So your hair’s getting long again.
Oh god, your hair’s getting long again. And that means a visit to the hair salon.
The second you walk in, a wave of perm chemicals and shampoo hits you right in the nose. Your face freezes in horror as you realize you’ve just repeated the most terrible mistake of your life again. It’s too late to leave now; everyone’s already staring at you.
Let’s face it: you’re a man’s man. Your fashion style is completely masculine and timeless. If it was good enough for JFK, it’s good enough for you. You don’t want anything fancy. You just want a clean cut. You want a quick trim that’s manly and neat, straight out of Mad Men. You want the ladies to know you mean business.
Cut to the only other male in the salon. He’s a hairdresser, showing more cleavage in his V-neck shirt than any of the girls. His flowing rainbow-colored hair looks like a work of art, every strand sculpted to perfection. His hair looks constantly windy, even though you’re indoors. You don’t even think you’ve ever had that much hair in your life. From behind he looks like a hot girl.
You sit there awkwardly, waiting for a hairdresser to become available. You pretend to leaf through a magazine, suddenly captivated by how to lose those last 10 pounds. All around you, there are woman gaggling, no doubt here for their weekly appointment. They are all familiar members of a clique, and you’re the outsider.
You’re rescued by a ditzy hairdresser, whose hair seems alive and very much malevolent.
“Can I just get a quick trim please?” you ask, your voice suddenly high-pitched like a pre-pubescent boy.
“Sure, what color do you want it dyed?”
What? No, you just want it shortened so it’s not over your ears. “No, just a trim.”
“So you want it permed then?”
Is it so hard to believe that someone might just want a trim? “No, just a regular cut.”
Did you get a defective hairdresser? Is she broken? “A regular cut is fine, really.”
“Are you sure you—”
“JUST GIVE ME A REGULAR FUCKING HAIRCUT GODDAMNIT.”
There’s utter silence. The snip-snips stop. A hairdresser somewhere drops her scissors. And that’s how you ended up paying $50 for a crap haircut.
If you don’t want to feel completely castrated every time your hair gets long, barbers are a great alternative. Here are some reasons to consider visiting a barber:
1) Barbers actually know how to cut men’s hair
These are men from the old school. Their only tools are scissors, clippers and their wits. You want a barber that’s part mentor, part father figure. Like Alfred Pennyworth. Barbers specialize in cutting hair for men. If you asked them for extensions, they would probably kick your ass.
Choosing a barber can be tricky. See how well-dressed he is, and how organized his shop is. If he’s neat, that’ll probably reflect in your haircut. Casually make conversation, and ask him how long he’s been cutting hair.
2) You’ll feel like a boss
There’s just something very classy about a barbershop. The environment is authentic and full of character; none of that shiny chrome salon business. Walking out of a barbershop after a fresh shave, you just want to tell the world, “Yeah, I just went to a barber and I’m better than you.”
There’s a sense of timeless tradition. This was where your dad got his hair cut, and where his dad got his hair cut. It’s up to you one day to show your son how to be a man. Do you really want him to be going down to the local salon and having to suffer the same ordeal you did?
3) You can get a shave
And not one with alien automatic razors. A robot shouldn’t be doing a human’s job.
If your barber isn’t doing it with a single-blade razor, he’s doing it wrong. A good barber will go to the whole nine yards: hot towels, facial massages, proper shaving cream. You’ll get the closest shave in your life, and nothing makes you feel quite as alive as another man holding a blade to your throat.
4) You’ll be spending time with other men
A barbershop is kind of like a social club. Here you are, with like-minded men. Nothing is off the table. Let the witticisms and banter fly as you debate sports, politics, fashion.
The next time you’re at your barber’s, you’ll just pray that a woman will walk in. Then you’ll finally have your revenge and she’ll know what it feels to be the outsider.
Don’t want to end up with the demon barber of fleet street? Here are some places to check out:
500 Rue Sherbrooke O
Montreal, QC H3A 3C6
The barbers here are absolutely fantastic with the straight razor. Fun fact: if you go in chilly December, they offer you a shot of schnapps.
2191 Rue Marie-Anne E
Montreal, QC H2H 1M9
Beauty in simplicity. Salon Laurent is a no-nonsense old-fashioned barbershop in the best of traditions. No reservations or anything; just walk in and wait for your turn. Take time to bond with your fellow men while you’re in line.
Mohawk Barbier Etc.
1305, Avenue Papineau
Montreal, QC H2K 4H3
A more modern take on the traditional barber, Mohawk Barbier Etc. specializes in Mohawks, but is more than capable with shaves and traditional cuts. Mohawk also offers foot massages and sells clothing.