Monday, June 14, 2010

Haircut, Part One of Two

The Story of One Man's Quest for A Decent Haircut
Part One: Dandy Days

Around age 24 I came to the realization that, regardless of the savings, shaving my own head probably shouldn't be a standard contingency plan when I go get my haircut.

You see, up until that time, I still got my haircut at First Choice, which is fine if you're ten years old, but by the time you get to your 20s, is a bit like taking home a 300lb one night stand. Sure, it gets the job done, but you certainly don't want anyone seeing you do it and you almost always regret it afterward.

I was, maybe not unlike some of you, of the mindset that a haircut shouldn't cost more then $11. On top of that, they had a location a block from my house. Accordingly, I was happy enough to go there, knowing that, if things went horrbily wrong, I had stainless steel, barber-quality electric clippers at home and could simply buzz the whole mess off.

Unfortunately, this back-up plan was actually put into action as the result of a trip to First Choice on more than one occasion, and the last time was not only pretty annoying but was also the event that made me realize I look like a total goon when I shave my head. It also didn't help that people I worked with reacted either by calling me Remy or asking how long I had left to live.

Accordingly, I asked around about a better place to get my hair cut.

However, given that the majority of my friends at the time still thought First Choice was a good place to get a haircut (and some still do),  I had to ask people I work with, who were mainly girls.

And so I ended up at Suki (apparently now renamed "Culture Salon").

Now, Suki was a fine and dandy place, but there was a bit of an emphasis on the dandy, if you know what I mean. Most of the time I was the only man in there. And I was almost always the only man in there that had any interest in vaginas.

The first day I walked into Suki I was greeted by possibly the prettiest head of hair I have ever seen. It was long, luxurious, thick, shiny, and even had some subtle highlights. It was downright gorgeous.

It was on the head of a man. His name was Suki.

During this first visit to Suki, I was told that the Black Eyed Peas had recently shut the place down to do a spa day there following their gig at London's John Labbat Centre. This story did not have the effect on me that it was supposed to have.

Reluctantly, I continued to go to Suki. Sure, the Flare and Vogue magazines weren't my cup of tea, sure, I always smelled like a French whore when I left, and sure I got tricked into buying ridiculously expensive hair products, but the guy who cut my hair actually did a decent job. And those scalp massages, the few times they weren't done by a man, were relaxing. Besides, where else in London Ontario can you get a haircut for the bargain basement price of $30 plus tip?

Once I moved to Toronto, and sadly, left Suki and my supply of $40 Aveda hair products behind, I again fell prey to laziness and the idea that, in order to get a decent haircut, I was going to have to go to place that pretty much made me uncomfortable the whole time I was there. This is how I ended up at Fluid.


Fluid was an okay place, but still not quite what I was looking for. This place was almost entirely white inside, featured a floor-to-ceiling display of the kind of weird man-products that had names with umlauts in them, and played dreadful top forty shit music all day. However, there were copies of Maxim and various car magazines there, so I knew they at least made some attempt to cater to men. However, these were next to a "nail station" and I was handed a glass of cucumber water when I sat down, so it was all very confusing.

I actually ended up getting my hair cut but the young guy who owned the place. I guess he knew what he was doing, and I usually got a decent haircut, but he frequently kept me waiting at least 20 minutes passed whenever my actual haircut was supposed to happen. It was a bit like having my hair cut by a pop star, actually. He always seemed to have some drama going on with his girlfriend or some missing shampoo girl and was constantly answering his cell phone while cutting my hair. I'm not the kind of guy who would use the word "diva," especially not to describe another dude, but if I were that type of guy, I'd probably use it to describe my "stylist" at Fluid.

And on top of his lackadaisical attitude, he just wasn't the type of guy I'd ever hang out with, or really, even want to take grooming advice from. One time he was wearing a leather vest. He had a faux hawk. He called me "guy" a lot. Many of his stories started with or included the phrase "I was fucked up on E."

Needless to say, Fluid wasn't really for me.

Thus began my quest to find a "real barber."

Next time, The Joes...

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