I went to the TL Barbershop one time, and, being pleased with the result, ventured back on Friday afternoon. This barbershop- similar to the Rosslyn barbershop- is owned (presumably), operated (presumably), and staffed (definitely) by those of Asian descent. I can't say there is a higher concentration of Asians in the area than any other ethnicity, but they most definitely have a corner on the barbershop market. TL's was hopping on Friday, three men in their chairs, and three men waiting. When it became time for me I was pleased to be sitting in the back with a view of the local news and an attractive woman to cut my hair. The attraction was purely physical, however, as it quickly became apparent that the verbal attraction would be diminished by our lack of common language. I said to her "I am going for a new look. I want my hair much shorter. Could you buzz the sides with a 3 and then blend the top to be as short as you can go with scissors?" She said "So you want buzz?"
"Well, just on the sides. Then scissors length on the top."
"Buzz or scissors?"
Given those two options, and not really wanting a military cut, I opted for scissors. She turned my face away from the mirror, I closed my eyes, and she went to work. About a half hour later she asked me if the sides were done. I looked, didn't notice a difference on my head, wondered what she had been doing for 30 minutes, decided not to close my eyes for the duration of the haircut, and then said "A little shorter please." She again turned me away from the mirror, and started cutting again. At least I think she was cutting. A few minutes later she had me face the mirror and again asked, "Good?" I suppose the complete lack of hair on the floor should have been evidence enough that she wasn't actually cutting anything, so I said, "Still shorter please. You can go much shorter." She giggled at that, a reaction I'm still flummoxed by. Now, this next part is not an exaggeration (I don't know why I feel a need to clarify, I never exaggerate on my blog). I had to tell her six times to please go shorter. Six times. As in the all the fingers on one hand, plus one additional one on the other. Six as in how many cans of soda come with a six-pack. Six as in the second largest factor of 12, after 12 of course. By the last time I said to her, "Please go shorter. You cannot go too short. I want it to be really short." But we just weren't speaking the same language...
After an hour in the chair I was getting death stares from the men waiting for their own hair cuts, and I still wasn't even sure if she had begun with mine. I like moderately drastic changes in my appearance and this appearance change was about as noticeable as if I just had cut my fingernails or applied lotion to my left hand palm. But I felt it wasn't going to go anywhere else, so I told her it looked great and paid the price. I was conflicted about the tip protocol in such a situation. On the one hand, she did a very poor job and I literally went and got another haircut the next day, but on the other hand I was that whiny, never satisfied customer who took a lot more time and attention than anyone else. I decided that she probably was doing her best, and as she may be fired soon will probably need some extra cash, so I have her a healthy tip.
I then went to my friend and asked her to cut my hair. My friend did an excellent job and I think I'll be going to her from now on. It's the first time I've ever received two haircuts in two days, but it was necessary. Sorry for the selfies, but the transformation has been chronicled below.
|Friday afternoon. Pre-shave, pre-haircut.|
|Friday night. Post-shave, post-first haircut.|
|Saturday night. Post- second haircut|