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Your friendly neighbourhood parlour

August 17, 2016

(A rare evening when the child is asleep by 8, and I’m done with dinner and twiddling thumbs and hey, it’s not even 8.30pm!)

About six weeks back, I decided to get a haircut and went with a really short style (boy-cut, short bob, whatever it’s called). And as I’m re-learning, with short hair, you need haircuts far more frequently that your average once in 3-4 months affair you’d otherwise go for. And this means they’re heavier on the pocket. 

And so it came to be that I decided to ditch the fancyass salon where I got the haircut paying over a thousand bucks. And also the Lakme and the Naturals salons which have been my go-to places for the last few years, and a basic hair trim costs about 500 bucks upwards. And I decided to check out the no-frills parlour beside the apartment I live in. 

I went in expecting the usual question about getting hair coloured (I have a lot of grey, suffice to say). And well, the girl exclaimed and remarked that’s it all black at the back and grey in top. How? I shrugged. And then she said your hair is healthy, has it been grey for a while? I said yeah, for a while now. And then to my great relief, she did not proceed to hard sell any brand of colour that would turn my hair black and yet keep it soft and healthy. Or specific shampoo or conditioner or hair spa, all of which the fancy places do and annoy the bejesus out of me. In fact she said please don’t try any colour and spoil your hair, keep it the way it is. Why thank you, that’s nice to hear, for a change, I thought. 

And then of course, the questions came. Which are less likely in a more professional, swanky gleaming setup (or so I’d imagine). About your personal life. Who you live with etc.

I was slightly skeptical about her ability to do a good job, but I figured even if it was bad, it’ll grow back. At one point she brought out an electric shaver, the kind S uses, and after going to town with it at the back of my neck, she was about to tackle my sideburns. ‘No!’ I shrieked. 

‘Just a little shorter here, near my ears,’ I said. And then she brought the really sharp pair of scissors really close to my ears. And I REALLY panicked as she began trimming away, the sharp end of the scissors occasionally touching my ear. And I got goosebumps purely out of fear I think. When there was a lull in the trimming, I nervously said, ‘I’m a little scared.’

To which she laughed and replied, ‘Me too, my hands actually shiver when I’m doing this part.’

(Insert the classic emoji 😒)

Apart from being more personal, less hygienic, less pushy and up-selling and wayy cheaper, I wonder if this is what differentiates the ₹200/- haircut from the ₹1000++ ones. The disarming, almost uncalled for honesty, versus the ability at least look cool and unshakeable, and well, the professionalism. 

I’m still deciding whether to go back there for my next haircut. Oh wait, the girl’s getting married around then. Now I’m curious to see if she’ll be around. 

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