Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Haircuts Without Tears

How did my "unofficial barber" career begin?  I was a Sophomore in college when I did my first haircut. One of my friends in the dorm said she desperately needed a haircut, and she asked if anyone had ever cut someone's hair. How did it turn out? Read on to see!

Everyone in the room said "NO!" except me.  I told her that my Mom cut other people's hair, and that I had watched her.  (My Mom had learned by watching the local barber at work!)  I guess that was close enough, because she asked me to cut hers, and I agreed.  

Next, we all checked our scissors to see whose were the sharpest.  I won again! I remembered that aluminum foil could sharpen scissors even better, so we got some from the dorm kitchen and "sliced" the scissors through the foil several times.  She put her bath towel around her shoulders, and I performed my first haircut!  I thought it looked good, and everyone agreed.  That was the first of many times that someone would knock on my door (with a towed in hand) and ask, "Will you cut my hair?" I really think the price (FREE) was definitely appealing, also!

With the wedding vows, evidently "I will cut your hair" was the unspoken vow, because I have been cutting my husband's hair ever since that day!  I purchased a good set of Barber Shears and Thinning Shears, which I still use today.  

By watching my very skilled Mom, I also learned how to use clippers.  Mom gave me her old clippers, so my fame grew!  I was even given a used cape to replace the towel around the shoulders, and I felt (almost) professional! 

As our family grew, it was only natural that I would cut my boys' hair.  I quickly learned an important lesson:  giving a child a sucker during a haircut may be messy, but it helped him/her to sit still, as well as reduces and/or eliminates the tears!  Also, before the cut, you need to show the child how the scissors work and give "pretend" haircuts to others to make him/her feel comfortable.  I started out with easy cuts, essentially cutting around the edges, getting hair out of their eyes and stopping the question, "How old is she?"  Of course, as the boys grew up, I had to "stay with the times", and I subsequently learned to do the haircuts that were popular at that time.  I sometimes also cut family's and neighbor's hair (children and adults).  

My 3 handsome sons

One memorable time, years later when our family was going on a camping trip, I didn't have time for haircuts before the trip, so I packed my Barber Shears.  My sister-in-law Carolyn, who is a trained beautician, did the same.  We set out 2 chairs facing the lake, and we started our haircuts.  Whenever a chair was vacant, the next haircut would begin.  We had a great time talking as we cut the hair of our kids, husbands, my sister, brother-in-law, and friends in that beautiful, serene setting.  Finally, the chairs were empty, and we were finished!  At that time, a passer-by asked, "Hey, can I sit in that empty chair?  I need a haircut!" Unfortunately for him, we told him the "shop" was closed for the day!!

Now I am cutting my grand-kids hair, also without tears.  Once our oldest grandson Noah said he wanted a sucker, and his mom said, "No, not now". He thereby screamed, "I want a haircut!"  

Grandson Alex, before his first haircut

Alex's curls, before his first haircut

My techniques for cutting grand-kids' hair have varied somewhat, however:  
  • I have replaced the plain suckers with Ring Pops.  Ring Pops last longer, and there's no long stick to get in the way. 
  • The step-stool that the child is seated on faces the computer - with a favorite DVD playing!   Ninja Turtles and Elmo are a favorite at my house on haircut days.
Alex enjoys his first Ring Pop & haircut!

Granddaughter Aleyna is happy
with her first haircut!

Granddaughter Mia
loves her short bangs!

Daughter-in-law Ashley's haircut required
a lot of thinning of her
beautiful thick, curly hair!

Ashley's smooth back view

Last night, as I cut my husband's hair, my 2-year old grandson Alex pointed to the blank computer screen and said, "Elmo!"  The grand-kids also cannot understand why Papaw does not get a Ring Pop with his haircuts!  There's one consolation, however, at least we still had no tears!!

Here I am with Aleyna after her second hair cut.
 I even trim my own hair between professional cuts!

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