I’m sure I placed that diacritic backward. But I’m not here to talk about important things.
This is about me.
That came out wrong.
My neglect of my own hair maintenance is fairly obvious – in person – and just one facet of my ability to proChristinate that I’ve low key bragged about on this site. But given that this is my life, there has to always be some sort of Nth factor.
Finding that second link made me realize that I inadvertently lied to my new barber when I told him it had been 15 months since my last haircut. It has been two full years!
See also: how long my parents quietly suffered.
So, yeah…I got a haircut. Here’s a before:
Level of Neglect: Jesus
Level of Entendres: Double, speaking only about the hair. Sadly, no Jesus Level Abs detected in recent inspections.
Getting a haircut in this circumstance wasn’t just an accomplishment. It was a victory.
My old barbershop closed recently.
(Seriously, read that second link for why it was such an enjoyable victory for me. We’re talking layers of icing on this cake!)
It is a local chainlet, so don’t feel bad for them. It’s just one location. I’m not sure if the decision was pandemic related or if it’s more of a strategic business decision. For all I know, they got better lease terms in a nearby new building and will open a new shop in the area. But I’m still claiming the W on behalf of my stubbornness and self righteousness.
I’d recently been driving past a new shop on Broadway that opened in a couple of friends’ old gift shop location. Initially, I was curious that a barbershop using a single gender noun in its name could fly in liberal Portland, Oregon. Eventually, though, I decided to give Menspire the
honor challenge of making something out of my nest of a mane.
Plus, you know I love a good portmanteau. And, really, Themspire is just confusing.
I wasn’t crazy about the $40 price tag, compared to my old shop’s $30…but think of all the money I’ve saved in my haircut budget over the last two years. Assuming I resume any sort of regular manetenance – boom, Chrisism! – with Menspire, I have a $240 cushion to pad my budget, or about 6 years of haircuts that I can offset with my “savings”.
Still, you know me…I went in dubious. It’s a hangover from the last two barber chains I’ve been to, here (Bishops) and in Seattle (Rudy’s). Also a nod to the whole, “if it looks too good to be true” trope, since both Bishops and Rudy’s are rather stylized. Menspire presents with a rather severe yet austere decor and I was wary that this would be a same old everyone gets the same stupid haircut schtick like Rudy’s and Bishops only with different aesthetics.
I learned that it’s a U.K. chain, complete with a training academy. Lil ol’ Portland is their first U.S. location.
Sure, appeal to my hometown pride, why don’t ya.
As I talked with Brandon the Barber, I realized several things:
A) The appointment lasted a full 45 minutes – and that’s normal, not a byproduct of my hair volume. Bishops appointments are so fast, the barber’s chair doesn’t even warm up.
2) They seem to default to razor cuts! I gave up on asking elsewhere because the answer was usually no. Additionally, I wouldn’t necessarily trust this particular old fuck buddy turned Bishops employee with a razor, so why trust anyone who associates with him?
C) Welp, in a fit of C.R.S. I’ve forgotten my third realization…<shrug emoji>
Neverthemess, I’d been debating my course of action with this cut: wade in with some shaping and styling or go balls out and return to a clean cut like this
I figured going all the way was overcommitting. So I waded in, figuring if I didn’t like an intentional long style, I could drop another $40 in a month or so and Bob’s your uncle.
I didn’t think to snap a pic of the fallout – probably because I was literally light headed – after the cut. Trust me, though, my follicular fallout was a good 8′ in diameter.
The cut ended up shorter than I’d imagined – explaining the debris field around me – and it felt…weird. I liked the look, though, and left with a smile.
Of course, then there’s the next day.
I wasn’t sure after sleeping on it and showering what I’d gotten myself into.
Was this some sort of resurrection of my junior High cut, the bi-level? Because I’m not sure that something that morphed into the dreaded mullet with all of its incarnations is worth the effort to resurrect.
The razor cut creates a lot of texture organically, probably by traumatizing the hair. But my hair has a natural flip when it gains any length. Otherwise, it’s pretty stringy and straight.
Looking in the mirror that next day I didn’t know if I loved my new style or if I looked like I’d scalped a young Meg Ryan and then had shock therapy. I felt like maybe I looked like a psychotic pixie and just hadn’t realized it.
Fortunately, things settled down up top over the next couple of days. While I was no longer accidentally ending up with the ends of my hair in my mouth while eating, those first few days required my eyes to adjust to the new length, which routinely had the tips of my hair poking me in them.
But things did settle down and I’m feeling pretty secure about the decision to stay on the long side. For now.
Of course, that confidence was rattled when the Silver Fox visited last week and said nothing about my cut. I had to passive-aggressively thank him for noticing on the second day of his stay.
I don’t know why I don’t have more friends…
Anyway, here’s a couple pics of the new ‘do. My selfie game is pretty weak, so…tough.
Now, back to the battle of the nose and ear hair! I’ve lost my ear hair camouflage and I suspect masks may go away soonish thanks to vaccinations, so there goes the old nose hair cover. Maybe I’ll try having those areas waxed…