I’ve reached that time of life when my hair has decided to become a teenager and act independently of anything I might choose to do to it. In addition my eyebrows have, in an act of solidarity, joined forces.
To paraphrase Jane Austin ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a middle aged man in possession of mad hair must be in want of a barber’.
I say barber with good reason as I have recently tried my wife’s hairdresser with a spectacular lack of success. I’m fine with Eastern Europeans mincing about asking if I’d like some gel or a spritz if they would only cut hair properly. I’ve had the same basic hair style, for want of a better word, for the last 47 years if we ignore the pudding bowl hair cut I had in France aged 6 (it still rankles). It’s not demanding, fashionable or unusual but I can no longer get it cut. The problem is that hairdressers are like dentists and opticians, they believe that if they do the minimum amount of work possible the customer will have to return every 2 weeks for a further trim, descale or check-up.
Until this year I would get my hair cut three or four times annually and the summer shearing was a great moment knowing that I would be both cool and my hair would dry in about 3 minutes. So now I’m in search of a proper barber not a salon. I need a man so ugly no woman would trust her locks to him, based in a shop complete with torn plastic chairs from the 1950’s and full of old copies of The Sun and back issues of Nuts and other low grade pornography. There will be a faded picture in the window a male model looking fashionable for 1972 and Radio 5 Live will be on continually and the only conversation will be about last night’s match. The owner will be Greek or Italian and will be called Tony, because they all are. His knowledge of coiffure will extend to clipper settings and Brylcream will be the only ‘product’ he has ever heard of. It will also cost less than £10 including wash.
What’s more the shop won’t be called Snippers, Headmasters, Cutting Edge, Making Waves, Cool Cuts or any such nonsense. It will be called Tony’s.