I went to get my hair cut yesterday - I like to find myself somewhere I trust not to try and chop my ear off (surprisingly difficult in some parts) who are in tune with a man's sartorial needs. I like a place that isn't going to take too long, but they get the details right - whether my fringe is wonky or not is neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned, but I do like a well-trimmed hairline and a nice gradation from top to bottom. These things are important. I came to the conclusion a number of years ago that I'm simply a short back and sides man - I've tried different hairstyles and even different colours in my wild early days of university (orange, pink, peroxide), but never really been able to pull them off. Thankfully there are minimal pictures and I'm not going to look back in 20 years time paralysed by paroxysms of embarrassment.
Yesterday was one of the places I'm going to consign to the scrapheap of unfulfilled potential, the decent hairdressers that never was. More than £7 for a cut and there was mould growing up the walls. A Saturday afternoon and a woman working on her own; a pile of old magazines even a dentist would turn his nose up at and holiday brochures tossed in as filler, as if someone in the place read in one of their 4-year-old newspapers that scientists discovered that no-one looks any deeper than the second publication.
When you end up waiting for two hours to sit in the hallowed chair you have enough time to dig through the crap on that cheap coffee table, to notice the curled black and white pictures on the wall that seemed to be en vogue back in the mid-nineties when they last decorated - am I supposed to be enthused by the line-up of scrawny blokes sporting curtains? You have more than enough time to notice that the snippeuse is not sweeping between punters, that the cloak thing they use is being tucked down the back of everyone's neck without change. I frequented a lovely place back in Wales that used a fresh towel to go round each chap's shoulders. Classy.
I waited two hours because the first hour was slightly on the long side but not too bad and then after that you've invested more than an hour of your life into hoping and wishing that your hair was slightly shorter - to leave at that point would be nothing less than total and utter capitulation, retreat in the face of a benign and static enemy. A fruitless quest - in fact, nothing more than an hour spent reading crap magazines. The minutes tick by and you start to get paranoid, as if everyone is in on the joke and the old guy next to you turns out to be AntorDec and that inane television show.
Eventually it's your turn and you sink into the chair and assume the position. Every time you go they do that thing with the mirror and you can't see the back of your head because you're hyper-myopic and quite obviously not wearing the thick glasses you walked in with. You nod enthusiastically and say 'that's great', because you're aware these people are still carrying sharp implements and the place is so manky it's probably a front for local organised crime. You don't even get a little tissue at this place and they don't dry your hair that they soaked without asking.
My coiffe might be one haircut shorter, but then so is my patience for the mediocre.
3 hours ago