Saturday, 13 February 2010

The Barnet

The scissors gave a tug and my head jerked to one side. I suppressed urge to cry out, felt my heart sink, closed my eyes and prepared for the worst.

I hadn't had my hair cut for more than four months and it was a little wild - somewhere between Marge Simpson and Mel 'Braveheart' Gibson. Not really a problem when you live on a small island where nobody seems that impressed by the cut of your clothes or your hair, but when you feel it pushing the hat off your head, steps must be taken.

I was visiting Kirkwall and booked myself in at the hairdressers where Sal gets her locks seen to. It was 10am, I hadn't had any tea or toast and I wasn't feeling exactly communicative. I don't like going to have my hair cut - any length of time staring at my face is very disturbing, just ask Mrs Pig Farmer - and I'm not keen on small talk that early in the day. Maybe that counted against me.

The hairdresser (for want of a better description) approached my head like it was a bomb about to go off. I'm not sure she'd ever cut a man's hair before. I'm not sure she knew that sharp scissors are available in many good shops. I think she might have wandered in off the street and fancied a go. Barbering. . . how hard can it be?

I gave clear instructions (half-an-inch on the sides, a little longer on top, tapered at the back) and she dived in. The trouble is with a bad haircut is you can't exactly stand up halfway through and storm out, especially if you're in a town that has no such thing as a walk-in barber's shop you can run to to repair the damage.

So I'm left with hair short at the back, several different lengths on top and wierd wispy bits that I'm having to tuck behind my ears to stop me looking completely insane.

I shall be on the phone later to Lauren, who runs a hairdressing business in Westray, to arrange a repair job, at the same time apologising for not going to her in the first place.

UPDATE: My brother-in-law Mart has asked for pictures. I'm a little reluctant to reveal the full horror, but in the interests of openness. . .

. . . looking good, I think you'll agree.


Richard said...

4 months? Mine's barely started growing back after 4 months! Mind you my my hair makes spider's web silk look like a ship's hawser and after 49 years I still can't go into a barbers and tell them how to cut it as each one has his or her own ideas. It's usually crap. I'd have the whole lot off but in my mind that's still synonymous with having nits.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, Malc. Hate having mine "done."
What's the saying - the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is only a couple of weeks!

word verif is felco. Brand name of quality secateurs!

Dave said...

'No 1 all over' is my crisp instruction to the barber. Works for me. Mind you, I need hats in winter.

smart said...

We want pictures!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

now there is a clever girl in Aberystwth that does mohicans - free! :-)))

Yorkshire Pudding said...

So, let's get this right, you went to a WOMEN'S hairdresser in Kirkwall? Oh good Lord! I guess it's true what they say about men from Wolverhampton then. No wonder you had to escape to a distant island.

J.J said...

Love your picture Malc - made me laugh out loud (and I am supposed to be busy working).

Daphne said...

I am going to try to persuade my hairdresser to move to Westray. Sadly this is for purely selfish reasons - she drives me nuts but her shop's a hundred yards from my house so I have no incentive to find another one. But if she moved to Orkney, I'd have to. Buy earplugs.

zIggI said...

I'm with the Yorkshire Pudding Malc, What's The Matter With You? What Were You Thinking?! Get yourself some clippers and let Sal loose - it'll be worth it, It only took me two years practice to get Himself's 'perfect'!

(or when you're passing I'd be happy to attend to your locks)

fiwa said...

Oh Malc. I'm with Yorkshire Pudding - you shoulda known better. Good luck finding a barber. Though I think you should stick with the look you have going on in that picture. Wisps of hair tucked behind your ears sounds up to date anyway. ;)

Malc said...


I generally reckon male barbers are better at taking instruction on hairdos than women.


I've not been for the refit just yet and it is a little better, but still curly in odd places.


I used to have a No. 3 up the back and sides, but the kids said I was scary and if I wore a suit I looked like a bouncer.


No you don't - not really.


I'm tempted - dyed orange, I think.


Unisex is the word you're after. There's no such thing as a men's walk-in barber up here. And Wolverhampton is the home of the sophisticated hairdo - you've seen Dave Hill off Slade.


Get back to work.


The iPod is a wonderful invention.


I'll take you up on that next time I'm on my way to Devon (which, with the weather in England could be some time in 2014).


You're alive! The wisps have gone, hacked off by mine own Stanley blade.