I cut all the length off and moved to the bangs. I made them look cute, but the mom said “no, I want them exactly like the picture. The picture is shorter.” I asked again if she was sure, and I even said “I don’t want to take the bangs that short.” but she insists. Exactly like the picture. Lo and behold, as soon as I take them shorter, the mom gasps. She tells her daughter (in Spanish) that the cut is horrible and now she’s ugly.

So many things wrong with this.

1. The girl will never be ugly. She is absolutely sweet and adorable with her toothless grin, and one of the best behaved children to ever sit in my chair.
2. Why would you tell her she’s ugly? Now you’re stressing her out and possibly giving her self confidence issues.
3. Bitch, I speak Spanish. Even if I didn’t, I know the word “horrible.”

Then the mom tells me “just stop. We need to go now.” I’ve gotten in trouble before from a mom leaving before I was ready (and then coming back angry of course), so I wouldn’t let her. She can’t leave until I’m finished. But she protests every time I touch the girl’s hair. I’m flustered, so I step back and get my coworker to assist. she does the finishing touches on the cut, and they appear to be satisfied. No tip of course, but you know I would have given it to my coworker. (I told her I do owe her lunch though.)

My coworker told me later that she heard me asking “are you sure?” all those times, so she knew something was up. I’m thankful she understood my flustration and was willing to help.