My Annual Hair Cut

I’ve been putting it off for some time now, but the day has finally arrived where I’m getting my hair cut. My unruly mop has reached the ridiculous stage where people are stopping and pointing at me in the street and young children burst into tears at the sight of the ‘strange man’ with Dickensian sideburns. I’m fed up with my fringe and flummoxed by the annoying sticky out bits I’m constantly having to flatten down with cold water.

I’ve written before about my morbid fear of indulging in smalltalk with barbers. The topics of conversation terrify the introvert within me; the weather (a Northern Irish standard), how Manchester United are doing (badly) and Brexit (don’t ask me, I haven’t a clue). The barbers at my local salon are hard core Belfast, bedecked with tattoos and talking a million miles an hour. I get around one word in seven if I’m lucky.

Their establishment is a shrine to local boxing legends, of which there are many, and the aforementioned under performing football side. I don’t know a lot about boxing but can pass myself off if required. ‘Did you see the Conlon fight?’, ‘Yes, that was some body shot,’ etc etc. Then we will bemoan the state of United’s midfield and how the current over paid primadonnas aren’t fit to lace the boots of dear old Georgie Best, God rest his soul.

Then there are the mirrors, an occupational hazard of entering any hair cutting establishment. They’re everywhere. And if there’s one thing I hate more than excruciating small talk it’s having to look at myself. The same goes for shop windows or anything that emits a reflection. I don’t like looking at myself. Maybe that’s the reason I delay getting my locks lopped off for so long. I don’t like what I see.

I’ll religiously avoid them where possible. Shaving in the morning is a challenge and you’ll never catch me preening in front of a full length like some of the sights I saw when I used to frequent the local gym. The same applies to photographs. I don’t mind getting mine taken but I don’t particularly want to view the resulting image as I’m forever disappointed by what I see. It’s illogical and infuriating but I’m not comfortable in my own skin.

You would think by this stage in life I would have grown accustomed to the man in the mirror. But no, he continues to surprise and irritate me. Both inside and out. I’m always striving to be better instead of accepting myself for who I am, warts and all. You eat too much junk, you don’t run enough, the weight is creeping back on, is that the suggestion of a double chin? The voice within never stops.

So I’ll get my hair cut today. When he’s finished the barber will ask me what I think and I’ll nod and mutter before shoving payment in his hand and departing as quickly as I can. I could be walking out with a pink, two foot Mohican, I’d be none the wiser. I’ll walk into the office where colleagues will remark ‘nice haircut’ as I try to curl up into a ball behind my computer screen. Please talk about something else, anything. Even Brexit.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

45 thoughts on “My Annual Hair Cut

  1. “My unruly mop has reached the ridiculous stage where people are stopping and pointing at me in the street and young children burst into tears at the sight of the ‘strange man’ with Dickensian sideburns.”
    Yikes I think I’ve had one of those too during a depressive episode lol

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  2. All the best for your haircut..
    I always wonder why trimming means cut any length to all who cut my hair and why the same haircut looks so much better on the person cutting hair sitting next to me and I look like a cartoon ..lol

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  3. You made me laugh today – thank you! I could see in my mind what you were describing!
    I am the same way about getting hair cuts. Mind you, I have long hair so I can go longer between cuts and can tie it back. I go to a little shop that is in the middle of the shopping centre near home, it’s cheap since they only cut (no colouring or washing) and they only have a reasonably small mirror in front of each seat. Easy not to look! I refuse to pay over $100AUD at a ‘salon’ when I can get the same cut from this little shop for $25.

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  4. I love getting a haircut. For me though, it’s such a physically exhausting process that I have to shore up the energy required. Since sitting upright requires much of that energy, I don’t worry about talking. Also, florescent lights make everyone look like crap. I usually like my hair a million times more in the natural light when I look at myself in the car. 🤷 My husband used to never get haircuts because he didn’t like taking the time, and I used to joke that I could turn him upside down and use him as a mop. He had this amazingly massive curly fro in his twenties. I once straightened it, and nobody recognized him. Being in management has a way of curbing these youthful rebellions. 😂 However, he too doesn’t like having to chat during his haircut. He doesn’t go to a barbershop either (even though they always do a much better job).

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  5. Any barber worth their salt would realise within seconds if you didn’t want to talk and would respect that.

    Having cut hair for 35 years I pride myself on never once mentioning the weather, football or, oh-no, Brexit! 🙂 As to the mirror, well, just close your eyes and try to enjoy.

