Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Hair Experience

My son at Stag. Wood panelling! Old leather chairs!

Back when I was young, I used to have awesome hair. I grew up with 7 brothers and sisters and so for economic reasons, my mom would always cut our hair. And she did a great job (I even had some awesome spikes down my part in 1987. Those were the days.) And she continued to cut my hair through high school and into college. Sure, I would occasionally go to a barber shop or something, but getting my hair cut was purely utilitarian.

Then when I was in college a friend suggested I go to her stylist, Heidi. I remember the haircut was $18 which seemed so extravagant to me, but I was young and dumb and liked to pay for things with credit cards, so I decided to go. Heidi was amazing. The salon was hip and cool. She brought me a Diet Coke to drink. We chatted about funny and interesting things. And when I left I remember feeling like I was walking on air. I looked in my cars rear view mirror at my new $18 haircut and thought Dang! Heidi is the goddess of scissors! I look good! I loved Heidi. And sent many of my friends to her. And we called her Heidi Let Her Light So Shine. As in "Do you have an appointment with Heidi Let Her Light So Shine today?" And while Heidi was an amazing stylist, I think what I was really in love with was the experience. I loved that she had a can of soda waiting for me. I loved that we talked about interesting things. I loved all the other fabulous people at the salon getting fabulous cuts.

Time went on and my hair got thinner and I continued to find stylists where I could have awesome experiences. Just before I got married I was going to Shep Studios in Provo, which I loved. Shep even met me early and cut my hair on my wedding day. He didn't charge me and cut it a little longer so I didn't look like some rube he had just gotten his hair cut that day. That's classy, folks.

But then I had a wife. And a budget. And big credit card bills that suddenly seemed important to pay off. And while the price that I was paying for a cut had gradually gotten higher and higher, my hair I had had gotten thinner and thinner. And it just didn't seem practical. So I started going to those cheap places. Like Amazing Sam's and Magic cuts! (Names have been changed.) And I would pay my $15 and get my hair buzzed and listen to the kids screaming in the background and the stylist would chew gum and stare off into space while she pushed the clippers around. I'd lost the experience. And it made me sad. In fact I blogged about my sad, stylist free life almost a year ago.

But I am happy to report, the experience is back. It's called Stag Barbershop and it only costs $10 for a haircut. You get your haircut by Jim, who is an old fashioned barber. He'll talk if you want to talk and is super friendly, but if you just want to sit and try to ignore the Fox News that is always blaring in the background, you can do that too. All the other clientele are at least 50. After your hair cut ends you get a straight razor neck shave with hot lather. And they finish it off with some aftershave lotion that smells like triumph and leather and your grandpa being rubbed into your neck where it burns oh so good.

It's one of those places that if it was owned by 27 year olds with moustaches and deep-vee neck t-shirts and scarves, they would charge $40 a hair cut but leave everything else the same (except maybe the Fox News.) It's not ironically retro. It's just straight up retro. And I don't get a free diet coke. And I have to sometimes listen to Hannity talk about how Obama is after our guns. But it's an experience. And I'll pay for that.
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