Help the Hairdresser

He doesn’t know what he’s doing. Please help him.

I am raising money for hairdressers.

Eighty-five percent of these blighted individuals have been wickedly robbed of many key abilities the rest of us take for granted. They’ve mistakenly stumbled onto the one career path to which they’re hopelessly unsuited, exerting their cutting power on a petrified, innocent public.

We need to get them out of the salon and into other jobs, lest we remain shockingly coiffed for all eternity.

A recent study showed that whilst most hairdressers have mastered the trick of looking flamboyantly skilled and ever-understanding, most are actually blind and deaf. The rest are clinically insane, driven to their madness by the millions of snippets of exiled hairs that torture every moment of their waking existence.

The fact that these findings have been hidden from us for so long is testament to the hairdresser’s capacity to learn and adapt, but this strength is often coupled with a flagrant lack of taste and the misguided conviction they are doing us a service.

So what about the fifteen percent who are capable of using scissors to beneficial effect? Well, the study reveals that a whopping fifty-three percent of these competent coiffeurs have, since their training, decided to move into pet grooming. That means there are dogs getting better haircuts than us. Nine percent have moved to another country and twenty-one percent are not working this week, leaving seventeen percent (that’s only 2.55 percent of all hairdressers!) who are actually available to coiffe you correctly. But of course these creatures are in such high demand they might as well not be available at all.

Short back and sides please.

So in most afflicted instances the torment is imposed as soon as you walk into their deceptive establishments. It is not their fault. Stripped of social etiquette after years of indoctrination, the average hairdresser feels well within his rights to engulf you in a black, polyester tablecloth, and insult your current hairdo as he pulls incredulous faces and tugs at your terrified fringe. (Of course it looks like shit, that’s why I’ve come to the hairdresser’s, I thought that you would help me, not humiliate me in the extreme.)

“It’s a bit dull isn’t it? Do you think this colour suits you? What’s this bit doing here? Did you try and cut it yourself?”

There is no point trying to seriously answer, they are words you must ignore; the hairdresser is innocently unaware that he is making you want to cry. He is there to give his expert opinion which no one has ever convincingly challenged (for fear of enraging his scissor-wielding soul). You may answer “OK” to any of his questions or you may sit and wait in silence until he has finished talking, then ask for your free coffee, the only redeeming thing to be experienced in his lair. Do not try to contradict him. He will give you a look of such excruciating pity you will get caught in a never-ending mirror blush, where you see yourself turn pink and then go red as a result. The subsequent shades your face will turn do not bear thinking about further.

Faking it.

Then suddenly you’re plunged into the most intimate of situations, helpless on your back with your head wedged in a bowl, a stranger’s fingers rooting round in your unsuspecting, soapy ears. “Would you like any special treatments?”, “Yes, can you get your f****** hands off me. Er, I mean, no thanks, just a normal shampoo please, yeah thanks, that’ll be great.” Urgh.

The level of stress I experience at the hairdresser’s is beyond anything I have ever known. There are fleeting moments of relief as the first few strands fall and I still think it could all turn out fine. But this soon fades away as they lay into me with an apparent hunger for my ultimate baldness. My head of hair to them is a plate of tasty french fries they can’t help but demolish while I smile and nod admiringly at the greasy mess they leave, like I love to do the washing up.

There is no need for an instrument of this sort to be anywhere near one’s face.

These poor beings are plagued with a proclivity to appear completely absorbed by what you’re asking, then do exactly as they please. Yet if you ask for their advice the unfortunate fellows will ask you what you want.

And at the end, defeated, you must pay them for this service while, triumphant in their failure, they grin and call you darling as if nothing was amiss. Having paid, you must then dig into your wallet and hand them all the change you have, so there is nothing left to purchase even the smallest treat to neutralise the aching in your heart. (I wonder, are they trying to make me pay for the coffee I had earlier?)

And that got me thinking.

Business is about supply and demand, right? So why don’t we sneakily and gradually start using hairdresser’s as cafés? Up the demand for coffee and the hairdresser will adapt. This way he stays employed and no one gets upset. Because aside from the getting-you-hair-cut part, the hairdresser’s is actually a fun and friendly place to be, with music and banter and an excellent selection of reading material and swivelly chairs.

So we don’t need to raise money for hairdressers, we just need to find somewhere else to have a haircut. And according to the statistics we could do a lot worse than popping into the local pet shop. Good luck!

Going to the hairdresser's: j'aime pas


2 responses to “Help the Hairdresser

  • sean

    So much easier for guys, I guess. When my mom took me to the barber (of course) when I was a tot (of course), she always told the barber, ‘Like Johnny Carson’ — and I always looked cool, if I say so myself. It cost 3 or 4 bucks then and it only costs me 7€ today. I have, in recent years, paid up to 25€ for a haircut, but no more! It always took for ever — ‘Just a cut, please. No shampoo’ (I know how to wash my own fucking hair thank you) but they aint havin’ it! I’d always left knowing they refused to do what I asked and always felt what I had on my head was just some artistic whim. So I presently go to a place called BLED (Arabic for village or land or country, depending on dialect I guess). They do what I ask for, ‘Like yours, man’, I say. They don’t make lame small chat. I leave 7€ and they hardly look at it as they say, ‘A bien tot’. I like going to a good barber.

  • Patsy Mallinson

    Generally I agree and dread a trip to the local Coiffure but at present I am very pleased with my current hairdresser/stylist who is young, listens to what I have to say and does what I ask! A rare find indeed. Unfortunately past experience has led me to make the most of these finds as all the hairdressers in this category that I have found and got so good they’ve up and left to where they get a better deal financially. My only problem at present is they insist on bringing me white coffee even tho I ask for black. This on every occasion I have visited. But that’s the least of my problems. I prefer a good hair cut to a good cup of coffee.

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