Haircut for Santa

Around Christmastime, a 6-year old boy with long black hair sat in my chair and wanted it all buzzed off. When I asked why, he said that he “wanted to make sure Santa knew he was a boy.” Apparently this was his idea, not mom and dad’s, and they’re not sure where it stemmed from, as last year he didn’t receive any “girl” toys. But I complied, and hopefully this little boy with a shaved head got all the proper presents.

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ringlets no more

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.

high neckline

Generally on men’s haircuts, I shape up their neckline with my small trimmers. I ask if they have a preference on shape (blocked / straight across or more rounded), and most don’t care.  “As long as nobody comes up to me and asks what happened to the back of my head, I don’t care what it looks like.”

Well, seems one guy cared enough to try and trim his neckline himself. Apparently he didn’t use the elaborate mirror rigging that I would expect, and inadvertently shaved his “neckline” up to his occipital bone.

The back of his head looked like this. 

However, he had no idea. He couldn’t see it when he looked at himself from the front, so he went about his day. Until one of his coworkers stopped him and asked him what happened to the back of his head. So on his lunch break, he came to see me.

“What can you do to fix this?” he asked, slightly panicked.

I apologized for the chuckle I was stifling, and replied that really the only thing to do was shave his head, or at least fade it like in the picture above. Now, the rest of his hair was much longer than what’s in the picture, and he was quite attached to it. He didn’t want the no-hair look, so I blended it as best I could (not very well) and he learned a lesson.

Remember kids: most salons will do a neck trim for just a few dollars. Don’t try this at home.

Emergency haircut

A man came into the shop with literally half of his head shaved. He looked a little frantic. We weren’t busy at the time, so I was able to take him right back into my chair.

“Help!” he said. “My clippers at home just died, and I have a job interview today! I’m supposed to be there in half an hour, but I called and explained I had a problem.”

It was an especially important interview, as he had just moved here from out of state to care for his ailing mother. He was currently holding down a job at McDonald’s, and they were making him work on Thanksgiving. This job interview was his ticket out.

I wanted to laugh, but I really felt bad for the guy. It wasn’t a subtle difference either – the left half of his head was probably about 3 inches long, and the right half was less than half an inch. Nor was it symmetrical. But I got him all fixed up. He even decided he wanted to do a fade instead of an all over buzz, because if he has to pay for a haircut, might as well get something fancy.

Hopefully he gets the new job and uses some of his money to buy a decent pair of clippers (or better yet, come back to the salon.)

Miscommunication part 2

A 14-year old boy wanted his haircut. I cut the sides & back down with clippers, as was in the notes from last time. When I asked him how short he wanted the top, he mumbled “I don’t know.” Jokingly, I said “well if you don’t know, I’ll just do it all the same length as the sides!” He mumbled “that’s ok.” I said “so you want it that short?” He mumbled more agreements, so I went on. I gave him several more chances to clarify or change his mind, but he didn’t, so I used clippers all over his head.

When he walked out to the lobby, his mom was surprised. I explained that I asked him about it, and she said it was fine. She wasn’t mad, and the kid didn’t show any reaction.

It turns out that the kid doesn’t like talking to adults, and so even though he wanted something different, he didn’t say so. But his mom knew this was a possibility, so she didn’t blame me. And yes, I realize that the kid may have had a mental disorder, but his mother was confident enough to leave him by himself, so I don’t think this was the case. Maybe it will help him get the courage to speak to adults though.

miscommunication

A guy came in and asked if we give military discounts. We do, so he sat in my chair. He wanted a military fade, 0 to 2, but not high and tight. I clarified where he wanted the fade to start, touching his head as I listed off each clipper guard. When I said #2 guard, which is the longest point of his fade (1/4 inch), I grabbed the whole top of his head and said “and the number 2 up here?” He agreed. He did not say anything else about the top.

So I started off shaving his hair, which was probably about 4 inches long. After I’d already done a few strokes (far beyond the point of no return) he said “Oh – I didn’t want you to touch the top at all.” I stopped. “But you said military fade with a 2 on top…” He insisted that he hadn’t, and that to him a fade just means the sides. I didn’t want to argue, so I didn’t mention how I repeated it back to him indicating the 2 on top. I apologized profusely and continued on with the cut.

Needless to say, he didn’t leave a tip. But hopefully he (and I) learned a valuable lesson in communication.

magic clippers

When a man’s regular stylist wasn’t working, he debated coming back another day. Turns out, I wish he had.

He was extremely picky, even though he was getting one of the simplest cuts (military high and tight). When I pointed out a cowlick near the crown of his head, he swore up and down that he had never seen that before, and that it didn’t look like a cowlick at all – it looked “more like I had gone in there with my clippers and messed it up.” I tried to assure him that that was not the case, and showed him how combing it all straight out showed that the hairs were still all the same length, but he wouldn’t hear it. He just kept messing with his hair (what little of it there was left), and saying that “it just looks really bad.” He couldn’t give any specific answer as to what exactly looked bad, just that it looked “wrong.”

Lucky for me, my coworker at the next station heard all of this, and came over to see if she could help. He “explained” the problem by repeating that it just looked really bad, so she took the clippers and went over his head one more time. The clippers didn’t actually cut anything on this second run through, but it seemed to placate him. My coworker also pointed out the multiple cowlicks, but by then his tone had changed and he completely accepted these abnormalities in his hair without accusing anyone of magically creating them.

He still left a tip, which I didn’t expect, and I offered some to my coworker. But she was nice and said “don’t worry about it, I didn’t actually do anything.” Which was true in the sense that she didn’t actually cut his hair, but she had helped a lot by calming him down.