January 10th 2018

Today I had to take a chance on a new hairdresser. I’m going away this weekend, and I need to look fresh, so I went out on my lunch break to get a haircut. I walked round the corner to the establishment which I usually frequent, but there was a big sign on the door saying ‘On holiday until 12/01′ so he was no good to me. There’s another barbers across the road, but I’m not going back there after this fiasco:

So I had to wander up into Gloucester town centre. Now, Gloucester town centre is a magical place, but not for any good reasons: it’s full of trolls and orcs and methylated preachers. So naturally I was a bit weary of getting a haircut in Gloucester town centre. To save having to explore too much, I went into the first hairdressers I saw.

I’d hope that this story is relevant to all humans, because I think everyone can empathise with the multi-faceted anxiety that comes with going into an unfamiliar hairdressers. 1) You don’t know if it’s by appointment only, (this one was one of those posh ones that has a receptionist), 2) you have no idea whether it’s going to cost you a tenner or fifty quid, 3) if you get a haircut you can’t be sure of the quality of the outcome,  4) you don’t know how chatty the girl who cuts your hair is going to be.

In my situation, I learned that the answers were 1) It wasn’t, 2) a tenner, but I paid £14 because 3) it was pretty good, and they shampooed my hair in one of those fancy little sink-chair things so it was pretty enjoyable even though 4) the girl was too chatty.

When she took me over to the sink-chair thing I was worried that I’d wandered into the kind of place that would charge me thirty quid because my demands weren’t as simple as a “two back and sides please bruv”. 

So at the end when she told me it was only a tenner I was pleasantly surprised, but because I only had a bank card on me, I had to do that awkward thing where you say “Can you round it up as a tip?” even though £10 is a perfectly round number, and then she has to ask “Of course, how much would you like to add?” and then you inevitably double what you’d actually like to have added because you feel like you have to because it’s awkward that she asked you.

Haircuts in general are just quite awkward. You have to sit for 45 minutes and fill silence with a complete stranger. It’s like a long taxi ride, except with more physical contact — probably.

Usually it’s just “It’s shit weather today” chat, but me and Emma (the hairdresser) somehow ended up in a deep conversation about financial planning and the socioeconomic pressure on millennials to progress on the housing ladder.

Until tomorrow, “two back and sides please bruv.”



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