The Haircut: How the Pampered Have Fallen


Sometime back, I wrote about how I was conflicted about going to have my haircut in one of the modern unisex hairdressing salons (The Haircut: the Estacy and the aqony). I initially felt uncomfortable with being pampered with someone washing my hair or giving me scalp massages but finally I gave in. So for the last four years, I had abandoned my proletariat roots and reveled in the decadence of the upmarket unisex salon.

However, economic realities and impending unemployment has recently forced me to seek more modest alternatives. And so, yesterday I found myself waiting in the queue at the bargain cut-price barber shop at the local mall.

It was very interesting comparing this budget establishment and the average unisex salon. Firstly, there was no nice sofa set or waiting room where you could read magazines or sip tea while you waited. The whole place was only really big enough for two barber chairs and we had to wait, sitting on three legged stools, outside in the corridor leading to the toilets.

The next noticeable difference was the cleanliness of the establishment or rather the lack of it. Let’s just say that the floor had a heavy carpet of hair. The two staff was responsible for cutting and styling hair, collecting money, selling hair care products and cleaning up. Considerably overworked, cleaning and sweeping the floor of the cut locks by the staff only occurred when the layer of hair was deep enough to clog the wheels on their rolling chairs.

However, I thought the most interesting difference was in their approaches to hair styling. In the up-market hairsalon, the hairstylist expertly uses to cut the hair, getting rid of the unwanted lengths and then tidies up using an electirc clipper and a small pair of scissors. This is similar to someone using garden shears to trim back the unruly branches of a bush and then finally using an electric powered shears to finely sculpture the bush.

The highly expert budget stylist uses the electric clippers to shear you like a sheep is sheared for its wool and then uses the scissors to cut whatever remains sticking out. Using the analogy of the bush, it is more similar to using a chain saw to sculpture a bush and then tidying up the splinttered branches later with some shears.

I miss the up-market pampering but I like the price (which is at least 75% cheaper) and the haircut is actually quite good. Plus the people watching is more interesting. I think I can live with my fall from Grace. (Grace was the name of the up-market salon I used to go to).

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21 thoughts on “The Haircut: How the Pampered Have Fallen”

  1. Well, you're a lucky man that you can get a decent hair cut in a bargain salon. I can't even get a good hair cut at an upscale salon. I've been searching and searching this city since I moved here for someone who understands my hair and will treat it well.

  2. and then there are those who cut their own hair. the ones I hate are those who do a good job – how do they manage it, I often wonder?

  3. I'm sure you are devastatingly handsome, dahling, no matter who trims your locks. Haircuts are traumatic for me, as you know from several of my posts, and I have learned that more expensive doesn't necessarily mean better. I have had bad haircuts in all price ranges.

  4. All three months or so, back to 9 mm. Yes, for some weeks I'll look like someone you do not want to meet in the alley, but its carefree.

  5. The place sounds very unsanitary. I hope you never get knicked because it sounds like they never clean their scissors. Be careful.

  6. Sometimes it's better to pay the extra $$$ for the professional cut and the cleanliness. Cleanliness — or lack of it — in a hair salon goes way beyond what you can see with the naked eye. Nasty things live on those unclean brushes, combs and scissors. It may be better to go longer between cuts, and go to a better salon.I cut my own hair. I'm the only person I know who does it exactly the way I like it. 🙂

  7. Xup,Well, "decent" haircut is open to interpretation. My wife thinks that it is good enough for me but you won't see her using this barber.Violetsky,If I tried cutting my own hair, I'd probably end up bald or badly maimed. Bald squirrels aren't very popular.

  8. secret agent woman,I am not so skilled as to be allowed to handle scissors unattended. ;)hearts,Thanks. Once, when I grew my hair to shoulder length, I was actually mistaken as a native American Indian. But I should never be allowed to use a scissors on myself…..or anything else.

  9. Mago,I too wait about two -three months but I do not cut it too short. But when I do go to the hair stylists, they do curse me for the long hair and I am sure they keep a little of my hair for voodoo curses.Molly,I do so enjoy those scalp massages but they are so much more costly. What is a scrooge to do?

  10. Good for you to be able to make the transition and be happy with it and find things to like about it. Good attitude. For me, I cut my own hair and my hubby's hair too. This is something I have done my whole life so it wasn't out of necessity. I like your parting comment with the name of the upscale place named.

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