Jo’s Barbershop #5 Ginger Snips by Mr. Nice Guy
Hello, my name is Jo, you’ve read some of my past adventures and encounters while cutting hair.
My last adventure involved Ricky, helping fix his overgrown and poorly cut haircut from a chain shop salon.
Just as I was ready to plow my clippers into Ricky’s head the phone rings at 4:30
It was a call from a desperate Mother, involving her Son and his inability to keep his hair out of his eyes per their agreement.
Sarah Little MOM: Hello, are you still open? I was hoping to send my son in for a Haircut tonight.
Shop Owner PAM : Sorry we closed at 4 and I’m about to leave.
MOM: Is there any possibility you can cut my son’s hair tonight, PLEASE ?
PAM: give me one second, I have someone else here who might be able to help you tonight, let me ask him.
"Jo I have a desperate Mother on the line who wants to send her son in for a haircut tonight, want to take the call?"
Jo: hello Jo speaking, how can I help you ?
Sarah: I want to send my son Ryan in for a haircut tonight, can you do it ?
Jo: how old is your son, and what kind of haircut was you thinking about ?
Sarah: he’s 7 and I’ve been letting him grow his hair out, but I want to get him a clipper cut, I’ll let you decide on the details.
Jo: Sure I should be able to do that, how soon can you get here ?
Sarah: I’ll send Ryan right over on his bike, he has ginger colored hair. Shouldn’t be hard to miss. He should be there in about 15minutes.
Jo: awesome I’ll keep an eye out for him. Do you think I’ll have any issues with him wanting a haircut?
Sarah: umm maybe, he doesn’t want a haircut, but convinced him he was only getting a trim.
Jo: Not a problem, I should be able to manage him and have him cleaned up in a jiffy. I’ll call you when I get done with his haircut or before then if I run into an issue.
About 20 minutes later I see Ryan pull up on his bike, try the locked door & quickly attempt to make an escape. I’m at the door in snap and able to catch him before he can get too far. His hair is longer & fuller then I expected, and in disarray from the bike ride over. I think to myself this should be fun.
As he walks in he sees Ricky in the chair, his eyes go big. I guess they know each other because he calls over to Ricky by name and asks him "what happened to your hair?" but before Ricky can answer I interrupt and instruct Ryan to go sit down while I finish up Ricky’s haircut.
I quickly finish up with Ricky and instruct him to gather his own hair into a Ziploc bag, then invite Ryan into the chair. I can tell he really doesn’t want to be here, and he unenthusiastically complies.
So Ryan how did you want your haircut today?
"can you just cut an inch off and leave the length, please don’t cut it like you did Ricky’s. I don’t really want a haircut but my mom is forcing me to get one."
"Ok, I think we can make your mom happy. Let us wash your hair 1st since its feeling a little dirty and make it easier to work with."
I escort Ryan over to the wash station chair. "Have you ever had your hair washed before at the Barbershop?" "No, well that's ok there's nothing to it, just sit down right here and let me do all the work" "just lean back now and rest your neck in this indention here." "just close your eyes, relax, and don't try to sit up until I tell you to."
As I start to run my hands through his hair, I marvel at its softness. After taking longer than necessary with the 1st shampoo application Ryan unexpectedly attempts to sit up out of the chair before I’m done, I end up soaking his T-shirt and getting water all over the floor. "Ryan, I said don’t sit up until I tell you, please follow directions" "Now lean back again and don’t move while I clean up the puddle we just made"
I return to finish the 2nd shampoo and an application of detangling conditioner. I can tell Ryan is not enjoying his hair being washed since he keeps wiggling in the chair and making faces, but it doesn’t really matter because I’m enjoying running my hands through his doomed hair. I am wonder how many issues I’ll have over the next 30-45 min though while cutting his hair? "OK now you can sit up" "let me help you get your wet T-shirt off" "hold this towel around your head and wait for me in the barber chair while I throw your T-shirt into the dryer"
"ok, I’ll take that towel on your head now, place your hands in your lap and keep them there"
I decide to be nice and place a clean towel around his bare shoulders, in addition to the paper neck strip to hopefully make him comfortable since he doesn’t have a shirt on.
