Hair -Raising Stuff!!

Hair –Raising stuff!!


Vivek Hande


I needed a haircut rather urgently. My usual neighbourhood Barber (origin Latin, Barba, beard) being closed, I ventured into a rather fancy setup. I was welcomed by someone of indeterminate gender who asked me to state my requirement. I said I needed a chop – he looked down at me as if I was from some other planet. He asked me to fill a questionnaire which was two pages long. I said I was not seeking employment at their establishment- the person told me either I fill out or file out!

I plodded through the form which required me to state my personal details; allergies; ailments, afflictions and an extra page for additional remarks. For good measure, I let them know my favorite ice-cream flavor; the color of my son’s eyes and my shoe size and the movie I saw last night on the page for “additional remarks”.

I asked the person could I see the barber now – he glared at me with a look of disdain. He said that the concerned “Trichology Consultant” would see me in a while! Where I had landed, I asked myself.

I was ushered through a passage which looked like straight out of a Star Wars movie with strobes and fluorescent lights and some kind of UV lights and some trance music playing in the background. I decided to be a man and get through with it.

The “Tricholgy Consultant”, Andy, had a rich, luxuriant seemingly unruly mop of hair himself. It had a careful carelessness kind of feel about it. I told him I would like a chop- he asked me to tick my choice or combination of choices on another form – the list of choices included : “Butch; Quarter Butch:; Buzz; Business; Brush; Comb – over; Crew; Half Crew; Crown – Half or Full; Faux-Hawk; Mullet; Mop-Top; Mohawk; Surfer; Spike ;Taper cut; Quiff “. I implored him to give me a regular, normal, standard hair cut and let me escape.

He told me,”At your age, you still have hair. Be grateful and appreciate the fact. This is not a saloon- this is the Hair Temple! Don’t treat this exercise like a routine matter-this is a sublime experience.” I surrendered and devoutly asked him to proceed with the ritual. I asked for what I thought was a safe bet-“Business”. For the next forty minutes he used all kinds of instruments and clips and combs and appliances and creams and at the end of it, asked me to admire myself in the life size mirrors. I was aghast –I looked much the same and had seen no change from my appearance forty minutes earlier. I tried to protest but he told me in no uncertain terms that this was the best Business cut money could buy!

I returned through the Star Wars passage and the receptionist of uncertain gender presented me with my bill which made my hair rise phenomenally. The bill settled, I was presented with my own privilege card and flashed a smile and told “Do come again. We are always hair for you!!”

I staggered out, got into my car and was trying to regain my composure after this “hairy” experience. I saw a vaguely familiar face getting out of the saloon – Andy , my Trichology Consultant of Hair Temple fame , out of his work clothes and lo and behold , without his wig of luxuriant unruly hair!! Bald like the moon – he gave me a cheery wave and walked away briskly. I sat in the car, trying to tear my hair out!! Hair today , gone tomorrow…