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Hair History Part 1 by Mike V


Growing up in the 60's, I had my haircuts done by a barber a few blocks away. Always a slicked down boy's regular - I remember putting out the trash one night right after a cut and the teenager next door sneered sarcastically "nice haricut-just like one of the Beatles"and his mother saying "don't listen to him-you look very nice". Anyway when the barber raised his price from $1 to 1.50, my dad decided we would start going to the older Italian barber a few bokcks away because he still charged $1, and would tell you not to move or he'd cut your ear off! As he finished the cut he would sometimes ask "wet?" and if my dad wasn't there I would say no-other times he wouldn't ask - just wet it and slick into place.

Now it's 1972, and I guess my interest in short hair was already in effect, because I went in one day after school was out for the summer and asked for a flattop! I remember one of the old guys sitting in the shop saying "I want to stick around for this" and my telling the barber that my father was making me get this cut, even tho he wasn't. Needless to say, my family and freinds were stunned. Anyway, it grew out over the summer and over the next few years my hair was getting longer. By the time I graduated high school, it was over the collar and very thick/bushy. By the 80's I was using mousse and going to salons. One day, the urge was too strong to resist, and I went to a regular barber and asked for it to be cut short on the sides and back. I can still remember the clippers! going around my ears. When he shook off the cape, I started to get up and he pushed me back down "not done yet". He then shaved my neck and sure enough, slicked down the hair. I remember some guys working across the street pointing and laughing as I left the shop. The next day at work I remember one co-worker asking if I was attacked by a lawnmower. Several other co-workers said I looked like I was 12.

Over the next few years, it would grow back to a stylish length, but I would occasionally, check out"old-school" shops and go in and ask for a trim hoping the barber would really go short. One or two would, and I would then visit him a few times, but gradually taper off (no pun intended) and go back to longer hair.

Next chapter - the 21st century.



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