I pick out a light blue/white seersucker nylon cape to highlight his ginger hair. I also reinforce the closure with an alligator clip to make it harder for Ryan to remove the cape. Normally I would turn the barber chair away from the mirror but decide it’ll be more fun to let Ryan face the mirror and let him witness his precious locks get stripped away. As I comb through his hair I ask Ryan "So, we are only taking enough off to make your mom happy, right?" "Good I need you to sit up tall & remember about following instructions so I don’t mess up your haircut." With that I start to comb and lift his hair on top of the head only cutting 1" pieces off at a time letting the hair gather in Ryan’s lap, getting about half way through the 1st pass of his head, I’m surprised so far Ryan hasn’t really fidgeted yet. Moving to the back of his head "Ryan please look down" Ryan looks down, takes one hand out from under the cape and starts to play with some of the cut hair. For now, I allow him this small act of disobeying directions since he has been good so far. "Ok, raise your head back up and place your hands back in your lap under the cape." Finishing up the sides, I comb through the hair pretending to double check my work and the haircut is coming to an end. If I didn’t know better I would say no hair was cut off. Ryan seems more relaxed now and I can see a small smile start to appear for the first time since he arrived. I’m sure this will change when I make my next announcement. "sorry Ryan we need to take a little more length off its not short enough yet" With this Ryan takes both hand out from under the cape, and runs his hands through his hair, leaning forward in the barber chair to get a better look in the mirror. I again momentarily allow this pleasure while I grab the water bottle off the counter since his hair has mostly dried. "OK Ryan its time to continue, hands back under the cape and sit back" he again complies but the smile has disappeared "Thank You, you’ve done a good job so far behaving yourself" with this I lift a piece of hair up in the center of his head and lop off a 2-inch clump of healthy ginger hair. The hair lands on his shoulder with a loud clump. Ryan’s eyes immediately start to tear up and his lip starts to quiver. Ignoring him I’m already onto the next piece. Before I can start to cut the third piece of hair, Ryan turns his head sharply to the side in protest. I place my hand on each cheek and forcefully straiten his head "Ryan what did I tell you about following directions so I don’t mess up your haircut?" "keep your head still and looking into the mirror unless I tell you otherwise" "I’m going to finish cutting the rest of your hair to match the length I just got done cutting, I’m only taking 2inches off right now. I can tell he doesn’t want to continue but he mutters under his breath "OK" resolved to his fate. Comb, scrunch, thump the sound of wet hair falling onto the cape. True to my word I only cut an additional 2inches. Getting done with the Ryan’s 2nd haircut, and satisfied with my work, his hair is still covering his ears. I turn chair away from the mirror and release Ryan from my chair. Ryan has stopped crying but still looks pissed off, giving me the evil eye. "see it’s not that bad, go check out your new haircut in the bathroom while I sweep up your hair and grab your T Shirt"
Ryan wasn’t happy loosing 3inches of hair, but overall, he didn’t put up a fight and cooperated throughout the entire haircut. I know the next phase of my plan won’t go as smooth and Ryan really is going to freak out. Coming back out from the back I hand Ryan his shirt & he puts it back on. "so, what do you think of your new cut? Aren’t you going to Thank Me?" Ryan looks like he is about to start crying again and whimpers "Thank You". As he starts to grab his bike & fumbles with the front door failing to get it unlocked. Between him playing with his hair in the bathroom and putting his T shirt back on its looking ruffled. I walk over to him "hold on a second let me fix your hair again for you" running my fingers through his luxurious locks, Ryan attempts to pull away and bats my hand away. "opps it looks like I missed a few spots, we will need to fix that, climb back into the barber chair."
"no its not FINE, get in the chair NOW ! I can’t let you leave looking like that."
warily he climbs back into the chair and asks. "can we please not cut it any shorter?" ignoring his question, I refasten the cape slightly overly snug again with a fresh neck strip and Alligator clip. Ryan starts to tug at the neckline, to loosen it, being over dramatic "oww its choking me" I reply, "Leave it alone, you’ll be ok" as I walk behind the chair and start ruffling in the drawer prepping a pair of Oster 76 clippers and a wide flattop comb, behind me I can hear Ryan attempting turn around and look over his shoulder, but know he can’t see what I’m doing since my body is blocking his view. "Ryan please stop trying to look what I’m doing, and keep your head straight" now for the moment of truth. With the clippers and a flattop comb in my hand I walk back to the front of the chair within Ryan’s line of sight. "Ryan, your hair is still way to long, I’m going to be using these clippers to finish cutting the rest of your hair, remember what I said about following my directions?" with this Ryan jumps down and makes a dash towards the front door to escape still wearing the barber cape. I let him go, knowing he won’t be able to get the door open and he has nowhere to go. I silently chuckle as he trips & stumbles over the cape. I gently call over to him "come on Ryan, get back in the chair you’re only delaying the inevitable" Ryan realizing he won’t be able to get out the front door drops to the floor and starts to sob uncontrollably, and while loudly yelling protests. I walk over to were Ryan is