Saturday 11th April


Just got my hair cut, and like many haircuts I get, I’m not immediately sure that I see the difference. I generally prefer to keep my fairly long (to collar length, anyway). This may not actually be the best look for me, but I remain convinced that if I have my hair cut very short, I look rather too much like someone undergoing the final bouts of chemotherapy. So long(ish) it remains.

In fact, I know it’s not the best look for me, because it can only serve to emphasise a little bald patch I’ve had going on for the past ten or fifteen years. I have no idea, in fact, when I started thinning on top, and I can only assume that barbers and hairdressers have an entire lesson when they’re trained to hold the mirror in a certain way so that you’re able to see how much they’ve cut off, but you don’t actually see the top of your head. So I suspect that I’d been thinning on top for a couple of years before a nervous trainee held the mirror the wrong way, and showed me exactly what I’d been missing.

So at some point, probably some point quite soon, I’m going to have to crop my hair closer than I have since I was a kid. Well, fair enough – I am 42 this year, I’ve managed to hold out for quite long enough. Today, I got my hair at a new place – at least, one I haven’t been to before – which is reasonably local to where I live. It was actually the second place I tried: I got turned away from the first place. I’m going to have to assume that it was because I hadn’t booked an appointment and they were closing soon, as opposed to any horror about what state my hair was in. Yes, let’s assume that.

So I walked into the next barber I saw. Before I really checked out what kind of place it was. And it’s fair to say that I almost immediately felt somewhat out of place. Pretty much all the barbers were hulking dudes with wonderful tattoo sleeves, stretch earrings and beards about the length of my entire torso. These were pirates of the hair. Walking in, I felt like a bit of a geek. And a geek in the negative, getting bullied in the eighties way, not a geek in the modern sexy way.

As most of you will have worked out, there was no need for me to feel nervous. Apart from anything else, it’s the first haircut I can remember that ending in a shaking of hands (that genuinely did take me aback), and it was a honestly warm and lovely environment. Listen, I’m just not used to exclusively male environments being warm and lovely. There was indeed all the usual conversations about football and skateboarding (alright, perhaps skateboarding isn’t that typical), but it seemed to be conversation for the sake of .. conversation. Which, I’ve just realised, is – despite the whole pirate look of today’s barbers, is somewhat the cliched view we have of gentlemen’s hairdressers down the years.

Next: I get rid of the beard.


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