Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who Makes the Best Barber?






Yesterday I got a long overdue haircut. My barber, Dino, only works Wednesdays and Thursdays. The past month I was unable to coordinate my time with Dino’s time because of either my work schedule or one of the many Nor’easters that passed through this region.




Last month I needed a haircut so bad I weakened and let one of the women barbers cut my hair. Big Mistake.



I my lifetime I have had my hair cut less than five times by a woman. Each time it was a disaster. In my experience, women cannot cut men’s hair. That includes my Mother. She was the first one to cut my hair when I was a youngster. She literally put a bowl on my head and gave me a Buster Brown haircut. Even then at the tender age of seven I knew this was wrong.



Once in the Seventies I succumbed to the current fad and went to a “stylist.” Not that there was anything wrong with the way Nino (my longtime Italian barber at that time) cut my hair. On the contrary, I was always very pleased with his haircuts. But trying to be “with it”, I went to a stylist on Sansome Street (I worked in center city Philadelphia at that time. What did I get for my efforts? A big price ($24.00 versus the usual $8.00) to have a beautiful woman cut my hair. But wait, there’s more! She washed my hair. Not that I needed my hair washed, it was all part of the “treatment.” So she flattens the barber chair into a horizontal position, swings my head around to the sink then proceeds to wash my hair with on of those doggie spray hoses attached to the sink. All the while she’s doing this her boobs are flouncing around near my head, occasionally bumping into my skull. Now I know what I was paying $24.00 for (plus tip.) Thank you but no thank you (to quote St. Sarah Palin.) I’m not paying $30 to have a cheap thrill in the afternoon.



My next haircut was in the Nineties. I frequented a barber shop in the Lionville Shopping Center. I had yet to find my new Old Italian Barber so I used this barber shop which had three male and two female barbers. One time I was in a hurry and I felt guilty by always turning down the woman barber when she said “Next!” so I consented. Another BIG MISTAKE. When I got home I noticed that there were chunks of my hair that weren’t even cut. I couldn’t believe it. For the first time in my life I went back to the barber and asked the owner if he could fix it. He did but by going back and asking I had alienated all the barbers, including the woman barber. I got a few more haircuts after that incident but I could cut the animosity with a knife. I never went back.



Now to my latest experience with a woman barber. I needed a haircut so bad last month and I couldn’t wait for the next Wednesday or Thursday to roll around (mainly because of the incessant rain on those days), I let the lone woman barber cut my hair. And yet another BIG MISTAKE. I get home and my hair is uneven. WTF? Man oh man. Here we go again. What is so hard about giving me a haircut? I needed a haircut the next week. That’s how bad the haircut she gave me was. Awful.



Yesterday I got my haircut by Dino. He is a 71 year old barber of Italian American descent. He told me that barbering is a dying trade. I could not agree with him more. No more will I subject myself to the ineptitude of a woman barber. I don’t need the cheap thrill of having a woman’s breast swinging around in the proximity to my head. For those guys that do, go for it. I wish women barbers all the success in the world. But for me, all I need is a buzz cut.

The classic "Behind the Head" barber view.  Looks good to me (except for my early morning puffy face.)

20 comments:

  1. Hi Ron! First, I think you need to add a word in this sentence you wrote:

    I women barbers all the success in the world. But for me, all I need is a buzz cut.

    Second, I've cut all my husband's hair; my kid's hair - my own hair, and friends' hair since I was 14 years old. My grandmother and my aunt were both beauticians, and I used to watch how they did it.

    Since none of my husbands ever liked 'buzz cuts'; all wanted their hair styled, I got myself some real barber shears; a shaver to trim up their necks, and after having cut my own hair as a teen-ager (which is harder to do than cutting another person's hair), I was well-practiced.

    I know a lot of women who save money by going to the barber for their haircuts, rather than to a beautician, and they all say they like having men do their hair.

    For me, I like doing my own hair-cuts, because I know it's going to be exactly as I want it, and if I goof it up, I won't have paid anyone to do it........

    Your hair looks nice; perfect for your age. Diane

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  2. Women do have a hard time giving a good male haircut. I had a lady cut my hair for about 11yrs then she retired. I have this other lady that does pretty good but when she is gone I will have to begin my search again. There is a real barber shop that opened 5 blocks from here 3 yrs ago. It's called "FLOYDS". Just like Mayberry, but prices like Bev Hills.

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  3. Mike,
    Some of my best friends are women. But I have yet to find one who can give me a good haircut. Giving a man a good haircut is one of the two things that a woman doesn't do well as well for a man as another man could do. You know what that other "one" is. ;)

    Ron

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  4. Diane,

    Thank you for your comment. I made the correction of the word I was missing.

    I also wanted to make clear I wasn't disparaging women by my "barber" post. However, it has been my experience that I have never got a good haircut by a woman. But there are many other things that a woman does so much better than a man. The first place I can start is decorating a Christmas tree. My former sister-in-law Phyllis puts up the best Christmas tree ever. I don't know any guys,even my gay friends, who put up a tree that even comes close. Another, my friend Pat does the best artwork for our class reunions. She also takes the best photos with my camera. I wish I knew one of my male friends who could even come close to her. Only one, that is my brother Isaac. The rest are hopeless and helpless when it comes to taking a picture. Again, I do not mean to disparage women across the board. Especially you, who has always been so helpful to me. Thanks Diane.
    Ron

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  5. Is the other one, build a tool shed?? HA

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  6. Ron,

    Go buy a decent clipper and trimmer and do it yourself. Ive been cutting my own hair for decades. Always hated going to a barber. With what hair is left it isn't worth thre trouble or expense. Besides I use to cut my kids hair and my wife's. .Her friends always wanted me to do theirs. Besides it is just hair. You goof it up a bit and it grows back.

