A Cut Above

I like my hair kept short, like bald short… the receding hairline has helped me to come to this conclusion, but honestly even when I was a kid and didn’t have such a thing showing this much, I wasn’t a fan of hair on my head.

If there were a way to prevent my hair from growing I would so totally take that pill. Even if side-effect would mean there was a slight chance my penis could fall off… I’d risk it. Increased insomnia? I’m still in…. Makes your breath smell like horse manure? Yep, I could do it… Make me attracted to girls… ok, not that eeewwww. I have standards.

I subscribe to Keep It Cut here in the valley. Keep It Cut has a program where you pay a flat fee and can get your hair cut as often as you want throughout the month… every day if I really wanted it… and I do… but I’m trying to maintain a false sense of self-control. I go once a week, sometimes it’s not quite a week if something is going on and I want to look pretty, oh so pretty.

Keep It Cut is nice, as it’s cheap, fast and efficient… but I miss the real hair cut experience I can get with a local barber.

Barbershops have a smell to them of sandalwood, talcum powder, wood and strong alcohol scents from disinfectants and the like… You walk in an men (and women) wearing white smocks are standing at red barber chairs with pedals and headrests… either cutting hair or waiting for you to arrive… it’s just nice. They pamper you and make you feel like a king (or queen) and you leave looking like a million bucks.

At Keep It Cut tonight it had painful moments as she roughly ran the shaver over my head repeatedly in the same spot – I thought she was trying to make a runway. There is no finesse in that, no relaxation that I look for in the art of cutting hair. It’s likely I haven’t found the right stylist yet, I have been asking for whomever is available and it’s almost the same thing, some are gentler than others.

If I were to retire and had the money I would open the ultimate barbershop… I don’t think I want to cut hair, I want to manage a shop and make it an exquisite experience for whomever is served.

I’ve been to a few chain stores that try to make this happen – The Grooming Lounge in Washington DC (they have other shops in other cities), and The Art of Shaving tries to make it a good experience (Last time I experienced the art of shaving my barber was on the phone with his girlfriend, got distracted, slicing my ear with a straight razor… and no discount WTH right? can still see the little nick.)

My shop would borrow some of their good qualities offering beverages, having a shoe shine, soft music and literature that is masculine enough to be interesting but still stylish enough that gays would like it.

Walk-Ins would be frowned upon, a real hair cut is an experience that not only gets the hairs aligned in the right direction but offers the customer relaxation, comfort and stress relief. You want to take part of your busy day and just escape from all your cares…

After a brief wait you’re escorted by your barber, or barberette… we’ll say barber in this post to make it easier on me as apparently barber is not gender neutral according to Google…  I think you should get to choose the gender of the person who is going to make your day.. kind of like a massage. That barber, if you’ve never seen them before, sits you in their station/chair and discusses with you what you would like done today and gets a feel for how you like to have your hair cut.

Preferences you know, personally I don’t want to talk about my day with you or tell you about my family or hobbies… I want to close my eyes and feel the barbers calloused hands gripping my chin to move my head in a way that makes it easier for him to use his tool… I’m getting excited, sorry.

Barbers in my shop would want to know that – maybe we’d have a pre-appointment questionnaire that would ask those potential embarrassing questions:

Do you want me to trim your ear hair? what about your Unibrow, would it be ok if we separated them into two distinct entities that never again shall meet? (then again, do we need to ask? this is a service people, they are trying to save lives here) Do you like to be talked to during your session, or do you enjoy the quiet? Do you like scented (smelly) lotions or balms after your service? Straight edge razor ok or would you prefer the electric shaver?

That might help to get things started correctly.

My barbers would be sensual. They would caress your head, massage your shoulders, brush up against the chair, where your arm is in a questionable manner.. sorry, distracted again. The barbers purpose during that time frame is to get you to relax and enjoy the sensations of him having complete control over your body.

Instead of the repeated rough running of the shaver up and down the same spot on your head – they would trace small circles gently ensuring each hair is properly admonished to never return. A hot towel on your face and in my case my head… with just a hint of scent, lemon or sandalwood to help you relax. He squirts hot white lather into the palm of his hand then massages it into your scalp and face… grabs his razor and you feel the edge scrape across your skin in smooth motions, knowing each pass is done with care and concern.

At the end of the head shave or hair cut, he trims your eyebrows and touches up your facial hair, if you have any, before asking you how it looks.. he’ll be behind you massaging your shoulders gently, paying close attention to knots and rough spots…

He’ll finish you off with special product to produce shine or hold on new cut… brush off all the little hairs and stand you up and send you on your way.

My barbers would earn tips… I want you to leave the shop feeling relaxed, de-stressed and possible need to adjust your pants or hold your laptop in front of you… it should be a sensual experience that people enjoy…. not a zippy lube….

But alas, right now I’m not retired and not ready to open up a barbershop that would no doubt have a waiting list every day… but I wish I had one to go to.

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