sitting on the floor and stand over him "Ryan, you’re not leaving until I finish cutting your hair, now stand up and go sit in the barber chair." Losing my patience, I reach down, and haul him up by grabbing him under the armpit, forcefully throwing him into the barber chair. He feebly attempts to fight me but it’s no use. "Now if you don’t fidget and follow my directions this haircut will be over before you know it" "you will sit there with both butt cheeks making contact with the chair" "You will keep your hands in your lap & your legs still." "You will not move your head unless I move it" For the 3rd time I drape the light blue/white seersucker nylon cape over him and tighten it around his neck. "yes, Ryan it is necessary for the cape to be that tight so hair doesn’t fall down your shirt" I again turn the chair toward the mirror so he is forced to watch his hair get devastated. When I flick on the Oster 76 clippers on I see him noticeably jump. "I need you to raise your head a little" grabbing his chin forcing him to slightly tilt his head back & forcing him to look at the clippers. I lift his hair with the flattop comb and as I approach him with the clippers he pulls his head away, "you told me you weren’t going to cut it like Ricky’s haircut" repositioning his head back into the alignment I want "I’m not, you’re getting a flattop NOW KEEP YOUR HEAD STILL" I again insert the flattop comb into the top of his head lifting the hair and raze away a mighty swath. Ryan is no longer sitting still, keeps shifting uncomfortably and moving his head. "I said keep still" this went on repeatedly BUUZZZZ, head moves, reposition, BUUZZZZ, head moves, reposition. Pass after pass, great tuffs of hair rain down. the bulk of the hair from the top of his head is now gone mowed down to an almost even 1.5inch. the back and sides has yet to be touched this go around. By this time Ryan has the water works going again and some hair is sticking to his face. Ryan takes his hand out from under the cap to clear the hair stuck there. "no Ryan put your hand back under the cape. Let me do that for you". Grabbing the towel that was around his shoulder earlier I roughly wipe the hair and tears away from his face. "HEAD DOWN" grabbing the top of his head and holding it in place. Ryan is still resisting my efforts and attempts to break free of my grip. I easily crop the back down to an 1/8 of an inch and move onto the sides, still holding his head in place because Ryan refuses to sit still. "OK Ryan its time to work on the top again, and flatten it out" this kid really does have good think hair perfect for a flattop. rubbing wax into the top and brushing to make it stand erect. "you haven’t been cooperative so far, but I warn you if you wiggle or continue to move during the next few minutes you will end up losing ALL your hair" "no you still have hair on your head, even though to you it might seem like you’ve already lost it all" As I level out the top leaving it a little over an inch at the shortest point, Ryan allows me to work without shifting.
much to Ryan’s relief I finally declare "OK we are done"
I notice it has started to rain. I know I shouldn’t let him leave on his bike in the rain.
"Ryan hold up a second, let me call your mom and see if she wants you to ride home in the rain"
Jo: Hello Sarah this is Jo. Nope didn’t have to much of a problem. We got through it. His haircut is done. I noticed its raining. should I send him home on his bike? do you want to come get him? or I could give him a ride home.
Sarah: If you don’t mind can you give him a ride home?
Jo: Ok will do, let me do some final clean up, lockup and I’ll drop him off.
Sarah: can I talk to Ryan?
Ryan: Hi mom
Sarah: Hi how did the haircut go? Did you behave yourself?
Ryan: All my hair is gone, I thought you said I only needed to get a trim?
Sarah: Yes, I told Jo to give you a buzzcut, you haven’t been keeping your hair out of your eyes and taking care of your hair like we previously agreed. We will talk more about it when you get home.
I quickly clean up the tools, gather the hair into multiple quart sized bags, and throw the barber capes and towels into the washer machine. On the ride home Ryan is defiant, and refuses to talk to me. "Ryan, I know you are mad at me and sad about your hair" "I won’t mention to your mom how much of a fight you put up near the end and I’ll just tell her I had no problems with you so you don’t get into trouble" "Deal?" in a mumble he replies "deal"
When we pull up to Ryan’s house his mother and two younger brothers who look to be about 5 and 4 are waiting on the enclosed screen porch.
I can tell even before I get out of the car that his brothers have the same type of shaggy ginger hairstyle Ryan started off with. It’s a shame I wasn’t asked to fix their hair as well, but don’t plan on bringing the subject up.
Ryan leaps from the car just as I bring it to a stop, eager to escape me. I grab his bike from the trunk and carry it onto the porch. His Mother and brothers are gathered around Ryan examining his new haircut.
JO: "Susan what do you think of the haircut?"
Susan: "I LOVE IT" (and I see Ryan cringe at this statement)
His youngest Brother Liam asks, "Can I get a haircut like that?"
Susan turns to me with a questioning look "yes that’s a great idea, Jo when do you think you can cut Liam’s hair?"
JO: "I can come back tomorrow and cut it on the porch here if you clear a small area, all I would need from you is a place to plug an extension cord into."
Susan: "OK what time? maybe you can trim up Cody’s hair as well?"
Cody: "I don’t want a haircut"
Susan: "maybe just a few inches, Cody"
JO: "Yes, I’ll stop by at around 9am, please have the boys wash and comb their hair in the morning, don’t worry about drying it. They can stay in pajamas or whatever is comfortable for them"
I’ll see you in the morning