Confessions of a Self-Styled Hair Butcher
December 7, 2012
Unless one can wear a turban or a wig for nine months, nothing destroys a person’s self-confidence like a bad haircut. I have been both a victim and a perpetrator of such. But I’ve never made the mistake of giving myself a haircut so awful that I couldn’t live with it. Although the few times I’ve been to a hair stylist, I’ve heard, “Good grief! Who cut your hair?”
I always own up to the self-executed haircut, “I did.” And I add, “You know, I’ve only had one professional haircut that I didn’t have to go home, wash my hair, and recut. (I fail to add that the haircut was so short that I couldn’t afford to shorten it.) Let’s see how you do.” That shuts them up fast.
The worst haircut I ever got was by a Las Vegas hack who made me wish I was dead for almost 9 months. I innocently walked into this high-class joint. “I want a haircut that’s tousled. A somewhat ‘just out-of-bed’ look. You know, a non-styled look. Got it?”
I walked out looking as if some Nazi guard had attacked my head with a bad pair of meat scissors. I’ve seen Auschwitz inmates better couffed. The longest hairs were barely an inch long. I was dumbstruck. All the way to the hotel room, up the elevator, I prayed, “Please, please don’t let it be as bad as I think it is. Let it have grown out by the time I’m in front of a mirror.” But, of course, that didn’t happen. It took nine months before I could do anything with it. My hair roots went into shock. Nothing grew for three months. Mortification set in as if rigor mortis had sent a hair follicle freeze notification.
I have sympathy for every person whose hair I have cut and I apologize profusely for hair I’ve abused. I tried looking into men’s hair growth medication, but the only solution was time. And lots of it.
It has taken me less than ten appointments with a stylist through my entire life to realize I’m ‘picky.’ So I haven’t been to a stylist in eight years. This hair style was preceded by a ten year abstinence. My last hair cut resulted in a style that could only be duplicated by a three-handed amateur. I figure that’s the main difference between an amateur and a professional, the amateur is ‘short-handed.’
I have cut my husband’s hair since 1974. It’s true I’ve cut it too short a couple of times. But it has never bothered him enough to prevent him from telling everyone we know and those we don’t. “I haven’t been to a barber shop since I met Jenny. She even cuts her own hair.” People respond, “I don’t know how you can cut your own hair.’ Often followed by, “Think you could cut my hair some time?” I always say, “Sure,” and in spite of my mistakes I still have a few steady non-paying clients.
Hair Cuttin’ Part 2 next Friday. I reveal why two people wish they had never met me or my scissors.