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My best haircuts by Thebarbered1

This is a fictional story, but is based on a brilliant story I've seen, called "The best haircuts”, by "Snipped Sam”. He has kindly allowed me to adapt it from his own story, and in which, I've made myself the main character (and I am told, I do look a lot younger than my age!). If this had happened, it would be an amazing scenario to find myself in.

Back in 1978, when I was 17 years old, only a few boys were made to have their hair short by their parents, and the vast majority, had theirs over their collar and their ears were generally covered. Many also had a long fringe. It was generally accepted that's how you had it. Only a couple of years earlier, I had been made to have short hair, and indeed had to visit the barber every month to six weeks. Because however, everyone else was growing their hair longer, I had to go along with this, and I started to let mine get longer, although not unkempt. My parents were quite relaxed about it, and by now, it seemed the days of short hair seemed to have been long forgotten. I was quite content with this too, however there was a small part of me that wished I could go back to the shorter haircuts that I used to go and have. I felt the places I went to now were modern and more trendy and tended to have younger, what they now called stylists, rather than the good old traditional barber, and where I used to go had closed down.
I was out walking one day, when I saw this barber shop I'd not seen before, not normally going down that street. It was very traditional and with this wonderful barbers pole whirring away outside, together with a sign saying "A.W ROBERTS ESQ - GENTLEMEN'S HAIRDRESSERS SINCE 1948”
As I walked past, I couldn't see very much inside as it was completely curtained. Several times over the next few days, I walked down that street, and passed it, peering towards it I did, hoping it might be uncurtained, or the door open, so I could see inside – but, they never were.
Despite wishing I could go back to the shorter haircuts that I used to have, as I passed it, I kept losing my nerve to go in, and anyway, I wanted to put myself in a situation where I had no choice but to have a short haircut, and that it was taken out of my hands.
I thought about this over the next couple of days, and eventually had an idea. Knowing I looked a lot younger than my age, I knew I could pull it off. That evening, in my bedroom, I got some paper and an envelope, and wrote out the following letter…

Dear Mr Roberts, the Barber,

Unfortunately, due to a busy workload, I've been unable to take my son, David to the barbers myself. I have therefore written this letter, and have asked him to come and give it to you. As with so many boys these days, he doesn't like being told he needs a haircut. He does admit though that it's getting untidy now, and he's long overdue to have one. Someone I know told me about you, and so often recently, with him having come back from haircuts with hardly anything having been cut off, I have sent him this time to you. I am sure that a more experienced barber like yourself will know exactly what he needs which is why I think it would be better if you have a free hand and decide what he has.
He has been told about this and knows that he must behave himself and do exactly what you tell him
I thank you, and look forward to seeing him look much smarter on his return.

