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Steve's Father: No more salon haircut by Jason

Steve's Father: No more salon haircut

Steve was your typical high school kid. He loved adventure, did ok in school, and wanted to fit in.
Home life was also rather typical middle class household. His mother was a 'homemaker' and his father, Joe, worked as a security guard.
Joe was a very strict disciplinarian. Probably being a WWII vet at a very young age, and subsequent duty as an officer in the Reserves, taught
him to live a disciplined life. There was no cursing in his house (unless of course, he was the one cursing) and believed to his core that
a man's word was his bond, and honesty the only policy. He expected the same from his children.

It was 1977. Star Wars had come out and Steve and his friends would see it every weekend at a theater wherever they could find it.

Despite desperately trying to 'fit in', he felt hindered doing so by his father. Steve wanted to be like his friends, but there were rules.
He could go out with his friends, but had to be in by 10pm on the weekends and 8pm school nights.
He couldn't spend money frivolously.
We was expected to keep his grades up.
He wasn't permitted to wear jeans. Khakis were ok, but no jeans.
Gym shoes were ok, but they had to be clean.
And the one thing that was made very clear to Steve by his father - there would be no long hair. Absolutely no exception on that.

Steve often thought "How's a guy to fit in with his friends if he has to look like Beaver Clever?" He'd look for ways to adapt. While he couldn't let
his hair grow like his friends, he did adopt a center parted featured haircut. It might be off the ear and collar, but at least he could adopt a similar
style. He knew the salon at the mall specialized in modern cuts, so he came to know the hairdresser there quite well.

Joe was a stickler about appearance, and he made it known anytime Steven even remotely came close to deviating from the dress code he had established.
Steve knew better than to push it too far - once the reminders were issued, he knew he had precious little time to correct the 'issue'.

To be somewhat like his friends, Steve would try to go a longer time between haircuts, but Joe would take note fast. Joe allowed Steve to have medium
length hair, but absolutely nothing was to cover the ears or extend beyond the collar. Steve would push the envelope often, but as expected,
he'd get lectured when he went too far and was expected to remedy the situation pronto. These lapses soon were happening too
frequently for Joe's liking. When it happened one Saturday morning, he was fed up having to remind him so often, he told Steve
he'd be taking him to the barber this time. Steve knew better than to resist. He knew deep down he had been pushing too much, so
he wasn't supervised.

Steve usually went to the mall to get his hair cut at the "Supreme Cuts Salon", but Joe took him this time to his own barbershop "Executive Concepts Barbershop."
Upon entry, the whole vibe seemed different from what Steve was used to. No receptionist, no fancy decor. Just rows of barber chairs along the North and South walls
of the shop, and a row of waiting chairs in the center of the room. A red ticket dispenser met them standing by the waiting chairs. A lit display showed a large number 23.
Joe pulled a ticket from the dispenser and handed it to Steve. It read 25. They took a seat.

5 minutes passed. The number on the display changed to 24 and a barber cried out 24. A gentleman a few seats down, got up and headed to the open chair.
The barber greeted him and he sat. Steve's attention returned to reading his magazine.

A few minutes passed and a barber cried out: 25.

Joe looked over to Steve, and Steve looked back. Steve put the magazine down and got up. Do did as well. They both walked toward the open chair.

Joe put his hand on Steve's shoulder and said to the barber: "My son needs a haircut. We want a classic taper cut up the sides, off collar, and part it on the side.
He needs an man's haircut. Time to lose this center parted Farrah Fawcett style."

Steve looked shocked as Joe turned back to sit at the waiting chairs. Steve stood there dumb founded. The barber asked him to sit.

Steve complied but was still in distress. He had put extra care into keeping his featured hair looking great. Despite having to keep it shorter
than he would have liked, it looked cool. A taper cut? He wasn't exactly sure what that was, but it couldn't be good he thought.
Maybe it just meant a trim? He hadn't had a barbershop haircut before, so maybe the terms used are different than he's heard at the salon.

The barber began his work. Capping Steve with a white cotton cloth.

"That's very different" he thought. "Why is he putting a cape on me without first shampooing my hair? Why a cotton cape? It's just going to get soaked."

Steve was settling into his predicament when he suddenly heard a loud mechanical sound like a shop tool whirring from behind.

"Dang, that's loud." he thought.

Without any further warning, he felt the barber lift the feathered hair in back with a comb and felt a pulling and vibration in his hair as the shop tool sound behind
appeared to go frond right to left. He felt his hair in back being lifted again - this time higher up the back. Then heard and felt the same pull and vibration.
He felt a hand press his head down. Again, another lifting of the hair and vibration; this time he saw hair cascading down his shoulders and into his lap.
There must have been 4 inch long clumps. The same action repeated several times. The barber moved around to Steve's side. He could see the barber lift the hair on
the side with a comb and summarily cut it off using the whirring clippers. He did it repeatedly. Steve noticed the hair on the side take on a more bristly look.
The neat feathered hair was transformed where the hair started out nearly stubble above the ear, to longer strands higher up on the side.
The barber repeated this on the other side before again returning to the back, and then the sides again.

Soon Steve had a pile of hair in his lap.

"I look like a dork." he thought to himself

The whirling clippers stopped, and he could hear the barber at the counter. Next, he was beside him. He thrust thinning shears into the hair on top and ran the
comb thru his hair. Mounts of hair were trapped by the comb and fell to the cape. He repeated this several times before putting the shears in his jacket pocket.
The barber then began to run the comb thru his hair removing any remaining loose chunks.

After sprayed his head lightly with water, he began to comb his hair again. Straight down at first. Then, moving to his left side, combed the hair on top away
from a line he made at the side, and then combed the short hair on the side down and away from the line. He took care to get the side part perfectly straight and well
defined. He then snipped a bit off the bangs, and then combed them up and over to the side. He then stood behind him. He heard the clippers power on. The barber then
lifted sections of hair on top so that maybe an inch extended above the comb and 3-4 inches remained below, then ran the clippers over the comb so
they would cut off the hair that extended beyond them. He repeated this from the fron to the crown.

The barber powered off the clippers and then carefully recombed his hair. He applied shaving cream around the ears and at the neck, and then shaved the hairline
around them.

He grabbed a mirror to show Steve the final product. Steve looked marose as he saw his head. His feathered center parted hair style was transformed
into a rather bland 'unstyled' tapered haircut with a stupid side part. He ran his hand up the back. No longer feeling any feathered hair, he felt stubble
at the neck that gradually got longer as he moved up the back. His ears looked larger than before, and noticed that he now had distinct arches around them.

"Only teachers and old men wore their hair like this." he thought.

The barber dusted him off, lowered the chair, and removed the cape. The pile of hair fell to the floor.

Steve got up and glanced into the mirror. A huge change. A person he did not know was staring back with a severe tapered haircut.

Joe paid and they left.

"I expect you back here in 3 weeks." Joe said.

"Why did you make me get this haircut. I don't particularly like the style." Steve said.

"You'll get use to it." Joe replied.

They started walking to the car.

"It was time you got a man's haircut and started wearing it like a man. No girlie Farrah hair anymore. Time to be a man Steve." Joe said.

"Men wear their hair clipper cut. Tapered and parted on the side. At least in my house they do."

Joe paused just a few feet away from the barbershop. He looked at at Steve in the eye and placed his arm around his shoulder.

"Or would you prefer a crewcut? That can be arranged right now you know."

Seeing Steve not put up any further objection, Joe continued to walk with Steve to the car.

"I didn't think so." Joe said.

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