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Getting the Edge by Steve
Always keep my hair fairly short. I usually get a 1 or 2 fade on sides and have it blended into top. Lately I have been letting the top and bangs grow out a little. I have even experimented with a shaved part line a few time. I don't do any too drastic; but it's clear I have short hair and I like it short but nothing that screams military or haircut fetish or anything like that.
I live in Florida near the beaches; and honestly the barbershops in this area are not that great. I mean there are some good ones; but when you find a decent barber it seems like they move away.
In my endless quest for a fantastic barbershop experience I came across a barbershop in Tampa Florida called The Perfect Edge Barbershop.
I decided one night after work I would swing by and check out the shop. I normally get nervous at a new shop but you don't know what type of cut you are going to get; and you never really now how short it will be. As I entered the shop there were two barbers cutting hair and nobody waiting. One of the barbers stopped and asked me if I had an appointment. I said no. He said he had another client coming but if he no showed he would take me next or Tony the other barber could take me after he finished his current client.
I smiled and said thank you and sat down and started looking around the shop. It was very urban - had skateboards attached to the walls. All in all a decent shop. Tony was doing a very close haircut on an older guy. His hair was being shaved bald half way up his head with a very tight crewcut on the top. It seemed like hours that Tony was meticulously working on this guys hair. Finally the haircut was over and the guy paid and Tony waved me to sit down in his chair. I smiled and took a big gulp of air as I walked towards the chair wondering what was about to just happen to me.
He quickly introduced himself as Tony as he caped me up and wrapped the white neck tissue around me. By then he swung the chair around to face the mirror and asked me what are we doing for you today? I shyly said I don't know what do you think? He started combing my hair and said well I think we could definitely do something shorter on the sides. Then he asked me are you ok with a low ball fade? Without knowing what it was and being too embarrassed to ask I simply said sure - sounds good.
The next thing I know the chair was turned away from the mirror and a very WARM pair of clippers started their way up the back my head. I could feel the bare metal of the clippers going over and over the nape of my neck. Tony quickly switched to the right side and I have to admit the feeling of bare metal clippers attacking my head was simply overwhelming. After finishing the right side Tony started on the left. After a few minutes he started to use other clippers over and over the sides. He must have switched clippers at least six or seven times. I actually lost count as I closed my eyes and drifted off enjoying the buzzing and sensations of the clippers.
The buzzing came to a stop and I saw the barber working at his station grabbing another pair of clippers. He was clearly deciding what blade to put on them as he I saw him put one blade on and then switch it to another. As he turned back to me he simply said - you got to trust me buddy - this is going to look fantastic on you. Umm ok - had no idea what that was supposed to me.
The next thing I see is a very large pair of clippers start making passes right down the middle of head. Inches of hair start falling to the cape - I must have jumped in the chair as Tony placed his hand on my shoulder and said don't worry it will look great - remember you got to trust me. in about two minutes he had removed all the hair on my head. He swung the chair around to the mirror and said hey look at that top - doesn't that look a LOT better than before? I stared in the mirror in disbelief but I think I actually liked what I saw. He smiled back at me don't worry I am not done yet - I will clean it up some more on the top with some shorter clippers. At this point I just closed my eyes as there was nothing else I could do.
I sort of roused myself back to reality when he started to unfasten the cape and remove the neck strip. I started moving forward as if I was about to get up when tony firmly put his hand on my shoulder. He simply said, I am not done yet buddy. I smiled as I didn't know how to respond. I don't think I have ever prematurely exited a barber chair before.
The next thing I know very HOT lather is being placed on all the sides and back of my head. I immediately FELT a surge under the cape as this was very unexpected but very much appreciated. The next thing I know a Steaming HOT towel is placed all over my head and Tony starts to firmly press it against my head. He asked me if the temperature was alright. At this point I would have let Tony do anything to me but I simply answered it's fine. He said good - The steam will make the shaving easier and closer. He quickly removed the towel and next thing I know I FEEL more WARM lather being placed all over my neck and sides of my head. In an instant a straight razor appears and starts slowly and forcefully scraping away bits of hair. The scraping drove me nuts - it literally is the best feeling I have had experience. He scraped all sides twice telling me that he goes with the grain and against the grain on the 2nd pass to ensure the skin is totally smooth.
The aftershave almost caused me to jump out of the chair it burned so much but I have to say I wanted Tony to do it again and again.
Tony swung the chair around to the mirror as he stood behind me holding a mirror. He said - well stud my shop is right next to MacDill airforce base so I knew I had to give you a haircut that would make you proud. Welcome to your first Razor Shaved HNT Crewcut. What do you think? WOW - the sides were completed shaved smooth but blended in perfect to the upper sides and crown. The top was VERY short - but he left me some length in the bangs. I start grinning from ear to ear and said I love it.
As Tony brushed off the cape and removed it I reached into my wallet and handed him two 20 dollar bills. I said keep the change. This is the best haircut I have every received. He quickly handed me a business card and said I will see u in about ten days - any longer and the cut will lose its shape - My cell number is on the card - text ahead and I will add you to my schedule. I reached out and firmly shook his hand as I will still smiling. I said thanks man see you end of next week. I will definitely be back.