I’ve never liked getting my haircut. I like the result — my hair no longer falling in my eyes, not feeling to shaggy, that sort of thing — but I’ve never liked the process of getting it done.
As a kid, I didn’t want to sit still in the chair for that long. As an awkward teenager, my hair become my enemy — I left the hairdresser with a cut that looked ok, but styling it to keep it looking decent every day took more time and effort than I was willing to invest. When I finally went with short hair, some of that difficulty went away but with another trade-off — more frequent haircuts to keep it in line. I still don’t like sitting still. And — no offense to hairdressers — not a big fan of making small talk while staring at myself in an enormous mirror. And I hate trying to explain what I want them to do…I never seem to have the right words.
Anyway, Renee has been bugging me about getting a haircut for a few days now, as it has been about 8 weeks since the last one. I was putting it off, until this morning when she said, “I think I can cut your hair!” She then proceeded to watch YouTube videos for tips. I know you can learn a lot from YouTube videos, but wasn’t sure if hair-cutting is one of them. Still, she was confident. Renee is a dog groomer with years of experience giving haircuts…to dogs. I accepted that there might be some “transferable skills” from dog grooming to people groomer, but still. Dogs.
She was determined, so I (somewhat reluctantly) agreed. The prospect of getting this annoying chore (sorry, hairdressers) done and over with at home, with no small talk or explanations of what I wanted, was appealing. We set up in the kitchen, using one of our counter bar-stools. She draped me in an old sheet. Glacier, the troublemaker cat, decided that the long sheet made a great tent fort and spent the first few minutes trying to play underneath it before he got bored and curled up in his cat tree.
I was a little nervous as she started.
Some observations during the haircut:
- She started very slow and hesitant, taking a long time to decide where to make the cuts. She sped up as she got more and more comfortable.
- Her grooming scissors were way too long for people haircuts and made it a bit awkward.
- She used her big metal grooming comb…I’m sure it works great on dogs but it was a little rough on my head (yes, it was very clean before she started. You’d never know it had been used on dogs).
- I had to remind her a few times that, unlike her normal clients, I will listen to direction and tip my head this way or that — no need to just move it without asking first!
- I did sort of miss having the big mirror so that I could see the progress. It was disconcerting to have no idea how things were going.
She made a few comments as she worked, mostly expressing how well things were going. This was reassuring. Until she said, “Well, I might have made this part too thin.” Then she continued cutting in the same general area, I guess to “fix” it. Which seemed a bit non-intuitive — how do you fix “too short” by more cutting? “I’m just blending it to make it look better,” she said. OK. Yikes.
Also, the smocks they use at the hairdresser are way more effective at keeping hair out than a sheet. As the haircut continued, the itching became more and more unbearable. I had to take a shower as soon as she was done (another benefit of doing this at home).
She finally finished and I got to look at it in a mirror:
It actually turned really good, especially for her first attempt! I’ve had professional cuts that didn’t turn out that good before.
And none of the things that usually bug me about haircuts…in fact, it was actually fun. I’ve never laughed so much during a haircut before!
I don’t think Renee is ready for a career change to “people grooming” right now (she’s actually in school to get out of the dog grooming business), but I’d be happy to have her cut my hair again.