    Lar

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  7. Hi - I knew you weren't putting women down across the board; it just struck me funny that most of my women friends also go to barbers because they can't get a good hair-cut from a woman.

    I always thought it was because the beautician might be jeolous of the customer's looks and deliberately messed up her hair-cut.

    My own husband didn't like his hair-cuts; I often tease him he married me for my good cooking; keeping a nice home, and giving his eyebrows a nice trim, and a great hair-cut.

    No offense taken here......

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  8. Oh no Lar. Sorry. You usually offer good advice but you're way off on this subject. If I just had a little fringe or no hair like many of my friends, then I would opt for the self haircut. But no, I have some hair left and it does make a BIG DIFFERENCE if I get a professional haircut. Every time I get one I always receive favorable comments. When I don't I look like I cut my own hair. With me the amateur haircut shows. You're lucky that it doesn't make a difference with you. My friend Big Bob has been cutting his own hair for years. He has more hair than I do but it always looks choppy. I prefer to spend a few dollars every six weeks or so and get a decent haircut. Thanks for the advice anyway. Or as St. Sarah says "Thanks, but no thanks."

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  9. Diane,

    I'm glad no offense was taken. There probably are women who can give a good haircut. I just haven't run into them though. All the haircuts I've gotten were half-assed. That's the only way I can describe them One constant is that I find I need a haircut a week later. Besides being a choppy haircut, they don't last. Even worse is what my friend Larry suggested....cut my own hair. I find that friends of mind who suggest that have the worst haircuts. It looks like they cut their own hair. No thanks.
    Ron

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  10. Mike,

    Oh no, I can't build a tool shed or do anything of that nature. I am helpless. What I do well is cook, clean house, and pay the bills. I'm a good organizer. I also schmooz well. I have some talents. Just not the butch ones.

    Ron

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  11. Ron,

    Uh, I think Mike was making a quip and perhaps a play on words. You answered as if it was more than a rhetorical question.

    As far as my "worst haircut", big deal. I wear a hat most the time anyway.

    Lar

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  12. Lar,

    I wear a hat most of the time too. I don't do it to hide my receding hairline but just to keep my head warm and give me some level of privacy. In that way I'm like Tiger Woods. Notice that he always wears a baseball cap? He looks better that way. I think I do too as you do also. Rock on.

    Ron

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  13. Ron,

    I've seen jokes or comments about men wearing baseball caps, y'know, how do you tell a man is bald? He's wearing a baseball cap.

    I admit I'm bald and I do wear something on my head in winter to keep warm. But this is not why I am always wearing a baseball cap.

    That goes back to when I suffered the hyperthyroidism and the Graves' Disease. My eyes became super sensitive to light. Although eventually the super-sensitivity dissipated, not all of the sensitivity went away. I can't see outside in the daylight with out a brimmed cap and overhead and/or harsh lighting really hurts indoors.

    The odd thing, I guess, is sunglasses don't help. It is light shining down overhead that blinds me and thus the baseball cap because it shades me from those jabbing rays.

    I'm glad it wasn't some permanent affliction. the extreme sensitivity I mean. When I first had it I had to hide under a blanket trying to keep all light out. I couldn't even watch TVI'm kind of gratiful that baeball caps have become de rigeur these days, even if it is camaflage for baldness. No one really takes notice I have a hat on in restaurants because about 90% of the other guys are wearing them too.
    If it had been back in my childhood time I'd been doomed. It wasn't polite for a man to wear a hat indoors then.

    Lar

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  14. For the past 11 years I've been cutting my own hair. Set of clippers - no. 2 guard on the sides, and a no.6 on top. The clippers cost me the equivalent of $30 and have saved me 20 times that in barber's fees :)

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  15. Kim,
    There is something to be said for the amount of money saved by cutting your own hair. I'm afraid though that I wouldn't do such a good job on my hair as you do on yours. My friend Bob McCamley also has been cutting his own hair for about 40 years now. His hair looks fine. I do shave the back of my neck though. I used to go to the barber every two or three weeks when the hair started to grown on the back of my neck. By shaving it myself I can put off the visit to the barber by at least four weeks or more.

    Ron

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  16. Lar,

    I read with interest why you wear a baseball cap. Those of us who wear baseball caps wear them for different reasons. Like you, I don't wear one because my hairline is receding. The reason I started to wear one was because of my pre-cancerous skin condition (kereotosis.) Wearing a baseball cap kept the sun off of those vulnerable parts of my face (nose, cheekbones) that were prone to get the kereotosis.)
    I also like wearing a baseball cap because it give me a measure of privacy that I like. Wearing baseball cap is part of my identity. Not everyone can wear a baseball cap and get away with it but you and I can.
    Wearing a baseball cap is another cultural thing I was onto before it because de rigeur for the general populace (the other being wearing jeans.) Ahead of the curve again Lar!
    Ron

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  17. Thanks for the article, but where is "Dino's" barber shop?

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  18. David,

    Dino's barber shop (which has no name by the way) is in the backside of the Essential Beauty Salon in the Safeway Shopping strip on Rt. 1 in Rehoboth Beach.

    After 10 am you can walk through Essentials. Earlier, you have to go around the back of the building. A red and white barber pole sign is leaning against the open door. There is nothing fancy about the barber shop but Dino gives me the best haircut at $12.00. I give him a $3.00 tip so the whole cost is $15.00 A long way from the .75 cents I used to pay Blackie the Barber when I was 15 years old in Downingtown, PA and only had paperboy money to spend.

    Ron

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  19. do you know anyone the northern de - wilmington or north wilmington

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  20. David,

    No, I'm sorry I don't know of any barbers in the Wilmington area. I only know my little area of Sussex County, DE and I don't even know all those barbers. I know the bad ones though. It's the women.

    Ron

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