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I've gotten significantly more compliments about my general appearance since I grew my hair out.
Girls stopped asking to touch my hair when I got overweight and my first gray hair showed up. So... my advice would be that if it bothers you, become unattractive. BAM.
5 years ago I bought clippers. I trim on a #3 once every 2-3 months. Use a hand mirror for tapering the back and sides. Have saved a short-vacation's worth of money.Slowly but surely going grey.
what are the criteria for being a traditional barber?
Scott was getting bald and found it easier to just shave.
If you enjoy driving with the windows down or doing things that require you to hunch/bend over (soldering, for example), be prepared to wear a hair tie or, until it gets long enough for a hair tie to actually work, a head band. Also, you will shed like hell.
As for hair care... I specifically try to buy unscented shampoo/conditioner and I don't use any product. Apparently some of the ladies like the "feel" of my hair, though I know not why.
Since I can't just go cue ball without a lot of maintenance, I just let it grow, cut it all off down to a very short buzz cut when it gets too unruly, and donate it to Locks of Love. I send them a foot long bundle of thick Samson-like locks about every 18 months.
It's creepy how many times in my life women give you those wide eyes and ask "Can I touch your hair?". I probably shouldn't have been so freaked out about it but far too often women get REALLY excited at this opportunity.
1) Find a barber. His shop should be named after him or a barber he works/worked with. The older and more conservative the better.
2) Show him a picture of Don Draper. Ask for a "wave in front, part on right, taper in back." Get a straight-razor shave, too. You deserve it.
3) Relax for the cut.
4) Walk out feeling like a billion dollars.
5) Tip 30%.
6) Use a pomade.
Shit, we used to have one in a hallway of the hospital I work in, in an office that had been renovated into a barber shop. He had a candy stripe pole and everything. Gone now.
I used to get my haircut at a traditional barber across the hall from my pediatrician in the same office building as a kid. Pole and everything, outside his door in the hallway.
In suburban Connecticut, they're pretty much gone. I think we have one in our town where we used to have five.
Slowly but surely going grey.
Unless they start grinding you, I'd get over it.