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A Four Haircut Day by Matt Cegelka


The day started with a strong urge to get my haircut again. These urges are difficult for me to control, and when they `strike`, I am unable to function unless I satisfy the urge and hop into a barber`s chair.

My flat top was not long, #2 on the back and sides, and just enough to brush back on top, but with no significant runway. My usual barbershop had a bit of a love-hate relationship with me. It is a three chair, 3 barber shop and I have basically over frequented the shop during these haircut urges, which have turned two of the barbers against me, but not the shop`s owner and best barber. Not that I blame the two barbers who dislike my visits. During a period in January and February, I was frequenting this shop every 3 days, in an effort to see how short they would go. These barbers mistook my frequent visists to mean I was not satisfied with their cuts. When I walked in one day and asked for a flat top, the two barbers `opted out` and pointed to the shop`s owner, who was the only one confident to complete flat tops.

Since then, these two barbers have guided me towards the owner`s chair each time I visit.

I arrived this morning, however, the owner was out, home sick. One of the two barbers suggested I come back another day. Really wanting my haircut, I persisted, and explained that I only needed the back and sides trimmed, and convinced the reluctant barber to seat me in his chair.

Little did I know I was in for a cruel and punishing cut. The barber paid no attention to my requests and direction, and instead started clipping away, first cutting large swaths with the zero blade around the ears for a meduim fade, and next clipping away at the top with a sort of `peak and valley cut`, anything but my beloved flat top. The cut lasted for 40 minutes, and I thought he would never stop clipping. Secretly, I enjoyed this spiteful haircut, however aweful it looked, and I simply resigned myself to go directly to another barbershop to get the cut fixed. I praised the work, paid and tipped the puzzeled barber, and left to visit another barber for my second haircut of the day.

As I needed a shave, I decided I would go for a haircut and shave and went to an older barber in an antique shop in the large city near where I live. The barber looked at my botched cut and immediatley knew how to fix it creating a very nice flat top with zero sides high and tight and a short but effective flat top. Afterwards, he shaved my face and did a nice outline over my ears creating the high arch I desire. I was pleased and satisfied as I left the shop....but inside me, the urge to continue clipping raged.

I had run out of barbershop resources, as I have gotten my haircut 3 additional times in the past week, and wanted to avoid over frequenting any other shops. So I decided to pursue one of the shops I had scouted out, but not yet fully investigated. This was an old barbershop in a very old part of the city, with a single barber, who was quite old himself. As I entered the shop, I knew that this haircut would be a mistake, but I had already entered the shop, and so it was too late to chicken out. I sat in the chair and asked for a flat top trim up. The barber proceeded to take the clippers, and first trim up the sides, pressing hard against my scalp to clip additional hair. I began to relax a bit, as the cut was going well. But the clippers edged closer and closer to the hatband, and chunks of important fringe hair which forms the platform of the flat top began to fall. Over the sides and over the crown, he kept clipping and clipping, carelessy eliminating the flatop and leaving instead a number 1 buzz on top and zero on the sides.

It looked aweful, and I already knew it was too late to fix it, so I decided to play along and see how much worse I could get this barber to go. I explained to him that a flat top must be flat, which means shorter down the strip and longer sides forming what looks like a horsehoe on top. He nodded and obliged running the zero clippers down the runway leaving a very short horseshoe on top, which looked silly because the rim had not been properly cut with enough length. He finished the cut by randomly taking the trimming clippers to various parts of my head which gouged the zero back and sides but did little to improve the appearance or the finish of this cut.

I paid and left..and knew I would need just one more haircut today. I had not planned to a baldy...but now I had no choice...and no hair left with which to effect any other type of cut. I scouted the area near the third barbershop and quickly found a three chair shop. I entered the shop and was promptly seated in a chair. All three barbers came to look at my head, and then my barber suggested we cut it all off. Which is exactly what I did. First came the zero blade all over, followed by the 000 blade, followed by a lather shave with a straight edge razor.

So now I have a chrome dome baldy...and I am thrilled with it. I did not seek this cut, but it looks great and I intend to keep it shaved each morning, and will now occassionally visit the barbershop for a head shave.



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