Going to the barber 18



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I don’t know about other blokes, but I always enjoy going to the hairdresser for a trim. It’s partly a vanity thing I suppose, in that after a couple of weeks, my hair can start to look distinctly shaggy and hard to control, but it’s also a little bit of therapy as well. To be able to sit there, in that big chair, with its overstuffed leather seat and back, footrest raised and someone gently (usually!) combing and cutting, while carrying on a more or less continuous monologue about the state of the country, the failure of the government or the opposition, is a luxury I would hate to give up. I’ve even been known to drift off into sleep while the process is going on, so relaxing is it all, with even the mirror in front of me, like some gigantic television screen, boring me to sleep with its full-colour picture of me and the barber.

I suppose I should be very grateful that I still have hair at 80 years old, it’s about the only thing I have that has lasted that long! I’m so proud of the fact that I sometimes get the urge to let it grow long, and enter a new hippy age, but usually, by the time it’s gained a couple of inches, I lose my nerve and get it severely shortened again.

I have to confess, it is much easier to look after when it’s shorter – out of the shower in the morning, towel dry and little more than run my arthritic fingers through it and I’m right for the day. But when I let it grow longer I am forever brushing it out of my eyes and off my ears, because it irritates me such a lot, obstructing my vision and tickling my earlobes in any breeze! If only I could remember previous periods of long hair growth, I would know this was going to happen, and make certain it’s short all the time! To a certain extent, the same applies to my beard, another object that has changed considerably over the years, sometimes dark, now white, sometimes full, now a goatee – but I wouldn’t be without it!

My hair has a natural tendency towards straightness, though a bit of a wave develops at the front when it gets longer, something I thought must look fairly sexy to the girls, until I mentioned it to someone one day and they fell about laughing. Of course, it’s white too now, whereas for the first 50 or so years of my life it was pretty near black, (it’s recorded as black on my military service record, dated 1955), so it must have been that colour then. White hair sort of creeps up on you doesn’t it, first a few rather sexy grey wisps at the temples (well, you think they look sexy anyway), then the salt-and-pepper stage develops, so that you give the impression of a chameleon, not quite certain what it is he’s standing on. This is followed by blatant patches of nice white hair, with blotches of black interspersed amongst it! Piebald I think it’s called, and it should be on a horse, not a human!

I actually had it permed once MANY years ago, when I was young enough to do such stupid things, especially as Jacqui had challenged me about it. For a while I looked like some native from the highlands of Fiji and I was quite proud of it, but as my hair grew, the perm moved further and further away from my head, until it seemed that I had a mass of black corkscrews mounted up there, complete with same-colour handles! I got rid of it as soon as I could!

There you have it, my life of hair, from the craziness of youth, through a rather blatant mid-life, right up to old age, where I now use it as a tool for hypnosis and peace, in a barber’s chair.

And long may I continue to do so!

Then! copy

Now! copy

Do you enjoy going to the hairdresser? How often do you go and what do you get done? Or do you like growing your hair long? Tell us below.

Brian Lee

  1. Good on you Brian. You’re going great. It’s too hot here for long hair. Short is good. Xx

    1 REPLY
    • Yes Heather, I used to like having my hair fairly long, (NOT a mullet!), but I find longish hair to be a bit of a nuisance, now that I’m an old man! Anyway, it’s cheaper to just have a “number 3” trim round my neck and side-burns, rather than a full treatment at about $30!

  2. My husband has been going to the same barber for years and have formed a friendship. They usually talk of travel, and family

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