Yours sincerely
PJ Mackleson

I put the letter in an envelope, and sealed it. All was now ready. Over the couple of days, I only got about half way, but once again lost my nerve. This was annoying me, so on the Friday, I set off again, determined this time to get there. As I reached there, my heart was pounding. Once again, I nearly turned back again, but no, I wasn't going to. All I had to do was go inside and hand him the letter.
I stood outside for a few minutes and composed myself. Then, I stepped forward, opened the door and nervously went in. A bell tinkled as I opened the door. There were three chairs in there with mirrors facing them, haircut posters all around the walls displaying, generally short haircut styles, and on a shelf next to the chairs, there was, laid out a selection of clippers, scissors, combs, brushes, and other haircutting items. The barber, which Tommy took to be Mr Roberts, was probably in his mid to late 50's, and was very smartly dressed wearing a white shirt and a plain dark tie with blue nylon barbers jacket. He had short, dark hair which was slightly greying. He looked up from what he was doing and smiled and said a warm hello to me, "Take a seat lad, Mr Jones is nearly finished and I'll be doing you straight after him so you've timed it well” I went and sat in the waiting area, on a wooden chair and looked around, taking in the environment around me. Together with the newspapers and magazines on the table, he had a display of antique shaving mugs. There was defiantly a very masculine feel to the place and I felt that I had also stepped back a little in time.
Eventually Mr Jones was finished, I sat and waited quietly whilst they chatted for a moment and then he left, he looked at me a smiled, I stood up and he pointed for me to sit in the barber's chair, when I got there I handed him the letter, he opened it and put on a pair of spectacles to read it, I was now sitting in the barber's chair and thinking that I could not believe what I was doing.
He folded the letter and put it on the side and prepared me to have my haircut, shrouding me in a white nylon cape and a thin cotton towel tucked in the back. "So young David looks like I have to decide what's to be done with your hair” he said, taking a comb and starting to comb my hair
"Yes, Mr Roberts”
"It's certainly in need of cutting isn't it? "
"Yes, I suppose it is”
He lifted up the hair that covered one of my ears then the other one,
"Your ears are a perfect shape why do you hide them?
"Well, it's the fashion Mr Roberts”
"Is that so?” He replied, combing my hair back behind my ears and then smiling,
"I am sure you like the length and style your hair currently is, but I have an important job to do, which is to give you the best haircut possible, so young David that means that you must have it short”
"I had a feeling you might say that. Isn't it possible for me just to have a trim Mr Roberts?” I asked hopefully (but secretly hoping)
"No David, it's going to be short, your hair has to come off your ears”
He took some steel scissors from the shelf in front of me and cut the hair from around my ears. He then bent my head forward and cut the hair at the back, up to my hairline. He then carried on cutting my hair all over and very soon there was lots of hair on the floor and far less on my head. Using the scissors with determination, he combed my hair firmly and held the hair tightly and cut it very firmly. This was certainly a man on a mission, and whilst he appeared friendly and not stern with me, there was no doubt that he was in complete control of this haircut. There was not any conversation whilst this was happening, just the sound of the scissors, I sat very still almost to attention. Eventually he finished with those scissors and put them back and then brushed away all the loose hairs.
"You have a very good shaped head David. You should always keep your hair should always be cut short because it suits you far better” he declared
"Yes Mr Roberts, I did always used to have it short though”
"How long is it since you last had it cut?”
"A few months, but I have been having it longer for the last two years or so now” I answered.
He then started to powder dust the back of my head and above my ears. He was certainly being very generous with it. It had a really sweet barbers shop smell. He then loosened my cape at the back, took a small strip of tissue and tucked it into the back of my collar, before once again securing the cape back into place.
There was a short pause while he sorted a few bits and pieces out, and then he said to me
"I dare say it's been a while then since you had a barber make your back and sides very short with his clippers then?”
"I can't remember how long ago it was Mr Roberts. Well over two and a half years I would say”
"Well, that's not really very good is it?”
"I suppose not Mr Roberts”
"No suppose about it David, but I'm about to put that right” he said, reaching over and taking a pair of electric clipper from a hook, and then selecting a comb from the side.
"Head right down there's a good lad”
I did as he said
"Now come on (he said) I'm sure you can do better than that. Now bend your head right down”
”That's better”
He lifted my hair with the comb and started to clip, The clippers purred as they removed the hair. It seemed to be going on for ever, as he made his way right up the back of my head. After that, then tilted my head to the side and gave above each ear, his full expert attention. After certainly quite a few minutes clipping he lifted my head and removed all loose hairs.
After this, he loosened the back of my cape and tucked in a small white cotton hand towel.
"Head back down”.
I bowed my head down, like I did the first time after he had said Now come on I could do better than that, and he proceeded to shave my neck with a cut throat razor, before lifting my head to each side, and trimming around my ears.
After that, he finished by applying some hair oil to my hair and combing what was left on the top into a very precise parting.
I was then shown the back with a mirror.
"There you go, the perfect haircut David”
"Yes Mr Roberts, thank you. It's very nice"
He unsecured the cape, removed the tissue, and lifted it off me. He gestured me off the chair and after brushing me down, I paid him for my haircut
"Well I do hope you will come and see me again David "
"Yes Sir, I will, but not too soon I hope as I won't have any hair left”
He smiled and said "Well I didn't mean next week David, but not too long either. It's better if you get used to having your hair short”
It was exactly four weeks later, I returned, the start of a new regime, he kept hold of that letter, and always thought that I was sent to him under protest. He once told a customer, "David and I have an understanding here. He has to come to me because I give him the best haircuts and now, he doesn't question it”.
To me, they are the best haircuts, and by now, I was starting call him Sir much more and Mr Roberts far less.

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