The Hair Necessities

Posted on: 11/02/2009

by James Bunyan

There comes a time in every man’s life, when hearing and vision becomes obstructed, when people start calling him Ma’am and he begins to feel the urge to live, alone and unwashed, in the Himalayas as a hermit, at which point he knows he must soon brave the unknown dungeon that is the barbershop.

I myself knew the time had come when I had as much hair on my head as Marx had on his face, and was asked by someone if I was Alice Cooper.

So off I went, refusing the offer of a free haircut from a friend on the grounds that I enjoyed my head the shape it was thank you, to a hairdresser at the bottom of Winchester High Street offering cheap trims, stopping partway for some free samples at the chocolate shop (don’t judge me, I’m a student).

The first thing I noticed on arrival was that everyone else had much shorter hair than I did (I know that’s the whole point but even pre-chop customers were practically bald in comparison). I was like a mop amongst toothbrushes, but I sat and read an article from a magazine moaning about how rubbish and dangerous stag nights are nowadays and that cheered me up.

When I was asked forward, I half-expected a man in a hood to greet me slowly beating a drum. The barber took a look, blew out a colossal sigh and said: “I’ll have to charge a pound more I think, Sir. That’s no mere trim.” Why, did I need three men, with rubber gloves, rakes and shears, to operate at once or was it the petrol for the mower?

It did take longer than expected, including half time. We also finished sitting five inches higher up than when we started, but the end result was…interesting. I looked like my age had also taken a short back and sides.

The journey back was strange as well. Not only did I miss every single lamppost, but I looked completely different. This meant that I could go back into the chocolate shop and have another handful of freebies without being recognised.

I will miss big men opening doors for me though. Now old ladies offer me lollipops instead.

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