- A highly-opinionated delineation of situations encountered in India, USA, China, UK and wherever my life takes me...

Friday, April 14, 2006


My only ‘indulgence’ in personal grooming is getting a nice haircut that is to my taste. I prefer barbers who just follow directions from me and not make my hairstyle a guinea pig for all their creative energies. I was ‘afraid’ of the mumbo-jumbo cornucopia of shampoos, conditioners, gels, oils, sprays being thrown at me by the over-zealous marketing fraternity of USA. I wished that I atleast get my ‘basic’ hair care products and a decent barber in Chicago without causing a hole in my pocket.

<>I was surprised by the ‘culture’ of men hairstylists giving women a hairjob and women barbers giving men a neat trim. Going by the previous sentence, I was to get a trim by a barbress [I am coining a new term: Historic perspective]. I was praying that my turn arrives when a male barbers seat gets vacant, but my prayers went unanswered. I meekly tip-toed and sat in a vacant seat only to be accosted by a El Mexicano Barbresso de Espanol. She looked like Salma Hayek and asked me about my preference[1 to 10]. I said 4 and blabbered about length, sides and density. She said ‘Don’t worry Sir, I will do you a GOOD job’. I was happy and smiled, even though the skill of a woman in cutting a man’s hair didn’t sink into me.

15minutes later, I emerged with one of my coolest looking hair-cuts in the near history, all for $5 and $2 tip. I was satisfied with the fee as well. This was again repeated for my second haircut. But, I became a little more curious and searched the internet and came across Haircuttery- a chain of barbershops. In USA, I will be surprised if some retail activity didn’t have a chain. This time I had to shell out $13 for haircut and $2 tip. The entire process took twice as long, so the same value per hour. But I didn’t like the concept of paying for the ‘networking’ and establishment of chain of barbershops, the majority of chain stores need to levy on a bill. On any given day, a single-ended place will be better than a chain of everything. I am not talking about niche-beauty-salons here.

To end with some witty lines: God made many mistakes in creating the human head. But to cover them up, he put some hair.

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