What the Deuce: Best Haircut Ever

Friday, February 03, 2006

Best Haircut Ever

I graduated high school in 1997. Since then, in approximately 9 years I have moved a grand total of 11 times. Granted for 4 years in college, I was moving from place to place around Ann Arbor, but it was still annoying. I hated packing boxes, unpacking, setting up my room, decorating (it has to feel somewhat like home), and then doing it all over again nine months later. Now I know it was my decision to move so much and I realize I was stupid for doing that every year.

After undergrad, I moved to Chicago for 2 years. This move was even harder because it was long distance. Besides dealing with moving into a new apartment, I had to figure out where to grocery shop, run errands, and where to get coffee (luckily I found a place a block from Starbucks). Still, I have to say the most difficult thing about moving to a new city is...Finding a good barber.

Until I left Ann Arbor, I was close enough to my parent's house and my barber Carl. If for some chance, I couldn't make it back to Troy, I found a servicible replacement at the Barbershop on South State Street...the one where they did the Playboy shoot.

Having a good barber is as important as knowing a good lawyer, doctor, or financial advisor. Sometimes, I would say its more important because a good haircut helps getting girls, or so I've been told. For me, I have two requirements in my barber:

1. Gives me a good haircut
2. Cheap

I don't want to pay $20 for a haircut and have moral objections to doing so (and financial ones too). I don't go to salons. I want a old school haircut with scissors, a straight blade razor to get cleaned up around the edges, and a clipper to do the sides of my head. My haircut isn't complicated either. Just give me a one on the sides, taper it in, and keep it short on top. I've been getting this haircut since high school and its amazing how hard its been to find a barber that can do this competently and for a reasonable price (e.g. $15 with tip).

While in Chicago, I went to 2 places and tried out 3 barbers and I really wasn't happy with any of them. I must say the atmosphere at the Italian barbershop was amusing: old Italian guys yelling at each other about which Frank Sinatra cd to listening to, all in a place with framed poster and pictures of Italian icons like...Tony Soprano.

I moved to Miami about a year and half ago and the hunt was on again. My friend Donald told me about a black barbershop near his apartment and I decided to check it out. Tommy, a nice young man with gold teeth, cut my hair. I was impressed. Just the way I like it. Even more, he "lined me up" around my goatee (since gone), sideburns, and the back of my head. He also shaved my face. Total cost: $15 with tip. Fantastic.

I kept visiting Tommy until around April of 2005 when one day I went in and Tommy was no longer there. The story I got was that he was homesick and moved back to NC. Promptly, Tommy's associate, Nooney B. cut my hair but he was no Tommy. The search was on again. I would miss the barbershop and all its antics. Pool table, loud hip hop music (a plus, I love hip hop), and the side businesses (could buy throwbacks and celebrity sex tapes). The hunt was on again.

My friend, Amit, told me about a place close to where I lived. He said to go there and ask for Daisy. So I did. It wasn't the greatest haircut and cost me $17 with tip and Daisy spoke no English. But I saw why Amit liked it there so much. Daisy was always in tight clothing and there was a good chance you would get intimate with her breasts as she cut your hair. I went there twice between August and December as I was on a "let's grow my hair out kick" (prompted by my girlfriend running her fingers through my hair while cooing, "I like your hair longer"). I even started putting gel in my hair.

Luckily over Christmas break I went back to Detroit and had Carl take care of business. Unfortunately my hair grows fast. Today, I went to get a haircut. On a suggestion from my girlfriend, I went to a place walking distance from her apartment. I said "I hope the barber speaks English."

We got there and the place was called "Larry's Barbershop." Good sign. I got my haircut from Carlos and its the best haircut I have gotten in a long time. Carlos could give Carl a run for his money. I wish I would have found him earlier.

Carlos' technique was flawless. First he cleaned up the side of my head with the trimmer and then made sure to shave the back of my neck with a beard/moustache trimmer. Then he did something I had never experienced before. He took a straight razor like tool to cut my hair. While using a comb as a guide he gently flicked his wrist and the razor like device cut my hair. It felt good and was effective. I was in complete awe. After tapering in my hair he used scissors to do the top of my head. Finally, he shaved the back of my neck and around my ears and sideburns with a straight razor.

After he was done, I looked at my girlfriend and he caught me and said, "If she didn't say anything, it looks good." He was right, she didn't say anything and it looks good. He put a little bit of hairspray in my hair, spiked it up a bit and I was on my way. I asked him how much I owed and he said "Eleven." I gave him $13 and was on my way.

The search is over.


Anonymous joe kalbac said...

where is the hair cut place?

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