#15: Getting a Haircut

You’re looking a little shaggy. Sweeping hair from out of your eyes was sexy for a few weeks, but now it’s more of an inconvenience than a fashion statement. It’s not the 70’s anymore–you need a haircut. Good news: you live in the Big City, and you can’t throw a bottle of Suave conditioner without hitting a trendy salon. Getting a haircut couldn’t be any easier. And these hair stylists are professionals, so they will surely provide just the right cut for you, customized to your every specification.

Maybe that will happen. Maybe. A hair salon, like any other service industry business, has the “Human Factor” that will result in different customer experiences depending on the day. Maybe Crystal just broke up with her longtime boyfriend. Consequently, her tearful, cloudy eyes could accidentally snip your bangs at the wrong angle. Or Stewart’s car could have gotten towed the night before, resulting in a fist-clenched trim. Or then there’s always the perennial bad stylist who somehow hasn’t gotten fired yet. Just because it’s their job to cut hair doesn’t mean they’re good at cutting hair. You know that one employee at your work that’s inept at everything? Salons have those employees, too. Or you might luck out and get someone who’s fantastic, but they treat your hair as a blank canvas, ignoring your requests of feathering the back and texturizing the top. They’ll dig in, boldly going with an asymmetrical cut because it’s hot in Prague right now, and you’ll still have to pay for this undesired look because “an artist” cut your hair.

And everyone likes a good deal, but haircuts are something in life where you should pay a little more. If “Super” or “Cuttery” is in the business’ name, prepare yourself for the top of your head to resemble a fright wig. Unless you go Bret Michaels bandana-style, people will see your hair for weeks to come, so avoid buying a couple lattes and apply that extra extra cash to protecting your attractiveness.

To best walk away with a scalp full of luscious locks, do a little online research and find a salon in your price range and one that has multiple positive reviews for one of the stylists. Then call that place and request the highly praised stylist. Once at the salon, be as clear as possible to the stylist about what you want. Maybe even bring in a picture, or pull one up on that slick smart phone of yours. Also, never talk about politics when sitting in the chair. Keep conversation light and pleasant. You never know for sure people’s political leanings, but you might find out when Berit razors your neck red after you complain about Obamacare.

Fear not if you leave that strip mall with an uneven bowl cut. The great thing about hair is it grows back, and you’ll get to give it another try next time. Unless you’re going bald. If that’s the case, just be happy you have hair to cut.