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Future Haircuts by htflatnc
It was finally Friday afternoon and as the week's work tapered off, I began to think about my Friday afternoon session at the barbershop. I always looked forward to these. It was a warm day in early May though there was a slight breeze that kept it from being really hot. I had gone across the street to a deli to get lunch and check on the weather. And the other haircuts.
About an hour before I was to leave work and everything was done for the week, I put on my glasses and began watching a particularly memorable trip to the barbershop right before Christmas. At the time, I thought it was a father bringing his three sons in for their Christmas haircuts. I had never seen the boys before, but saw who I thought was their father almost every week getting his high and tight flattop tuned up. The barbershop was near an Air Force Base, so I thought he was in the military. Almost all my assumptions were wrong. He was in the Air Force, so I did get something right. The three boys were his nephews and he was keeping them until after Christmas as the boys' parents had gone to Europe on a business trip/vacation. They had left the boys with Uncle Jack who had cleared it with his brother to get the boys high and tight flattops like his. They would be leaving later that day for his parent's (the boys' grandparent's) house in Florida to spend most of the next week. The boys ranged in age from 14 to 8 and the youngest one was happy to be getting a flattop like his Uncle Jack. They all had floppy bowl cuts though not for much longer. The oldest one seemed resigned at best to be getting a flattop. The middle brother told the oldest not to worry since they were out of school and were unlikely to see any of their classmates. Besides, the youngest brother said, grandpa would be really happy and they would get extra large Christmas bonuses in their stockings as a result. All this conversation took place while first the oldest boy got his floppy mop carved into a high and tight flattop. Inches of hair were cascading down as the barber lifted the hair with the comb and mowed the clippers over the comb. All his hair was reduced to about an inch all over in just over a couple of minutes. He turned off the clipper, changed blades and started in on the back and sides. The inch that was left there was quickly reduced to being skin tight as the barber ran the Oster 76s initially carving a baseline at the temple all the way back to the crown on the boy's right side and then the left side. He then started from the sideburn up to the line he had already carved out. The barber held the teenager's head in place, letting him see his reflection in the mirror. When the barber had finished with the back and sides he went to the shelf. The boy turned around in the chair to where his uncle and brothers were, grinning, and rubbed his hand up and down the shorn area. He was obviously pleased but the middle brother started to tease him, but his uncle reminded him that his turn was coming next and he shut up.
The barber went back to work with a water bottle that he sprayed in the teenager's hair. He then brushed the hair up and back and out came the hair dryer. When the top hair was more or less in place, the barber picked up a flattop comb and Oster 76s again. He both leveled the top off and used the comb to square up the sides. He turned the clippers off and picked up the spray bottle again. This time, he also took some flattop wax the one in the white jar with a picture of a guy with a flattop. He rubbed the wax into the palms of his hands and rubbed it through the teen's hair. Out came the hair dryer and brush once again as his blond hair was blown into place. The Osters came out again and the barber perfected the flattop with a wide, skin-tight landing strip. The barber tilted the boy's head down to show off the landing strip first in the mirror and then turned the teenager around to face his uncle. The barber had hold of the teen's chin and turned him left and right and asked the uncle if the landing strip was wide and short enough. Uncle Jack simply gave a thumbs up and the barber turned the boy back around to face the mirror. The edgers then came out and the barber took the back and sides of the former mopster down even tighter. When the barber started to put shaving cream around the teenager's ears and on the nape of his neck, he turned to his Uncle Jack and asked if he could have the back and sides shaved. Again, all Uncle Jack did was give a thumbs up. The barber said he would do it. So the teenager wound up getting a high and tight flattop shaved to about half way up just like his Uncle Jack got. At the end of the haircut, the teenager had a smile from ear to ear and said he would be back next week when they returned from Florida.
And I not only got to witness it, but got to record it with the new glasses I bought about two years ago. It wasn't like a recording the old cell phones used to make, the glasses camera created a virtual reality and recorded from multiple angles and then put the final product to make it so that it was remarkably like "being there.
Uncle Jack and the other two boys got flattops as well, but I did not have time then to watch. Besides, I was primed to go to the barbershop for my next visit.
I got into my car and gave the address of where I wanted to go. The coordinates were automatically entered and a driving plan took about 30 seconds to download. Away we went. During the drive, I continued watching the recording of the three brothers' visit to the barbershop. I fast forwarded to watch Uncle Jack get his hair cut. It was just a trim up of what was already a short flattop, but was even more enjoyable watching. When they all were freshly shorn and looking like four brothers ranging in age from 20 to 8, they said they would be back next Friday for a follow-up haircut. They had been there and I had that recorded as well.
It was a twenty-minute drive to the barbershop. I got out in front of the barbershop while the car parked itself in back of the shop.
I walked in. There were two guys waiting and two guys in the chairs. Both barbers looked like they were 25-30 years old as did all the customers. I also look to be about the same age though I'm 83. The way you tell someone's age these days is by asking whether they have certain memories of events.
