Getting a haircut is probably one of the few luxuries in life that you can take a gamble on.
The trim that will define you for the next three to four weeks lays in the hand of a familiar face or complete stranger at your local barbers.
Either you’re greeted with a smile or directed to the waiting area overlooking the infamous barber chairs.
Back in the day mum or dad forced you to get a haircut once a month and you hated the rattling of clippers near your sensitive ears.
As an adult, I look forward to the trip to the barbers after a month and bit of letting my face age.
The day starts with a casual stroll to the shop after taking a couple of notes out of the ATM.
It usually takes three minutes to get to the barbers but in those three minute I reminisce all the memories captured with previous trims and revel at the fact that there are more to come.
Once in the waiting area, I’m greeted by my usual guy who offers the barber chair; not looking that sinister any more.
I take a seat on a throne that fits just right and he asks: “What would you like today?” As if my choice of haircut has changed for the last five years. He knows I’ll load up the same picture on my phone.
Short from the sides and back…trim a little off the top and slick it up right.
With a gentle nod, he fires up the clipper and goes to town.
Usually I go to the barbers once every month or so which means I come in looking like a grizzly bear and come out looking like a bear cub.
Despite repeatedly telling each other our names, we still manage to forget after every visit. I end up calling him Bossman and he calls me big man or young man.
“How’s your mum doing, young man?” he asks as always.
“She’s alright…just sitting at home,” I tell him, remembering that my aging mum used to keep a close eye on my head whilst he gave me a trim back in the old days.
It usually takes about a good 20 minutes to clip and cut my hair. I used to risk getting hair in my eyes to check if the barber was doing a good job!
Now I just sit back with my eyes closed and listen to the Kurdish music humming in the background.
In recent years, I’ve adopted the idea trimming my beard down and giving it a good shape. Yeah, it’s increased the price of haircut, but it’s all worth it when one of my colleagues notices the shape up.
“When are you getting married, big man?” he asks as always.
I smile and I say, “As soon as I earn enough money”.
The next half an hour is spent in silence as the barber trims and styles my beard. Before using the straight razor, customers are put in a state of sensory deprivation as a hot towel covers their face for a couple of minutes.
“Are you okay?”
I used to hate it but I learned to look at the positives – the razor glides smoother once your pores are opened up, ultimately giving you a sharp trim.
“Mhm…” I murmur underneath the towel.
Once the barber is done shaping up the trim I pay him the usual and go home with a smile, knowing I’ll somewhat look good for the next three to four weeks.