After my first semester in college, I stopped shaving for a month and ended up with a peach fuzz beard. That summer, I went in the other direction with a close shaven head. Since then, I’ve done more experiments with my hair than I care to remember: long hair, an actual beard, unkempt hair, and even an evil goatee. I’ve let several people have their hands in my hair… LITERALLY! Friends cut it, I cut it, barbers cut it for a fee (~ $10), and hair stylists cut it for a slightly larger fee (~ $20).
While my own cuts are free, they tend to be somewhat boring, so when I decided today was the day for another haircut, I was open to trying one of the professionals in my new surroundings. Shelling out $20 would be worth it; plus, I had the perfect experiment.
Snippety Crickets specializes in children’s haircuts, and I went inside to see if they’d cut my hair. The owner gave me a look over as if trying to figure out whether I was the result of a freak genetic experiment or a recent escapee from the local asylum. He then looked up at me and said, “Sorry, but I don’t have any appointments before 3 PM.” He’d apparently made his decision.
I rebounded from that judgment quickly when I noticed two florescent signs across the street that said, “HAIR.” Before I knew it, I was in a chair, and P was starting on my hair. A bluetooth headset fell off as she started, and in the resulting conversation, I found out that she was not only a hair stylist, but also a realtor and a juice distributor.
“Every household needs a residual income,” she said with the drone of a salesperson, and when I smiled and nodded, she stopped the haircut to hand me a business card for her acai juice distribution business. She then tried to recruit me to join the business, but something about the word residual reminded me of a pyramid scheme, so I just smiled and said, “Maybe.”
adverb. A bigger no than NO.
“You can argue with ‘no,’ but you can’t argue with ‘maybe.'”
She was about to start cutting my hair again when her phone rang. She motioned to me, letting me know that she absolutely “had to” take it, and left me staring at a wall clock for the next five minutes.
“Thank you. That was a client.” She gave my hair a quick look. “Actually, have you ever had a razor cut?”
I shook my head, and she proceeded to explain how Vidal Sassoon and his army of scissor cutters brought about the exile of the great razor cutters of yore, but they were now making a comeback. Apparently, a razor cut requires wet hair, and that meant P could call one of her clients in the realty business while my head was soaking in one of the back sinks.
“I want to assure you that I put cutting hair above everything else,” P told me when she finally started the razor cut. “In fact, when a realty meeting got cancelled today, the first thing I did was come here.” I smiled and nodded.
Eventually, the haircut was over, and I was still debating whether I would return. “Would you like some talcum powder?” offered P.
“Sure,” I smiled. That was nice of her.
“All right,” P responded. “That will be $40.” That’s some expensive talcum powder.
I don’t know if my reaction hid disbelief, but without prompting, she said, “I have a client who is a graduate student, and I only charge him $35.”
I smiled and handed her a twenty dollar bill for the haircut. The remaining twenty was for providing the material for this blog post.