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Classic Cuts Barbershop by Daniel Armstrong

A while ago, I was on a business trip and needed to get to the airport in a few hours. It had been a long time since my last haircut, and my thick hair was getting quite long and unruly. Realizing that I should be looking fresh for the company meeting the next day, I began looking for a place where I could get a last minute haircut before the flight. As a businessman, I always need to be looking professional.

As I was driving around town, a sign caught my eye.

Providing Quality Haircuts for Men Since 1947

Beside the sign was a red, white, and blue barber pole twisting like they always do on small town street corners.
I had not gotten a haircut in a barbershop since I was a child when my mother would take me to get a buzz cut every summer. But that was a long time ago. Despite my hesitancy, the shop did not look busy, and I needed to make sure I got to the airport in time to catch my flight.
The bell rang as I walked through the door.
The shop was empty. I walked to the side and sat down in one of the chairs in the waiting area. Above the front desk was a sign describing the services.

Welcome to Classic Cuts Barbershop! We have been serving the local community for over 70 years and continue to take great pride in the quality haircuts we provide. As an old fashion barbershop, we do NOT do long hair or shampoo treatments. Only nice, traditional, short haircuts and military cuts for boys and gentlemen just like the old days. Every one of our mens haircut services comes with a straight razor shave around the ears and neck to make you feel extra fresh! Check out our list of services below.

Classic Haircut $15
-A short, tapered haircut done with clippers and scissors as specified

Crew Cut $12
-Clipper haircut (multiple guards)

Buzz Cut $10
-Clipper haircut (one guard)

High and Tight $12
-A short buzz cut with the back and sides shaved down to the skin

Flattop $15
-Clippered sides and top buzzed down flat

Military Regulation Haircut $8
-Short clipper haircut (*for military and first responders only*)

Straight razor fade $17
-Any of the above haircuts faded down to the skin with a straight razor

As I was gazing at all of the options, an older, heavy-set woman walked out of the back room. She had a chin-length bob haircut and was wearing a white, button-up barber smock.
"Hi my name is Maureen, I’m ready for you," she said as she showed me to her chair.
I sat down nervously. After seeing the list of options for haircuts, I knew I was in for a change, but it was too late to turn back since I had to get this done before I caught my flight.
"What will it be today? You look like you’re long overdue for a haircut!" said Maureen as she wrapped a tissue around my neck and pulled out the barber cape. I was not really sure. I had never had a really short haircut since I was a kid, and I knew that no matter what I chose, she would cut it pretty short. With that indecisiveness, I asked her what she thought would look best.
"You have a nicely shaped head," said Maureen as she began combing through my thick, longish, curly hair. "It’s a shame you keep it hidden under all of this hair. I think a nice classic crew cut would suit you."
"Okay, I guess I’ll try that," I said hesitantly.
"You won’t regret it." She smiled as she picked up a pair of clippers.
I felt butterflies in my stomach as I realized what I was getting myself into.
She put a #4 guard on the clippers.
The clippers came to life. I could feel the vibrations of the machine against my head as she began slicing off my hair.
Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Buzzzzzzzz!
It felt nice. Soothing.
I could see those long, curly locks of hair falling to the floor. Despite how good it felt to get my hair cut, all I could think of was how long it would take to grow back.
What if I don’t like it? I thought to myself. I tried to shrug those thoughts off knowing they wouldn’t do me any good at this point.
In a short amount of time my hair was almost completely buzzed. My head was feeling much lighter, and I looked like a completely different person in the mirror.
The clippers suddenly stopped.
Maureen turned and switched out the guard on the clippers.
She put a #2 guard on and began the buzzing again.
She began clipping the sides of my head shorter. Clumps of my already short hair fell to the floor.
We briefly made eye contact through the mirror. She smiled at me and continued buzzing.
Maureen worked with such efficiency and precision.
She has probably buzzed thousands of heads, I thought to myself.
Maureen switched out the guards again and started tapering the hair at my nape and around my ears with the #1 guard.
I could not believe how short my hair was being cut. At the sides of my head I could now see my scalp!
After that, she took out the small trimmers and clipped all of the little hairs off at the nape of my neck and around my ears.
Suddenly, I felt her put some cream around my ears and neck, and then she took out the straight razor.
I felt a little nervous seeing someone coming so close to my neck with such a sharp blade.
The cold steel touched my neck and I shivered and she slid it down, shaving those last stray hairs off. Maureen repeated the process around my ears.
After she finished and wiped off my ears and neck with a tissue. My head felt tremendously cooler and lighter, especially in the cold, air conditioned draft from the vent close by.
"What do you think?" asked Maureen, after dusting all of the little hairs off of my neck.
It took a moment for my new look to sink in. My first thought was that I looked like a drill sergeant with this freshly buzzed head, but as I gazed at myself in the mirror and felt the bristles that remained of what had recently been thick locks of hair, I began to like it. I felt so nice to touch my head and feel nothing but soft and slightly prickly fuzz rather than a thick, unruly mop of hair.
"I LOVE it," I told her.
"I think you look much better. Clean cut and handsome," she said.
I agreed.

To this day, I continue to get my hair buzzed every few weeks at the local barbershop. I can’t believe I ever thought having long hair was a good idea.
Short haircuts look so much better.

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