    I like to go to different barbers – just to see what other crimpers are up to (and because I like to be the ‘client’ sometimes for a change!). When they get to the almost inevitable “What do you do?” I say one of two things: if they seem a little too full of themselves I tell them I’m a barber – the moving up of gears, the sudden perceived concentration at the job in hand, etc, is palpable! If they seem nervous I tell them that I’m a baker! (I’ve had to learn a lot about baking over the years just to cover my barber visit!

    “Going anywhere nice on your holidays?” 😉

    Great piece, FFB. Thanks.

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  6. I cut my own now. I’d get home from the hairdresser and spend the next two days chopping off bits I thought were uneven. I get it wrong sometimes, but I’ve learned that it grows again only too quickly. It those droopy bits and gathering wrinkles that put me off looking in the mirror – the only the way my hair could help is by growing it in the style of your featured photo.
    My husband has similar reluctance to having his beard trimmed that you have to haircuts – as if it will drain his strength, like Samson. (If I thought for one moment that might be the case he could grow it to rival Santa.)

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  7. Mine is not so much a hatred of the process or event, but the time and inconvenience. I tend to put it off until the ‘fringe and sticking out bits’ are more annoying than the time spent in the chair. I do like going to the same barber just to eliminate the whole ‘how do want it cut’ conversation. Current cutter has no problem holding up her end of the conversation, and seems to have a need to fill the quiet times with chatter. Prior to moving I went to Chris for years who seemed perfectly content to let the requisite two or three sentences be enough to complete the job. I do like the variety of people and the verbal exchanges that happens in places where strangers are awkwardly thrust into a temporary group.

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  8. As someone who is also terrified of small talk, I’ve learned through trial and error that most people just want to talk and don’t care about what you say as long as it isn’t offensive. I simply ask questions and let them yammer onward.

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  9. I haven’t been for a haircut in several years, mainly because of the cost. Too expensive.
    So, I bought clippers and now I keep my hair buzzed. The clippers have more than paid for itself.
    I did chuckle at your description of your hair!

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  10. I feel similarly about the hairdresser’s chair… The small talk, the mirrors and the inevitable “HOW MUCH??” even for the cheapest/quickest service… I have long hair so can leave (sometimes) years between visits… I really hate it that much… What intrigues me most about your post though is your comments on your own dislike of your reflection and the apparent disappointment that you say accompanies this… 🤔

    I too struggle with low self-esteem, but I wouldn’t say I hate looking in a mirror, avoid them or get disappointed EVERY time I see myself… Perhaps that’s something to delve deeper into, to truly figure out why you feel this way, as surely it must be having a negative effect on your mental well-being?

    Intriguing ideas, thanks for the post! I enjoyed reading it!
    Luna Xx

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  11. I am your opposite. I always think it will look better if I get it cut. I am a female with short hair. Last time I went to the hairdresser I said I wanted a change. She said it would need to grow a bit, so no haircut that day. How long will it take before I go crazy? I’m not sure, but I’m not banking on long. I never learned to use any styling devices..I am dyslexic and can’t reverse mirror images in my mind, so attempts have been disastrous. It’s a family joke. “Give the girl a curling iron.” It’s supposed to be good entertainment. We’ll see how long this “growing it out” thing will last….but it won’t be a year…..guaranteed. I’m hoping a month.

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  12. I am definitely not a fan of the barbershop or salon. I have taken my boys to the barbershop and left with far too many badly hacked haircuts. I have had my share as well of leaving the salon in tears. I went over a year after a bad salon haircut before I had my new guy give me a haircut in his kitchen. He did a great job and I informed him he was now my regular stylist. About a year and a half later I bought clippers to give my boys their haircuts. I watched YouTube videos and felt I was ready. Well I got flustered and had my guy finish them. He did a great job and it became his job. Net result is haircuts for the boys are every 3-4 weeks and I take a seat to get my now elbow length hair trimmed. I prefer the comfort, convenience and savings by getting our haircuts at home. Great results every time and my best friend even stops by to have him cut her hair for her as well. He fixed a bad salon haircut for her and she asked if he could continue to cut her hair for her. So I know I have it pretty good.

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  13. I’m one of those people that cuts their own hair much to the amusement of myself sometimes. I’m not very good at it but I hate going to the salon and having to sit there for a long time – I also don’t drive, so it is problematic getting it done professionally. Last time I cut it, it was rather embarrassing and I wore a hat until it grew out a bit. 😀

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