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For several years, I was getting my haircut from a barber. Yes, a barber at a barbershop. On a few occasions, we had him over at the house to do home service for three guys and myself.
See, I have mostly worn my hair short. As in almost guy short and I prefer a barber's cut, which means cleaning my nape, including some shaving, and leaving my ears exposed.
I prefer this kind of haircut for practical reasons. First, it saves time washing my hair, and using a lot of shampoo. With short hair, I can use a sachet of shampoo for two to three washes. If my hair were up to my shoulders or even longer, I'd use a whole sachet or even more.
Second, I've previously mentioned that I sweat a lot. And it usually forms along my hairline just above the nape. With long hair, it's almost like I have wet hair all the time since my hair type is oily. If I wore my hair long, I constantly have to wipe it dry when I am working on an extremely hot day, or when I'm puttering in the kitchen.
Third, with very short hair, I simply need to run my fingers and voila, I look neat even after getting out of bed. Or, I just need a stroke or two of a brush and I'm good to go. Besides, it's way easier to dry short hair - just rub it with a towel, brush it with your fingers beside a fan and you're done.
And fourth, it was way, way cheaper to get a haircut from a barber than at a salon. For a while, I was paying less than a hundred pesos ($2) to get a trim from the barber. It would cost me twice that at a salon. Besides, I didn't really need my hair blown dry after because I will still take a bath when I get home.
Customers at the barbershop were a bit weirded out seeing me seated there and Barber Gerry snipping away with his huge pair of scissors. It doesn't take long for them to figure out I was not a guy. Although it is more common for men to get their haircut at a salon, that's not the case for women and barbershops.
I mostly went in right after the shop opened so I would either be first or among the first. A nephew or my Dad would be with me for their turn. This way, there would be less clients to be taken aback by my presence.
Besides, I loved the feel of snipping with a seven or eight-inch scissor running through my scalp to clean out any small hair sticking out. And even the feel of the razor as it slides through my nape and near my ears.
I know, I am weird.
There was a time when I didn't get my haircut for three or more months, so when I stepped inside the barbershop, it was quite long. Boy was there a lot of hair to sweep after my turn. And of course, it took my barber a bit longer to clean me up. Once he was done, I felt so refreshed because my nape was exposed and I could feel cool wind brush against it.
And one other thing I liked about barbershops? I could get a haircut in peace. As in no chitchat with the barber, unlike in a salon where a gay or lady hairdresser would engage in small talk. And with my premature graying hair, they loved to convince me to dye my hair. Heavens, no!
Unfortunately, even pre-pandemic, the barbershop had to close. The area where it was located burned down. And they were displaced. Neither could we contact Barber Gerry to have him come by the house for home service.
So now, I get my haircut from a gay hairdresser, who has always done my mother's hair. She comes by the house, even before the pandemic, and to make it worth her while, two or more of us would get a haircut.
She knows how I like my hair cut, and since she also does men's hair in the salon it's almost like having a barber do it. And she knows me well enough to not offer coloring my hair.
Yeah, we chat. Being friendly with her is the least I can do to show my appreciation. I don't have to head to their parlor, and besides, it's helping her because instead of splitting the cost of haircut with the parlor, she can pocket the whole amount we pay.
I like haircuts in general because having someone comb my hair or run scissors through it is very relaxing for me. Too bad it can't be done longer because my hair is short. A haircut for me is like getting a massage, so I thoroughly enjoy it.
And unlike when I was younger and would end up with a bad or unsatisfying haircut because different hairdressers handled my hair, I've found people I can trust, who know exactly what I want.
So, how did I end up writing about haircuts? I caught an FB post saying the Philippines was among the countries with the cheapest haircuts. It's the third cheapest in the world, with Argentina and Zambia in first and second place, respectively.
Even relatives from America would get their haircut here when they visited because it is exactly that - cheap! Even if you have to give a tip.
In fact, I end up paying more because of the tip. But it doesn't matter, especially at the barbershop, because the service was already inexpensive.
And just for reference, Denmark offers the most expensive haircuts at $75, with Norway coming in second ($72) and USA at third, with a haircut costing $69.
So, I think I have a pretty good deal, yeah? And home service, too!