One of the guys in the chair had blondish-red hair that was being cut into a crewcut with the back and sides tapered down to the skin. The other guy had dark brown hair that was being clipped off before his head would be lathered and shaved. I was hardly surprised by this as that was Bryan, a friend and fellow haircut enthusiast. He was like me loved to have his head shaved in a barbershop, hot towels, straight razor and with people watching. Also like me, Bryan would get three haircuts per week the Friday afternoon haircut, the Saturday night head shave that a group of us would give each other, and then the haircut early Monday to take it back down to the short haircut we both wore during the week.
That last part may seem strange and would not have been possible five years ago. Now, you can take a non-prescription pill and drink what is a protein milk shake and your hair will grow about six inches in seven to eight hours. So, Sunday night after enjoying a weekend of a shaved head, I take this pill and guzzle the protein drink so that Monday I can be shorn back into my week-day haircut look, which for me is a short taper up the back and sides and about half inch on top but about three inches in front that is combed up in a quiff.
I don't get my head shaved every Friday at the barbershop. Flattops, butches, crewcuts, burr haircuts are all great looking haircuts and fun. On occasion, I have even taken the pill and drunk the shake just before lunch on Friday and gone in for a long pompadour haircut or to be able to watch the hair fall as I get it cut very short or get my head shaved.
Saturday night haircuts with our group, there is no optional haircut. It's always a shaved head. So for the last four or five years I've had at least one 24-hour period during which my head has been shaved and I've had a clean dome.
Nobody needs to be bald these days as the remedy is both inexpensive and safe. But seems more than ever, there are guys with clean shaved heads though it does not necessarily last very long. It's possible these days to go from having a shaved head to having a ponytail in 96 hours. You shouldn't do more than one pill every 24 hours, however.
There is one side effect from taking the pill, however, that some people may consider a negative side effect, but which I don't. Before taking the pill, your body hair would grow to a certain length and then fall out. With the pill, the body hair would grow an extra six inches in addition to what it would normally grow. Taming the jungle was something we did on Saturday nights as well. And I considered this a bonus.
Bryan had obviously taken the pill earlier in the day as the fur was flying. Seven or eight inches of dark brown hair was falling onto the cape as Bryan greeted me when I walked in.
"That's one way of taking care of the long haired problem, Bryan.
Bryan didn't say anything, but Lars the barber said he couldn't recognize Bryan when he walked in. Lars was a tall blond barber with a short military flattop. He was one of our group of haircut enthusiasts as well. Lars loved the clippers. Both giving and taking.
My glasses camera was running as I recorded at least part of Bryan's head shave as well as the conversation in the shop as people commented on the shave in progress.
As I mentioned before, all the guys looked like they were between 25 and 30. Lars was older than I was and I figured he was about 95-years-old since he remembered things that happened before my memories started. On the other hand, I figured Bryan was in his early sixties again from his memories.
Lars turned the clippers off after running them over Bryan's head twice. Next, Lars wrapped a hot towel around Bryan's head. This was the best part of a head shave and I could tell Bryan was enjoying it. Lars took off the towel and then began rubbing oil onto Bryan's scalp which had turned a bright shade of red. A second hot towel was taken from the towel baker and wrapped around Bryan's head. More baking was needed to make the hair stubble left even softer. It seemed like Bryan was purring while his head was wrapped tight with the towel. Lars used a shaving mug and badger brush to lather up Bryan's head. Lars did this in sections, starting in back over the crown. Lars lathered the area and then took the straight razor and shaved the area taking small steady strokes as the red scalp the hot towel left was exposed. After finishing in this one section, Lars would lather the next and scrape away the traces of hair the clippers had left. Lars wiped the lather he had scraped off onto a towel on Bryan's shoulder and you could see the small dark stubble the razor had cleared away. Bryan was chattering away talking with the other guys in the shop clearly enjoying being the center of attention as he got his head shaved. He taunted the guys who weren't getting their heads shaved telling them they were cowards for not shaving their heads.
Lars finished with the six sections of the head shave. He then started the whole process again, this time feeling and scraping in a direction against the grain. After the second round of lathering and scraping, Lars again felt over Bryan's head to detect any spots he might have missed and then taking care of them. Lars was in his element. Yes, he loved the clippers, but he loved the razor too. Making men look good was just second nature to Lars and he enjoyed his work.
After finishing the head shave, Lars applied a final towel around Bryan's head. But this towel almost brought Bryan out of his chair. It was cold. Ice cold. Everybody laughed at Bryan's reaction to the last towel. Even though I had undergone that same cold towel every week for years now, I laughed as well. But it was mixed with empathy because I knew how it was.
Even though Lars had shaved Bryan's head smooth, he still did a neck shave and would take the straight razor down to the level of the shoulder blades. This was extremely arousing, but Lars knew that Bryan would enjoy this. And it would make up for the puckering that took place when the cold towel was applied.
Bryan's head shave was finished and he got up slowly out of the chair. The next guy stood up as Bryan walked over to the register to pay Lars. The guy reached up and asked, "May I? to indicate he'd like to rub Bryan's cleanly shaved head. Bryan said, "Sure, if it convinces you to get the same haircut.
"I'm thinking about it, the guy said.
"Ever had your head shaved before? Bryan asked.
"No, not yet, he said.
"OK Bryan said and leaned his head over. "Hope it convinces you to try. Because if you do, it won't be only once.