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A trip to Victors by Snipped Sam / shorn lad
a trip to Victors
By shorn lad
Once I entered my early teens, my fascination with haircuts began; I no longer dreaded having my haircut and began to look forward to them. My problem was that I really liked short hair, but back in the 1970`s the pressure from one`s peers was to grow it longer, and I conformed to fashion growing it over my ears and collar. It was one afternoon during the half term hols that I came across a very old fashioned looking barbers shop, just out of town, I had no idea of its existence, it was called Victors, and nothing could be seen of the inside from the exterior, my heart started to race, oh how I wanted to go inside. I decided to step on tip- toe and look-in the window above the door, Which I did, it all looked so old fashioned, then i saw the barber, he was sitting down on one of the waiting chairs, he looked up and saw me, he smiled I felt very anxious especially when he got up and came and opened the door.
`Hello` he said in a very friendly tone which was a relief as I felt rather foolish being caught looking in,
`Hello` I replied not really knowing what else to say,
`You can see better if you come inside` and he motioned me to step in the shop,I looked around, and seeing the very old fashioned wooden and brown leather barber's chair, the old fashioned fixtures and smell of hair crème I was in haircut heaven, but I was a fan of Slade and T.Rex. with a 1970`s hairstyle and platform shoes.
`So what do you think then lad?
`It's very traditional; I have not been in a shop like this for a very long time”
`If you are wanting a haircut, I do not do styles, just short back and sides`
What else I thought, if only I was brave enough
`I usually have it styled`
`Not to worry lad, but if you ever want a short back and sides you know where I am`
`Thanks` I replied and left shortly after
I was now kicking myself for being too scared of what my friends at school would say,
As I walked round the block I thought it will grow again if I have it done, five minutes
later with my heart racing even faster, my hand was on the handle of the door to Victors.
Once I was inside he smiled and stood up and walked to the chair
`Hang your jacket on the peg lad ` he was already holding the navy blue gown in readiness for my short back and sides, I did as he said and then sat in the chair
`Sit right back in the chair, there's a good lad`
The gown was soon in place, and a cotton towel placed tightly in the back of the collar. He combed my hair, changing my middle parting to a side parting, he then took some very long pointed steel scissors from the side and firstly cut the hair off that covered my ears, he then bent my head forward and cut the length of my hair off at the back snipping closely into the nape of my neck, those scissors felt cold and so good. This was followed by several minutes of lifting my hair with the comb and some definite determined snipping. When he took the thinning scissors, I remembered reading an article in a magazine with the advice never to let a hairdresser use them on your hair, as they tugged away I thought they should come to Victors, this Barber knows his stuff. After a vigorous brush down of my face and neck, he stood back to admire his work.
`Looking much smarter hey lad`
`Now for the part, I like the best` he said removing the electric clippers from the hook,
He opened the door of the steriliser unit and changed the head on the clippers
`A slightly shorter blade as it's your first haircut from me`
`Very good sir`
`Bend your head forward lad' I did as he said
`A touch further down, there's a good lad`
He started to clip, the blade was so cold, but as I thought how long it had been since a barber had done this to me, there was no anxiety just a nice warm feeling, he certainly took them up high, and then did above my ears ,after that he arched above my ears with a small battery operated clippers and shaped some very small pointed sideburns.
`Just a little tickle now lad and we are nearly done` he said as he took the cut throat razor.
I must admit the scraping of the back of my neck was the least enjoyable part of the short back and sides. Once I was brushed down and my hair combed precisely in place with the help of some brylcreme applied with a small stiff brush, he stood back with the mirror and proudly showed me the back of my head.
I was one, very clipped and well barbered lad
`Thank-you very much sir`
`Do you like it? `
`I do, very much sir`
`Well there's no mistaking that you`ve been to the barbers is there? `
`And that's how it should be sir”
"You will probably be a bit surprised when you wake up tomorrow and remember that your hair had gone”
"I guess it will take a bit of getting used to having short hair again, but I really do like it”
"Well young man, I would recommend regular visits to me to begin with, to help you get used to having your hair short, if you want to keep your hair short”
"You said you were using the shorter blade as it was my first haircut from you,”
"Yes lad, but I think to begin with, leave me to decide the shortness of your clippings”
"I wasn't complaining sir, I just wondered if you ever went shorter”
"Yes, young man there will be occasion when you will leave here with your hair shorter than it is now, but get used to this haircut first”
I left there feeling the back of my head all clipped, thinking that I can't wait to go back to return to Victors.