I Wonder Why They Always Watch?? by John Nelson
It seems that since I was just a small child every time I got a barbershop haircut I had a guy watching it. Yeah in the waiting chair right in front of me. For whatever reason once you're in that barber chair the next person waiting seems to be totally focused on your haircut. This seems even more true if it's a buzz cut. There's this unwritten male rule that then at that moment they have the right to stare.
Even now that I'm older it happens. It doesn't matter the age, 5 to 95 they always watch. Maybe if they're next it's that nervous tension? They think the barber might crop them so close too. Sometimes they get involved in the conversation I'm having with the barber while I'm getting my haircut. Yet often when there's no conversation their eyes are still peeled in on my haircut.
It could be that curiosity of how the clippers all work to blend the hair. I think it has something to do with the transformation of the person before their eyes. There is also a certain sensual, erotic nature of a haircut. I have never once heard someone sitting in a barber chair say stop starring! No this is one of those rare male moments when you have the license to stare. Why, is a male mystery.
Try it out. Go to any regular type barbershop.It only needs to have one person getting a haircut before you. Sit down in the waiting seat in front of him. Watch the barber cut his hair. He's not going to mind. Then when it's your turn, just wait! I bet the next guy will come in and be starring at you while your hair is getting cut. It happens nearly everytime.
Let me tell you the first time I really noticed this one man, kid, guy, or dude audience finominom. I was always sort of aware even as a small child.The first time it really dawned on me though I must have been about 15. I had a flattop about three months prior to this barber visit.I walked in and my hair was kind of porcupined looking. It was in that strange in between stage of growing out. It had started to grow over the ears and the bangs heading down to the eyebrows. The top however just still looked too short to match the rest.
I came into the shop very early on a hot summer morning. Only one barber was there. I might have even been the first customer of the day. Well I was a little relieved to see no wait, great! I sat in the chair and the barber applies the cape. "How do you want your hair cut today?" The barber asks.
"I just want it trimmed up a little on the sides and leave the top," I tell him. "Fine then," he says.
He starts readying all the equipment behind me. Soon he will start my trim. "I had a flattop before, that's why the top is kind of spiked strange," I tell him. I should not of told him that! "Oh do you want another flattop?" he asks. "Oh no, that's ok, just the trim," I say.
"Why don't you want another flattop?" he asks. "I don't know," I tell him. I really didn't want my hair shorn so short again and wanted it to grow longer. "I know how to cut good flattops," he says. "That is your regular haircut, yes?" he asks. Well he didn't know, since it was my first time in this shop. "Well, I don't know?" I tell him. "Let me cut another flattop for you," he begs. "Ok, go ahead a flattop again I guess," I tell him. I had given into his pleading and realized all my three months effort to grow my hair back was now lost.
No sooner had the clippers popped on when in he comes. The one man audience. A teenager about my age walks in with a mop of wavy black hair down to the base of his neck. A whole row of 20 or so empty black vinyl waiting chairs along the wall to choose from. Which chair does he pick? It's the one right in front of me. He now has a front row seat to watch my bushy hair cut into a flattop. "Do you want a haircut," the barber asks him. "Yes," the kid says. "Ok, you're after him," the barber tells him.
Now this was in the early 1980s so a short haircut like a flattop was still a little rare for guy's haircut. I could understand this kid's curiosity. Soon I could feel those clippers erasing my right side burn and continue around the right ear. As the clippers are taking most of the hair off my head I'm a little regretful that I agreed to another short flattop. I noticed this kid's vivid curiosity. He doesn't take his eyes off my haircut for one instant. He stares in complete silence throughout the entire flattop. I'm not sure if part of it might be fear. He was a nice looking kid with very nice black wavy hair. I wondered if he feared his head would wind up shorn too.
I looked him in the eye a lot during the haircut. I chated a bit with the barber and the kid said a few words. Mostly he was just fixed in on my haircut, eyes on it the entire time. It was during this haircut that I first realized, someone's always sitting watching. The haircut continued and the flattop was done. The barber style the top with butch wax and I was released from the chair. The kid still watched as I went to pay. I left and never knew how his hair cut turned out.
For years after this I've always noticed that someone is sitting in front of you fixed in on watching your haircut. Usually I get my head shorn, that my be part of it. But other times it still happened with a regular haircut. A few times it was a friend I brought along with me that was the watcher. I can't quit explain this whole haircut fascination. I do know it's one of the few times that another male is allowed to stare for 30 minutes watching another male. Even a total stranger! More often than not someone, or even you will be watching during the haircut. Yes, think about it, you do it too!
Does your hair need cutting? Do you want to test my unexplainable theory? Well go today, or tomorrow, or some day soon and try it. You will watch! Someone will watch you too. I've tested this whole concept for decades since that kid starred at me getting that flattop back then.